View Poll Results: Friend situation after sci

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  • I lost all of my friends after injury

    7 20.00%
  • I lost most of my friends after injury

    10 28.57%
  • I didn't lose any of my friends after injury

    9 25.71%
  • I kept in touch with most of my friends, but rarely see them since injury injury

    9 25.71%
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Thread: Friends, how many did you lose? How many do you still have?

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  1. #1

    Friends, how many did you lose? How many do you still have?

    Ah friends, I was injured three months into my 20s so naturally I had quite a few friends. From the gym, from the club, from high school, some lifelong I had five friends that I grew up with since grade 1 went through everything together our entire youth. Those kinds of friends are precious, and I don't think much in this life is; Your child and Friends you grew up with. Some might say true love, but I've seen so many examples in my short time of "true love" turn into the worst of enemies, or elderly life of regret or simply contentment. As for life as a whole being precious, not so much Lol.

    since I decidedbasically right after I realized The full implications of this injury, that Iam going to ask for as little help as possible; if this is the way it is I don't need to be constantly leeching, and saying please 60 times a day can feel like begging and is very "taxing" mentally. Making that decision obviously has implications on your already inevitably affected social life. Passing the burden on to my friends never sat well with me though, mostly it was just emptying the leg bag, maybe grab something out of my backpack (this was before my AD and spasticity got of control now there's more to be addressed). I digress, overtime I've spent quite a bit of time on this fourm, and I can very blatantly see that loneliness is a issue after SCI (The defensive will claim that loneliness ( or losing friends) is a part of life no matter what, but the many different "variables" after SCI that make it MUCH more likely, hastily and impactful are right there, there's no denying it even if you remained lucky in this regard). Not everybody doesn't have friends after SCI far from it, but I was just thinking how interesting a study of groups of paraplegics vs groups of quadriplegics would be on their social life after injury. Of course at this point I could only make assumptions (I wish there actually were studies like this on various aspects of health and life after SCI comparing different levels because paraplegia and quadriplegia are completely different in EVERY aspect and shouldn't be associated at all, even every cervical vertebrae is completely different). But I feel like the implications of a C5+ compared to a T 12 in terms of social life are self-explanatory, people tend to gravitate towards the easiest most enjoyable options someone that can drive to them, take care of themselves entirely,get in anywhere etc. There's no worries or responsibilities, sometimes I think my friends see me as an obligation a responsibility sort to speak, which obviously and evidently isn't the most attractive option,and despite my best attempts ( Bringing my feeding cuff, tolerating A.D. spasticity, Never complaining or saying anything about it, etc) I think it slowly wore them out despite being a rare occasion, things had to be done and accidents happen... They seemed most comfortable when they stop by my house for an hour or two, when my parents or caregiver were there to handle everything, which is completely understandable... But unfortunate obviously.

