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Thread: Fathers, husbands, brothers

  1. #11
    Senior Member poonsuzanne's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
    Hong Kong, China
    Originally posted by lway2002:

    I understand that sometimes bad things happen to good people but this was getting to be a bit much.

    You know maybe God didn't heal my son but, he never took him away from me either. For this, I'm thankful and this is how we looked at this whole thing. Thankful for what we have.

    The step down unit staff were the absolute tops. I can't praise them enough. They certainly looked after my son like he was their own. What more could you ask?.

    Since then he has completed high school, we have been to France twice and his postive outlook makes life good. We still go fishing (had to buy a bigger boat) and his buddies still haul his but out for a movie or a game of Texas hold'em. He continues to workout daily. He has not had any major health issues since his discharge and actually has been healthier. I'm as proud of him now as I was when I watched him score his first goal or came home with his first "A". I cannot wait until the day when I get him back on the golf course and teach him some more lessons.
    All in all, life is pretty good. It's much better that the alternative.



    We are all proud of your son too and you are a wonderful father! You're right, bad things happen to good people. Like my son, I simply cannot find a suitable word to disgrace him.

    I agree that God did not take our sons away. I remember when I first heard that my son, Richard (T12 incomplete on 22.3.02, aged 18 now), was badly injured from skiing in Japan, my first reaction was to hope he had survived the accident. Then when he was undergoing an operation while I was flying desperately to see him, I hoped that he would survive the operation. Now he has not only survived but is very healthy, nevertheless, I am still struggling for something for him everyday. Sometimes, I ask myself am I being too greedy?

    By the way, the doctor who operated my son, Dr. Takei, I am also deeply grateful to him for the way he handled the whole situation during our three week stay in the hospital. He's extremely patient and caring. He saved my son's life and he saved my soul as well at the most critical stage.

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Bigbob
    He also now attends movies frequently. He races, plays wheelchair basketball, drives a car, flies all over the country for sports meets, he dates, attends college, loves to mono-ski. To be continued.......


    You son is definitely an example to others for what he has been doing!

    Regarding going back to school, his school is trying every way they can to make everywhere accessible to welcome his going back to school again. Richard was injured when he was going on an interim trip with the school. Our family did not have a word of complaint for the school. (Not only did I not blame the school, but neither did I blame myself as being a negligent mother, nor did I blame my son for being too adventurous, nor did I blame anyone else COZ I would only utilize my energy on his recovery.) In turn, the principal of the school and the teachers always come to visit him. Moreover, the school even arranged teachers to come home to help Richard finish the last quarter of Grade 11.

    The school has done their best for us in response to our tragedy. But in one way, in my opinion, I always perceive that they have absolutely taken the wrong approach. They have always tried to say that my son was the only person responsible for the accident. For example, right after the accident, during school assembly, the teachers taking the students on the ski trip announced on the stage that Richard's accident was as a result of his not being obedient to the teacher's warning against doing ski-jumps. Also, the students were warned by the school that they should not discuss this matter on the online forum. On the other hand, I did receive a phone call from an unfamiliar parent, whose daughter had been on the same school trip as Richard, telling me how irresponsible the teachers had been during this ski trip, and that her daughter had been one of the students warned by school against discussing this matter.

    Anyway, the ski trip to Japan has been deleted from the entire choices of the school yearly interim trip altogether. After all, I must say I am extremely thankful to the school.


    [This message was edited by Suzanne Poon on 11-29-03 at 04:00 AM.]

  2. #12
    After Marmalady's kind invite, maybe I can make a few pertinent comments on these topics.

    It seems to me that there is a distinct difference between the father role and the husband role ( my situation). Not trying to be devisive here, because we have a lot more in common than in opposition. When a son or daughter is injured it is the natural role of the parent to assume the caregiver responsibility. Parents have already performed this function for their children.

    Why is it that the forum is dominated by women? I don't know if it's because of the "cave-people" part of the psyche or just traditional gender roles of mom as caregiver and dad as fixer. Even though those classical gender roles are blurring, there is still a lot of societal indoctrination to support the traditional view. So it's either inate gender difference or societal upbringing. Doesn't really matter which, the end result is the same; women assume more of the caregiver role.

    For spouses, the predominance of women on the forum might be a little easier to explain. It's a man's injury. Statistics indicate that the majority of SCI happens to men (80% or so?). Therefore, there are far fewer men out there acting as caregivers and loved ones. Sounds simple, but it evades the point.

    As a male caregiver, and I'm extremely reluctant to use that term as my wife is nearly 100% independent, how do we cope and express the grief and frustration of seeing a loved one struggle with tasks that were previously commonplace?

    Hmmm, good question. I tend to drink heavily.

    Just kidding. With an acute, new injury things are pretty simple. You do your research, track down and grill doctors, demand attention, and hope for the best. We went through all of the surgeries and ICU care with my wife unconcious for the most part (vent sedation). And then you pack up the family and are off to rehab (Craig) for a few months. And that's a pretty structured environment so that many decisions are made for you. There is no time or opportunity in that stage to even consider your own needs and how to deal with them.

    Later on you learn to be less controlling, allowing the injured person to take responsibility for their own care to the extent that they are able.

    Marmalady writes: "Can you tell you handled all the overwhelming emotions...and deal with caregiver burnout" (Sorry, haven't learned to qoute on this forum yet).

    With many tears and fury and frustration and support. That aspect was dealt with in rehab as well as for any female spouse in the same position.

    I met one family during my wife's rehab with an injured daughter (19 or so) where the parents were getting divorced. It was so obvious that the guy just could not cope with the idea of his daughter's condition. That's an extreme example of his lack of skills or support to deal with the situation. Maybe there is more reluctance on the part of men to express their own needs. I've certainly felt overwhelmed with the lion's share of the child rearing (18 month old son) and looking after my wife. But, it sounds ridiculous to moan about yourself when a loved one is in far more pain and struggling much more than you.

    Or, maybe I'm just talking out my arse here. We're pretty new at this.

  3. #13
    Welcome to the discussion, Espousal - I'm glad you joined in!

    Tough times don't last - tough people do.

  4. #14
    Espousal,you hit a homerun!Suzanne,liked your post also.Merry Christmas!

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