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Thread: T4 injury, what can they do?

  1. #1

    T4 injury, what can they do?

    I hate that it seems when ever I turn to CC I am complaining. My husband has a complete T4 injury.
    He works a desk job 30 hours a week to get health insurance for our family.
    I take care of the home and our 3 kids.
    Tonight I was taking out the garbage from the kitchen and asked him to take his garbage from his bathroom. His reply to me was "I cant!"
    Really? I know people that are paras live on their own. So does someone come to their home and empty their garbage, do their laundry, grocery shopping, everything else?
    I feel terrible complaining because I know his life is difficult, painful and tiring but I dont know if I am strong enough to do it all.

  2. #2
    Senior Member flicka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    You guys have 3 kids & it's the first time you've asked him to take out the garbage? He's spoiled.

    "We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."
    - Barack Obama

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Denver, Colorado
    Trust me... he can take out the garbage and more! My hubby is a T level complete injury and does alot around the house. I still do the laundry tho... LOL!

  4. #4
    Moderator Obieone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Tagging ability to injury level can be a trap and is not always a fair bench mark for what a person is capable of doing - my husband Bill is T5 complete and is certainly able to take out the trash. Given the right circumstances he most certainly could live independantly if he had to - but most of all his time would be spent attending to his basic bodily needs and adl's. I've always suspected when a facility releases someone to go home after rehab whether there is someone there to help "care" for the individual is a strong factor and it's when bad habits are formed because it's just easier for the other person to do it. Bottom line is your hubby is probably perfectly capable of doing almost everything he could do before (except for the obvious physical/out of reach situations) it just takes longer and will be a more cumbersome event. The trick is not to get sucked in to that whole scenario because in the long term resentment will build and he will become needy and will have no confidence or pride in what he is able to do.

    Having access to continuing rehab or an exercise/sports program designed specific to sci makes a huge difference in motivating someone to challenge themselves to become the best they can be. Had we had the opportunity and financial wherewithal for Bill to participate in some of these programs early in his injury it would have made a significant impact on his attitude and confidence. Geographic location and family support were also part of the equation - so I guess what I'm saying is it comes down to making some hard choices and what works for you and your entire situation.

    Just know the piper will always need to be paid down the line at some point. The hardest part of learning to live with Bill's injury was letting go so "he" could learn to live with it ..... if it took him longer (and it always did) then so be it - even after almost 12 years it's till hard. But now you have us to lean on ....... so just do it ..... we're good listeners and almost always available ....

    ETA - complaining = sharing/venting ..... no need to explain or apologize ... ever .... not in this forum anyhoo
    Last edited by Obieone; 08-02-2010 at 08:39 AM.
    ~ Be the change you wish to see in the world ~ Mahatma Gandi

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  5. #5
    Robbie is also a T4 complete and I struggle with this daily...I have always been the person who feels "its easier if I do it myself" and that mindset has really become a problem now. At home I do most everything for Robbie, it is quicker and easier. When we are out somewhere I see how much he really can do for himself. He is 15 so a big part of this is showing off at rehab or in public. He is going to be playing adaptive sports so Im hoping that will help.

    I need to make big changes over the next month as school is starting and he is going back for the first time since his injury, he will need to be up early, dressed and out without me.

    Newbee...dont beat yourself up, talk to your hubby using "I" terms. Instead of "YOU should do more" say "I feel tired.....

  6. #6
    Taking the trash out (without any adaptive tricks) probably means putting the trashbag on your lap and wheeling it outside.

    Pre-injury there is no circumstance in which I would have put a trash bag on my lap, for some reason the bottoms of them are always wet.

    If you get crud on your hands and then push the rims, you get dirt and diseases all the way round your rims. Then you have to go do an IC and worry about what you need to wash more thoroughly than usual.

    Of course, if he has a dedicated meal tray to put in his lap and then put the bag on it...then thats a way round it.

    The thing is, that he works full time. Its not like he's being completely useless. Carrying the trash out from a chair is not a fun job. It's right in your face as you push too.

    I dunno what the dynamic between you two is like, but this is not a fun job from a chair. Does he do other jobs? I"m assuming he does since this is the only one you have picked out to complain about?

  7. #7
    good point Mark, I would not want my son to have a bag of trash on his lap if someone else is home and able to take it out.

    not sure if this post is really about trash though....sounds like there may be other issues which is why hearing "I can't" is frustrating.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by SharonD View Post
    good point Mark, I would not want my son to have a bag of trash on his lap if someone else is home and able to take it out.

    not sure if this post is really about trash though....sounds like there may be other issues which is why hearing "I can't" is frustrating.
    Sure...sounds like it to me too. I'm just kinda making the point that I work full time, provide for 2 non-working adults and a 16 year old child. I love doing all the jobs that I can do (mow the yard, pick up after myself with dishes and clothes, keep my bathroom cleaned etc). But one job that I am very thankful is done for me is taking out the trash. I have tried it, and it is not fun as the plastic bag spills out of your lap and tears open on the wheels and puts trash over you. If I lived on my own it would just be one of those crappy jobs that I'd do, and I'd probably use some kind of tray to carry the bag.....but I definately appreciate having others do it instead....

  9. #9
    No he does not do anything to contribute to the home except his job and insurance. I asked him to take out his bathroom garbage, not the kitchen garbage. I do his laundry and leave the folded things on his bed to put away but that is it.
    I just asked him to put his garbage in the garage because I was taking all the others out and the recycling and dragging them to the street for pick up the next day.
    I hate it when he says "I cant" we have met Chris Wardell that just climbed Mt kilimanjaro. We have a friend that travels the world on his own playing tennis.
    I know I have enabled him. I know it is easier for me to take out the trash but I am taking out 3 garbages and 2 recyceling getting the kids ready for bed, cleaning up after the dog.
    I would like to leave and give him the chance to survive on his own. He is very capable.
    His joy in life is target shooting. He was going out one morning with friends and I came to check on him. The whole back of his subaru wagon was filled to the top with guns, amo, targets, scopes, tables, big heavy metal stuff that he did all on his own.
    I dont understand why when it is something he wants to do he can do it but if I need one trash bag thrown into the garage i get the response "I cant?"

  10. #10
    O and this year he hired a lawn boy so I dont have to mow the lawn to.

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