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Thread: New to SCI

  1. #1

    New to SCI

    My brother sustained a T7 ASIA A spinal cord injury in May. He is currently in a SCI Model Program. The program is very challenging and extremely helpful.

    I can't stop crying and feeling his hurt. It kills me to see him like this so I can't even imagine how he's feeling. My family and I never show our pain in front of him because we try to keep him as positive as possible.

    He's having a real hard time accepting and dealing with this. The team at the hospital keeps pushing him but he is just skimming by. When some other SCI mentors come by to speak with him he doesn't even look at them when they are talking to him. He hears what they are saying but nothing is being absorbed.

    How can we help him? He's due to be released in 2 weeks. We want and need him to be as independent as possible by then.

  2. #2
    First of all, I would encourage you to meet with his psychologist or other mental health professional who should be working with him at this time. He will of course have to give permission for this person to share anything with you about him, but they can still provide you with some guidelines.

    Is he actually going to therapy, working on functional goals, and becoming more independent in spite of his affect and feelings? Did he consent to have peer counselors speak to him, or were they foisted upon him? People need to be ready for that step. Some are ready early, others not for years.

    Can you get him on-line here?

    I would personally recommend that you all "come clean" about your feelings and share some tears and hugs and anger with each other and him. He may actually feel you don't really love him if you show only indifferent or neutral affect about his injury. He may be more open to share his feelings as well if he can see that you are also grieving and angry. The psychologist at the rehab center may be able to help facilitate this.

    I would also strongly recommend some family therapy related to this...either now, or soon after he goes home. That is actually the most difficult time (the first 2-3 months) and it is a difficult adjustment for all. This injury happens to a family, not just to an individual.


  3. #3
    Big hug! My heart goes out to you. I also find it very difficult as my daughter has a T12 injury.

  4. #4
    Welcome to CC and sorry to hear about your brother. How old is he? Psychologist may be able to help him. As KLD said, he has to be ready.
    I cried for months after my son's injury, he is C6/7 and 11 months post. During my son's rehab, he had many bad days and just stayed in bed.
    SCI is affecting everyone in the family, not just the patient.

  5. #5
    I am sorry for your brothers injury. I was sort of in your brothers situation. I would go to therapy and really try but when I wasn't in a session I would just start thinking about all the things I used to be able to do etc. I figured out that doing this was being unproductive. I still do think about it sometimes but I don't let it control what I am going to do in the future. I really would encourage, as KLD said, to share your feelings with your brother. More then likely he is feeling very similar and it might help if you all lean on each other for support and comfort. Speaking to a psychologist is also a very good idea!!

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  6. #6
    Thanks for the support. My brother is 32 and although, I still haven't gotten up enough nerves to tell my brother how I'm feeling, I had a meltdown because he was having one. He apologized for making me cry. I felt horrible.

    I see lots of paraplegics and they don't look sickly. My brother is cold all of the time, his hands shake, his legs are swollen from the hip down to his toes, he's in pain all of the time. He was released from the SCI model rehab today and came out with like 30 different prescriptions.

    This is too hard.

  7. #7
    He needs to elevate his legs then put on his compression shose. I don't know why he would be cold all the time- no infection?
    It takes a while to adjust and we call it the grieving process.Go to support group meetings. He will be able to live an independent life.


  8. #8
    Senior Member drew82586's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    It takes a while to except it. I know i was injured t-6 in sept 08 and I still am colder than I used to be. I know at first I was a lot colder. But It will get better. Yea as the nurse said he needs to elevate his feet and also wear pressure stockings if he isnt already!
    Keep you head up and His head up too. It will get better!
    I have more to claim.
    I have to fight through the hard places
    to go and get it!

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  9. #9
    Senior Member tarheelandy's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    Athens, Ga
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    I'm a T6, post 2 yrs. I finally got over the getting cold about 3 months ago. The swelling will also get much better over the next year. He will find a routine that he is comfortable with and it really will work out over time!

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