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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I feel terribly alone. My husband was traumatically injured in a vehicle crash last year at this time and ended up with an amputation. He has a prosthetic foot, but it does not do all the things his live foot did, nor does having it make life "normal" at all. He can't feel that leg, so he falls quite a bit. His residual leg took quite a beating besides the amputation, so he is not capable of doing all the things he used to. He gets winded easily and he is in a good deal of pain most of the time.<br><br>
He hasn't worked since he was hit, and to be honest, he seems like he is resigned to a life of disability. (The condition, not the compensation...we do not get any money for what happened to him). I put the kids in daycare so that he could look for and eventually accept work, but 7 months later, he still doesn't have any prospects and we are broke. Every time I tell him that he can be a SAHD if he wants to, he balks at the idea and says he is trying to find work.<br><br>
As crappy as this sounds, <b>I</b> resent how <b>my</b> life has changed as a result of <b>his</b> handicap. He used to take care of everything, but now I have to take care of the house, the kids, and him too. I know however bad it is for me, it is a million times worse for him, so I feel guilty even complaining about it, but it is really getting to me. I love him, but I don't know how to live with this.<br><br>
Has anyone else been through something similar?
 

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I have not been in your situation but could not read without sending <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2">.
 

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I am sorry you are all going through this. ((HUGS))<br><br>
My dh was injured, not permanently, but he needed surgery for his knee and was off work and in a wheel chair for a number of months a few years ago. I can so relate to your feelings when i was expected to do all the work and not able to rely on him the way I used to. It really sucks.<br><br>
You are completely entitled to mourn your old life and to any and all the feelings you are having. Have you or your husband thought about counseling? I think that may be a place to start. From what you described and under the circumstances he is probably depressed.<br><br>
Again I am so sorry.<br><br><br>
~Kathleen~
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> I'm so sorry. This must be a terrible loss and difficult adjustment. You are both mourning and I agree with pp that depression may be a factor here too. Counseling could really help you sort out and "unload" the myriad of emotions you must both be feeling. I know couples in similar situations, and the way you feel is exactly how they've described the experience as well.<br><br>
Many counseling centers have sliding scales, or look for a training program if there is a school nearby. Their fees are considerably less and the trainees would be supervised by a seasoned professional. Are there groups where you can connect with others in similar situations?<br><br>
It must be so hard for him to deal with his limitations and will take time for him to adjust. And you must be exhausted, mentally, emotionally and physically! I've not been through this myself but can imagine how hard it is to keep everything going for your family. You are a very strong mama. Be gentle with yourself so you don't burnout and please keep reaching out to others for help & support.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> What a tragic thing to happen to your husband and to your family - and what huge adjustments you are all having to make! I also wonder if a little bit of marriage counseling would be supportive to both of you and help you find a new way to live with your new reality.
 

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I feel for you. My BIL suffered a double leg amputation after a bus crash last December. Although he is not suffering any other ill effects and can do some things around the house, etc, it still must be tough for my SIL and him.
 

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Is it possible that he is depressed? It sounds like a classic case of depression to me. I am disabled myself, I deal with many very serious med conditions, the worse being a neurological disease that will leave me paralized from the neck down at some point in my life. I was dx when I was 24 y/o. I suffer a great deal of pain and neuro problems daily. After my dx, I was severely depressed. All I did was sit around and feel sorry for myself. I was upset that I could no longer work, that my life had completely changed forever. I was worried about my dh leaving me. I sought help for the depression and it helped so much. My dh was very supportive so that helped greatly.<br><br>
Now 4 years later, I gave birth to healthy twin girls when I was told that I shouldnt have children, and I am a happy, med free person. What helped me so much was that I looked deep down inside myself and found an inner strength. I realized that this disease is part of me and I can chose to let it rule my life, or I can chose to accept it and live with it and continue to live. Yes, there are some changes that has/have/will happen but this is my life, and I have to LIVE IT!<br><br>
After you weed your way through the depression, your dh will find the strength to lift himself up. He may need some help doing that....<br><br>
Good luck to you. It is never easy dealing with a spouse with medical issues, and it is never easy for the spouse to deal with their disabilities either.
 

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Everyone else has covered the emotional side, so here's some financial advice: if he hasn't applied for Social Security yet, he should do so now. If he gets turned down, or if he has applied and already gotten turned down, get a lawyer. I found mine on <a href="http://www.nosscr.org/" target="_blank">http://www.nosscr.org/</a>, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives. I was turned down twice for SSDI before getting it approved. Even if he regains a lot of function and is able to work again while the claim is working its way through the system, he can continue to press the claim; I myself was healthier and back to work months before my hearing, but got it approved retroactively for the period of time that I had been disabled.<br><br>
If he is reluctant because he is "trying to find work," ask him if he thinks it might take him another 5 months to find work. If so, you only need an expected year of disablement to get SSDI, so that's several months of payments he could get. And, you can get retraining assistance in some cases. Why turn down money you're entitled to?<br><br>
Sounds like he also might want to see a pain clinic if he hasn't yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you for your kind words. I have been in denial about us needing counseling. I am not sure where we can go, but I will start looking at options. I also didn't realize he could re-apply for social security. He was denied and he did not pursue it beyond that, but I''ll let him know to give it another shot.<br><br>
I also need to figure out how to convince him that counseling (both joint and separate) is a good idea.
 

