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Thread: Explaining things to an eight year old

  1. #21
    When I first got out of rehab, my son was solemnly waiting in the living room when my neighbor stopped by. She said "Where's your mom?" "In the bedroom." "Well, can you go get her?"

    "No. Her and Dad are doing the urine-ing."

    God knows what either of them thought at that point!

  2. #22
    You're very welcome, OJ. I'm always interested in your progress because I've found all of your posts to be very open, well written and thought out. So I look forward to reading them. Looking from the outside here, like Betheny I've seen a lot of positive changes. Change is often difficult for one's self to recognize, especially when it occurs over weeks or months. We see you from a time-lapse viewpoint, and so maybe are sometimes more immediately aware of changes in you than you yourself may be. Of course, your internal anger, frustration, etc. we can sometimes only guess at, based on our own experiences.

    Diane2 - that's a great story about your 10 year-old!

    - Richard

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by diane2
    Hey OJ, It occurs to me that your nephew may think that if SCI happened to you, it can happen to him (may even be "catching") and that may be one reason he is angry. You probably discussed that with him already, but I though I would add my 2 bits. Kids have goofy misconceptions until they are sorted out. When I told my 10 year old son about a gay couple we knew (being in love, yadda, yadda, yadda) and asked him if he had any questions, he paused and asked, "What do the babies look like?"
    That is a great story Diane. That's exactly the problem we are having with my nephew--he understands things to a certain degree, but his logic and connections are a little "off." But that is one of the most charming aspects of little kids, as betheny's story shows as well

    When he wouldn't come anywhere near me, we wondered if he thought he might somehow "catch" this from me. I know that my mom and sister had talked to him about the fact that this was an accident and things like this don't just happen all the time. But as we are learning, nobody is really sure how much of it he is actually comprehending or what he is thinking. So it's very possible he is worried it might happen to him. I think all we can do at this point is deal with things as they come up. Incidentally he went home and told everybody he had a very nice trip. No mention of the first three very hard days. So I don't know if that means he is coping well or repressing things. Time will tell, I suppose.

    Quote Originally Posted by rtbdorf
    You're very welcome, OJ. I'm always interested in your progress because I've found all of your posts to be very open, well written and thought out. So I look forward to reading them. Looking from the outside here, like Betheny I've seen a lot of positive changes. Change is often difficult for one's self to recognize, especially when it occurs over weeks or months. We see you from a time-lapse viewpoint, and so maybe are sometimes more immediately aware of changes in you than you yourself may be. Of course, your internal anger, frustration, etc. we can sometimes only guess at, based on our own experiences.
    Thanks Richard. You don't know how much that made me smile. Writing has been very good for me and I am hoping to do more of it as time and my health permits. Things are moving forward for sure. Much slower than I had hoped. It's very much been a case of one step forward and then two or more back. I often need other people to point out how much progress I am making because I can get very distressed when I think it's not enough. But it's coming. I am starting to make my final preparations for going home (finally!), which has everybody stressed but in a different, but better, sort of way.
    Last edited by orangejello; 10-21-2006 at 06:33 PM.

  4. #24
    Congrats on starting the going home process, it will be good for everyone to be back in a familiar environment. As has been said, progress from one day to the next can get frustrating, but you are showing great progress, remember your first outing.

    It sounds like your nephew took the visit better than everyone thought. After you transition to home, it will continue to improve.
    C2/3 quad since February 20, 1985.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by betheny
    When I first got out of rehab, my son was solemnly waiting in the living room when my neighbor stopped by. She said "Where's your mom?" "In the bedroom." "Well, can you go get her?"

    "No. Her and Dad are doing the urine-ing."

    God knows what either of them thought at that point!

    LMAO Did they ever come back or did they run like the wind? Sorry, that scenario conjures up pictures in my deviant mind that are just.........wrong
    C5/6 incomplete

    "I assume you all have guns and crack....."

  6. #26
    OJ

    Kids just need time for things to click in their minds but I agree their process is different.

    Consider my niece. She was about 14 months old when her mum was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Over the next two years she 'grew up' in hospital rooms, surrounded by adults displaying a variety of conflicting emotions. Her mum died and it was explained to her that this was because of a horrible disease.

    Just over a year later I break my neck and she spends the next seven months visiting me. Again, adults surround her displaying conflicting emotions.......my friends, including her father, who is like a brother to me, laughing and joking........older visitors morose. We realised that she was struggling with the concept that people who went into hospital NEVER came out.

