Unrelated illness and how it effects my overall mood — Reeve Connect
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Unrelated illness and how it effects my overall mood

iamdadman
iamdadman Moderator Posts: 195 Moderator
100 Likes 100 Comments Second Anniversary 25 Awesomes
Hello all,

It's been forever since I have posted here but recently, or not so very recently, I have been dealing with fear.  Fear of the future.  To explain, I was 59 years old when I was injured due to a fall caused by my type 1 diabetes.  I had a severe episode of hypoglycemia and managed to fall over the banister in my home.  I have no memory of exactly how it happened and don't remember anything until waking up in ICU a week later.  
After my initial depression and asking God why I didn't die instead of being in this wheelchair, I got better.  I did the work and was able to think in terms of what my life still offered as opposed to what I had lost.  It wasn't easy and would have been impossible without the love and support of my family and friends.  Additionally, I attended programs that allowed me to network with other paralyzed people.  That made a huge difference and all of those things combined returned me to a life of mostly gratitude and positivity.
In November of last year, just before Thanksgiving, I got sick due to my diabetes.  My blood sugars became greatly elevated and I felt extremely weak and lacked any stamina.  So much so, that I switched from my manual chair to my power chair.  Only recently, have I started returning to normal regaining my strength and stamina.  
I don't know for sure if it is a result of being sick for so long but my spasticity and tone have greatly increased.  This has been coupled with dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea and difficulty breathing.  All of these things have have caused much more difficulty in the most basic of tasks such as transfers, showering and dressing.
All of these things combined have caused a great deal of fear.  I am now almost 70 years old and I fear getting older and frightened about being able to do things for myself.  It is just my wife and me although we have three grown children who love and support us.  Two of them live within 20 minutes of us and all we need do is call to get their help.  Additionally, my wife is a retired RN and takes incredibly good care of me.  She is facing her own physical challenges with arthritis which adds to my fear as she is my sole caregiver.  
In part, I know that my fear is irrational in the sense that I will have to fend for myself.  As I said my children are amazing and will do anything to help us as we continue to age.  It's just a strange feeling to be feeling afraid which has brought on depressive thoughts.  More so than the usual several days a month when I feel down and blue.
I am doing and taking the next right steps.  I have reached out to my psychologist who has helped me in the past when my depression has gotten more than I can handle alone.  I also have talked about it openly with my wife, kids and close friends.
So why am I posting this?  To share with all of you what is going on with me and what you may have experienced yourself.  This is not an easy thing.  I am sometimes painfully reminded of the things I can no longer do and it hurts.  I was always active and the first one to offer assistance when needed.  In large part that has been taken away but there are other ways in which I help.  I am a peer mentor and a Regional Champion with the Reeve Foundation and also serve on the board of the Here and Now Project, a support group for those of us living with paralysis and our loved ones.  I feel better having posted this and welcome your thoughts and insights.  
much love,
Joe
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