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Thread: Question for independent c4 and c5's

  1. #11
    Senior Member Buffie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    lumpkin, ga
    I don't turn at all during the night regardless of what position I sleep in. I'm C5 and prone is the only position I can't do. I've been injured for 2 1/2 years and so far no pressure sores.
    C4/5 functioning on a C6 level, use of left hand, no triceps

  2. #12
    Senior Member goldnucs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Tucson, AZ USA / San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico
    I'm a c5-6, 32 yrs post-injury. I sleep all night, every night on my left side with a pillow between my legs and another folded in behind my back. NEVER had a problem. Beimg on my side I can roll forward and sometimes I reach behind and work the pillow out from behind my back so I am laying sort of flat but with my legs still bent, facing left with the pillow still intact.
    Rick Goldstein
    GO! Mobility Solutions

  3. #13
    I'm C4, 9 years post. I use a regular mattress and am never turned every 2-3 hours. In reality, it is just not practical to do so. I sleep on my side with a body pillow behind me. Pillows to ensure my feet don't bug me at night. Turning frequently simply does not fit our lifestyle nor is it necessary for me.

    Guidelines are just that. You should do what works for you.

  4. #14
    I'm on a low air loss mattress right now and I never turned at night. There's just no one here to do it and I haven't figured out a way to do it myself. I do little bit of wiggling here and there the best I can but otherwise, I'm pretty flat on my back. Turning Freeney. It's time for me is pretty impractical anyways because I have a severely arthritic left hip what charts really bad to lay on in the right shoulder that gets really sore after about half an hour so laying on either side is really harsh on me for any more than half an hour or so.
    C-5/6, 7-9-2000
    Scottsdale, AZ

    Make the best out of today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. Nobody knows that better than those of us that have almost died from spinal cord injury.

  5. #15
    im inc c4/5 func c6. i keep a rope hooked to the leg of my side of the bed just in case i get stuck on my back. i move alot at night. normally start on my bacjk then roll over to right side when i get uncomfortable, then back an forth all night back side back side. always a regular matress w/ 1in mem foam. 22 yrs post. never a sore rep
    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
    sponsored handcycle racer

  6. #16
    Senior Member Mona~on~wheels's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Cleburne, Texas, USA
    For sure wishing her luck & saying a prayer for all of you.
    I'm c-4 to c-7. Funtioning on different levels.
    I sleep all night on my side without turning.
    But that's out of necessity. I live alone.
    I have a low air loss alternating pressure mattress and I use pillows all over to help boney areas. It took alot of years to get it just right and it's always changing.
    Can you give her a bed bath till you get modifications right for her?
    Praying all goes well tomorrow.
    Post often and read. This website is a gold mine for those with sci.

    God bless her.

  7. #17
    Senior Member redbandit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    North Carolina
    I'm another quad that doesn't turn at night. I sleep on my left side all night every night, with my legs bent and a body pillow between them. I've been doing this for about eight years with no skin issues, but I worked up to it gradually. I'm not saying that this will work for you, everyone is different, but there are alternatives. Quite frankly, a lot of the advice that you get from OTs, PTs, and rehab nurses you'll end up chucking out the window because it doesn't fit with everyday reality. It's fine to turn every 2-3 hrs in the hospital when you have nurses to do it, but when you get home you can't function as caregivers and be up at night every 2-3 hrs. Hiring a PCA to sit at night and do it is too expensive. Your best bet is to find a way that she can safely sleep all night. You can experiment with different beds and padding techniques like other people have suggested as well as working on techniques for her to be able to turn herself or at least shift positions to relieve pressure. There are so many ways to do this such as using bedrails, ropes, trapeze, pillows and wedges. As she ages in her new body she'll figure out ways to do things better, it's SO discouraging and devastating initially and my heart breaks for her and you guys too because she is so young and having to deal with this. But you WILL figure things out and things WILL get better. She also sounds like she is improving neurologically too. Being able to use her wrists is huge. When you have so few muscles to work with, every new one you get is major. Her functionality will quite possibly be way different in a year or two. She may get more return, and what she does have will get stronger. God bless and keep reading and asking questions!
    Last edited by redbandit; 11-20-2009 at 05:54 PM.

  8. #18
    C-5 six years post injury and no turning at all. I use a memory foam mattress and lay on my back for up to 12 hours at a time. A couple of pillows under my legs to keep my heels off the bed and I'm good. You just need to test it slowly. Try moving up one hour at a time and check her heels and butt etc. and keep on moving up in time. We did the same thing in the beginning. That turning at night stuff really wore my parents out.

  9. #19
    27 years post and I've always slept on one side each nite or prone without a problem. I do wish I would've listened to the rehab shpiel on abdominal binders and support hose tho
    Embrace uncertainty. Hard problems rarely have easy solutions. Jonah Lehrer

  10. #20
    While I do agree that turning every 2-3 hours at home does make life very difficult. I believe that the key is a minimum of one turn at night - unless she can go prone. Gradually work her up to turning every 4-4 1/2 hrs in 10-15 minute increments. Getting her a pressure reducing mattress will help (key word HELP). Also, con't to check her skin at least twice a day. Any reddness that does not go away within 30 minutes or an area that is very pale is a sign that she can not tolerate that much time in that position. I would encourage you to back down the time, and in a month or two, retry increasing the time between turns.

    Turning is not just important for skin, but also for respiratory system as well.


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