View Full Version : Get ready for us!
I'm too new at this to have any real questions yet, but expect to hear a lot of me. My husband was in a car crash Thurs morning (1/10);his most serious injury is at the T-7 level with no movement or sensation below that. We have been told that realistically this is not going to change. I spent the first 3 days with him around the clock, but have slipped away for a couple of hours each of the last 2 days. I've spent that time on the internet trying to learn about what we are REALLY facing (vs the "sanitized" version I'm getting from the drs.). I'd pose that question to you but recognize it's far too broad for you to have a meaningful response; when I'm to the point that I can ask something specific I will reach out. The current plan is for surgery in the next 1-3 days to stabalize his spine and if all goes well to transfer him to a rehab oriented SCI facility 3-5 days after that. That all seems so rushed to me, but I guess is SOP. My question of the moment is: he is 55, I note that most appear to have been injured in their 20's, 30's. Do you think his age will alter healing/rehab rates/timing that I'm reading about or suggest different courses of action? He was very athletic prior to this.
01-15-2002, 03:26 PM
So sorry for your husband's accident, but you've found the right place for help. This forum has been invaluable to me. My husband was injured in March at age 52, T3 complete, so our situations will be similar. I'm still new and learning, but if I can help at all, or you just need to talk, please feel free to e-mail me.
Gosh, they really are similar, I know I'll be at your doorstep. I need that shoulder sooner than I expected--after my initial post I lapsed into an uncontrollable 45 min. meltdown, my first since this started. I'm back together now and off to the hospital, I'll check in tomorrow.
but you are welcome none the less. You will be able to find the answers to most any question you'll ever come up with by posting and reading here. There is a wonderful group of people here... those with lots of experience, those with little, nurses, and Doctors. If your husband was in good physical condition, i see no reason why he would not recover in the "normal" amount of time... which can vary a great deal. It ends up mostly depending on his attitude. You all have a long journey ahead, but we are here.
KNOW THIS.... life after SCI is what you make it!
You will go thru a grieving process similar to that people go thru when they have lost a loved one. We will be here every step of the way.. http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif
The sooner you can get him to the specialty SCI rehab program the better. A good center will be very used to modifying his program until he gets more strength back, and staying in the acute care hospital will only continue to make him weaker.
They should also be well prepared to modify his program and goals based on his age. While most people (50%) are injured between the ages of 15 and 30, many are injured later in life. It may take him longer to meet the goals, and some may need to be downscaled depending upon his previous health. Work closely with his team to look at what they want him to do vs. what he wants to and can do.
Is your husband a military veteran? If so, look very closely at moving him to a VA SCI Center instead of a private sector unit. There are some real advantages, esp. with length of stay limitations (much less restrictive than private sector) and much better coverage of durable medical equipment than just about any private insurance.
Thanks to all...if I stop thinking, working, pushing for even just a minute I feel just lost and get overwhelmed; it does make me feel better knowing you're out there. I posted this over in the Care Forum, but it makes sense here as well--do you think there is a benefit to my going to look at the proposed SCI facilities? Off for the day, looks like his surgery will be tomorrow.
01-16-2002, 03:42 PM
you need to go have a look if you can. Your instincts may send you one way or another. I'd talk to the SCI nurses here. They have the experience you lack. Good luck to you. Take care of yourself. Not taking care of myself was my biggest mistake. Eat well. drink lots of water. Take a multi vitamin, and don't overuse caffine. If your body gives out you can't do what needs to be done.
M.Elston SCI Mom to 15YO incomplete L2-3
01-16-2002, 05:10 PM
Yes, Sue, go visit and pick brains, and ask questions! Make sure to arrange a 'guided tour' by calling first; either the SCI program coordinator, or the preadmissions people should be able to help you out.
Welcome to the forums, the advice given has been well learned by all of us, and we love to share!
01-16-2002, 06:45 PM
But we welcome you with open hearts,And though we never met my heart has saddness for your hubby and also for you.My son was in a car accident 3 years the 21st of this month.That was the day of my greatest saddness and the beginning of an intense learning curve. This truly is a great place to come for venting, encouragement, and a place of much information and Hope.Our prayers are with you both. You will make it and be changed and stronger then ever before, take care, Joseph http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif
Again, thanks to all for your input. Jack came thru the surgery well, plan on transferring him Mon. Per everyone's input, I'm scheduling visits tomorrow and Sat. My questions...
1)nearest "model" facility is 2 hrs away, others 30-40 min.--I'm willing to drive anywhere and sounds like I won't/can't be a daily visitor, but does future outpatient needs make this a worthwhile consideration?
2)He is not a vet, prelim insurance talk suggests they are likely to cover 30 days or so of service --his right arm will be in a cast all of that time. It seems to me that this will compromise much of the rehab value, should I try and "bargain" to trade for later "rehab days" or delay things or is ASAP regardless of value the best objective?
01-17-2002, 05:08 PM
Re future outpatient needs and travel times - sure it's a consideration, but just take it a day at a time for now; get to the best rehab facility that you feel offers the best care and rehab. The case managers at the rehab facility you choose may be able to help with outpatient needs down the road - but that's down the road, and this is NOW!
Re prelim insurance coverage - I may be talking out of my hat, I don't know; but I think that as long as your hubbie is showing 'improvements' and progress in his rehab, the rehab docs can intervene with the insurance companies and get longer stays.
My suggestion to you is to do your initial research - get to the rehab facility you and your man feel is the best for the both of you - take each situation a day at a time - and let the pros at the facility help you with the 'down the road' questions.
When my son was at Kessler, there were patients there from Germany and South Africa!!!!
Tough times don't last - tough people do.
01-17-2002, 08:37 PM
A GOOD Rehab Center is invaluable in your husband's future....It lays the groundwork for his recovery and needs coming up. Not only in the physical sense but the mental issues as well. My son was injured 2 years ago and we had the decision to stay closer to home or go to RIC in Chicago. Looking back it shouldn't have even been worth a second thought. You probably will find that out when you visit them. The expertise of Rehab Institute of Chicago was tremendous in all aspects of his rehab. He now does outpatient stuff at our local hospital with occasional input from them.. We were lucky to have a very progressive Physical Therapy Dept. here for him after his initial rehab. Insurance should allow his care longer than 30 days due to his limitation with the cast. Marmalady is right again, the Rehab Docs can usually justify to the Ins. Co. and will want to. Good luck, you are doing a great job in researching all of this now. Take care, Lind
01-21-2002, 05:19 AM
welcome to this forum, though with a lot of sadness. I live thousands of mile from where you are. I am a quad and have learnt a lot more than what my doctors have told me. I pray and wish your hubby a speedy recovery, and to you, that God may give you the strength and courage to go through thus test.
To all those members who have posted the best advice, A big Thank you & God Bless you all.
Warm regards & best wishes,
01-21-2002, 08:09 PM
We have some things in common 4Sue. My husband was 52 yrs when he was hurt cutting wood, T5 complete, no sensation or movement from midchest down. Its only been 2 and a half years but it seems like a life time ago. Those first few months were emotional/physical overload as I recall as it must seem like for you right now. Its a true blessing you found us so soon after your husbands injury and I hope we can be a source of strength and support for you. There is nothing you can't ask or share here! (And I do mean nothing!!!!) http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif
If there is anything you would like to ask or even if you just want to vent please e-mail me.
By the way, try to remember, a sense of humour will take you a long way when the going gets tough and you will even find some things to laugh at here too!!! http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif