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Thread: My Son Can't Wait To "Hop The Fence"

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Baltimore MD

    My Son Can't Wait To "Hop The Fence"

    He's 'chomping at the bit', and I'm afraid for him.
    Tomorrow (Sat) he's leaving the hospital on an LOA to go to
    his son's 'Christening'. My grandson is over 2 y.o. but has never been
    Christened, and the chosen godfather is leaving town for 18 mos next week.
    So they scheduled this at this time.
    I wanted it to wait until Adam was out of the hospital (Dec 5th, but he may be extended one week) but my son & his girlfriend (the mother) were stubborn about it. I just don't think he's ready to 'party' yet- but he's gung-ho to do just that.
    I'm afraid he'll do some alcohol..... or (??). He was a big party person before his C-5 injury.
    They've invited 30-40 people, & it will be at a friend's home, supposedly OK without many steps or chair problems. He's anticipating being out of the hospital for at least 8 hours for his first outing (whether the docs say OK or not- from 10:30am to 6:30pm- or so).
    My wife (RN) wrote him a note last nite asking for the docs orders to OK his LOA & his meds to take with him, but he'll have to be cathed at least once and he'll be in a manual chair that will have to be tilted- he 'll have to change position 2-3 x per hour. He's not able to do any re-positioning himself, nor can he wheel the chair. He'll have to depend on others for all needs. He barely can feed himself with the arm brace, and a fork/sleeve attachment. No hand functions to speak of, yet. A little 'pinch' motion with the right hand. He can pick up Doritos or cookies and get 3 out of 5 to his mouth without dropping them. (but it ain't pretty to watch).
    I, originally thought that he'd have a supervised outing (he will- but next week) and he wanted to take his son to a playground. He used to do that a few times a week before the accident. It will be a 4 hour (approx.) outing.
    But 8 hours with all his necesasary needs as his first time, and with 30 people around? I'm fearful of something going wrong. (bowel? bladder?)
    At the least, he may be embarrassed. He'd never show it, but I know he'd be upset. At the worst, an accident, transporting in and out of his brother's car. He won't have assisted transportation.
    I don't know.....I'm just really concerned that this is just another of his foolhardy decisions. That's how he broke his neck, showing off and fooling around at the swim pool. He's always been the reckless, foolhardy, stubborn, know-it-all - of my 4 children.
    He hasn't grown up, a 33 y.o. going on 14. I thought that this accident would teach him something about caution, it hasn't. He rolled his power chair over him and wound up face down in the parking lot a few weeks ago.
    Angry can't even start to say how I felt when I saw the 'road rash' on his nose, forehead, cheeks & arm. He laughed and shrugged it off.
    I'll be there at the Christening from about 12:30 to 3, but I'm not looking forward to it. I suggested he have it in the rec. room (or other place) at the hospital where they could take care of him properly, but he wanted out. Had to have it at the friend's place. Refused the hospital idea, flat out.
    Geez......I'm venting and rambling aimlessly. Didn't mean to go on like this, but I'm just very apprehensive about this whole idea tomorrow.
    I guess there's nothing I can do if the hospital & his docs are
    willing to allow it. I'll keep an 'eagle eye' out on him while I'm there, though.
    Bob B
    SCI - Parent

  2. #2
    Senior Member Foolish Old's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Florida Keys

    You may see him as being (acting?) 14, but the reality is that a 33 year old man is going to do pretty much whatever he wants (or can pull off). You have a better shot at helping him if you don't become the police. It's hard to help someone if you become an object of their rebellion.

    I'm not trying to minimise your concern, but there's only so much you can do for him. After that, just wish him luck and give any assistance he and you agree upon.

    "We have met the enemy and he is us."-POGO.

    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."~Edgar Allan Poe

    "Dream big, you might never wake up!"- Snoop Dogg

  3. #3
    I am sure he will be fine. The staff should be doing teaching with those who will be assisting him before he goes.

    I would caution you though that if he does not do this in coordination with his doctor's orders, and with authorization of his insurance company there is a chance that his insurance may cut him off from any more inpatient rehab. Many insurances no longer authorize ANY outings during the inpatient rehab program, and if they occur they see it as a sign the person is ready to be discharged and get outpatient only. Clarify this NOW with his social worker or case manager before he leaves!!!


  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Denver, Colorado
    Hi Bob...

    We have a friend who is a C5 quad and when he was in rehab at Craig about 13 years ago.... he could not wait to get "off campus".... His wife told us that they went out one nite and got back after the doors were closed and had to beg to be let back in! He was so naughty but I think it got him re-connected with his friends. He's doing fine...

    Adults will do what they will do, whether AB or SCI... I have learned to just let go... it's hard not to micro-manage but it really is better that way!


    PS: I thought my hubby Don would never fall out of his chair, but he has fallen a few times. When we went to Las Vegas a few weeks ago... the airline people let him fall off the aisle transport chair... When he first fell a couple of months after rehab, I thought I would die... but now, it's not a biggie... Your son probably will fall again and all we can do is deal with it and move on...
    Last edited by ergvepeog; 12-01-2006 at 10:11 PM.

  5. #5
    We all bite the sidewalk sometimes, Bob. I scared my brother so bad the other day that he left. It was nothing unusual to me.

    A lot of the time it seems the same people that like to mess around--the playing on the freeway types--are the ones that get SCI'd. I was. It made us feel alive before, and it still does. We scare our parents and our spouses, but we can't stop being us.

