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

  1. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    last house on the left
    I agree with everything everyone has said here. Call visiting nurse, who might be able to help out for. You shouldn't feel guilty, and you are right, you didn't sign up for this. At T12 he should be independent, or very close to it. Contact the VA if he is a veteran. I notice you said the basement had a seperate entrance. Any chance of ramping it so he could return to his apartment downstairs? He could buy a lift if a ramp is not possible. I agree that having him upstairs in an already overcrowded household is going to create a lot of tension and problems. He could get meals on wheels delivery for one meal a day so that you don't feel that you need to take care of that, although at his level of injury there is no reason he can't make his own sandwhich or microwave whatever he needs.

  2. #12
    We need some input from paras that went home in a turtle shell. I had a c-collar (neck brace thingy) so I don't really know. I remember a lot of ppl in rehab having trouble with stuff until the brace came off. Then they were fine.

  3. #13
    I did not go home in a turtle shell. I remember how constricting that thing was though. It is virtually impossible to twist or bend to do anything for yourself that isn't straight in front of you. I am realizing how lucky I was that they made me stay in the hospital until it came off. In fact they wouldn't even let me tranfer on my own at Shepherd until it was gone.
    If you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.

    Sometimes it is easier to widen doors than it is to open minds.

  4. #14
    What state are you in or did I miss that?
    If you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.

    Sometimes it is easier to widen doors than it is to open minds.

  5. #15
    Senior Member jccarolina's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Proud mom of a US Marine Sgt., Camp Lejeune, NC
    My younger son is a T12 "walking para". Right after his injury he was sent home in a turtle shell (aka, Boston Overlap). He did just fine and the doctor even told him he could remove it to shower, use the restroom, change his dressings, and then put it back on.
    I never had to help him except to get back into the brace at times. (this was before I was in my chair). He was in a brace for 9 months I think it was and things went fine.
    Plus at the time he was only 16 and a hard head so that helped a lot too, LOL
    If the Army & the Navy ever look on heavens scenes, they will see the streets are guarded by United States Marines!

  6. #16
    OK, I came home in a TLSO, still deathly ill from my injuries, with C dif, to a completely independent and completely inaccessible environment. At first it seemed impossible, I was encouraged to go to a nursing home for at least a few months to gain strength but I refused. Several ppl at the hospital along with my best friend (a home-health PT) believed I was not ready to be home but insurance said otherwise. I've tried to forget how hard that time was.

    Can't tell you about getting him in and out of the basement but BP, ect....

    I had a padded shower bench in the tub. I could not reach the toilet to transfer to it so I pooped into a bucket (filled with pine sol and water) and cleaned it out after. I made a basket full of BP supplies and kept it where I could reach. I turned the "U" part of the seat to the back instead of the front. That kept my leg from falling in the gap and gave me room to reach behind me for the BP. Once I was done with BP, I set the bucket outside the tub and showered off. Had to shower at night so I could climb in bed and take off the TLSO and let it dry overnight. I was using a transfer board and my naked butt would stick so I got a cheap vinyl tablecloth and cut it into pieces that I could use, my butt would slide well enough with that under me.

    The hard part was wiggling into that TLSO each morning without lifting up. I tied a shoestring around one of the clasps on the back and I could work that lacing under me and use it to pull the back part of the TLSO under me and then roll side-to-side under it was positioned. I kept granola bars and water at my bedside in case I felt I couldn't get up.

    I was alone without any caregiving and about the time the TLSO came off, I became the primary caregiver for my brain-injured SO.

    Full disclosure, I had 3 return trips to the hospital during my first 3 months because of illness and falls. One day I was so dehydrated because of the c dif that I was wallowing in my own poop and every time I sat up to clean up I'd faint. Ended up calling 911 for that one. Twice I had to have help cleaning up after bowel accidents but all that was C dif related.

    When I first came home, it took 2.5 hours for my night time care (including BP and shower) and 1.5 hours in the morning (self ROM, getting into the &*% TLSO and dressing -- remember TED hose ) Life got easier over time and by month 3 I could do night time care in under an hour and 30 minutes after I woke up I was in my chair.

    Now I work, drive, cook, laugh, play and live. I live in an accessible home, cook fancy meals (when motivated), do some yardwork. I go from waking to BP, shower, fully dressed with hair and make-up in an hour. Once I'm up in my chair, I challenge most ABs to keep up with my schedule. He can do this, it will take time, patience and creativity.

