Hi all, I've been reading this forum for a long time and finally decided to register. I'm frustrated beyond the point of breakdown, but still remain hopeful.

I don't even know how to explain my husband's disability as it was never explained to us. He had a spinal cord lipoma removed 13 years ago. At the time of surgery he was working as an auto mechanic. Because he worked for a small employer, they weren't required to hold his job for 3 months while he recovered, so he was let go a couple of weeks after surgery, which meant he no longer had insurance, which meant he never got any physical therapy.

Fast forward a few years, even though he walked out of the hospital fine but weak, he started using the surgery as an excuse to do less and less. He eventually stopped doing anything but sitting on the couch and took to walking with a cane (where he didn't immediately after surgery). After several years of this frustration, I began an application for him to receive Social Security disabiltiy as we had 5 children at the time that needed support, and I couldn't do it all alone. He was approved on the first go-round, to him that was the license he needed to continue sitting on the couch. After another 2 years, his Medicare kicked in and I encouraged him to talk to his doctor about receiving the physical therapy he never received in the beginning even though it had been 10 years. He was sent to UVA where they made him a KAFO for his left leg, trained him on it a couple of times and released him.

Since that time, he has gone down hill dramatically, we can't go anywhere because he can't even step up a simple curb with his cane. The last two times we've gone anywhere, it required one of our adult sons to help him take a simple step up, so going out to dinner or anything is out of the question at most locations. This isn't an indication of progressive illness but rather, an old attititude that it is what is is and it can't be changed, that I can't seem to get through to him that it is NOT the case. I'm so frustrated I don't know what to do anymore. I'm not expecting him to run a marathon, but for God's sake, just move off the couch for more than the 10 feet it takes to go to the bathroom a couple of times a day. I encourage him to come to this forum and see what others are doing by putting in a lot of hard work, but he just doesn't seem to care and prefers to use his problem as an excuse for exreme laziness. It's to the point I'm considering divorce, except I've already asked him to leave and he won't. The house and everything is in my name since he hasn't worked for 13 years, and I'm afraid if I put him out (if I can even do so legally since he won't leave on his own) that not only will I be supporting the kids alone, but likely have to pay alimony for the rest of his life since by law I have "allowed" this for 13 years.

The only light in any of this is that he has an appointment tomorrow to be evaluated for the Ness L300 foot drop system. If it works for him, maybe it will motivate him to put in the work he needs to, if it doesn't it will reinforce in his mind that nothing can be done, and just give him another excuse to sit on the couch 24/7. Right now he is so weak, but its not due to the injury. I tell him all the time that if I sat on the couch for 13 years I'd be in the same condition, but nothing I say or do will motivate this 54 year old man with old thought patterns ingrained in his head.

Please help, offer anything you have. I see tomorrow as being my last attempt, my last chance to give him, myself and our children the life we all deserve to enjoy. And yes, we've discussed having the mental/emotional part evaluated but he plays things off well with the doctors and sadly most of them believe him when he says nothing can be done to make his life more manageable (I've found that I am often more informed then a general practioner, so he uses them against my research).