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Grandparents want newly quad to visit Florida 11 months post accident

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  • Grandparents want newly quad to visit Florida 11 months post accident

    I don't know what to do here. My ex-inlaws want my 16 yr old son to visit them next August. Connors accident was 8/23/18. My ex wants to " rent" an accessible van to drive the 14 hours. I bought a used van but do not get any help financially to take care of my son or his medical needs so at least they are smart enough not to ask to use my van. My ex didn't remember the need to weight shift every 30 minutes while driving which will make the trip longer. My son Connor is C4 complete in a power chair currently. He still has to return to TIRR in a couple of months for phase 2 rehab. They are hoping he will be strong enough for a manual chair. He has biceps and decent arm function but not triceps or hands. I am at a loss for them wanting him to visit before he has even had time to get strong enough to learn to transfer himself (hopefully). I do not think a drive that long is a good idea. I am terrified of Connor traveling without me. We just did an overnight to San Antonio to see what challenges there would be and it was a so so trip. He was totally exhausted and sore from the hotel bed and driving 3 hours with my friend with us to unhook his seatbelt so he could weight shift. He came home with back pain and severe headache with both of us helping him and handling the manual transfers well. How soon is it safe to travel after accident. Maybe flying would be better? I am at a loss. Of course they think I am terrible for being concerned.

  • #2
    Your son is 16, seems like this should be his decision, including on the method of travel (fly vs drive).

    I feel like it's difficult for us to give you any suggestions without knowing whether he is desperately wanting to go, definitely not wanting to go or somewhere in the middle. It would be a shame to have everybody mad at you (ex and grandparents for not letting him go and son who really wanted to go) if there were a feasible way to get it done safely. Likewise in my view he's old enough to make the decision not to go on his own... at 16 I wasn't injured yet, but I definitely got to say whether or not I was going somewhere that far away unless someone was on their deathbed or something.

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    • #3
      So if this is next August, he should have already completed his "part 2" rehab at TIRR well before then, right? His team there could actually assist him in planning for this trip and training his dad in anything he needs to do to assist. You may be over-reacting a little being overly protective. He will need to start challenging himself to be more integrated into the community...and looking down the road to college and living on his own.

      How is he doing weight shifts? If his chair has a power tilt-in-space seat, then he should be doing them himself. If he needs manual assistance, he should be taking responsibility to remind and direct whomever is available to assist him. Did he also sustain some brain injury (TBI) during his accident, or is he unusually immature for a 16 yo?

      I would lean toward flying for this trip...his dad can rent a van in Florida and many of the companies who do this can provide airport delivery. A 14 hour drive is hard on anyone, especially driving straight through without staying overnight mid-way.

      He may want to stay in a hotel with an accessible room rather than with his grandparents, and spend time with them during the day. If necessary, he could rent a hospital bed, but most often a foam overlay can be added to a regular hotel bed. Is he using a lift for transfers now? He can either take one with (being sure his dad leans how to use it) or rent one as well in Florida.

      Would it be an option for his grandparents to visit him at your home rather than having him travel to theirs?

      (KLD)
      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.

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      • #4
        Connor is a strong young man who was very independent prior to the accident. He loves his grandparents, but acknowledges they would be totally unable to help him. I recommended a lift similar to what we use at home but my ex says that is not neccessary. Connor wants to go to Florida and wants to see his grandparents, but is not sure he wants to stay long with them. He realized this last summer prior to the accident he did not want to visit longer than 5 days due to his grandparents lack of activity. I was just trying to find out about the travel part. His grandparents do not like me and feel I will not allow them to see him if they visit here. They have not visited him since their move to Florida over 8 years ago and always insist he comes to them. They are financially capable of visiting, they just don't want to. I am just concerned mostly about the actual travel and my ex's inability to actually take care of Connor. They fight when they get together longer than 1 day.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by dee1843 View Post
          Connor is a strong young man who was very independent prior to the accident. He loves his grandparents, but acknowledges they would be totally unable to help him. I recommended a lift similar to what we use at home but my ex says that is not neccessary. Connor wants to go to Florida and wants to see his grandparents, but is not sure he wants to stay long with them. He realized this last summer prior to the accident he did not want to visit longer than 5 days due to his grandparents lack of activity. I was just trying to find out about the travel part. His grandparents do not like me and feel I will not allow them to see him if they visit here. They have not visited him since their move to Florida over 8 years ago and always insist he comes to them. They are financially capable of visiting, they just don't want to. I am just concerned mostly about the actual travel and my ex's inability to actually take care of Connor. They fight when they get together longer than 1 day.

