DEAR HARRIETTE: My older brother got hit by a bus a couple of months ago, and he is now paralyzed from his waist down. The doctors say there is a possibility that he can regain motion in his legs and possibly walk in time, which is great news. It’s been hard to see him go through this; he has been depressed and negative, which is understandable. He used to be such a positive, happy person, and I want to get him back to that place, regardless of his current situation. How can I make him see that the more positive he is, the more likely he is to heal? -- Helping My Brother, Denver
DEAR HELPING MY BROTHER: As difficult as your brother’s injury is, the blessing remains that he is alive and that he may be able to walk again. This is something you can remind him of, especially when he is feeling down.
It is natural for your brother to feel a range of emotions now. The five stages of grief are often part of the healing process for someone with a spinal cord injury. They are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. It is too soon for your brother to have worked through each stage. If you can get him psychological support, that should help guide him through his emotions as he also gets help with strengthening his physical body. To get support, visit christopherreeve.org/get-support.