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Thread: So are you/they able to do?

  1. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by abcboys View Post
    I know I sound mean and I don't want BIL to know how I feel. I do not like confrontation but I feel the way I feel and I just think things could be better than this for him and for all of us.
    You aren't mean at all. He should man up and be a better father and attempt to be a productive member of society (and your household). Sorry to know that he has taken such advantage of your kindheartedness.

  2. #82
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    You should leave him to his own devices for a day or two. Just go out of town or leave for a day. I am a C7-T1 and live alone and do not require help with anything. I cook, clean, drive, go to school, work, etc. This guy at your house is acting like a total bum and taking advantage of you BIG time! Tell him to get his lazy ass in gear or throw him out, or charge him when he wants his laundry done!

  3. #83
    Senior Member fishin'guy's Avatar
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    Boy, this guy sounds like another Adi, but without the easychair. This guy would have about one, count 'em, ONE week to get out, or start paying 1500.00 rent.He needs to man up and do for the kids what he can. Sheez sorry to hear you and your husband put up with him, but let mom do it, it will save her having to come pick him up for Sunday school.

  4. #84
    It is likely that Bil has major adjustment issues. I wonder why he is not involved in some kind of VA support group. Living in isolation is not going to help him. He needs to see others like him in action to make independent living seem feasible and desirable. It seems like he has regressed to the behavior of a 10 year old. If he is computer savvy, he should be the one taking advantage of this forum.

    You might get him a subscription to paraplegia News:
    http://www.pvamagazines.com/pnnews/

    It is for paralyzed vets just like him and can tune him in to both his potential and the services provided by the VA.

    From your stand point, don't hesitate to take the "tough love" approach. He is physically capable of doing those things. I am a 71 year old c-7 quad, and during the past 5 years, my wife has undergone a back fusion and a hip and knee replacement. During the 3 months or so that she was incapacitated, I took care of her, the shopping, and all the rest of the household chores. She admitted she never ate better, as I am a bit of a gourmet cook.
    For Bill, independence is as close as a major attitude adjustment. As the ole mule skinner sayin goes, "sometimes you have to hit the mule over the head with a club to git his attention."
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
    http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

    See my personal webpage @
    http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

  5. #85
    Quote Originally Posted by abcboys
    I know I sound mean and I don't want BIL to know how I feel. I do not like confrontation but I feel the way I feel and I just think things could be better than this for him and for all of us.
    But abcboys, nothing is ever going to change unless you and your DH tell your BIL what you are feeling.

    You said it yourself: BIL seems perfectly content with life as it is now. And why wouldn't he be? He spends less than 10 percent of his income on housing (boy, would I kill for that opportunity) and has live-in laundry service/errand runners/drivers/babysitters. It seems pretty clear that he's not going to be the one to change things.

    That means that if anything is going to change, you and your DH will have to be the ones to make it happen.

    Changing things for the better for all of you means you and your DH will need to do two things:

    A) Be honest about your feelings. Tell your BIL that you need him to become more independent by becoming responsible for his own laundry, transportation, and whatever else you and DH agree you should no longer be doing for him. Try not to think of this as a confrontation -- it's really not that at all. It's just a conversation in which you will tell him that things are not working for you and your DH, and that you need his help to make things better.

    B) Take a tough love approach by setting and sticking to boundaries about what you will and will not do for him. If he is unwilling or believes himself unable to do those things for himself, he can arrange for outside help to make it happen, but you need to make it clear to him that under no circumstances (after X amount of time) will you or DH provide those services to him anymore.

    And then you must do what you say. Wavering even the tiniest bit will tell him that you're not serious about things needing to change, and you'll quickly end up right back riding between the seats in your van.

    Gonna say this again, adding my voice to a chorus of others: please believe us when we tell you that you don't sound mean at all. Doing these things to bring about change will not make you mean people.

    This, however, may make me sound pretty mean: by complying with all his demands, no matter how outrageous (running out to get him food, no matter how inconvenient the timing is for you, even though he is perfectly able to feed himself), you're enabling his dependence and making things tough on yourselves. Doing all these things for him helped create the frustrating position in which you now find yourself. Not doing them any longer is the key to finding your way out. And in the process, your BIL will, by necessity, find his way to greater self-reliance.

    Best of luck -- I hope things are a lot better when you next update us.
    It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.

