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Thread: How do I deal?

  1. #1

    How do I deal?

    Please someone help me figure it out. It seems like everyone on here seems to have their life under control. I feel like I am constantly bombarded by things being thrown in my face about stuff I cant do anymore. I miss being able to slow dance with my husband cheek to cheek. I miss being able to go for a run when I felt frustrated. I miss being able to take my dogs for a walk without their leashes being tangled in my chair. I miss being able to go places and not run into complications cause I'm at different heights then everyone else. I feel like I miss half the conversations! I also hate that I'm a t5 injury thus have a buddha belly and feel like nothing fits me like it used to. Can someone please tell me what I'm doing wrong, I want to be happy and hate that my constant frustrations might be upsetting my relationship with my husband since he doesn't know what to do to make me feel better...someone please give me some insight.

  2. #2
    I miss many things but have always just put it out of my mind and went on with enjoying what I do have. Adapt and overcome! I like fitness and the belly bothers me too but there is not much that can be done about it so I learned to move on. It took some time, that was years ago. Don't expect to be all cheery if your newly injured. There is a lot to deal with. I was badly damaged in a car wreck so it took me a year or two just to feel decent.

    I think I can help with one thing perhaps, having had dogs I used a retractable leash. I would tie a rag around the handle so I could jam it on my wheelchair arm. This worked very well to not get tangled up. Then I would hold the leash and taught my dog to pull me around.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by petersencr
    Please someone help me figure it out. It seems like everyone on here seems to have their life under control. I feel like I am constantly bombarded by things being thrown in my face about stuff I cant do anymore
    You aren't alone in feeling this way if that helps any. I definately don't feel that I have my life under control. Although sometimes I think I try and fake it and convince myself that I do. The bombarding thing is also something I struggle with. Often times it is the smallest, seemingly insignificant things that seem to cause me to get the most upset. There are constant reminders of the things I can no longer do. It seems impossible to get through a day without thinking of a hundred different things I can't do anymore. I think for me the key is letting myself think about it when something triggers this feeling in me, acknowledge that it upsets me, then move on to focus my attention on something else. Sometimes it works and sometimes its easier said than done.

    You haven't been injured for very long according to your profile. I have been hurt about a year longer than you. I am still struggling to adjust. I think cutting yourself a little slack and understanding your feelings are normal might help. That is the advice I most commonly get. Again I found this is something easier said that done for me. But knowing others understood what I felt did help a lot.
    Last edited by orangejello; 03-04-2008 at 07:40 PM.

  4. #4
    It is really very simple in concept, but I know, difficult for some to put into use.Change your thinking. If you think you have a miserable life you will have one. If you acknowledge how fortunate you are to be alive, to have a husband who loves you, and what ever pluses there still are in your life, you can be happpy. Acceptance doesn't mean the lack of hope. Yes, things have changed and are much more difficult. But, would you rather be dead? Only you can change your thinking.
    I think on this site, we all tend to put our best foot forward, but we all suffer to some extent. I see some great people with great lives here. It's all in the attitude and only YOU control that. Good Luck!

  5. #5
    Hey, I know how you feel. I'm a quadriplegic C5-C6 and I've been injured for 8 1/2 years. I wish I could tell you for me that it has gotten better, but it hasn't gotten better at all. I still feel the same way that I felt after my injury and throughout my initial rehab. When I got home things got even more depressing. I really hate the stomach problem (belly) and everything else. I look around at my body sometimes and see my forearms, my hands, my biceps, my chest, my legs and everything has atrophied... I feel like I'm watching myself die. Now, it looks odd because I'm very skinny (137 pounds) but have a belly. I went from being 16 years old, one of the most popular kids in school, no problem with the ladies, tons of confidence, when after my injury at 16 I went to completely shy and no confidence at all... I'm still that way today. When I go to class in college I barely look anybody in the eye. I don't talk to anybody and nobody talks to me. Some people tell me that it gets better, but I can't think of one positive thing about this injury, but I could give you a ton of things that I have wrong with it. Everything about the injury is humiliating from showers to bowel programs, to getting dressed. I used to have a ton of friends, now I only have one other than my family. Many days and nights I spend my free time sitting in front of the computer doing nothing for hours, sometimes I spend a whole day on the computer not really doing anything. Other than lifting weights and the computer I really don't do much. Because of the shortage of friends I very rarely go out, but I do walk my dog every day.

    Just wanted to let you know you're not the only one who feels that way. I hate everything about it, and if it could all be over tomorrow, I'd definitely do it.

  6. #6
    Trust me, if you're around here long enough, you will realize that saying people here have their life "under control" might not be the most accurate description. I'm half joking, but I know I don't think I have things "under control", and I'd be surprised if a majority here would say they do. It's more about learning what works (and what doesn't), and trying to adapt to the situation.

    From your profile, your injury is still very recent. It's been more than 8 years for me, and I am still learning things. Frustration is going to happen. I still get frustrated, so it may not go away. As you realize, this is not easy. I don't even know if it can be said that it gets easier, as much as I would say you adapt to it.

    This story may be a little hokey, and I don't remember where I read it, but I think it fits with our (shared) situation. I heard it used in reference to a parent's death, and I'm not equating the two, other than to say that both death and this injury result in grief. If you're going around today, and suddenly someone drops a 50 lbs. weight on you, it's going to be heavy, and you're going to have a lot of trouble with it, especially at first. The thing about it is that it never really goes away. It's always there, but eventually you get stronger; the weight is still 50 lbs, it hasn't gotten an lighter, but your strength makes it easier to carry the weight.

    One thing you can be sure of by the people here, is that you aren't alone. Other people have done this before, you aren't the first. (I don't mean to come across as an inspirational booklet, I have to remind myself of this at times, and it isn't always easy to believe.)

  7. #7
    27 years post here and life is great. The first 10 years sucked, but then it seemed it got better from there. Just get into some new and different interests and dont dwell on things. For me the interests with Handcycles and Sailboats has been great, but theres all kinds of stuff you can do. Go for it.
    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

  8. #8
    The more you do things, the more used to them you become. I do best when I promise to do one scary thing a day. Now, scary may involve a trip to the grocery store, or even the mailbox, at first. That's ok, long as you do it.

    Many thanks to Cspine for that bit of wisdom, years ago.

    But no, I don't have it all under control. I'm just trying. Good luck.

  9. #9
    I bet 90% of the people on these forums would tell a similar story - my wife certainly would. Will things get better? Maybe. Will you get more used to it and hardened to the ways things are now? Yes, I think the majority do. For sure, you will learn the tricks of how to live with what you still have. Will that make things easier to bear? That depends on you. Some manage, some can't. But since wallowing in despair accomplishes nothing but make things worse, following orangejello's example of acknowledging then consciously moving on may help. Yeah, easy for me to say. But you have a lifetime ahead of you, try to use that precious gift positively.
    - Richard

    ps: Betheny's suggestion is good. Today, my wife spent several hours alone at the mall - a first time for her. She managed very well indeed (maybe too well, when I get the credit card bill ); she's also learned not to be afraid to ask people to move things so she can get by, etc. she realized that most people really want to help.

  10. #10
    Look at your life as it is NOW realistically and look at it as a challenge to do the best you possibley can. Figure out ways to do things more efficiently and better with the passage of time and be proud of yourself that you rose to the challenge.
    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

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