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Almost everyone is denied the first round you have to appeal to get benefits. Even my father in law (when my mother in law had stage 3 B cervical cancer) was denied initially. I think it is there way of weeding out people who aren't really disabled.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2">
 

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SSD is a difficult thing to get for physical disabilities. I have been fighting since 2004, I have a hearing in front of a judge next week. So dont kid your self, it may take YEARS for him to get it b/c there are many people with disabilities like his that are able to work. So he may have to go more from the emotional/depression side, and the only way to show that is he has to see someone and seek treatment for the depression....<br><br>
My friend with leukemia among many other things has been denied and a friend with crippling MS (no longer can walk) is still fighting for it and has for years.
 

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Hi Christi,<br><br>
While I was not with him when he had his motorcycle, I was once married to someone who had a T4 spinal cord injury (essentially paralized from about the mid ribcage down) and a traumatic brain injury. So I do understand some of the cycles of depression/anger/frustration that any partner has to watch their loved one go through when they're dealing with a disability in a pretty unaccomodating world, with the loss of income and purpose that often goes hand in hand with it.<br><br>
A year is a very very short time to rehabilitate emotionally. However, it does concern me that your DH is still falling. That sounds like the prosthetic is not the right one for him, or he may be in need of more physical therapy to adjust to it and build the muscles he needs to use it. (it takes a lot of practice to use any new device, whether it's a prosthetic limb or a manual wheelchair--and when the person is depressed and perhaps not as mobile as they should be, that's not getting the practice.)<br><br>
You must reapply for SS. Again and again if necessary. It might not be a bad idea to appeal to family for help in hiring a SS/disability lawyer to help you in this regard. Most people who are traumatically disabled take a couple of years to get back on their feet.<br><br>
Also, you need to find a support group for spouses, ASAP. The truth is, pretty much nobody but other partners who have gone through this will understand. IME, people are either nauseatingly solicitous of you (OH you BRAVE thing, oh you POOR thing, OH I could NEVER do what you're doing, you're so WONDERFUL--yeah, that gets old after awhile) or they think of things in the typical american philosophy of grief (what, your loved one died/you just had everything in your life destroyed/your lover was permanently injured in a way that is permanent and lifechanging and it's been a year and you're not over it? What the hell is wrong with you? Be grateful he's alive/not as disabled as that guy over there/ect.). If they say anything to you at all, because people are squeamish. You need to find people who will not think of you of "beating up on the poor disabled guy" when you need to share frustrations, and who might be able to give you some coping suggestions in a BTDT context. I would call the hospital or rehab center where your DH did surgery and/or rehab and ask to speak to one of their social workers who can hopefully put you in touch with a local group. Also, there are online spousal support groups as well, for just about anything!<br><br>
Your DH is on a very long, difficult journey. It's one that you don't have too much power with, and I think a lot of people discount how hard it is to watch someone you love struggle and not only not be able to relate that much but also to be powerless to make them do anything. The spouse of someone who's undergone such a profound change, particularly during their relationship, also has a really long, difficult journey. In some ways, you are starting from less than scratch, because you're still going to have memories of how things "used to be", and you and your spouse are going to be resettling who you are and how you relate to the world and each other all at the same time.<br><br>
You can only do what you can do. I wouldn't worry about convincing him to go to counseling with you. Or to go himself. Hopefully that will come in time, but you don't want to put yourself in a nagging parental role, especially not now when he's probably feeling pretty inadequate and less than adult. But DO find some good counseling for you. For helping YOU cope, not how can you guide him to cope. Because that's too big of a burden for you to take on.<br><br>
Maybe this won't work out long term. It certainly can! You don't hold all the control over that. You still need support for *you*, regardless. Otherwise it's a no brainer that it won't work out--because one person only has a finite amount of energy, and if she expends it spinning her wheels against something that she can't move, it's going to kill her inside. Get your support system and grounding and counseling in place, then you are in a better position to encourage your DH. Remember the old cliche about putting on your own oxygen mask before trying to assist someone else? Sometimes that's a really good thing to put into practice.
 

