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Loss of motivation- help

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    Loss of motivation- help

    I need to write this somewhere and I think this is a safe place. My son was injured 8/23/18 during gymnastics practice. He added difficulty to a trick and landed badly. Now a diagnosed C4 complete but has biceps, light tendonisis and several upper back and arm muscles except triceps. He has done well and has a good attitude. But.... he is not trying to work at home. We bought an FES bike for the house but he will only ride when I make him. He doesn't home exercise and doesn't like the FES machine. He goes to PT and OT 3 times a week and I just added a strength training session with a trainer once a week. Am I pushing too hard? He has always been outgoing and still wants to be but I see him shy away. He can feed himself but doesn't want to at home. What do I do? He will do anything I push him to do, but I want him to want to. He says he does, but it is just easier to sit and play on his ipad and watch youtube videos.

    Is your son going to school? Does he have hobbies or clubs he belongs to in which he can participate with his peers? I assume he is a teenager or young adult...peer relationships are very important at this time of his life. Are any of his friends still around? Can they take him out to do fun things together?

    If he can feed himself, then you or other family members are contributing to his feelings of helplessness by feeding him. Insist that he feed himself at least part of his meal. ADLs like this are exercise too, and self-esteem is enhanced by him doing for himself what he can.

    Is he going for any counseling or did he get any in rehab?

    There is no magic motivation dust you can sprinkle on him. He has to want to do these activities himself, but you certainly can encourage him and if he has underlying depression decreasing his motivation, a good psychologist can help him with these issues. There is no shame nor is it a sign a weakness to get counseling after such a life altering event as a SCI.

    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


      He sounds like a teenager! My daughter is a quad as well. She is now 22. You really have to pick your battles when they are in high school. My daughter started playing online with Xbox in high school and I had a hard time getting her to PT or using the FES and I just gave up because she just didn't want to. It's funny her "crew" for Call of Duty and GTA were all from Houston and they are all able-bodied and they still play together!
      Last edited by Domosoyo; 24 Feb 2019, 1:27 AM.


        I am assuming he is paralyzed aside from the strength you mentioned, so I'm wondering if he is using a suitable, light weight manual wheelchair and/or power wheelchair and whether he has been evaluated for driving. Such an evaluation can assess whether he has suitable residual strength to safely use adaptive driving equipment, and perhaps indicate muscles to focus on for therapy to facilitate driving.

        In addition, is he handling bowel and bladder care himself or with assistance? So many issues take time to adjust to and his injury is really just a short time ago. Excellent that he's attending PT and OT.
        Is he able to get around the home or are modifications needed so he can be as independent as possible at home?

        You have come to the right place. There are many folks here who can help - I'm not a parent, but a para most of my life due to Polio, and a retired counselor. The subject of further schooling is so important - are any of his friends going on to college?

        His paralysis came at a time when a teenager graduates from high school and is probably developing some plans for the future - a double whammy in terms of life dilemmas.