    I'm starting this rant after I've been sleeping on a pullout couch for months, finally moved into a decent size condo so I can bring up my hospital bed (so I can finally sit my bed/self up) but I can't drive down and load it up myself, So I offered to pay one of my friends I grew up with! He refused to get paid, explained he'd be beyond happy to do it but that he was busy so we went through his schedule and worked out a weekend about A month away so I waited patiently, he also explained that hed rather it not be a workday so he could come up and hang out with me for the night. That was this weekend, when I messaged him to see if we were good he explained he wouldn't be able to make it because he has a golf tournament which of course we both knew about but because Monday was a holiday he'd be fine at the time we made the plans. I'm not mad at him or spiteful in the slightest, i'm glad he's out there enjoying his youth truthfully. But many of times I've made plans over the years with this group of guys individually and almost always "something" comes Up or I just don't get a response the day of. I'd really just respect honesty, I wouldn't be offended or hurt in the slightest if they just said man I got better things to do but nobody does that in any case; other than me back in the day when I had better things to do, but honestly I never bailed on the boys, I could be at a family arrangement then they could call me about a fight or flat tire and I drive my ass there to help. Which is another thing that I disregarded it's easy for me to think I would do more for them if the situation was reversed, and I probably guaranteed would have at first but we were all 20 when it happened, Life gets busy being able to mutually participate in a meet up is vital to make it easy for both parties to keep friendships together,I imagine overtime my appearance would get rare. School, construction work, boxing, the gym, a woman would've taken up most my time by choice of course. But the fact is most people I knew we're gone the day after SCI other than one or two Facebook messages from a few.
    Last edited by JamesMcM; 05-25-2016 at 04:30 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Sarafino's Avatar
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    I wish I could reach through the Internet and give you a hug. I have a degenerative nerve disorder and have noticed it is harder to make friends as my condition deteriorates. Still I have a few. More and more I am only interested in making disabled friends, and I live in a rural area where there are very few disabled people. Most of my attempts to be friendly towards other wheelchair users fail miserably. I am more like a quadriplegic, and most of the chair users here are paras and they don't give me the time of day, ha! Thankfully I recently became friends (acquaintances?) with a woman my own age who is a chair user from MS. I have put a lot of time, money, and heartache into trying to find disabled friends the last few years. I would be seriously tempted to move to some sort of disabled community.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Sarafino View Post
    I wish I could reach through the Internet and give you a hug. I have a degenerative nerve disorder and have noticed it is harder to make friends as my condition deteriorates. Still I have a few. More and more I am only interested in making disabled friends, and I live in a rural area where there are very few disabled people. Most of my attempts to be friendly towards other wheelchair users fail miserably. I am more like a quadriplegic, and most of the chair users here are paras and they don't give me the time of day, ha! Thankfully I recently became friends (acquaintances?) with a woman my own age who is a chair user from MS. I have put a lot of time, money, and heartache into trying to find disabled friends the last few years. I would be seriously tempted to move to some sort of disabled community.
    Thanks, but mere curiosity if loneliness was my only or anywhere near biggest problem I'd be laughing and quite happily content. But from various other posts I can see that for some people it is one of the biggest problems for them everyone's different of course. I'm sorry about your condition, and to hear about your other issues. I find that most people in wheelchairs around my level don't want to be around other disabled too much now that we left rehab, I feel similar. My dad's friend broke his neck at this level when he was 20, he reached out but after seeing The reality for myself I wanted nothing to do with himhe's ( in my ignorant able-bodied days are used to think he was admirable) working his way towards 30 years post, just went home as soon as he could, adapted his house practically just stayed in it over 25 years straight being cared for by agencies and burdens family members going to bed at 10 o'clock every night. His life is a bitter reminder of what will happen when I have to rely on nursing agencies, how truly limited life is when you don't have your own abilities and or abundant money to hire someone on a regular basis/ dictate a schedule of dependencyrather then be given a limited schedule,not that that's very respectable or dignified but at least more interesting I guess . Talked about how it's a treat to sit on your porch, on a nice day OK that might be cool for 30 minutes an hour tops than it's time to MoveOn that's how I feel;but that's literally his life now, is instruments collect dust his off-road vehicles are long gone etc I don't want to see that shit.
    Last edited by JamesMcM; 05-25-2016 at 04:48 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarafino View Post
    I wish I could reach through the Internet and give you a hug. I have a degenerative nerve disorder and have noticed it is harder to make friends as my condition deteriorates. Still I have a few. More and more I am only interested in making disabled friends, and I live in a rural area where there are very few disabled people. Most of my attempts to be friendly towards other wheelchair users fail miserably. I am more like a quadriplegic, and most of the chair users here are paras and they don't give me the time of day, ha! Thankfully I recently became friends (acquaintances?) with a woman my own age who is a chair user from MS. I have put a lot of time, money, and heartache into trying to find disabled friends the last few years. I would be seriously tempted to move to some sort of disabled community.
    My situation sounds similar to yours. It saddens me to hear how many people lose connections or cannot make new ones. As someone else stated, it's not easy for someone to call up and ask if we want to go out; there's planning involved and some days are just too rough to do anything.

    I am sorry you've had such difficulties making friends. I hear you. I have a few close friends, but I rarely see them with their busy schedules, some advancing in age and some with their own issues. I honestly get overwhelmed quickly from social interaction, so that limits me too. However, it would be nice to have a few friends who really get what I live...it can feel lonely at times. It's complicated by my unique personality. 😜 Finding people who aren't overwhelmed by my health issues AND also who appreciate my cerebral yet funky, dry humour is a challenge.

    I'm grateful for my service dog, my constant companion, and those few who truly love me. I'm open to making new friends and I hope that will happen, but I'm thankful for what I've got. Severe disability isn't for the faint of heart. It's hard! Sometimes total strangers tell me I'm an inspiration to them. They say that and then many give me that sickly sweet smile and look away. This puzzles me and often I feel put down, though I know many mean well. It's like I'm some foreign species, not someone who lives in their world; it makes me feel like I'm on display. I feel I have to smile, even if I feel awful. It puts me in an awkward position. All I want is to be able to do is be as independent and anonymous as possible, but the girl strapped into the big power chair with the yellow flag, who can barely use her hands and has a cute service dog just can't blend in, you know? Still, I know there's always someone in a worse situation. I try to find happiness everyday. The simple things do it for me: the smell of flowers, my pup licking my nose, Face Time calls with family and friends. Let's hope connections on here may blossom for some...

  5. #5
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    You're at the age where people go their separate ways. Some in school, some married or thinking about it and some working. It's the appropriate time to be selfish and figure out who they are.

    They'll come back when they reach their thirties and more so as they get older.

    Shitty of your friend to forget ... But I never do business with friends and family.
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by lynnifer View Post
    You're at the age where people go their separate ways. Some in school, some married or thinking about it and some working. It's the appropriate time to be selfish and figure out who they are.

    They'll come back when they reach their thirties and more so as they get older.

