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New SCI with 18 yr old son

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  • #16
    Flyfisher -
    Queen made some good points. There's a lot of denial going on here - not all bad, since he obviously can function reasonably well, and entirely understandable. Anyway, I recommend you read the PVA booklet on depression and SCI. Go to www.pva.org, then pva store, the clinical practise guidelines. Get the consumer guide #2. Some of the others might be useful for you, also.
    Sounds like Surf Sister is a good resource for you and him - someone who's been down pretty near the same road.
    All the best from the other side of the Cascades,
    - Richard

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    • #17
      All very true. We have told him these late hours are for the birds and his reply at times might be the good old "i"m 18 " crap. So what do you do? Lock the door? He is doing aqua therapy but have skipped his weights. I think it is because he doesn't want to be in the gym with others around - denial to me I feel. Surf sister - you are so right and I appreciate your outlook. I will go to the VA site and check out the booklet. He is on Zoloft but skipped the last 2 of his counselling session. Today will be a big pow wow - in all fairness living like this - tired and angry all the time sucks. Change is needed and I will try yet again. I will keep you posted.

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      • #18
        does your son have any siblings? positive motivators?
        Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened

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        • #19
          he has a 23 yr old sister who has gone through alot with this injury. She has care and concern and I will get her more involved. I've been trying to let her live her life as she is doing great. We lived in MT for 22 yrs and moved here almost 4 yrs ago so not many positive motivators in our circle. I think it is time to have some other SCI people over - he thinks that is weird as they are "stangers". He needs to get out of his comfort zone. Here's a question for anyone: Define what denial means?

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          • #20
            Well, I mentioned it, so...
            As I see it, denial is avoiding the problem; refusing to confront it, diverting attention elsewhere.
            Like, I know I have a roof that badly needs fixing. When I'm at work, I remember it. But on the weekend when I might have the time to work on it, do I even think of it? No, it doesn't occur to me then. A pretty trivial example of my unconscious diverting my attention away from a job I don't look forward to doing - a passive denial.
            Possibly your son is substituting the partying, etc. for the unpleasantness of the truth he doesn't want to face. I don't blame him! But like SurfSis says, he has a lot of recovering to do; it's hard to face it all at once. His body is recovering faster than his mind; the mind will catch up.
            I'm no expert, only my common sense which may be all wet. Perhaps one of the nurses might comment; they've probably seen this kind of thing before.
            - Richard

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            • #21
              Richard thanks for the analgy and your definition. I believe all that you say is true andno you are not wet behind the ears. I am so used to him being the other way around I guess - the mind being ahead of his body. But that is a good way to relook at this. I spoke to him today using a few of the suggestions people gave me and he listened and responded at first with anger about my trying to control things but then he saw that he really isn't holding up his end (appts etc) So we will see if he walks the talk. He is a good kid. Always has been such a social butterfly and very kind. I feel so incredibly bad for him, it breaks my heart into a thousand pieces. I try not to show it to him and I think I have been successful there. It is so sad. He was being recruited by colleges to play soccer and had tryouts lined up for May. Oh well, that was another life. Everyone here has such amazing life stories. I appreciate your ideas etc. These forums are very cool and hats off the the guy who set this up, long long ago

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              • #22
                Fly, it is not even 3 months post-injury. Give him time. Sounds like partying may be his way of proving to himself that he is still him. It is good that he is out socializing, testing his new wings or wheels, as it were, at long as he is not self destructive and putting himself at risk. Did he finish high school? How fast he gets back on track depends upon how much he has to adjust his plans to life with SCI. If he planned on being a construction worker, that is a long way. Professor or desk job, not as much a detour.

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                • #23
                  Flyfisher, there's another part to this story. You. You are, of course, incredibly concerned about him. Your life is probably revolving around his SCI (hey, I know - my wife's is rarely far from the center of my consciousness). He sees your concern as always pushing into his private space, you're wanting to talk about things he'd rather ignore. And possibly some of those things really can be ignored for now. Maybe you need to lighten up a little. He does see how you are feeling about him - you can't really hide all that. But try not to cloy - he doesn't want to be the center of a pity party (I hope I don't offend you).
                  Not easy, though.

                  Diane2 mentioned education. That's more important to him now than ever before.

                  It's not the end of the story. However overwhelming things may look to you now, he's not that bad off, comparatively. He can still have a damn good life.

