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Therse, I agree with Marss. My Mom was injured in a fall 12 years ago leaving her a C3,4,5 incomplete quad. She's not done much since, I think due to depression. I've suggested counseling to her and my Dad a few times but it hasn't been accepted. My Dad says she wouldn't tolerate a counselor, but I have encouraged him to just make arrangements for a counselor to show up and sit with her for an hour a couple times a week, whether she talks or not. As Marss explains, I figure at some point she'll talk about something. I think you should give it a try, what's the worst thing that could happen?

Your son is at an age where he would be going through personal issues that could cause depression anyway. Adding such a life altering situation only makes emotional issues worse. Be patient, it may take a few years for him to adapt. As hard as it might be, quit doing so much for him, don't hover, don't dote on him. He's old enough to care for and be responsible for himself. Make him do as much as he possibly can - what have his therapists taught him to do, and does he still do those tasks, or have you started "helping" him because it's easier? I know that several of the skills my Mom had she quickly lost after returning home because she griped and Dad gave in.

Try to get him involved with any local SCI groups that you can, whether there are support groups or chapters of Life Rolls On or wheelchair sports. Do an internet search for search for those locally, or call the CRPF helpline and ask them to help you locate groups in your area. A lot of Veteran groups are happy to include SCIs that aren't service related.

If he likes gaming, there's a great group of people that link SCI gamers together called Able Gamers Foundation. They even help set up systems to fit the situation for each gamer and cover the costs.

I know things will get better as time goes on. It takes time. Make sure you both get counseling too, because you need to have help adjusting to your new normal. It's good that you care so much, you are doing a great job as loving parents.
  • Posted Wed 06 Aug 2014 01:30 AM EDT
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Hi Therese, my name is Marcy and I am a quadriplegic. I was in an all most fatal car accident in 2002 when I was 17. I too went through a phase where I just did not care about any thing and I was mad. Physical and Occupational therapists would come over and I refused to participate and would even yell at them, I refused to get out of bed for a long time, I wouldn't take my meds or eat. One of the only things keeping me alive was tube feed and it made me so sick to my stomach I was all ways throwing it up. Depression is BRUTAL! What truly helped me was having someone to talk to, a counselor would come out & try to talk to me and I just was not having it, I was rude and ignored her. The following week the agency sent out a different women who I treated the same way. This happened for 4 weeks and on the 5th week another woman came over and I wouldn't speak to her until I noticed a piece of jewelry she was wearing that I loved. So I rudely told her, " I like your bracelet." ( I love jewelry ) I believe that was the only thing I said to her that day and when it was time for her to leave she asked if she could come back and I said " I guess." That piece of jewelry broke the ice and I SLOWLY warmed up to her. Some times I would only say a couple sentences to her during the whole hour she was there because I did not want to talk and the rest of the time she would just sit there with me. A counselor might help and he may not like a lot of them but if you can find the right person, they can make a world of a difference. Depression effects everyone differently, so there is no saying how long your son is going to act like this. I am sorry your going through this, my family went through hell, is he on any anti depressants? I hope this helps, even a little.

  • Posted Wed 06 Aug 2014 12:20 AM EDT
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What helped my son, USAF ( Ret. ) was a service dog.
The dog goes to a local coffee shop with him and a
caregiver. My son has ALS and a limited time to
live. I think this dog, Captain, is what keeps him going. The
dog is his best friend, one who doesn't judge and loves
unconditionally. Do you have a service dog organization
close to you? Captain was the personal dog of the owner of
the program and she gave him her personal dog. This is the most important job Captain will ever have and it gives meaning to my son's life.
life. He won't talk with his social worker but talks to the dog all
the time. Best wishes, Suki
meaning to a lonely existence. A companion dog
might be a help. I will try and post a picture. Suki
  • Posted Wed 06 Aug 2014 03:37 AM EDT
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  • Posted Tue 05 Aug 2014 02:20 PM EDT
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