    ~Julius Caesar


  6. #86
    Thanks everyone for all the kind words. Let me begin by saying he does take care of his own laundry and house needs now so we are not messing with that anymore. It's just the other things I couldn't quite comprehend (the not driving, the power wheelchair, the not going out to play with the kids) I know these things are only driving me crazy b/c he is in close vicinity right now. If he had his own apartment I could care less about those things (except if we had to provide rides all the time)

    But here's something that happened this morning and most sunday morning that irritates me. He has a church van come pick him up every sunday morning. It is a van that has the lift come out the side and he rolls right in it and load him up. I work in a church nursery (different church) on sunday mornings so we leave about the same time. That church van will come and pull up right behind me so if I am trying to leave I have to wait until he is all loaded up before I can leave. I was ready to leave today....told the boys to get in the van and here I see that church van is pulled up right behind me with the lift already out taking up our whole driveway. Sometimes I am actually getting the boys in the van ready to go and here comes the church van pulling up directly behind me. (can they not see I am trying to leave?) A couple of times I have told them I need to go so they have to back up. We have a long enough driveway that they could stay back and pull over and I could still get out but noooo they insist on pulling up directly behind me blocking me in. To me it's like yeah he's paralyzed so he gets more priority than you. I know if I was him and was at someone elses house I would make sure my ride stays back so they could get out. Anytime he has people come and visit they always park behind me blocking me in. It's sooo annoying. We have an extra parking spot at the end of the drivway where bil used to park but no one ever uses that. BIL's ex-wife is seriously the only one that comes that is kind enough to park back and over that if we need to get out we can. I know petty stuff but annoying none the less.

  7. #87
    sounds like a simple "do not block me" sign might help...and a sign telling them where to park? We had to tell people because they would park (actually not park, just stop in the driveway)...and then block everyone else...it is not easy backing up with a trailer loaded with a tractor or backhoe...and my ab son would have a rightful fit...

  8. #88
    Senior Member reedyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abcboys View Post
    Thanks everyone for all the kind words. Let me begin by saying he does take care of his own laundry and house needs now so we are not messing with that anymore. It's just the other things I couldn't quite comprehend (the not driving, the power wheelchair, the not going out to play with the kids) I know these things are only driving me crazy b/c he is in close vicinity right now. If he had his own apartment I could care less about those things (except if we had to provide rides all the time)

    But here's something that happened this morning and most sunday morning that irritates me. He has a church van come pick him up every sunday morning. It is a van that has the lift come out the side and he rolls right in it and load him up. I work in a church nursery (different church) on sunday mornings so we leave about the same time. That church van will come and pull up right behind me so if I am trying to leave I have to wait until he is all loaded up before I can leave. I was ready to leave today....told the boys to get in the van and here I see that church van is pulled up right behind me with the lift already out taking up our whole driveway. Sometimes I am actually getting the boys in the van ready to go and here comes the church van pulling up directly behind me. (can they not see I am trying to leave?) A couple of times I have told them I need to go so they have to back up. We have a long enough driveway that they could stay back and pull over and I could still get out but noooo they insist on pulling up directly behind me blocking me in. To me it's like yeah he's paralyzed so he gets more priority than you. I know if I was him and was at someone elses house I would make sure my ride stays back so they could get out. Anytime he has people come and visit they always park behind me blocking me in. It's sooo annoying. We have an extra parking spot at the end of the drivway where bil used to park but no one ever uses that. BIL's ex-wife is seriously the only one that comes that is kind enough to park back and over that if we need to get out we can. I know petty stuff but annoying none the less.
    i mean this in a caring way. you need to make some rules for your own mental well being. it is your home and you are letting this man run over you in a lot of ways. to get respect you need to demand respect. you have seen that he can do things when pushed. start expecting more from him. don't let this stuff keep building up. all these little things just create extra stress and tension in your family and it sounds like this is starting to get to you.
    make notes, signs or maybe ju8t go postal. try to find a way t0 get his attention.

    best 0f luck

    Dave

  9. #89
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    My wife is a T3 complete and 8 months out. She does a little cooking, but always is the sous chef (chopping and etc) if necessary. She folds all of her own laundry (machines are downstairs so she can't do it yet). She makes the bed sometimes (I always used to do it anyway) picks up her clothes etc. She is just about completely independent. I am taking my daughter back to college and will be gone for three days. She will have a friend with her but she will just be the safety net.
    We have moved some stuff around to make it accessible to her and she has some grabbers and hook type sticks. We also installed a complete bedroom and bathroom with roll in shower and accessible toilet (she has a shower chair). A little at a time through her determination and my backing off of the daily stuff she is where she is at.

  10. #90

    update 2 years later!

    Well this is my 2 YEAR UPDATE! He is still not driving!! I can't understand at all. He acutally bought a van and a friend of DH who is in the same position as him (T12) had an extra set of hand controls and gave them to BIL to use. He bought the van back in May and there it sits waiting on a friend to install it. Really this is just my way of talking to someone, like talking to friends, because he lives right here in my basement, things bug me. I'm sure if he lived somewhere else it wouldn't bother me.