    Shitty of your friend to forget ... But I never do business with friends and family.
    Yeah people keep saying that, but evidently from Instagram and Facebook that is highly untrue,Especially with the people they met after high school. At our age it is vital like I said to be able to mutually participate in meetings with easy-going no responsibilities. Yeah probably a wise decision, but at the time I figured better pay friend $200 then a moving company 1000$+ it's over two hours away from me by Highway.

    From what I've seen with two other quadriplegics after 25 visits became almost nonexistent, my dad and his friends sure as hell don't go see their buddy, (and they're all moving towards 50) unless they're going to be there anyways for work or dinner! I think my injury kind of reminded them about him, but that only caused a handful of visits, honestly he probably doesn't even care anymore.
    Last edited by JamesMcM; 05-25-2016 at 05:00 PM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by lynnifer View Post
    They'll come back when they reach their thirties and more so as they get older.
    That is called wishful thinking. I found that after my injury I lost most of my co-workers fairly quickly. After that the friends that I knew in the community and from church started dropping off. Some would come by and a couple even said they were afraid to stop by because they didn't know what to expect. Once those people had stopped by I haven't seen or heard from them since. In all fairness though, I doubt I would have seen much of them anyways because they were friends, (maybe friends isn't quite right, more like acquaintances we made through activities our children took part in) and now that our children are grown we really have no reason to get together. I do have some what I would call true friends. People that I've stayed in contact through the years that I either met at school or at work. Relationships with friends takes a lot of work. Especially with so many things that can keep you from maintaining those friendships. Both parties and I mean both parties have to work at it regardless if one has a SCI or not. I think having worked remotely in sales out of my home office also played a part in why the co-workers dropped so fast. I may have been in contact with them on a daily basis, but rarely was it in person. I think if you physically see someone on a daily basis you develop stronger friendships/relationships. I also believe you will have a group of friends through the various phases of your life while maintaining a small group of closer friends throughout your entire life. It's the ones that stick with you are the ones you need to keep close and continue to work with. Those are my brief thoughts.
    DaDutchman
    C5/C6 since 2007 due to car accident

  8. #8
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    Everyone is different. I wouldn't presume to know what your dad and his friends think about the 30yr post quadriplegic. Maybe he doesn't want to see anyone. I know I'm that way ... the tiring repetitive questions ... nothing ever changes with paralysis, except for complications. In this life, no news is good news.

    Hopefully you can stop comparing yourself to the previous life you had - your friends and family etc and figure out who you are now and what you'll do tomorrow, next week, next month - five years from now.
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by lynnifer View Post
    Everyone is different. I wouldn't presume to know what your dad and his friends think about the 30yr post quadriplegic. Maybe he doesn't want to see anyone. I know I'm that way ... the tiring repetitive questions ... nothing ever changes with paralysis, except for complications. In this life, no news is good news.

    Hopefully you can stop comparing yourself to the previous life you had - your friends and family etc and figure out who you are now and what you'll do tomorrow, next week, next month - five years from now.
    No, it's not like it was in my "denial" phase as they call it, I'm not comparing or expecting anything compared to my old old life ( God for bid lol). But to me independence and dignity is a must in life for all aspects including social the only way that's going to happen for myself ( and many others) is to prevent the paralysis rot c, Financials and research which which takes up a lot of time, and effort ( especially on caregivers/piggy bank). hard work, practice and natural recovery didn't pan out for me like it does others for some others ( yet I've seen injuries skip physiotherapy and just smoke pot leave with tricep function using a walker) so I have to go this way, In order to get at least somewhat respectable, justifiable, decent quality of life from my perspective. Believe me I know my old life is gone, I knew that when I was laying in the swamp, I didn't need doctors to tell me, as I said it's not my old life c that I'm looking at, comparing/craving. Having said that at my level of injury, severity and secondary complications if I were to just only think in those parameters slim pickings to say the least, I could never conform to that "world", and if somehow I was a different person and could I would never want to. There's only one real fight against sci. As I said actuall life studies comparing and differentiating between levels and severity of the injuried would be very interesting to see the results,as well as psychological evaluation as well as imaging throughout the process of "coping" ( massive generalization right now exempt of any regards of individuality) describing and comparing personalities, variables that lead to similarities "coping" again comparing a differentiated between functional outcomes. It would be beyond fascinating , But probably impossible to do. Simple statistics like 80% plus unemployment, single after injury, higher likelihood of depression ( ridiculous diagnosis ) decreased life spawn far to vague and really means nothing, nor informative ...
    Last edited by JamesMcM; 05-27-2016 at 12:06 AM.

  10. #10
    My friend list didn't dwindle because of my injury. Lynnifer nailed it on the age for me myself personally. Alot changes in your 30's as you discover your true self. It's an eye opening experience and not all bad. Pretty much, I've grown wise enough to recognize who I want to surround myself with. Not only that, I know for sure after 23 years together and 10 of them living this injury together, my husband is my best friend.

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