          Dee,
          I agree with you. Unless your son insist on going. I would play the bad guy on this one. Sounds like you have nothing to lose with them.
          And I question why are you the only one financially supporting him. Is the grandparents willingly to help financially? Are they fixing their home up with ramps and etc.? If not that tells me a lot.
          Plus its a whole lot easier for them to travel.

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          • #6
            Why would they want him to come in August? Hottest, stickiest month of the year in the middle of hurricane season. Might at least wait until Thanksgiving or Xmas.

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            • #7
              It should be Connor's decision and he should reach it with his doctors, taking you out of the loop except for informing his doctors of your concerns about those who will be assisting. You do not have to pay the heavy here and I think your concerns are well justified. You know the situation. I am C5-7 incomplete and find travel debilitating even though i can creep behind a walker.

              Could Connor invite his grandparents to visit while you absent yourself to visit someone else? is he Skyping with his grandparents or using Facetime ? There is no need to make this decision now. Use the "wait and see" mantra.

              Your ex provides no financial support? If this is the case I have some unprintable words for this whole situation.

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              • #8
                Grandparents are not helping financially and no ramps at their house. They want him to stay in a hotel which is actually fine with me as he normally sleeps on the pull out couch and I can totally see my ex still putting him there.

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                • #9
                  Connor has said he wants to go but is worried about his care and that they don't really listen to him.

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                  • #10
                    I say that you ask Conner what he wants out of this visit if indeed it happens. Have him tell his dad and his grandparents what his needs are and what they can expect of the visit and how long it will be etc.... etc... In other words get him to think through things as far as his needs for the trip to work for him and have him tell all concerned the ground rules for the trip to happen on his terms. He may need to consult with doctors and physical therapist to figure all this out but put him in the driver's seat so to speak and have him go over his plan with you to get the benefits of your input as well before he lays things out to dad and grandparents and then see if they are still on board with him coming. He has a lifetime of figuring all these things out ahead of him he might as well start now.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dee1843 View Post
                      Connor has said he wants to go but is worried about his care and that they don't really listen to him.
                      Dee,
                      I think you know what really is whats best for Connor. Conner is no normal 16 year old anymore. He has been through a shocking event in his life. And he is not going to think it through like an mature adult would.
                      And I don't think your ex husband or his parents are very wise or caring. All I see is what they want for themselves. Why are they not looking at what is best for Conner. Like making sure he has appropriate living standards at his house. Asking what financials needs and helping him get it. Making sure the house is fixed up. And appreciating you for stepping up.
                      Has the ex or the grandparents been on this site?

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                      • #12
                        if he is worried about his care then i would also say no. and connor should as well. have his grandparents visit him at home and if they refuse then well they don't want any part inn his life then anyway!
                        T6 Incomplete due to a Spinal cord infarction July 2009

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                        • #13
                          Don't want to come to Florida in August! No matter what your condition...just saying
                          "Yesterday's History,Tomorrow's a Mystery"

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by dee1843 View Post
                            Connor has said he wants to go but is worried about his care and that they don't really listen to him.
                            This seems to say it all. He wants to go, but is worried about logistics. If he's very empathetic, he may be worrying about your emotions too. With his only concerns being care and being listened to, that's easy enough to pro-actively handle.

                            Have him come up with a written plan with his doctors or therapists, it must be in writing and signed by the doctor with your name nowhere listed on it, so it removes you from the equation. They can hate you all they want, this list won't be coming from you, it's from their beloved grandson and his doctors. The Grandparents should be presented with his needs written down in black and white so they can also be fully aware of what care needs he has in the event that they will need to provide someone to help out with routine care.

                            Let him take the reigns with the doctors as part of the heavy hand in the situation, it removes stress from all parties. (IMO)
                            CCS/Walker C6...it's a long story

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                            • #15
                              Follow your gut. Mine says no. Maybe have the ex do a little training? The labor will fall on him. I feel the in-laws are being unrealistic and unkind with the demands., Your son will have to educate them to have adequate care. Maybe he doesn't feel like playing On the Job Training Guinea Pig. Maybe assign them some chores, like researching his injury and current lifestyle. Currently they have no skin in the game, and a newly injured young man is making all the investments. I bet that highway runs both ways.

                              I like lavender thistle's idea above. A way to force the clueless into Being invested in the outcome, which better be a great time for you son!
                              Blog:
                              Does This Wheelchair Make My Ass Look Fat?

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