    He doesn't do anything at all!! Now, he does take care of his daily needs. Food, clothes washing stuff like that but besided going out on sunday and wed. for church he sits in that basement. He might get out once a month for something else but he told us the other day he plays games on the computer for 4-5 hours a day. Sometimes not that much but "what else has he got to do" Now, I don't know why this bothers me. It's not me so I should just leave it alone and I'm sure there's AB people out there that live that kind of life, too. This summer his kids have been here for 2-3 weeks at a time. Can you imagine being an 8 and 12 year old and never getting to go anywhere during the summer except for church. He never even plays with them in the back year. No pool or park or getting a snocone. Nothing.

    He relies on everybody for a ride. A church van comes and picks him up in one of those things where the back comes out and he just rolls his wheelchair on. Ok, get this. We have a van that can hold 7 people and when his kids are here that makes 8 and we usually go to MIL/FIL on sunday for lunch. A couple of times I just sat in the middle with no seat then decided that wasn't very safe so we started having to take 2 vehicles. One day he had gotten a ride to his parents with his younger brother and we were ready to leave. I told younger brother we wouldn't have room in the van for BIL and his kids so younger brother would have to take him home. I heard BIL say, "oh we'll just ride with them" Yeah, he KNOWS we don't have enough seats in our van but it doesn't bother him to make one of us sit without a seat.

    I don't know. I hate asking other people for help on something I may be able to do myself. The other day he called me down and said my DH "would have to fix the drain under his kitchen sink. He would have to do it b/c he can't get down there" And he didn't even ask if DH "could" do it he just said "he's going to have to come down here and fix this" Well, of course he can't do it!! He wouldn't even dare try to get on the floor. Do I think a floor transfer would be hard? YES! Do I think it would be very hard? YES! Do I think its impossible. No, because I've seen people demonstrate how to do it on youtube. He uses a scooter downstairs and gets no excercise at all. The other day he called me down to get something out of the oven for him and another day to get some hangers that were up high?? For stupid stuff like that I would try to do it myself or have my kids help me (his kids were there both those times)

    My DH has been working SO much overtime. Like anywhere from 60-75 hours a week. This winter when it was soooo cold he had worked a long day on saturday. BIL's daughter kept coming upstairs waiting on my DH to come home so he could run and get them a certain restaurant takeout. Sure enough after he got home after a long day and just wanted to crash here she comes having DH leave again and go pick up food for them. And there's been lots of other times, too.

    The other day his mom made the comment to him about him getting a belly on him (i'm sure that's common) Well he just says "there's nothing I can do about it" I told him he needs to get some hand weights or do some upper body exercise. Like I said he rides around down there on a scooter so he doesn't even get exercise with a manual chair.

    I don't understand how it does not bother him to have people be his cheuffer 2 years later? That would drive me nuts. I don't see how he can sit in that basement all day. He doesn't think he can do anything so what else does he have to do except watch tv and play on the internet. Again, why does this bother me? I've tried to let it go but I can't. I think its b/c I didn't mind him living in the basement before his accident b/c he was gone to work all the time. I miss having my whole house. Being able to go down there where the deep freeze is and where my storage stuff is.

    When DH was going to pick up the hand controls from his friend I told him to make sure BIL went along so he could talk to this other guy and he could show him how he does stuff. He makes it look so easy. He transfers to his vehicle and loads his wheelchair up in about the same time it takes for me to load my kids. This other guy frowned at BIL using a motorized wheelchair in the home.

    I know there is things he won't be able to do but he never tries to do anything extra. I really think it would benefit him to try and get a part time job but he thinks he could never work again. Please don't say he's depressed. I watched for signs. This is just his way of life now. He doesn't mind watching tv/internet all day and He doesn't MIND asking people for help. He's had friends down there before cleaning for him, too. I think if he needs help or errands run he really should hire a home health agency person instead of relying on family. He doesn't do it anymore b/c MIL told him she wasn't able to, but MIL is also on disability for chronic pain. He would have her come and pick him up to go to doc appt/grocery store and I would watch thru the window as she struggled to get that heavy wheelchair in the back of her car. I'm thinking I can't believe he's have his own disabled mom lug that thing around (his outside wheelchair IS NOT lightweight!) Seriously it took her 4 or 5 attempts to get that thing in her trunk. I was getting ready to go outside to help her.

    Now, I may have rose colored glasses on but I see wheelchair people in his condition (we're not talking christopher reeve here) live normal lives. DH's friend works, goes fishing. I saw him shopping by himself in the grocery store. I don't understand why BIL thinks its too hard for him to go out and do normal live stuff. To take his kids to the park (even if he just watches from a vehicle) to go out and pick up his own food.

    If you'd read this far I applaude you! Thanks for letting me vent a little. This was really just a way for me to get this off my chest. I'm going to try not to let it bother me now.

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