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Thread: Quadraplegic athlete decides to end her life

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by cass
    old? at 65? wth? i know many in their 90's. here we go, they're too old, too disabled, blah blah blah. some hardly need a gentle push down that slippery slope; some never even see it until too late.
    Cass, I'm 64 and have been dealing with a species of this attitude for a while now from a few members who consistently address me with "gramps", "coot" and the like, as though underscoring my age like this is supposed to make me defensive or depressed. It doesn't achieve either but it does make me reflect on what was likely behind these jabs and the most obvious answer is fear and the hope that by so relegating me to the land of "coots" they establish themselves as polar opposites and immune from the eventual ravages of age.

    Of course age overtakes us all if we live long enough and I can't manage to feel much about this natural process besides a mild pride that I'm still here and fairly autonomous - and very lucky.
    "The world will not perish for want of wonders but for want of wonder."
    J.B.S.Haldane

  2. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Juke_spin
    Cass, I'm 64 and have been dealing with a species of this attitude for a while now from a few members who consistently address me with "gramps", "coot" and the like, as though underscoring my age like this is supposed to make me defensive or depressed. It doesn't achieve either but it does make me reflect on what was likely behind these jabs and the most obvious answer is fear and the hope that by so relegating me to the land of "coots" they establish themselves as polar opposites and immune from the eventual ravages of age.

    Of course age overtakes us all if we live long enough and I can't manage to feel much about this natural process besides a mild pride that I'm still here and fairly autonomous - and very lucky.
    Considering the age you were injured, and the era in which it happened, you're a f*cking legend.

    We may not always see eye to eye but I respect that.
    C5/6 incomplete

    "I assume you all have guns and crack....."

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by RehabRhino
    Considering the age you were injured, and the era in which it happened, you're a f*cking legend.

    We may not always see eye to eye but I respect that.
    Legend, schmegend but thanks anyway. And I more than respect our differences of opinion; I value them.
    "The world will not perish for want of wonders but for want of wonder."
    J.B.S.Haldane

  4. #44
    I haven't been to this site in quite a while, but seeing this story this morning in my local paper prompted me to come here to see what responses there would be to this woman deciding to end her life.

    Just as no two SCIs are alike, no two persons experiences with it are alike. Her age would have worked against her in regaining what she had lost. Although being in the kind of shape she undoubtedly was in may have helped. They neglected to say much about her treatment, so we don't know if she got solumedrol to help.

    For an athlete, or any person, who's identity is completely linked to their physical side, I can more than understand her making this decision. As others have expressed here, my first thought too was that the decision was made rather hastily. Never the less, she would have had a really tough time due to her age. My husband's case was similar. He was able to get off the ventilator and was lucky enough to have significant return, but he has never adjusted and has been unable to find alternatives to the physical life he once led. He hopes for a heart attack and experiences little joy in the life he once loved and now simply endures.

    Many here would criticize him for this. Though it is difficult to stand by and watch this, but I have come to accept that it is what it is.

    I hope she has found peace, and I hope her family does not second guess this decision in the months and years to come.

  5. #45
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    Kittim,
    I am very sorry your husband feels the way he does, and can only try to imagine how difficult it is for both him to essentially be waiting for death, and for you to have to live with and witness those feelings. Like Juke, I am sometimes surprised at the ageism that goes on within this community, and can't help but wonder if this woman, with her supportive family, could have had a good shot at enjoying what was left of her life despite the injury. I was injured at 17 and had no family support at all, on any front. Not emotionally, not financially, nothing. I spent my days in the hospital trying to make excuses for my parents who did not visit, while crying silently and privately at being alone in one of the worst moment of my life. Maybe the lack of family support pushed me in ways that ultimately helped me to self-advocate and to take control of my own destiny, but that doesn't lessen the pain, then or now, of a family who did not want me. So, I have a very different take on this, on anyone who has supportive family and doesn't understand how lucky they are and how much of a difference it can make. I think her age irrelevant, and anyone who defines themselves as an athlete first is bound for future dissapointment if they live long enough.

  6. #46
    Eileen, My heart breaks for you hearing the sadness and abandonment that you still must feel. I can relate on that level, Though our family was there a bit at the beginning they quickly fell by the wayside as they saw us more as an inconvenience in their lives. We haven't seen or spoken to our son in 4 years. We are almost 5 years post.

    I think that this woman's age was a factor in potential recovery. It is in the literature for sci and non sci alike, that age is a complication in recovery. The body just doesn't heal as well or as quickly as we age. I didn't mean my comment to about her age to indicate anything other than this. I think my husband may have attained more return if he were younger. But the years of weight lifting, playing football and running though keeping him strong in someways also caused damage. I know that since he was a weight lifter all of his life, he has never broken anything during the almost uncountable times that he has fallen since his SCI. His bone density is probably massive. I remember him getting out of bed in the morning pre sci very stiff and with difficulty. That stiffness and arthritis still plagues him now, and is further complicated by tone and spasms.

    I doubt that this womans family really had all the information to consider when they decided to end her life. But having witnessed what my husband has gone through, including an unsympathetic view of his inability to adjust, if we had had the choice back then, I would have made the same decision.

  7. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen
    I think her age irrelevant, and anyone who defines themselves as an athlete first is bound for future dissapointment if they live long enough.
    Glad you said this, Eileen. It's sooooooo true. I think that some folks are so filled with self-hatred (at having physical challenges) that they live in a constant state of denial about the fact that they are human and that exercise can not cure everything.

    Some folks erroneously think that aging is equated with declining worth. Those people will either have to change their attitudes as they age or be even more miserable in their own skin than they are now.

  8. #48
    Senior Member Van Quad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kittim
    ... having witnessed what my husband has gone through, including an unsympathetic view of his inability to adjust, if we had had the choice back then, I would have made the same decision.
    onset of SCI later in life is always a difficult, if not impossible, adjustment. In 30 years I've watched a lot of older men struggle. Hang in there.

  9. #49
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    OMG Eileen - I had no idea. That must have been terrible!!! My parents weren't allowed to visit during the week at the hospital and they were encouraged to only visit one day on the weekends. This was supposed to keep me focused on rehab. I was always left wondering why they didn't just break the rules? I would have if it were my child.
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  10. #50
    Senior Member Mona~on~wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen
    Kittim,
    I am very sorry your husband feels the way he does, and can only try to imagine how difficult it is for both him to essentially be waiting for death, and for you to have to live with and witness those feelings. Like Juke, I am sometimes surprised at the ageism that goes on within this community, and can't help but wonder if this woman, with her supportive family, could have had a good shot at enjoying what was left of her life despite the injury. I was injured at 17 and had no family support at all, on any front. Not emotionally, not financially, nothing. I spent my days in the hospital trying to make excuses for my parents who did not visit, while crying silently and privately at being alone in one of the worst moment of my life. Maybe the lack of family support pushed me in ways that ultimately helped me to self-advocate and to take control of my own destiny, but that doesn't lessen the pain, then or now, of a family who did not want me. So, I have a very different take on this, on anyone who has supportive family and doesn't understand how lucky they are and how much of a difference it can make. I think her age irrelevant, and anyone who defines themselves as an athlete first is bound for future dissapointment if they live long enough.
    Eileen {hugs} I'm so sorry you had to go thru sci alone. at 17 y/o even!
    I don't know how you did it. You grew up the hard way, into a remarable woman with a beautiful heart & spirit. What courage you have lady. You're one in a million!!!

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