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What you will never do again?

joels1917jjoels1917 Posts: 8
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Recovering from Surgery
I hate to even bring this type of subject up, but I have been asked for legal matters to tell it. I got to thinking and there is so much, I have missed out on, so much I will miss out on. I used to be so fit and active, I worked out daily, boxing, running, lifting weights , coaching soccer, playing with my daughters dancing with my wife, carrying her up the stairs. These are just a few of the things I have not been able to do the last 4yrs and I will never do again. It is a very harsh reality when you think about it, I wont be carrying my daughter from the car when she falls asleep to her upstairs bedroom, and I won't be doing much more than rocking back and forth on her wedding day dance. All of these are things I, my wife, my daughters are going to miss out on.

I have been asked to list the things I wont be able to do again, and I am so dejected I really cant do it, I am asking for some help.

ps: "Hey... I don't have all the answers. In life, to be honest, I have failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my life. I love my wife. And I wish you my kind of success."


  • Hey Joels,

    Call my nuts, but never is a long time. While I can appreciate you need to come up with this list for a legal situation, please don't dwell on it. I had been recently asked about what I can't do any longer and honestly as I work on my emotional aspect I am beginning to put all those things out of my mind. My answer was lets focus on what i can do and not what I can't do any longer. I like you was very active and physical prior to my injury. Someone still playing soccer and coaching, was also a frequent flyer at the gym. I had a gym that had great people in it and I loved going there. But for now that is a different life and I am not part of it any longer. But I do cheerish everyday i wake up and am still here to enjoy the things I can enjoy.

    I guess I am saying I can understand you need to do this list for a legal situation but don't dwell on it to long at all, it is not healthy at all. AS I said I had to do it for legal reasons as well and I didn't find it a healthy exercise at all. So I wish you good luck in forming this list and leaving it behind, so as not to bring you down. I try to think never is a long time and you never know what the future holds.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,855
    is longer than a long time.

    There are many of us on this site that have had multiple spinal problems and have been dealing with chronic pain 10,15,20,25 and some over 30 years.

    We all realize that because of all of these problems, we have had to stop/limit/modify many of the activities we did in the past.

    I have to say for myself, since I've been doing this for almost 35 years, there is very little in life that I have not been able to do again. Sure there were things that I couldn't do, but in all honesty there has been so much more that I have either limit myself or found ways to modify things as not to cause additional problems.

    I held my children when they were young after 2 of my lumbar surgeries, I continued to be somewhat active in sports. I continued to be an avid gardener and lover of the outdoors, hiking, trailing, etc.

    The difference is that I made up my mind early that I was not going to allow my medical problems to stop me from enjoying life the best I could.

    Kick up the positive attitude and can-do approach and you will be amazed at just how much you still can do.

    The key however, is knowing when it is too much. It took me a long time to realize that. Maybe times I did do too much, and I paid the price for that.

    For starters, talk things over with your doctor.
    Get a formal understanding of what your limits and restrictions are. Its one thing for us as individuals to think about our restrictions, but its another when we are told just how much we can really do.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • What a difficult list that is for you to make. I used to dwell on what I couldn't do, but now work hard on dwelling on what I can do.

    Not easy having to limit ourselves or pace ourselves. There have been times though that I thought I can't possibly do some of these things anymore, then do it, find out I can or I end up paying for it for a couple of days.

    Right now I am reading a book called "The Mindfulness Solution to Pain". It is a well-known fact that our emotions can get in the way of healing. As a nurse, I have seen people lose this battle many times with a negative outlook.