                  - Richard

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                  • #24
                    Yes he finished high school doing 2 classes on line and we are happy that he will graduate June 10th with his classmates. He had always planned on engineering or architecture school and those are still his plans. Which is fantastic. You are right and I am backing off in certain areas. Today sunny and warm we are getting ready to head to the lake to fish. I know that I do alot out of worry, but this is also very new to me and I need time to adjust and find my productive place. I know things will get more settled in time and it is early and in that light he is doing well. I thank everyone for their comments and suggestions. They have really helped me in this new situation

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by flyfisher
                      Yes he finished high school doing 2 classes on line and we are happy that he will graduate June 10th with his classmates.
                      A real good sign. You know, I think he's gonna do just fine. Any college plans? If thinking about UofO, I believe there are several CC'ers in the Eugene area.

                      Originally posted by flyfisher
                      He had always planned on engineering or architecture school and those are still his plans. Which is fantastic.
                      You bet it is. I'm an engineer; I do system and hardware design of implantable pacemakers. It's a very rewarding job; I never stop learning.

                      - Richard

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                      • #26
                        If your son ever wants to chat about SCI, snowboarding, hell, anything, he can IM or PM me. he seems like a cool guy : ) and it's always nice to have the option to commiserate with someone who know what it's like.

                        The hardest part of all this sci mess for me was the first couple months of going back to school full-time and dealing with people's reaction to me.
                        The realization that so many people will stare or look down on me no matter how well-spoken or independent I am was difficult. My friend Kiran really helped me through that period, so whatever i can do to pay it forward.

                        - Tori

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                        • #27
                          Richard and Tori - thanks. Well the fishing thing didn't work as the access was pathetic. This is going to be a huge challenge until we can afford a boat. UGH!!! He is planning on staying here in Bend and attending the local college while in his "transition" period. Then his dream has always been to move back to Montana where he was born and raised and attend MSU. Lofty goals for sure as winter is Loooonnnnnggggg there... Tori - here's the deal. He IS very similar to you. He worried about people staring and is very self conscious of that. Which kind of surprised me but it is real. I will get him on line soon and hook you 2 up. He was a helluva an athlete and a crazy snowboarder who had 1 unlucky fall..... his neurosurgeon made a date for next winter to be up on the hill with him. It will be interesting to see if he goes.... he went up to Bachelor the other day (in the parking lot only) and hadn't been there since his accident. Still hates them for being non-compassion - no call, card, flowers nothing. Just bore down into good ole "merican legal don't acknowledge policy. Pretty hard on a kid for sure. anyways enuf - thanks!

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                          • #28
                            Hey, I went kayaking on the Deschutes Saturday and just needed a little help getting in and out of it. We were just down by the Old Mill district. Maybe he could try something like that out?

                            He'll get over caring what people think...I did.
                            Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know that, so it goes on flying anyways--Mary Kay Ash

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                            • #29
                              flyfisher,

                              I haven't tried flyfishing since my accident, but i enjoy using handline off my parents' boat or a dock just as much. And getting back on the mountain was fantastic for me, but that took me two years after my injury (check out the sports threads http://carecure.org/forum/showthread.php?t=58215).
                              Can your son get into any wheelchair sports? B-Ball is common, but i prefer the smashing of chairs in rollerhockey : ) i'm still crazy, and i bet your son will still crave the adrenaline rush. He should explore the paralympics website to remind himself that he can still be kick-ass, and proving to yourself that you can still excel at sports helps with the paranoia of being out in public. That's how it was for me anyways, hope that made sense?

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                              • #30
                                flyfisher, pretty much what the others said. I think 3 months is a very short time for such a life changing injury. I was injured at 21 in 1991. It took a year for me to get outa the slump. I think that is normal. I didnt even want to go out for 4-5 months. But like alot of us, I had that one friend that didnt give up on me and made me do stuff. If he loved the outdoors (like I did) get him involved in skiing. Learning that I could still ski at even a higher level than before my injury had the biggest effect on me. Get him out there. Its easy to fish if you just think different. Get a cheap inflatable kayak. Go camping. My friend did something that was very smart now that I look back on it. He actually figured out things to do that were not awkward so that I would not feel uncomfortable / embarressed / inferior / etc. That just made me want to do stuff more.

                                And if he wants to go back to Montana let him. MSU and Bozeman is a great place for accessibility. Probably best city in Montana. Its a great school. And there are good groups for disabled students there. Eagle Mount being one of them.

                                I grew up in Montana and moved back up here from socal one year ago. I live way out in the boonies 100 miles NW of Kalispell. Winter is not bad at all. I was injured in Alaska and ended up moving back up there for 6 or so years post injury.

                                I dont know how it feels to be a parent of a SCI kid but I do know about being the kid.
                                Last edited by bcripeq; 05-01-2006, 07:32 PM.

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