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Thread: C5/6 Incomplete, ASIA C

  1. #1
    Junior Member meglovestulips's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Maryland/District Border

    C5/6 Incomplete, ASIA C

    Is this really my new identifier? I guess it is, only if I choose for it to be. However, I still have trouble, like many others, believing this has all happened to me. My name is Meg. I was a victim in a motor vehicle accident. I was in the trauma center for 17 days, and then transferred to inpatient rehab. My current discharge date is the 25th. We're trying to fight it because insurance will pay, so long as I am making the ever elusively defined "progress." It's been 2 months and 3 days since the accident. My husband is living 4 hours from my rehab site. I have Brown-Sequard Syndrome. I have decent bowel / bladder control. I have motor control on the right (leg and arm), I have some control of my left (dominant) arm (which was broken in 2 places - wrist of all places & bicep). I have tenodesis in my left hand, but no control of my fingers. I have very little movement and little control in my left leg. I have definite proprioceptive issues with my left leg. I have started to do some walking, assisted & with a walker. I was switched to a manual wheelchair today - it's difficult with one side only functioning. I really do end up going in circles at times. I toilet and shower in a shower/commode chair. I'm supposed to learn how to transfer to a real toilet tomorrow. Tomorrow, I continue this long journey.
    "Get busy living, or get busy dying." - Andy

  2. #2
    Hi Meg,

    I'm also C5/6 Brown Sequard, 7 years post now. At 2 months post you still have a lot of recovery ahead, so hang in there and keep working hard. There are no good spinal cord injuries but Brown Sequard Syndrome probably has a higher recovery rate than most...

    There are a few of us here on the board that have been through what you're going through now. Let me know if you have any questions or if you think I can help...

  3. #3
    Welcome. You do need to fight the discharge date as you are still getting return and making functional progress. You need the intensity of therapy right now that you cannot get as an outpatient. Don't give up. There are appeals available through your insurance company, and you have the right to insist that a physiatrist be the type of physician who reviews and makes recommendations about your appeal (they won't tell you this, so insist).

    Where are you doing your rehab? Try to get to Kennedy Krieger for outpatient if at all possible. They have an excellent program.


  4. #4
    Junior Member meglovestulips's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Maryland/District Border
    I'm doing inpatient in Pittsburgh, but I'm from Maryland (near DC). I was first treated at the Baltimore Shock Trauma center, as our accident happened near Hagerstown, MD. I am not 100% certain that my physiatrist here is on my side to fight the insurance. In fact, I have no cap for inpatient as long as the doctor says I'm making progress - but he seems to want to push me out of here and put me back to the "real world" to gain more function. The access to tools and people with knowledge is greater during inpaient versus outpatient, and most importantly the number of hours of therapy daily is greater. I just want to maximize my time here, as long as insurance is willing to pay. My plan is to stay here through Dec during outpatient rehab, then return to Maryland to continue outpatient rehab there.
    "Get busy living, or get busy dying." - Andy

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    last house on the left
    Hi Meg,
    Welcome to CC! You sound like you are making really good progress, and I hope you can take on the insurance company for more rehab. Good luck to you.

  6. #6
    I'm so sorry about your accident I was injured in August too (2007), also a car accident .. entered rehab after about two weeks, and was discharged after five weeks at SCVMC in California. I also have a brown-sequard spinal cord bruise, though clearly less severe, and had no broken bones to deal with other than in my cervical spine.

    Sounds like you are making progress. Don't know what to say about your doctor's judgment .. I know my recovery really took off after I went home .. I went home in a halo, with forearm crutches, an AFO and a rental manual wheelchair. After about a week I managed to stop using the wheelchair for most things and after the halo came off I got rid of the chair (3 months post). By then I was walking pretty much independently, though I had a lot of work still to do then .. still do now, come to think of it

    Being able to sleep in the hospital was always a challenge, and my roommate's dad was really nerve-wracking sometimes (can't really blame him -- his son was a new paraplegic ). In rehab they put me on zanaflex because I had intense muscle spasms in my lower back (left / weaker side) at night, but after I went home I discovered I didn't need it - I normally sleep on a futon at home, which is relatively firm, and I suspect that the soft hospital bed gave me the spasms. I was also able to stop taking percocet (for halo-related pain). Anyway, being off the drugs probably helped, and walking around the neighborhood every day helped me regain strength and probably rewired a bit (guessing ..) I also went to a nearby community center gym with an adapted fitness program and outpatient PT .. but everyone's injury is different..

    Best wishes for your recovery ! btw I went to school in the 'Burgh, and grew up in the DC area.. I remember Maryland

  7. #7
    Hi meg

    I am also C5-6 incomplete Asia C - Brown Sequard.
    I'm 3 years post. My right leg is strong and my left leg is weak but with great sensation. After spending 2 months in intensive care, I spent 10 months as an inpatient in the rehabilitation unit. Do whatever you can to stay in rehab as it keeps you 'in the loop', motivated and focused.
    Good luck with your fight. Grab every opportunity by the scruff of its neck and give it your all
    "When it rains I am thankful I can feel the raindrops". Mr D. Wright

    "Tonight we dine in hell". Leonidas 300

  8. #8
    Welcompe aboard Meg. If you've made this much progress at two months, there is potentially more you can gain. Don't stop working hard and don't leave rehab before your body is ready. That you have bladder and bowel back is amazing.

    As for pushing in circles, you may wish to ask about a one arm drive manual chair. These are designed for individuals with movement on one side, but not the other or for significantly more ability on one side than the other. I had almost gone with this myself, but found a way to strengthen my much weaker arm.

    If it appears you may gain more strength and ability in your weaker arm, hold off. If not, get what you need to be as mobile as possible.

    I know things are new, scary and frustrating, but keep pushing for what you need and continue working hard and harder. What you're learning and doing now will see you through coming weeks, months and years.

    I know you've said you have no finger function. Are you also getting o/t to teach you to do things in your day to day life using more gross motor skills?

    It can feel scary and frustrating when finger function is gone, but there are still ways to do most things. Practice, practice and practice again. It gets easier and faster with time. You'll also find your own ways of doing things.

    Keep talking to us and keep pushing yourself and your insurance company for what you need.

    I'm glad you found us.

    Hang in Meg.

  9. #9
    Another wheelchair option, if your leg is strong enough, is to use a hemi-height wheelchair so you can push with both your strong leg and arm. This is similar to how stroke patients use a wheelchair without going in circles, and is lighter and easier to learn how to use than a one-arm-drive wheelchair.


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