    Best wishes to you,

  • I too, had to make up the same type of list for legal purposes. It has been over two years and my case is still not settled. In the beginning when I became disabled and reality set in of the things I could not do "especially when you have to write them down" it took a big toll on me emotionally. I was extremely depressed and cried for almost three months. What a waste of time. I have learned that rather than focusing on what I cannot do, I try every day to be as positive as I can under the circumstances. One thing we cannot do is go back in time and change anything that has happened but we can go forward with what we can do even if its very little. My injuries have made it extremely difficult to walk, I don't go out often and when I do I must use a wheelchair, I had to have a 2 level cervical fusion and my rt vocal cord was paralysed during the surgery. Talk about adding insult to injury. But now I read what so many others are dealing with and have decided there are so many worse off than myself. I do allow a few pity parties as we are all entitled to and we are going to have bad days. I think I had to learn acceptance of my limitations and most importantly I am focusing on being content with my life. Letting my loved ones know how much I love them.
    I think having to write it all down was a big downer for you as it was for me. Now you have to put that in the past and go forward. The legal system is slow and dwelling on it as I did can only bring you down. This is turn intensifies everything you are going through including your pain levels. Be kind to yourself. I spend most of my days in my recliner watching tv but I told myself I will not be bitter or angry and now I enjoy the little things in life that I took for granted when I was well. A sunny day and birds singing can just make my day. Sorry for the long post but I do understand what you are going through and how difficult it is to actually accept your limitations. But now you can find ways to be the best husband and daddy you can be. Where a door closes one always opens. If you ever need to talk feel free to PM me. I am a good listener as is everyone in this forum. Joining this support group turned my life around.
  • Joel, to answer your question....

    - I am losing the ability to drive because of my vision loss.
    - I cannot help my husband with home repairs and improvements. We have been doing major improvements for 20 years and now I can't.
    - I can't provide the income I used to. The disability and other insurances will never equal what I could earn. I was supposed to be the bread winner for the next 20 years while he semi-retired.
    - I will never be able to advance in my profession. Again I was supposed to have the time for this now that the kids are older.
    - I will miss out on lots of activities with my kids because I can't handle being out for long. I can never ride horses with my daughter or ATVs with my son and husband.
    - I will probably never take another big vacation both because of money and that I would be in pain.
    - I will have a hard time taking care of my parents in their last years.

    Joel I would suggest dividing your list into the emotional and the physical and give both to your lawyer. Both are important but mixing them may make the physical seem less important.

    Once you have finished the list I would make a copy and burn it. As everyone else has said you need to focus on the positive. Keep in mind that normal aging and time would limit alot of the things you listed. Very few 50 year old men can carry their wives up the stairs, alot wouldn't want to :). Your kids will get older and heavier so carrying them is not necessary or possible. 90% of people can't dance so that dance with your daughter would probably be little more than swaying anyway.

    I get very depressed by my list but have decided to focus on ways to deal with the physical and ways to replace the emotional. The house we are rehabbing may be my home for a while. So everything is on one floor for me and the doors are wide enough in case I need a cane or wheelchair. My next project is getting my parents as set as possible so that I can handle what I need to do there. I'm lucky that my son is driving now and I will be relying on him to be my living crutch.

    Good luck with your list. You should also talk to your wife. She may have things to add. Most times the lawyer would want her losses as well since you should have a loss of spousal services suit. It would be good for her to understand what is upsetting you also. Communication is going to be very important to keep your marriage strong.

    Good Luck and let us know what you add to the list before you burn it.
  • I loved doing jiu jitsu and hitting and kicking my punching bag, no more. No more riding the motorcycle cause I don't want to risk it. No more working at the wharehouse, heavy lifting all day. No income for now. Have to find a new favorite hobby I guess...
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,855
    or things you can do modified?

    Nothing can bring your emotions down to list and hear about things you can no longer do.

    This is such an important way to look at our conditions. Its very easy to throw in the towel and say we cant do this or that anymore.

    What is much harder is figuring out just how much we can still do.

    I met a young adult at physical therapy the other day.
    At the present time, he has no use of either leg, plus one arm. I've watched him go through physical therapy struggling, but always trying. He was telling me, that before his accident, he was a plumber and that was his families sole income. All he is concentrating on is HOW to move ahead so that he will still be ABLE to do some of the work he did before. He realizes he many never climb under sinks again, but with his knowledge, he can help train others and still be deeply involved.

    Its those that say It can always be done are the ones that win the races, vs those that say I cant do it anymore that lose much more than a race.

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • thank all of you for your comments. I think the best point in all this is lets not focus on what I can't do, lets focus on what I can. Lets not live in the past, lets focus on the future.

    but i still got this list I am NOT going to write, I am not listening when they tell me I cant do things anymore. My dad is 89yrs old and he said your mother thinks i am deaf, maybe my doctors, my atty, their atty's, and for that matter anyone saying you cant are going to think I am deaf

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