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Thread: Para BIL getting ready to move in my house. Help!!

  1. #1

    Para BIL getting ready to move in my house. Help!!

    My BIL was injured 4 weeks ago in a auto accident and is currently in rehab. He is T12 para. For the past 3 years he has been renting out our basement apartment at our house. He is getting ready to come home this Friday and of course we can't get him into the basement so he is going to stay upstairs with us for a while (how long I don't know) I've been so worried. This is my husbands brother and he works during the day so I will be home with him during the day. I know nothing about this. I have 3 boys ages 9,6,3 so we already have a full house. I moved the 3 year old out of his room into the 6 and 9 year old room so we could move BIL in there. People keep talking about how I'm going to be his primary caregiver and may have to wipe his butt and stuff and I'm thinking "I didn't sign up to do this"
    I really want to help and don't mind doning things like cleaning and cooking but I'm no nurse and I have my own busy life. My husband called him today and he said he can't be left alone all day but he can be for an hour or 2. I don't want to feel like I'm tied down yet at the same time I feel incredibly guilty for feeling this way. He also has 2 kids ages 6 and 10 who come to stay with him every other weekend and I'm afraid they will drive me crazy, especially now with their dad upstairs. (the oldest is hyper and talks about how the demons made the car wreck??) Who is going to be the one to take care of the kids and feed them. Me, of course. My husband knows how I feel but he's like "where else is he going to go?" Their mom works full time and even though they have another brother that doesn't work or have any kids I guess he's too busy to help. BIL has church family that I know will help but I don't want a bunch of strangers at my house nonstop and different hours of the day.

    Maybe it won't be that bad but I just feel like I've totally lost my house and my freedom. Of course husband said he would help me in the evening and weekend but he doesn't get home till 5pm. Part of me is feeling really guilty for the way I feel and part of me just really doesn't want this new full time responsibility. Please tell me it will all work out okay.

  2. #2
    At T12, he should be totally independent in his self care, including bowel care. He should not need someone with him all the time, in fact most of my clients go home to their own apt. at this level of injury straight from rehab and live by themselves. Tell him and your husband that you will be happy to cook and clean for him (if that is true), but if he needs more personal care, your husband will need to do this, or your BIL will need to apply for paid attendant care. If he needs help still (for only a few weeks) with bowel care and a shower, this can be done in the evening. Tell the social worker at the rehab center (just WHERE is he getting rehab???) this too.

    Temporarily, the kids need to stay with their mother and not come every other weekend. They are not your kids. His attorney needs to make these arrangements. Where were they going on their weekends when he was in the hospital? In a few weeks, he should be able to have them and supervise them himself. At their age they should be dressing and feeding themselves, and starting to do chores. They should not need any care, and he certainly can supervise them properly just as any father would, AB or with a SCI.

    You can only be a victim if you allow yourself to be one.

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    Thanks SCI nurse for the reply. I think I will tell DH what you advised. I just can't do any bowel cleanings or anything like that. He's only been in rehab 3 weeks. He is at HealthSouth rehab. I don't know much about them. My husband called and asked him if he would need help with the bowels and he said most of the time he doesn't but he still has some accidents now and then that might happen.

    It's not really that his kids need lots of help with dressing and stuff like that it's just that they would be at "my" house the whole weekend and yes they would drive me crazy. Husband said this is suppossed to be his weekend to have the kids and I know he really misses them and is wanting to be with them but since he is staying at "my" house of course they will have to be here to. I already have 3 boys and I know his 2 kids can sleep downstairs but I'm dreading it. I know I sound thoughtless and I don't mean to be. Maybe I can just disappear for the weekend and leave husband in charge. Hopefully this is only temporary but I'm sure it will be at least a couple of months. I told DH if we can't get a lift installed to go to the basement we will HAVE to find him a handicapp accessible apartment.

  4. #4
    He should be learning how to both prevent bowel accidents and clean up after himself if he does have one in rehab as well. Insist on this.

    Tell him that when the kids are with him he can take them to the zoo or the park but they can't just sit around the house or play unsupervised. If he cannot supervise them, he needs to get a baby sitter (not you), or they should not come. He could also take them to a motel instead.

    Don't put in an elevator. Help him find an apt. and move out. If you put in the elevator, he will never leave.

    (KLD)

  5. #5
    I was left alone all day after rehab and I'm a c5-6 incomplete. I'm not sure if you know what that means, but when I got home my fingers barely moved. Your BIL, at T12, will have full finger and arm and almost all trunk control. There is no reason he can't be left alone. He should soon be able to drive or take the bus or whatever as well.

    Nobody has ever wiped my ass. Nor cleaned up after me. I won't say I've never had a bowel accident but for darn sure nobody else has ever cleaned me up, or washed my sheets or clothes after one. My house is not specially modified, except 1 bathroom door we widened, and a ramp in front. I came out of rehab and went straight into single-mom mode as my husband was working out of state. Our son was 11. (Take it back. Friends stayed with me 3 weeks after rehab, then I was alone. But I'm a quad and BIL is a para. It will be much easier for him.)

    Don't panic. Ppl are scaring you by talking out their butts about things they know nothing about. It's good you told us exactly what you're scared of. I don't blame you, you have 3 kids. He shouldn't be another one.

    Don't let him, and he won't. He'll thank you later.

    If it were me, I might suck it up about the kids for the first month or so until he has his strength back. It also seems fair to me that they not stay all night, though. Surely their mom isn't that eager to dump them on a dad with a brand-new sci?