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What AMAZING timing. I was just coming over here to search for or to start a similar thread.<br><br>
My dh had a minor stroke a week and a half ago. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">I am so thankful it was not nearly as bad as it could have been; he was only in the hospital overnight, and he can walk unassisted and do a lot of things. But he has difficulty moving his right side, basically cannot grasp anything with his right hand, and his speech and language are somewhat impaired. He is expected to regain some function, but at this point we don't know how much.<br><br>
Although I am optimistic, I am worried that he is starting to get depressed. I try to talk positive, and be there for him, but it's his nature to be a way more reactive person than I am, which frustrates me. When I get frustrated I practically start yelling at him to "THINK POSITIVE, DAMMIT!" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Then he thinks I'm mad at him, that I don't love him anymore, etc. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> which feeds my frustration even more. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/banghead.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="banghead"> I have to work on controlling myself.<br><br>
Then there's having to do so much more around the house, things like hauling in wood for the wood stove and taking care of animals. I guess I don't really resent it at this point, but it seems I'm always doing something and thinking about what to do next, and it wears me out. Physically and emotionally. I have no appetite; I made dinner last night and did not eat one bite of it myself.<br><br>
I guess I'm doing well in that I have a lot of self awareness about how I'm feeling, and I try to give myself a break now and then. I just started learning to play the banjo, and spending just fifteen minutes totally concentrating on the music makes me feel a lot better.<br><br>
Christifav- <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> It's hard to not feel guilty about complaining, but it's good to vent. That's what I came here to do! You've been through some tough changes.<br><br>
Angie7- You are an inspiration! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/bow.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bow"> I was just reading Stephen Covey's "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People". You are a living example of the first habit (being proactive, not reactive). <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> I'm working on it.
 

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ITA about fighting for his SS benefits, I don't know anyone that was approved on first application. They were denied and then had to fight for it. It can be a long process but it will be worth it in the end. You will get back benefits also.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Tigerchild</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9843225"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It might not be a bad idea to appeal to family for help in hiring a SS/disability lawyer to help you in this regard.</div>
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My lawyer works on commission or whatever it's called in lawyer-world. He got 25% of my back benefits. SS lawyers are not allowed to take any more than that, by law, and he does not charge anything if you lose. Some of them do charge a small (like $100) retainer and some copying fees ahead of time, but many don't. You only have a certain amount of time to re-apply though, so contact a lawyer ASAP if he was already denied the first time.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>flutemandolin</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9843519"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Angie7- You are an inspiration! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/bow.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bow"> I was just reading Stephen Covey's "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People". You are a living example of the first habit (being proactive, not reactive). <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> I'm working on it.</div>
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Awww! Thats so sweet of you to say! It took many hard nites, long days and a few years to get to where I am now. But I am here and happy again in my life. Just had to make some new adjustments <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/loveeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Loveeyes">:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
angie7, tigerchild and flutemandolin--thank you for sharing your stories. It really helps to hear from people who have 'been there' one way or another.<br><br>
I contacted the local amputee support group and they are having a holiday picnic on Saturday that I will go to. I told DH about it and he is interested, too. I spent 30 minutes talking with the gal that runs the group and I'm already starting to see some relief (from my burdensome feelings) in the near future.<br><br>
I guess in the grand scheme, a year is a short time, but I don't have the luxury of hindsight perspective yet. I come from a family where you just dust yourself off and move on when crap happens, but this time it isn't that simple. Family certainly don't understand that our life is <b>still</b> different and that it will <b>always be</b> different.<br><br>
As a side note, he went to the prosthetist today and he made some changes to his socket, so hopefully DH will be falling less.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I contacted the local amputee support group and they are having a holiday picnic on Saturday that I will go to. I told DH about it and he is interested, too. I spent 30 minutes talking with the gal that runs the group and I'm already starting to see some relief (from my burdensome feelings) in the near future.</td>
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<span><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';">What a WONDERFUL idea!<br><br>
Let us know how that goes!</span></span>
 

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Excellent, excellent update! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I think in some respects (especially with certain people) a peer group is even more useful than a professional counselor. A lot of times too you can get personal referrals from the folks you become friends with/build trust with there to counselors that have experience with these issues (or even better, are a spouse or have that particular disability themselves!). And you know what? Of course the year is going to seem like forever. How many other people who have had to have a limb amputated do you know intimately? Don't be hard on yourself for not seeing the "big picture". You're starting from reference point zero in all likelihood. I am so glad your DH got an adjustment, I hope that helps. It must have been worrying and embarrasing (not to mention depressing!) to feel even more out of control when your device isn't working right.<br><br>
I hope that you meet a bunch of kind and welcoming folks at the holiday party! Sometimes it is just SO nice to go be with people you can really let your hair down, who aren't going to stare or have over- or underexpectations for you.<br><br>
Another thought I had was...if your DH was at all sporty before his accident, getting on a paralympics team or involved with a paralympic sports organization might do wonders for his body and spirit. (and it's another way for you to meet spouses) I know that there's teams and organizations in every state. From what I've seen, it's also very family inclusive, which is also good for you and DH because you get to hang out with other parents who've had some different challenges than the usual stuff. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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