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well, it happened...

tarheelgirlttarheelgirl Posts: 473
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Matters of the Heart
....as I expected. My kids came home today from school (had been at their dad's all weekend) and my son saw my cane for the first time...I had been hiding it. He reacted just as I thought. He's 9 years old and begged me not to use it in public...begged. He said it was embarrassing to him. His twin brother said it didn't embarrass him if I needed it...but was curious about it. And my 7 year old daughter wanted to play with it...and kept saying "I'm an old lady" as she walked around with it. Oh, the stigma...this is so hard. The can definately feels better and makes me much more stable and takes pain away from not bearing all my weight on my right leg. I do feel so bad for my kids though and I live in such a "clickish" neighborhood too. My son told me he'd rather me have the surgery than use the cane even though I was told it was a 50/50 shot of relieving pain. He also compared me to his grandmother who is in bed all day (has lots of back issues/sureries), she has a scooter for when she is barely out of bed, she's always slurring her words from her meds and falls asleep sitting up, and she never puts her teeth in, so all you see are gums all the time. She also complains about everything else under the sun. This was a huge blow to me to be compared to her.

Anyway, well...I guess I got the reaction I expected. I don't know what to do.


  • You know, I was out last night with a friend with a herniation in her neck, and was surprised by how different she was with her kids. So I'll just share how I am with mine. I have never protected them from my injury. It didn't come on softly, so they couldn't be hidden from it. My injury is a part of the family, like the dogs. We like it a little less. It's like an ugly dog that we can't get rid of ;)

    But the kids help with stuff I can't do. They know I need to move my seat back and recline (my friend was saying she couldn't recline her seat because her kids would be uncomfortable. My kids will always gladly share their comfort with me). I had a cane for a while, they played with it. My son was just looking for it the other day!

    I apologize for not being more of a mother, and promise to try to be the best I can given my limitations (my kids are 10 and almost 13- can you believe a 13 year old girl can be this gracious about an injured mother?). But I can't turn back time, and neither can you, sweetie. Your kids have to deal with this.

    As for what I would do if one of my kids said/did something negative, I'd just say "that hurts my feelings. I can't help being this way. I love you, and still do my best to be your mom. I understand that you don't want me to be hurt, but it's not OK to say things that hurt my feelings."

  • Kids are great because they are honest. THey tell it like they see it. Of course when they see grandma or characters on TV their perception gets warped.

    Nine is a hard age especially for a boy. Don't worry too much about your one son who is embarassed. You might want to sit down with him alone and explain that you need the cane. Let him see it and try it. Maybe ask him what you can do to not embarass him. See what he needs from you.

    As far as treatment or surgery, that is between you and your doctors. Do not let a 9 year old make a decision like that for you. Geez they had a 5 year old picking a wedding dress on "say yes to the dress" and the whole staff was in shock. Imagine what your doctor would say :)

    You've known all along that your problems affected your family. Today was just another painful reminder. Try not to let it get you down. When this happens to me I try to do something special with my family.

    Hope this helps. And remember we are always there with you.
  • for your support and encouragement. I certainly would not let my kids determine whether I have surgery or not. I'm personally not ready for that right now and my surgeon doesn't feel it's an urgent matter. I guess I will try to convey my feelings more, but honestly, I'm so prideful and guilty-feeling...although it's not my fault. Pride is an ugly thing for sure. I asked my son if he'd rather me fall down in front of his friends or have the support of the cane to prevent that. I just feel so guilty...and I know I didn't cause this...but they didn't ask for a Mom to be "handicapped" either. Make sense? It does cut to my heart to hear I embarrass them, but then again, I don't blame them. I continuously ask my hubby if he is embarrassed of me and my chronic limp/shuffle and/or cane use. He clearly and honestly is not ashamed of me at all. He really is a sweetie and takes good care of me.

    Well..thanks again for your insight. I hopefully will not embarrass them too much. :) God Bless you all!!
  • I didn't mean to imply that you would book your surgery just because your son said to :) But I know know that my husband has been a big influence in my treatment and not always with my best interest in mind. I know he doesn't mean it but there are times when he has pushed me toward a decision when I know it has more to do with his inner child (lol they never grow up do they?).