    If he's like I was, most of his time the first month home will be spent sleeping, going to PT or trying to do ADLs.

    This is doable but not easy. Really, tap the VA for help, look at local community resources (sometimes churches or resources for senior citizens are good options).
    My blog: Living Life at Butt Level

    Ignite Phoenix #9 - Wheelchairs and Wisdom: Living Life at Butt Level

    "I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

    Dawna Markova Author of Open Mind.

  7. #17
    It looks like you have a large new trial on your hands. I think you have been here long enough to understand some of the terms we use. If I confuse you as I go please send me a personal message and I will translate for you.

    I am a T6/8 complete from a car accident in 1994. Besides my back injury I had 24 broken ribs, my scapula broken in 2 places, and two punctured lungs. While in the hospital I spent 6 weeks in rehab. And after I left the hospital I had three days a week of out patient physical therapy, until I was put back into the hospital with a stage 5 pressure sore.

    When I was to be sent home the first time a team of specialists came to my house. A physical therapist, an occupational therapist, and a SCI nurse. They evaluated everything from the door width, bath room facilities, my bed, eating arrangements and diet. I was wearing the breast shell (brace from hell) when I was released.

    My major care giver at the time was my fiancée who definitely is not a nurse either. And she had our son while I was in the hospital. That’s right she had two babies in the house at the same time. I do not know how she did it but to make a long story short we are still married.

    You now have my history or resume if you will. I am more then willing to help you in anyway I can. I have a few SCI friends on my MSN list and am on line most days. So if you ever need to talk, and my bet is within the first two minuets he gets home, please don’t be afraid to either send me an email or IM.
    T6 complete

  8. #18
    My injury is at t8-9. My situation is complicated by other health problems so my case may not be typical, but I did need help with "butt-wiping" for 2-3 weeks after coming home. I did not have a brace, but I was sent home after only 10 days in the hospital plus 15 in Rehab. I feel that this was way too early for me and I was not taught how to do/manage a lot of the things that would help me be fully independent. Let me assure you, however, that there are few motivators more effective in pushing someone toward independence than having someone else wipe your butt for you! It's no more enjoyable for the wipee than for the wiper. I bet he'll be working real hard to do it for himself after the first couple of episodes.

    Also, I don't know anything about VA benefits or whether one can be eligible for VA and VR (Vocational Rehab) benefits, but VR has helped me more than any other agency. Thankfully, one of my inpatient PT's made a referral before I left rehab.

    Remember, life may suck at the present time, but "this too shall pass" of luck.

  9. #19
    Hi, I am a T12. I also came home to a completely inaccessible house. Its not much better still after almost five years. I could do the whole wiping my own butt thing but often ended up on the floor since spasms would send me that way. Talk about awkward. For the first few months I needed to be watched while bathing since the same thing could/would happen when reaching for soap, shampoos, etc. Another awkward situation. I am not sure how the set up of your house is but getting a ramp/lift to the entrance that he used before would be ideal. I am a very independant person by nature and hated that I needed help with a few things... I still hate it. If he is a more take it in stride personality don't let him suck you into thinking that he will need help with everything. The best way to learn if you can do something is trial and error. Battle scars build character, LOL.

    Best of luck to you!!!

    T8-9 according to latest scoring.......
    since 1/3/04

    I am the best at being me. No matter how that happens to be!!

  10. #20
    Thanks everyone for their stories. We are in so. IL. We are looking into a lift for the basement as a ramp would be next to impossible as many stairs as their are.

    I talked to my husband a while ago and he said no, he does not expect me to have to deal with his bathroom issues and he will call his brother and figure out another way/person that can deal with that so I don't have too if he needs help. It would be differnt with my husband or kids but its a little too personal with a brother in law.

    I'm not sure how long he needs to stay in his shell. His vertebrae was totally shattered and had surgery a day or 2 after the accident. BIL mentioned when he called me a while ago that he got a 1 year grant or something from the VA to help with stuff. I'm not exactly sure what it entails but I'm guessing outpatient rehab or anything extra he may need.

    Thanks again for all the stories. I know things will get easier for him as time goes on and it hasn't even been a month since his accident. Hopefully the living situation will be temporary and everything will work out okay. I definately plan on telling him about this site as I have learned a lot about something I knew nothing about

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