    I promise you. At T12, he won't need a caregiver. He'll be ok. It won't be easy for him but it wasn't for any of us.

    PS-If the kids come, just set the bread and the peanut butter on the cabinet. They can fend for themselves just fine. BIL doesn't have his confidence yet. It will take him some practice to know what he can do. I wonder why he thinks he can't be left alone?
    Last edited by betheny; 08-19-2008 at 02:59 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by abcboys
    Thanks SCI nurse for the reply. I think I will tell DH what you advised. I just can't do any bowel cleanings or anything like that. He's only been in rehab 3 weeks. He is at HealthSouth rehab. I don't know much about them. My husband called and asked him if he would need help with the bowels and he said most of the time he doesn't but he still has some accidents now and then that might happen.

    It's not really that his kids need lots of help with dressing and stuff like that it's just that they would be at "my" house the whole weekend and yes they would drive me crazy. Husband said this is suppossed to be his weekend to have the kids and I know he really misses them and is wanting to be with them but since he is staying at "my" house of course they will have to be here to. I already have 3 boys and I know his 2 kids can sleep downstairs but I'm dreading it. I know I sound thoughtless and I don't mean to be. Maybe I can just disappear for the weekend and leave husband in charge. Hopefully this is only temporary but I'm sure it will be at least a couple of months. I told DH if we can't get a lift installed to go to the basement we will HAVE to find him a handicapp accessible apartment.
    I have friends who are quadriplegics that live alone. They drive their own vans. One works at home & also has to go to the job several days a week also. My one friend was a traveling sales representative for over 9 years for Crown Therapeutics. They sell & make the ROHO wheelchair cushion.
    Since they've been hurt they also played quad rugby that's how they know each other & we all play wallyball together with our manual chairs.
    So at T-12 there is no reason why your BIL can't take care of himself & his children also. Is he by chance a Veteran? If he is that's a big plus.
    The one guy I play wallyball is a service connected Veteran. He got hurt while he was in the Navy. He has care givers that come in & help him with personal things & I guess also help take care of his house also.
    You should talk to your BIL's social worker at Health South Rehab.They are are the right ones to help him get everything planned out before his rehab is over.
    I wish you the best. Hope it all works out in the end.
    I agree that you shouldn't be his nurse maid & chief cook & bottle washer also.
    Take care.

  7. #7
    Senior Member CapnGimp's Avatar
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    ABOVE all....
    Have him come here, ask questions, read and learn about his injury, and how to live/function with it.
    Many hospitals/rehab centers do not teach you much/enough.
    He will learn more here by asking and perusing the boards than he will anywhere else.

    It may take him a bit to get his sealegs, but all his self care, he should be able to handle.

  8. #8
    YOU GUYS ARE SO NICE AND HELPFUL!!! Yes, I have had others scare me into thinking this was going to be my new full time job. One lady said she was thinking about me b/c it was going to be like have a newborn in the house and I will be doing butt wiping and stuff and taking care of everything for him. I saw a distant relative at the grocery store yesterday and she was like "you know you are going to have to wipe his butt and stuff" I said "I was hoping they were taking care of teaching him to do that himself at rehab" and she kept shaking her head no at me, so yeah, hearing those people talk like that kind of scared me like this just got dumped on me and its not even my child, husband or parent who I would do that for no questions asked.

    He has already been living in the basement apartment of my house for almost 3 years (since his divorce) I think he has no intentions of ever moving out. It didn't really bother me then because he had is own outside exit and didn't have to come through the upstairs. Where else can you get rent, utilities, and water for $170/month??

    He is a veteran and we are working on getting assistance thru them but we can't seem to get ahold of the right people.

    Again, everyone here is so nice and helpful and I am glad I found this board. I have learned a lot. I'm not quite as scared now that I know he should be able to take care of most things on his own. I will try to not worry about when his kids come over and try to be patient with them.

  9. #9
    BIL just called so I asked him specifically what I would need to do. He said he would need help with bowels/wiping because it was hard for him to get around his back brace. I asked if they had him on a bowel program and he said they are working on it but its not working out so great and he is having accidents in the afternoon. He said its embarrassing but he will need help with it. He is coming home in 2 days, I guess whether he is ready or not. I don't know if the insurance isn't going to pay anymore but he knew about 10 days ago what day he would be coming home. I don't know how they knew he would be ready that far in advance. I feel kind of discouraged now. I really don't want to have to deal with "that" with BIL, but of course I can't just say I can't. And I guess if I'm the only one here I don't know what else to do.

  10. #10
    OK. Don't panic. I missed the back brace problem. It can be worked around. Find a hand-held shower type thingy that can hook on the sink faucet. Crap rinses off, it's a simple fact. He can use that thing, while on the toilet, to take a sort of mini-shower. I think he should wait for bowel care until your husband is home. Your husband can help him into the shower afterwards.

    Here's an attachment for the bathtub. Can he even get into the bathroom in his chair?

    http://www.lifehome.com/products/1018.asp

    Call the rehab today, and the VA. He should be eligible for more and better rehab thru the VA, or somebody to help him. You are NOT his butt wiper. That is bad for you both.

    Insurance only gives you so many rehab days. They could care less if he's ready or not. CALL THE VA!

    I don't think he's ready to go home. You and your husband should be a lot more equipped than it seems like you are. I can't understand this rehab situation. Utilize the VA or this could get hairy. KLD, do you know who she should call?
    Last edited by betheny; 08-19-2008 at 10:58 AM.

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