    He'll learn some lessons. He may well be embarrassed by drinking 3 beers and crapping himself. He has so many lessons to learn, and none of them are easy ones. Beer is a laxative-he'll find out now, or he'll find out later.

    I'm glad to hear that he's impatient, actually. He's coming back to being himself. It's a long journey from where he started. You'll keep an eye on him, his friends will too. He'll be okay. Try not to sweat it too's sweet that you care. I can hear your frustration. As mom to a 17 year old boy, and stepmom to a 25 year old, I can totally relate.

  6. #6
    There are so many parallels between your son and I it is untrue. I am 35, C5/6. Injured for two years tomorrow. Believe it or not, until I wrote that sentence I had forgotten that it was my anniversary tomorrow so I just completely amazed myself with that fact. That must say something about where my life is now I guess..........
    I was a party animal pre sci and, if the hangover I have this morning after my trip to the Christmas Beer Festival and the impromptu karaoke party I had in my apartment last night is anything to go by, there is a bit of that animal left. Later on this afternoon I am meeting a friend down the road to watch a football game in the pub. It's the same friend that tipped me into bed about 1 a.m. last night (one of about five friends who have done this now and have no problem doing it, enabling me to cancel my evening care if I want to go out).
    I also broke my neck diving into shallow water.
    20 months ago I think I was pretty much in the same condition as your son - I could barely feed myself, hold chips or a sandwich, but I was still desperate to go out when they organised a trip to the local pub from hospital. I was absolutely petrified, worried about cathing, shitting myself, people watching me eat etc but I also knew that if I didn't do it I was succumbing to my injury. I had a few beers, enjoyed myself, got up for rehab the next day, leaned over to transfer and pebbledashed my pants. SCI has a habit of bringing you back down-to-earth.
    It won't be easy, it won't be smooth. People fuss. He'll probably get stressed. But it's better than being in bed and it's better than being in hospital. Once you start to do things that you would have done pre injury you feel like you're beginning to claim a little bit of yourself back.
    It is important he gets out. Let him learn his lessons, regain his friends, build some confidence.
    Good luck. I have to go and tidy my apartment. It looks like Basra. Bastard friends left beer and pizza everywhere!

    C5/6 incomplete

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

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Baltimore MD
    Thanks, everyone-especially Paul.
    Your post made me smile, as well as try to relate.
    I'll just see what happens this afternoon.

    Too late to do anything about that now, as I just read your warning this a.m. and the party's in a few hours-also its a Sat. No case mgrs (no Soc Worker) working today. Que sera sera.
    Last edited by nide44; 12-02-2006 at 09:49 AM.
    Bob B
    SCI - Parent

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    hampton bays new york

    My thoughts are all the same as others have posted, how important it is to reclaim the life thatt you once had, yes it won't be easy, and hopefully he won't make any mistakes. If the only way to learn is the hard way, than so be it. Policing, won't help, only it will cheeer him on. It would to me any way. My injury was three years ago next week, and I wasn't doing anything wrong or risky. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. A building blew off the second floor roof, landinding on my neck, head, and back, knocking me down onto the steel deck of a boat I just got off of. It took 5 strong guys to lift it off me, bitter cold, and I don't even remember the incident today. I lapsed into a coma for 6-8 weeks. When I did regain consciousness, I didn't know what happened. All I wanted to do was get up and walk and get back to where I was in life. I thought it would all come together if they let me go home. Spent another coouple of months in hospitals, but when I got home I knew it was my chance to proove them wrong. Instead of pulling it together in a few weeks it's been about two years late, and just starting to go now.Trying is the best thing he can do, falling down and mostakes will happen, as long as he dosn't get discouraged, things will eventualy go better. Sounds like he is the younger image of me, I'm no role model, no angel, 47 going on 27 [yea I had to grow up]. Now I walk with a cane or a walker, i even try to go without that too when I'm feeling my oats. My thoughts are with you, but don't panic, I came home to live alone ina 2 story house on a hill, no flat ground, and a flight of stairs from the driveway to the first floor, it's all been for the better for me, no one everr expected to see me again that day, let alone walk, or drive. Good luck

  9. #9
    Senior Member Timaru's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Hampshire, England.
    Hi Bob,

    Not a lot to say that hasn't been covered by the others, however what I will say is that you should be very grateful that he is keen to get out.

    In my rehab. group a good 60% shut themselves away, afraid to venture back into the big bad world and believe me it took a lot of work and coaching by the staff to shift them.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Baltimore MD
    Well, he done did it! Absolutely nothing to report other than it went off without a hitch. No problems or events to bother about.
    He spent about 8 hours out of the hospital in a manual chair and was a bit uncomfortable, but the Texas cath did OK, He 'pigged out' on buffet food. Didn't drink anything stonger than Pepsi or Cranberry Cocktail.
    The Christening happened, & all his friends were glad to see him, helped him when he needed it, didn't when he didn't, & got back safe & sound.
    A bit sore, but no problems, very tired (slept til 11 the next day) and
    found out that he truly has been extended, at least one week
    (we're hoping for 2) ..... until 12/12, for additional therapy.
    Dad's apprehensions were quieted and he has a brighter outlook,
    it seems to me. He has mixed emotions-can't wait to leave the hospital, but is looking forward to working in more therapy.
    Bob B
    SCI - Parent

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