    An idea just popped into my mind. How about having him "decorate" your cane? Maybe something psychodelic or punk or something else that would make the cane cool? He might be a little old for this but you never know. I remember my MIL got a leopard print cane because that didn't make her a little old lady (at 75 lol)
  • for the video I like to move it move it Reel to Reel. Him dancing with a cane lol. a little sexy video though.
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • But another way to see it, don't give them tacit permisssion to see your disability as "embarrassing" because maybe you are a bit embarrassed by it. That's going to make this so much harder for them.

    It's easiest for them to see this as a normal part of their life, don't you think? Not embarrassing, not horrible, just there. No, they didn't ask for it, and they do deserve extra hugs for the things they miss out on, and they do deserve (of course) the normal leeway we give kids who don't understand what they are saying or doing hurts others, but that doesn't mean you have to hide yourself from them.

    Gosh, I do know how you feel, even though it sounds like I've got this all figured out. The other day I was at our weekly outing in the park with friends and I was on my huge reclining chair. Someone tripped over me and I apologized. My friend said "Did I just hear you apologize for taking up space? That's truly pathetic." But it's true. The ones you love shouldn't be embarrassed by your pain, for crying out loud! But don't we go around apologizing all the time for being so helpless? Pretty sad.

  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I also have been on the emotional ride with my son. Ouch ,the words hurt just as bad as our injuries. I have found that honesty is the best policy. I had to sit my son down and explain to him just how I am hurt. I bought a childrens book (with pictures)and showed him the areas of my body that are injured and why.Since we have injuries that are not visable I think children cannot understand. Perhaps if they understand as best as possible for a 9 year old maybe the cane would not be an embarrassment to him. Explain to him with the cane it makes it possible for me to attend your baseball game, go to your school activities.ect,ect. I even allowed my son to go to Drs. appointments with me.It seemed the more he understood the less the hurtful words were said. Just the other day my son(19) said to me " I wonder what our life would of been like had you not had spine problems". Use the cane, it helps and your son will eventually understand. Include him in your illness. Do not hide things from him because when the day comes and you decide to have surgery it will not be so scary for him. Im sure all of this is scary to a child and I think honesty relieves some of the stress that our illness gives our children. I am all for decorating the cane. Allow your kids to decorate it. My son attached a horn to mine.lol. Please do not be embarrassed, would you be if you had a cast? You need it ,use it.
  • Wow Susan as usual you make me open my eyes and say "damn why didn't I think of it that way". Thank you.

    Words and looks do hurt. And guilt is a terrible emotion that exists no matter how understanding our families and friends are because it comes from inside us. I know I have gotten dirty looks from my husband and kids when I can't keep up or have to say no to something.

    Last week my husband wanted me to climb a straight ladder to look at the second floor addition on our house. I said no because I never know when my arm or shoulder will give out. Everyone laughed at me and made comments. I tried to explain but no one cared. They just knew I was afraid and didn't care why. I felt guilty for not being able to share in the experience that my husband was so proud of. Instead I should have been mad at him for not understanding and putting me in that position.

    I often think about what life would be like if this hadn't happened. Of course I also wonder sometimes what life would have been like if I didn't have kids :))(
  • my son is ten now and just started 5th grade today..
    We went to my sis house on sat an stayed all nite ....the plan was to stay all day sunday and swim in her nice pool but I woke at 430am in screaming pain...
    the look on my hubby n sons face I felt horrible but I had no choice but to go home we live 1hr 45 mins away...so the ride was hell to say the least...
    I said i'm sorry and perhaps we can bring you to your friends to swim..
    He is a great kid and he reads up online with all my spine issues and has seen me thru alot..
    I never hide the fact i'm in pain and most likely be forever...but I do try to let him know there is always people so much worse off than me and helping those in need is always good thing...
    My back issues started when he was six and so he has grown up with alot of compassion for ppl and he will be first one to run to open a door if he see anyone struggling...
    so I say get kids involved and make it like happy says a part of family...
    just my 2 cents
    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
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