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Thread: brohter in law of t11 complete sci 4 months out

  1. #1

    brohter in law of t11 complete sci 4 months out

    My brother in law Ed(he's married to my wife's sister) was injured badly while sitting on his motorcycle at a red light. A truck rear-ended him and damaged his back badly at the t-11. The doctors describe it as complete. He was in acute care for 14 days(methylpredlozone, back surgery), in a certified rehab for 2 months, and has now been home for about 4 weeks. He was in a very serious depression for about a week, but now is still depressed but is talking and smiling at times(minimally). His wife is a terrific help(she keeps things light and does all the contacts and paperwork necessary), as is his other brother in law who is there every day helping with transfers and the like. I've been helping with the bowel program and also with information which is much needed. Ed does not seem to want to do the work necessary to recover and gain strength. He prefers to rest at this point. He is likely to grieve his loss for some time-we know that. He was on a mild antidepressant, but that didn't help much. He will not be on effexor which will hopefully help some.
    Some good news: about 3 days ago he able to move both legs a little when the PT asks him to. We don't know what to make of it, do not want to have false hope. We're sure he is moving the legs, so maybe this is not a complete injury. Anybody have any ideas on this? Is there a chance to regain some significant control of his legs, even for transfers? Is there a chance of walking some day? Might it be possible for normal bowel movements? Urinary function?
    Some more good news: his every-other-day bowel program is working
    well with only one accident in the very beginning. We will be working on getting him independent on his bowel program in the next several weeks. If anyone has some insite on the mechanics of him inserting a suppository and doing digital stimulation, please let us know. In his shower/toilet chair, there doesn't seem to be room for his own hand to reach the area in question
    Ed was a truck driver by trade, also completed school for ministry about 18 years ago. He's 51 years old, no children. He's 5'8", about 210 lbs.
    Any help will be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Welcome Ed and family. Wishing you the best of luck with any recovery.
    coolbreeze c6/7

    Keep on moving don't stop!

  3. #3
    Sorry to hear about your brother in law and welcome to CC.
    You may want to check out the link below to find out whether he is completed or incompled. While he was at the certified rehab., did they test ASIA level?
    When my son was at the SCI rehab, they tested when he first got admitted and again before he got discharged.
    At his level of injury, I am surprised that he has not done his own bowel care.

    Tim's mom

  4. #4
    Sometimes at this level it is not possible for someone to do their own bowel care without special equipment initially due to a back brace preventing the required flexibility, but at 4 months he should be able to do this. It sounds like he may not have the correct commode chair or raised toilet seat. Do you know the brand/model he is currently using? This is a raised toilet seat we often use for those with low paraplegic injuries (the spray skirt must be removed):

    If reaching is a problem too, then there are both suppository inserter devices and digital stimulator devices that will help.

    Where did he do his rehab? Was it accredited as a SCSC by CARF?

    Is his fracture T11 or his spinal cord injury? Very different.

    Which leg muscles does he appear to be moving?

    It is impossible early to tell if the injury is truly complete or not, due to spinal shock. He should have another ASIA exam by his SCI physician (physiatrist) to determine if he is currently still complete, or has had root sparing (both or either are possible). Does he have any sensation right at his anus?

    It will take at least 24 months to determine how much, if anything, he will actually get back.

    Is he getting outpatient therapy? He should be totally independent in all his transfers at this point already.

    Can you get him onto the computer and onto these forums himself?


  5. #5
    Senior Member McDuff's Avatar
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    May 2004
    Dallas area, Tx
    I too was rear ended at a redlight on my bike. I'm a T10 incomplete, was at first classified as complete also. So, yes it is possible for a change in classification. I'm 52 now, was injured at 47.

    Sounds like he has a great family, immediate and extended. Thanks to all you who are staying/standing by him, it WILL make a difference in his recovery. I come from a large family and know that they played a major part in me wanting to "stay" around. Depression is pretty normal, especially since he is still very early in survivalhood. Having everyone around, acting as normal as possible will help him see that life can continue, albeit a little differently.

    It also sounds like he had rehab like me, not much. I was in a good place, but they were more setup for knee/hip replacements rather than an sci center. I had to learn most of my stuff afterwards, which hinders me to this day, but I do ok. I also wasn't real motivated at first, I had to come to grips that this was the way it was gonna be first. Give him some time, but also keep on trying to motivate him, but lightly as otherwise he might just rebel and do nothing. Being a truck driver and biker, he probably doesn't do too well with being told what to do.

    For me unfortunately, my return was mainly just sensation. I also could pull my legs together a little, but then my spasticity went nuts and I had to get a baclofen pump inserted and lost all motor function. But every injury is different, so do not let this influence you any on what is possible for him, people do walk again. Like KLD said, you have a couple years of possible return at least.

    With commode seat I had, I couldn't do my BP either, even though the arms could lower, I was never comfortable enough with my balance. It took getting onto my normal toilet(after I had a tall one put in). Then using the grab bar on the wall, I could lean forward enough to reach around to insert the supp and do dig stim, without feeling like I was going to fall over.

    You have found a great place for info, do try and get him to login in also, it has a tremendous impact to be able read what others are doing/capable of doing when you are newly injured.
    "a T10, who'd Rather be ridin'; than rollin'"

  6. #6

    So sorry to hear about your family. My thoughts are with you.

    It is possible the complete diagnosis is wrong. We were told the same thing almost two years ago when my teenage son was injured and he's now clearly an incomplete.

    PT, OT and lots of exercise are all good. We found that the exercise also helps thwart the depression.

    Things will get easier as time passes. Plus, the fact he's moving his legs a bit is a good sign.

    You will find lots of answers here. Don't be afraid to ask.

    Best wishes.
    Ugh, I've been kissed by a dog!
    Get some hot water, get some iodine ...
    -- Lucy VanPelt

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