    My bro-in-law explained that I would get better but would not be able to use my legs. She seemed to accept that but didn't relate it to the wheelchair. When I first came out of hospital she would come around. When she got home and family asked after me she would say 'He's ok but he's STILL in his wheelchair'. Like I was just being lazy! This could be where your nephew's mind is. He may simply equate 'better' with NO wheelchair.

    Now she's a bit older she seems to understand. She's really sweet and very protective if we go out shopping - she stomps ahead of me like a little soldier and moves people out of the way in elevators etc. She understands that my hands don't work properly and offers help but not forcefully.....she will watch me try and then gently take something, open it, hand it back.
    C5/6 incomplete

    "I assume you all have guns and crack....."

  7. #27
    I've been keeping up with this thread somewhat...

    I used to teach age 5-6-7 Sunday School...

    Kids that age are wanting to learn EVERYthing...in absolutes...

    I wonder if part of all this is the fact that sometimes SCI really isn't so absolute...i.e. paralysis, but spasms...

    We as adults all agree that SCI doesn't make sense...so how could it make sense to a child?

    THAT's the hard part...

    OJ...your outing sounds like the perfect way to get rid of a few of your nephew's worries...

    Good thinking...

    Your ideas to have him help you with your apt. shopping is great!

    If you keep him involved in ways like this, his love for you...(and that anger he shows IS love)...will never waver...

    Take care, God bless...

    Teena

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by RehabRhino
    OJ

    Kids just need time for things to click in their minds but I agree their process is different.

    Consider my niece. She was about 14 months old when her mum was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Over the next two years she 'grew up' in hospital rooms, surrounded by adults displaying a variety of conflicting emotions. Her mum died and it was explained to her that this was because of a horrible disease.

    Just over a year later I break my neck and she spends the next seven months visiting me. Again, adults surround her displaying conflicting emotions.......my friends, including her father, who is like a brother to me, laughing and joking........older visitors morose. We realised that she was struggling with the concept that people who went into hospital NEVER came out.

    My bro-in-law explained that I would get better but would not be able to use my legs. She seemed to accept that but didn't relate it to the wheelchair. When I first came out of hospital she would come around. When she got home and family asked after me she would say 'He's ok but he's STILL in his wheelchair'. Like I was just being lazy! This could be where your nephew's mind is. He may simply equate 'better' with NO wheelchair.

    Now she's a bit older she seems to understand. She's really sweet and very protective if we go out shopping - she stomps ahead of me like a little soldier and moves people out of the way in elevators etc. She understands that my hands don't work properly and offers help but not forcefully.....she will watch me try and then gently take something, open it, hand it back.
    Hi Rhino thanks for sharing that with me. I really do appreciate it. I am sorry to hear about your niece's mother. I am glad she has come around and now understands and helps you out. That really is wonderful .

    Yes I got the "she's STILL in a wheelchair" treatment from him as well. He definately was equating being better with no wheelchair, like you suggest. So that was why the visit to the pet store was so important. When I first asked him if he wanted to go, he said "but you can't leave here." So it was really good for him to see me out and able to do things. One thing we couldn't seem to get over was his belief that I just needed to try and I would be able to walk. He kept asking "can't you just try?" and that was hard for me to deal with. We have several nurses and doctors in our family and that was also a target of his anger too. At one point he got really mad and told my dad he must not be a very good doctor if he couldn't fix me. I never really thought of it in terms of him maybe being able to accept things, but not being able to relate to them as you mention was a problem for your niece. But that makes perfect sense.



    Quote Originally Posted by trainman
    Congrats on starting the going home process, it will be good for everyone to be back in a familiar environment. As has been said, progress from one day to the next can get frustrating, but you are showing great progress, remember your first outing.
    Thanks . It's more than a little scary planning for it, but something I am looking forward to. It's been a long time in coming. Oh man that first outing seems so long ago. Like years even. But it really wasn't that long ago, was it? I keep meaning to update my outing thread. Hopefully I can get around to that soon.

    Thanks to you too Teena for your thoughts on this . He's a pretty great kid so I am hoping to keep as involved with him as I can.
    Last edited by orangejello; 10-22-2006 at 07:34 PM.

  9. #29
    Going home is scary for all of us. It sure was for me. I mean yeah, I wanted to be with my family, in my home, and continue being a wife and mom, and see what I could salvage of my life- but I was petrified. (Don't think I ever admitted it at the time.)

    Just wanted to tell you, it's ok to be scared.

  10. #30
    I'm sure it's the norm. Every step was scary for my wife.
    Leaving the hospital for rehab, leaving rehab, going back to rehab again, leaving rehab. "Can't I stay here longer? I'm not ready yet."
    But yes, she was real happy to be home.
    - Richard

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