Unable To Move

I know I haven’t posted much lately, but I’ve been out of sorts.  Yes, there’s the usual busy-ness, but there’s also something that has been haunting me.  I think I need to talk about it, as this seems to help sometimes.

I recently Tweeted that I’ve been feeling guilty for not calling my mom in three weeks.  Shortly thereafter, I got an email from her with some good news.  You see, my mom injured herself badly about 4 years ago, so badly that she is in constant pain.  If you stand close to her, you can hear a suppressed whimper of pain under every breath.  She tries to be brave, and every now and then she gets a shot in her spine which seems to help, but it’s hard for her to carry on.

Well, after a LONG battle with the Social Security Administration, she finally had her arbitration hearing, and the ruling was in her favor.  Both my mom and my dad have been out of work for a few years, so this is a blessing beyond measure.

I was so happy to hear this news, so happy that my folks are finally getting a reprieve from the heavy burdens they bear, happy that their luck finally seems to be turning.  I decided to call, get over my guilt, and congratulate her.

When she answered the phone, there was something not quite right in her voice.

Mom and Dad had been feeling great on the way home;  they were so excited, when they got home they went straight to the back yard to sit in the Florida loveliness (my parents are outstanding landscapers) and relish their victory.

It was then that they heard a faint, frightened cry for help from within the house.  It was the voice of their son, my younger brother Scott.

Scott has a form of Muscular Dystrophy.  He’s been wheelchair bound since his early 20’s.  Apparently, he had fallen out of his chair in a freak accident, shortly after my parents had left that morning.  He had hit the ground hard, and bruised himself up pretty badly.  Due to his disease, he was pretty much unable to move.  His cell phone had fallen with him, and lay useless on the floor across the room.

He had been trapped, on the floor, by himself, unable to move, in pain, for four hours.

My folks took him to the emergency room, and he’s banged up but nothing is broken, but I want you to read that last sentence again.  I just can’t get that thought out of my head.

I feel an incredible amount of guilt about this myself; I can’t imagine the guilt my parents are going through about this.  Now, you have to remember that Scott is a grown man, and he’s done fine by himself during the day for years and years.  My father has made their house entirely wheelchair accessible.  But there it is:

He had been trapped, on the floor, by himself, unable to move, in pain, for four hours.


 I do NOT blame my parents.  I know they blame themselves, but they shouldn’t.   It was a freak accident, one that hasn’t happened in 20 years of my brother being in a wheelchair.

My parents have a tendency to overreact, and I have no doubt they’ll never leave Scott alone again, no matter how difficult the circumstances.  This brings up issues that my older brother and I have always spoken about in hushed tones.  Scott is a full grown man, and he doesn’t have the strength to help when he needs to be transfered from his wheelchair to the bed, or the tub, or his easy chair my dad set up to help his legs rest.  And my dad turns 65 this year.

Dad has always been a big bear of a man, but he wont be able to lift Scott forever.  Plus Scott, deep down, does not want to be in Florida.  He wants to be with his brothers, where he can go to Titans and Predators games, and generally hang out with people close to his age.  Even though he needs professional semi-skilled care (which we can’t afford because my older brother recently lost his job), we might could come up with some arrangement where my brother could be cared for in our homes.

But my parents are stubborn people, and it may sound funny coming from a 43 year old, but I don’t want to disobey them.  I think that deep down, all of us, parents and children, know that a day is coming when the two able-bodied sons are going to have to sit down with the parents and say, “No disrespect, but you’re going to have to let it go and let us take over”.  But for now, we have instead, this uneasy silence where we sons know what we have to say, but we don’t say it.

I think it’s going to take Scott telling them to let the brothers take over.  Ironically, they’ll listen to him.

Sorry, I know all of this is a downer, but it’s been eating away at me since my mother told me, and I had to get it off my chest.


6 Responses to “Unable To Move”

  1. Ford Prefect Says:

    It kills me to hear about this, you know I think of Scott as a brother myself. You also know that I have the greatest respect for your parents and you are right the time is quickly coming when you and your brothers are going to have to have that discussion with your parents. I don’t envy you that conversation, you all are in my prayers and if there is anything I can do to help please don’t hesitate to ask. Please let Scott know I’m thinking about him and praying for him.

  2. Busy Mom Says:

    I’m so sorry, and I’m glad he wasn’t hurt any worse.

    As for the situation, one day at a time. You’re right, it may take Scott talking with them.

    Let everyone know what you are able to do and that you’re willing to talk about it. After that, it may be up to them.

    As an aside, I was just grousing quietly to myself about having to “go to jail” for this MD thing this week.

    Not grousing anymore.

  3. Warrior Says:

    Our prayers are with you, brother.

  4. Warrior Says:

    Our prayers are with you, brother.

  5. Kat Says:

    It’s a touch situation that many families face. It sounds like you are probably right – if it’s your younger brother’s decision, then it will be more easily accepted by all.

  6. Caring for parents and a sibling Says:

    […] his brother took a fall, it really emphasized how much work is required, how his parents will manage it into their later […]

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