Hi everyone. I’m American, not British…hope that’s okay. My wife was hit by a drunk driver near downtown Ft Worth, Texas and pinned her legs against a retaining wall, effectively crushing her legs. Both legs were amputated over about three weeks this past April. We are both teachers and have saved up vacation days over the years so I took the last two months of school off and she was off this semester as well. Since the accident she has recused to work with a prosthetist, saying she prefers the wheelchair, which is her prerogative. And to ne fair, her left residual liimb is quite short and she says it is extremely taxing to .maintain a comfortable gait.
What truly worries me is her agoraphobic tendencies that have continued for the past eight months. Her self-image isn’t improving and she insists people stare at her as they did John Merrick in Victorian London. She is truly one of the attractive women I know to this day and at 42 ahe could pass for 30. She says kids stare which she can’t take. I explained that kids are being disrespectful, they’re just curious. I advised her to meet their stares directly and explain what happened.
The other issue is a delicate matter as it deals witb our intimate life. She barely lets me hold her at night and says she can’t understand why I would want to do that with her. Ive explained that her legs weren’t what I fell in love with and married and feel the same to this day. I dont want to push this issue as I realize I have no true understanding of what she’s dealing with internally…
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Is she having any counselling for the trauma?
She has but I don’t know how forthcoming she’s benn with the therapist. She was born in the US but her family came as refugees at the end of the Vietnam War and culturally they are extremely reticent towards the whole idea of therapy and sharing such things with strangers. I was in therapy for a couple of years in my early 30’s though and I told her if she finds someone she connects with it will be a fruitful experience.
I don’t want to make it sound as though she hasn’t made any improvements. On the parenting front she has returned to her role in most ways. She is adept at all the little things we all take for granted, like bathing, using the toilet, lifting herself on to her chair and other furniture. But in others, she seems to to be hesitant to take those first crucial but scary steps toward regainig her life. My daughter and I both tell her we need the Anh back who found joy in even the most mundane activities. I am optimistic that we’ll get there, but it feels as though its moving at a snail’s pace sometimes.
Hello and welcome!
Have you requested a needs assessment or not yet? Do you live in Britain?
USA , Thara.
Opening sentence in first posting.
Unfortunately, no. But of the few forums I found online, yours seemed to me to be the best, so I figured no one would mind if I sought a bit of experiencex advice (unrelated to NHS) from you guys. I live in Dallas, Texas, I hope it was okay to do that.
My wife and I are teachers so our state insurance is actually quite good. Luckily funding hasnt been an issue as of yet. I believe my wife will eventually come tothe conclusion that continuing on this current course cannot reasonably help either her, the kids, or me. She is an intelligent and sensible person. The issue is that both I and the kids are trying to help her over this hump that she seems unable to crest. My daughter, the older child, has even told her she just wants us to go do things together again. They just want their mom back and that’s probably the most frustrating issue for me
Just a thought, is your wife accepting that she is now disabled?
Is she in touch with anyone else with similar disabilities/challenges? This might be more helpful than one to one counselling.
As the mum of a brain damaged child, I found it much easier to learn from the experiences of other mums.