Quadriplegic Question

  1. Hey all,

    Serious question that concerns my future love life here. I need some information on quadriplegics because I'm considering a very serious relationship with one. He's a little older than me and has been in his chair for 28 years. I realize that they don't usually live as long as they would have if they were out of the chair, but does anyone actually have any practical knowledge about this subject. I really need to know what I'm getting into. I already know the amount of care required, so that's not an issue. Any info appreciated. Thanks so much!
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    About Bumashes, MSN, RN, APRN, NP

    Joined: Mar '06; Posts: 500; Likes: 569

    23 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    I would just ask him. Many of his life issues would depend on the reason he is in a wheelchair. If you are considering a close relationship, I would just come right out and ask him. Good luck.
  4. by   Tweety
    Good luck.

    Does he have a caregiver? I think I've read somewhere that it isn't always the best idea for the girlfriend/boyfriend to take over the care fulltime, although obviously there are times when you will help him. I would just continue to allow the caregiving as is for now, especially intimate toileting, bathing, and stuff like that.
  5. by   gonzo1
    This is such a hard decision for a person to have to make (whether to be involved with someone or not), hard enough even if there are not additional issues like health involved. My heart goes out to you. Of course, non of us knows how long we have to live or what our health status will be even next week. Bad things happen. However the fact that he has managed so well for 28 years already shows that he is doing something right. Please consider getting some professional input on this because there are so many issues that will arise in the future and most of us are not capable of seeing the "whole" picture and providing fully informed input.
    I applaud your thoughtfullness with this and please keep us informed.
  6. by   PinkLady
    My husband is a paraplegic.

    The best thing to do with regard to understanding more about it, is ask him. Every level of injury is different and some people recover things others do not. I have done a lot of research about spinal cord injury. If you have specific questions, you can send me and email!!
  7. by   Gompers
    Quote from Bumashes
    Hey all,

    Serious question that concerns my future love life here. I need some information on quadriplegics because I'm considering a very serious relationship with one. He's a little older than me and has been in his chair for 28 years. I realize that they don't usually live as long as they would have if they were out of the chair, but does anyone actually have any practical knowledge about this subject. I really need to know what I'm getting into. I already know the amount of care required, so that's not an issue. Any info appreciated. Thanks so much!
    I seem to remember that you were doing home care for a quadriplegic. Just be very careful about getting romantically involved with a patient, okay? If you are actually getting financial reimbursement for your duties, then you are walking a fine line. If this isn't a patient, then I agree to just ask HIM these kinds of deep questions. He needs to know that you have fears from the start. Good luck!
  8. by   redshiloh
    I work with SCI patients both as a nurse and educator. A great web site is http://www.spinalcord.uab.edu/. I use this site a lot.
    We have quads that have been married a long time(one actually 45 years). With good care, luck and health his life expectancy is pretty much the same as you and me.
  9. by   luv2shop19mall
    I honestly think that it really depends on how much they are taken care of. does he have a caregiveer? quadriplegic is paralyzed i believe from the waste down.. theres this website called webmd. you can research more information about this topic. i gradauted from nursing school last year and im taking my boards next month., but webmd has good information. follow what your heart tells you but if your in love with this man go for it.. life is too short..

    Serious question that concerns my future love life here. I need some information on quadriplegics because I'm considering a very serious relationship with one. He's a little older than me and has been in his chair for 28 years. I realize that they don't usually live as long as they would have if they were out of the chair, but does anyone actually have any practical knowledge about this subject. I really need to know what I'm getting into. I already know the amount of care required, so that's not an issue. Any info appreciated. Thanks so much![/quote]
  10. by   PinkLady
    Every level of injury is different. Quadriplegic is not waist down however, if the injury is incomplete, he may have feeling below the level of injury.
  11. by   truern
    I thought you are married
  12. by   ICURNGUY
    Pinklady has a very good point. I am married to an incomplete quad. who has a spinal cord tumor called astrocytoma. She is very indipendant and tiny. I am a large strong guy. She can drive by herself and cooks and does all the other normal things. Our home didn't have to be modified either and she pushes herself. On the otherhand there are things to consider like modifications to a home ie. lifts, widening doors, beds and the bathroom or kitchen. It can be very difficult at times and you are the "parent" in the relationship, not a spouse. My wife has moved on to other things and I think my school and devotion to work has caused her to leave, but I will tell you from 1st hand experience. I didn't know quite how much I was doing untill I didn't have to do it. It is and can be hard. Not that love should override anything or not keep you from being happy with someone, but you need to take a long look at it first. I lived with my wife for 2 years before we got married. We were engaged, but our love made it worth the sacrifices. Being with someone you love is great, but the "work" of a relationship can cause love to focus clearer and realize it is infatuation. Don't discourage, do what you think you should....what makes YOU happy. You being the most important thing here.
  13. by   Bumashes
    "I thought you are married"

    To clarify: Been through some rough times with husband for five years now. I've been lied to, cheated on, and everything else imaginable. I'm getting out before any of this new relationship stuff takes place. I'm not that kind of person. I'm just trying to think ahead of my current bad situation. Believe me, we've tried to resolve our issues, but the fact is, he just goes on lying/cheating like he's been doing. I've just now woke up to see reality. Sorry for the confusion.
    Last edit by Bumashes on Aug 15, '06
  14. by   TazziRN
    Quote from luv2shop19mall
    quadriplegic is paralyzed i believe from the waste down.. i gradauted from nursing school last year and im taking my boards next month
    Uh......no........quad = 4. Quads have c-spine or upper t-spine involvement. Paras are below the arms.

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