Loss of son and finding a future

  1. Hello Everyone, It has been a couple of years, I think, since I have posted here. This might be kind of wordy so I apologize in advance. I got injured in 2004 and was off work until 2014. I am back now with restrictions. I have a son with special needs but very high functioning. He had a job and shared an assisted living home with his best friend and round the clock staff. He had a high quality of life despite the seizures and mental delays. From early 2013 until 2015 he was declining greatly as his seizures increased in number and severity. In 2015 they added Onfi to his other seizure meds. It worked but he had to be in a LTC for rehab for 3 months. The Onfi stopped the seizures but also took his balance and ability to walk as well as caused him to slur his speach. His body finally adjusted and rehab gave him back what he had lost. He was seizure free for 9 months for the first time in his life. Unfortunately in early 2015 he started having seizures again but far fewer and less frequently. During that last 18 months he got to do everything on his wish list, ie fly on a plane, visit Disney World and go to Tennessee. So we were very shocked on Aug. 17, 2016 when staff came to our door to tell me that our son, who had just turned 29 in July, had passed away. He did not have a seizure, they found him face down, he had been drawing a picture, he still had the pencil in his hand. They started CPR and when the squad got there they established and air way, used a lucus device, and pushed all the meds. They worked on him for nearly an hour until the ER MD told them to call it. The COD was SUDEP a complication of epilepsy I still can't believe it is true and we are completely devastated. Nineteen hours after he passed my mother suddenly passed. My mind is mush and my heart is broken. I lean towards isolating myself like I did after I got injured. Of course that is what I am doing now. I badly want to get my RN but don't know if I can handle the rigors and schedule of a traditional school. I completed all of the Excelsior but MD would not clear me for the cpne. So I need to start all over. I live in the state of OH and the OBN told me that it is up to each school be it traditional or online decides what kind of " reasonable accommodations" they are willing to provide. I can sit, stand, and walk but not for long periods of time. So I would have to be able to kind of rotate between sitting, standing and walking . I also am restricted to lifting only 25lbs. I know this is all probably a lot of gibberish but if anyone understands I need some ideas, suggestions and really just to be able to talk it through and figure something out. I currently do private duty which I hate. I love my client and her family it's just that I work 3rd and having no co-workers is very lonely and isolating for me. Plus I would like to be a bit more active than is required with my current job. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks for reading.
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   not.done.yet
    Please accept my sincere sorrow for you on the death of your son and your mother. My heart aches for you.

    I started the prerequisites for nursing school four months after my 13 year old son died. It gave me something to focus on and let me feel that I was returning back to the world some of the good that was lost to it by his death. It can be done; just know that grief will have its day and it can be very challenging.

    I cannot say that you should or should not follow the same path. I would strongly suggest you attend The Compassionate Friends or another grief support group. This would give you some of the socialization you need among people who understand the unique pain of your loss. The accommodations you require will make finding work as a nurse very challenging, as well as school itself. Clinicals are rigorous. Are you picturing continuing to work while you go to school?

    From the picture you have painted here, I really would encourage you to reach out to a support group. Google The Compassionate Friends and see if there is one near you. This would be a very kind first step in helping nurture your battered soul, taking it to a place where making a decision can be more logical and less emotional. Sending you love and light.
  4. by   amoLucia
    Am also holding good thoughts for you for your losses.

    As PP commented, nsg school and a nsg career may not be in the cards for you. But there are tangential careers possible that would provide you similar contacts and experiences.

    Also 'sending you love and light'. (To not.done.yet, I'll be borrowing that!)
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I am so sorry for your loss.

    Nursing may or may not be for you. I suggest shadowing some nurses to see if the rigors of nursing are something you can handle. And understand, nursing school clinicals are very rigorous and you will have to be able to stand for long periods of time and do some heavy lifting. It's part of the clinical experience. So consider that strongly before enrolling.

    I wish you well. Again, I am so sorry.
  6. by   pixierose
    Nothing to add, just that I'm truly sorry for your losses.

    Many (((hugs)))
  7. by   quazar
    I don't have any good advice, just hugs and my deepest sympathies.
  8. by   bellcollector
    Thank you for the kind wishes. I am an LPN doing private duty had experience mostly in geriatrics before the injury. Yes because of WC I would have to continue to work but I only work 2 days a week.
  9. by   Kooky Korky
    I am tremendously sorry about your dear son and mom. Time does heal these awful blows. Hold on and keep a goin'. One foot in front of the other, friend, just one foot in front of the other. Yes, do try to become involved with a Grief Support group. It sounds like it would be even more important for you to do that because you work Nights and are, as you say, pretty isolated. Know that you did everything for your son that you could and that he had the best life possible.


    As for Nursing - I know of a nurse who had polio. She knew she would never be able to work in a fast-paced setting where she'd work at the bedside. Instead, she entered Nursing academia. She taught, she became an Administrator in the school of Nursing at a University, she might have been a contributor to textbooks or journal articles, and she inspired many students to be the best nurses they could be, in their specialty area of choice. Her kindness, her friendliness, her happy demeanor were always present. If she was angry about her fate or felt cheated, she never showed it in public. Her pluck, her pleasantness, her not giving up or giving in to discouragement or bitterness were what people remembered about her.

    So you just explore all possibilities. There could be programs that will let you become a nurse on your own terms. Keep searching until you find the right program. Talk to the necessary people about your plan, tell them how to help you achieve your goals. That is, don't ask them to come up with answers on how to accommodate you. You tell them how they can help you.

    God bless you. Keep us informed.
  10. by   Union-Jack
    I'm really sorry for your loss.
  11. by   luvmyc
    My son died 6 years ago (last Friday) from HLHS (Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome), was vent dependent, profound brain injury, etc etc. I started nursing school within a month and it saved me. If I hadn't gone to school that next year, I feel very certain that I would have been in bed the entire time. It helps.
  12. by   spotangel
    Hugs! Stay strong and nourish your soul.
    One day at a time and like Kooky Korky said "One foot in front of the other, friend, just one foot in front of the other. "
    If nursing is what you want to do, pursue it! An ambulatory setting like outpt may be a little less strenuous physically but it is pretty busy.Another option is telephone triage or case management if that is something you like doing. All luck and a lot of prayers your way!
  13. by   spotangel
    Can't begin to imagine what pain you went through luvmyc. Anniversaries are rough. Stay surrounded by family and friends.
  14. by   Glycerine82
    I am so very, genuinely, terribly sorry. The pain you have endured is more than anyone should have to face in 10 lifetimes.

    I think you should focus on yourself and getting as healthy as you can. I really don't think getting your RN would be in your best interest, but I understand you want it badly.

    What about another avenue? Could you work with others who have suffered such horrible loses somehow?

    I think making a difference in the lives of others could certainly help you and help you heal, but I think you need to select an area that isn't physically demanding.

    Hugs and love from Providence.

    PM me if you want to talk to someone.

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