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Thread: On being another's hands

  1. #1
    Senior Member zillazangel's Avatar
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    On being another's hands

    What I posted in the other thread got the attention of several people, so I thought I'd write more about it. taj, sieg, and I, others I have left out (sorry) have unique situations because our loved ones simply cannot move, cannot do anything physically. So I am his hands, I am his body in a way. What he cannot do, I do for him from scratching his nose to dressing him, to getting the mail.

    It's why I do not like him to ask me "could you please do xyz", I want him to say "could you (xyx)", leave out the please. I cannot help but put myself in his shoes and think if I would want to ask please over and over again for the most basic things. So I ask him all the time to say "would you rub my eyes". Now, I hate it when he says "I'm gonna get you to .... xyz" ... lol ... as longtime readers here will know! It's hard to explain if you haven't lived it, breathed it for years. I don't want to be asked "please" unless he would have said so if he were AB. But he has been conditioned by callous caregivers in the past, even family, to withhold his requests, to beg for them in some cases. That breaks my heart.

    And its part of why its so hard to get/read advice here. I cannot make him do anything!!! He is completely UNABLE to physically do anything. I can't just tell him to brush his teeth, give him 3 hours and they'll be brushed. I have to do it. Or someone has to do it.

    But yeah, I am his hands. It's part of why he asks me to do so much - I have taught him, conditioned him, that I am his hands. And that is what I want ... but yet it's hard ... for both of us.

    Just wanted to say I guess. Even though I'm pretty sure it didn't make much sense. Tori Amos in my headphones is distracting ...
    Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager

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    Ami... I'm with ya.... Don is a lower level injury than Chad but I do stuff like dressing his lower body... yeah he could do it but it would take a very long time... he's 63 now and he asks me all the time to get stuff for him to eat when he's already in bed... "can you get me a popsicle?... can you bring my toothbrush? can you bring my laptop?... on and on and on. No... I don't know what it's like for him. I remember a conversation we had this morning in bed... I asked him if he had to do it over again would he have paid $450.00 to have the tree in the back yard cut down or would he have climbed that ladder again and tried trimming it? (He fell 30 feet to get his SCI). He said he STILL would not have paid someone else to do it!!!!! He said that he just would have been more careful....
    Ami... I can only imagine how hard it must be... I think it's hard with a a T11 complete para... I love Tori Amos!

    Love Sieg

  3. #3
    Senior Member zillazangel's Avatar
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    LOL ....... our men are stubborn. Chad says he would have gone swimming again, just not drunk! Oh, what one can find humor in .... !! We have to!!
    Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager

  4. #4
    Ami, I was really touched by the wording of statement you made in the other thread about being his hands; it really demonstrated love and commitment. Here on CC we've seen evidence of the entire spectrum of commitment, from yours at 100% to zero for those who have been deserted by their spouse upon being injured.
    Carolyn is T5, with upper back complications that really limit what she is able to do, so I do a lot for her - possibly too much sometimes, that's hard not to do.
    I think I see what you are saying about "please" - after all, we as ABs don't say "please" to our spinal cords as we move about, and so you are referring to yourself as an extension of his body. Actually, I can't say whether my wife says "please" in her requests. I'll have to pay attention tomorrow!
    - Richard

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    Senior Member taj2002's Avatar
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    I’m with you Ami; I don’t want my husband to have to beg for anything. I just want him to let me know what he needs in a simple way. I have heard that some SCIs are very abusive etc. to their caregivers. My husband has NEVER been that way.

    Our biggest conflict is with control. While I want him to tell me what he needs, I don’t want him to tell me what he thinks I need or how I need to do something that doesn’t relate to his care. Sometimes he will say like. ”Why don’t you move that kitchen chair to the other side of the table so you have more room” or “Why don’t you stack the dishes in the right side of the sink” or “Why don’t you back up this monster size van into a driving maneuver that is impossible.” Well he doesn’t exactly say that, but that is what it sounds like to me. Those types of things, I have to do my way. Sometimes he can have you running in a thousand different directions for bogus stuff that has nothing to do with his care. Care is one thing, and he shouldn’t have to beg. But controlling someone's every move is another thing. We work on this every day.

    Trish

  6. #6
    Senior Member zillazangel's Avatar
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    OMG taj .... I laughed literally out loud at what you wrote! Chad will say "There's a CD under that chair". Ummmm, yeah??? SO?!?!? Two seconds later, "hey Ami, that grocery sack still has bananas in it". No shit sherlock! It is especially bad when I clean - as I am cleaning up he'll tell me what is still messy. HELLO! I AM STILL CLEANING! Its funny now because it really ticked me off alot at first, but now he rarely, rarely says stuff like that because it REALLY REALLY ticks me off! But yeah, I really know what you're saying. I am his hands, but I am my hands thankyouverymuch!

    I think this is what is exhausting though ... I am one person with two bodies to live in.
    Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager

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