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Thread: c1 break c2 fracture

  1. #11
    If she has a tetraplegic injury, it is rare that insurance with authorize more than 6 weeks of inpatient rehab now days, so it is critical to start working on discharge planning (home modification, caregiver issues, etc.) as soon as she arrives in rehab.


  2. #12
    Thank you. My Mom thought she heard the liason from the rehab say they would do everything possible for her in the six weeks they have her. I thought that she would be there for months but apparently not.

    She has the halo on and hopefully they will move her this weekend. Still has feeling but no movement.

  3. #13
    Hi Heather,

    Has Emily been moved to RIC yet?

    That would be an excellent Christmas gift.

    I think the breathing and sensation are excellent signs. I was diagnosed as a C1-2 complete. My understanding is that spontaneous breathing (i.e. what is necessary to breathe without conscious effort / thought) requires "C3 ability" or better. C3 injuries typically have diaphragm access, which provides spontaneous breathing.

    I remember the "no movement and mouthing words" stage all too well. Whether she is able to fully wean off the vent or not, she should (eventually) regain the ability to speak, and speak well. Regarding movement, I pray she gets a lot back (a full recovery would be fantastic) but even if her functional level remains C1-2, she should eventually be able to turn her head and have decent head/neck movement.

    I figured that even as a C1-2 complete, I could still access my neck muscles, and I learned to breathe (not spontaneously) by using my neck muscles to simultaneously pull my chest up and chin down (like a mini-situp) to take in air. I learned to eat again by doing swallow therapy exercises. I also went back to school, and have had a busy & fulfilling life since my injury over 12 years ago.

    Point being, life can still be good whether she regains significant function soon or not (if you visit the "cure" forum here, there are some doctors / researchers doing impressive things).

    When I was injured (8-23-1997) there wasn't much info that I could find regarding life as a vent-dependent C1-2, so I started my personal website to share what I was learning and my experiences in hopes the info could help others. My personal website is below with my signature, if you're curious.

    I also wrote and recently updated my "full story" which I thought might be helpful for newly injured people, and/or SCI support groups. Here's the direct link:

    I hope / pray your cousin Emily makes miraculous strides in the coming months.

    God bless!

    Bill Miller :-)
    C1-2 Quadriplegic with a 221 High Bowling Game
    Co-founder of Manufacturing Genuine Thrills Inc. d/b/a MGT
    My blog:
    Business website:
    Personal website:
    Wheelchair users -- even high-level quads... WANNA BOWL?

    I'm a C1-2 with a legit 255 high bowling game.

    Checkout the below CareCure thread about a new way to bowl!

  4. #14

    Thank you for the response and encouragement. Emily was moved yesterday to RIC. The move caused much anxiety for her and her fever spiked again. She was unable to sleep even with a sleeping pill so they have not yet begun the weaning yet. She has been having terrible anxiety attacks. I do keep hoping that things will work out for her. She is a wonderful person. I'll keep updating.

    BTW I went bowling yesterday(I've only bowled twice in the past 15 years or so)and I bowled a 94 and a 67. Even the kids beat me! Your score is very impressive.

  5. #15
    Thank you for the reply Heather.

    I'm quite glad Emily is now at RIC -- getting there is progress.

    Regarding her anxiety, when I was at Shepherd (a rehab facility comparable to RIC), I too had some fairly extreme anxiety, and wild fever spikes. My anxiety was primarily because I didn't trust the ventilator (how was I supposed to know it's amazingly reliable with well-designed alarms? Knock on wood and thank you God) and I didn't trust some of the staff working with me. I should clarify that and say that a couple of the nurses and respiratory therapists didn't project confidence and utmost competence, so I was uncertain that they could handle whatever happened, and at the time, I worried about what could happen.

    But with Emily's ability to breathe some on her own already, and hopefully she'll quickly become comfortable with the nurses, etc working with her and that will help alleviate her anxiety.

    Candidly, my worst anxiety was fear of coming home -- I had no idea who my nurses would be, and if I had a difficult time feeling comfortable with some Shepherd-trained nurses... I was quite scared to find out the care I would receive at home. I didn't want to leave the "safety blanket" that is a facility like Shepherd, where they are considered experts with SCI. But ultimately, coming home was a huge plus for me, however I'm getting ahead of where Emily is.

    I trust she's on antidepressant medication?

    Shepherd eventually had me on three concurrent antidepressants, plus Ativan (specifically for anxiety attacks) as needed! I eventually started to see how my life could still be livable, truly livable, and that's when I "turned the corner" and started weaning off the antidepressants. I still have one, a moderate dose of amitriptyline, which doubles as a sleep aid; I wanted to wean off them all, but my grandmother, who states that she "was an RN before penicillin!" she said that "exercise produces endorphins, and endorphins make us feel good, and Bill you cannot really exercise, so you should keep some pharmaceutical help."

    Anyway, I hope this helps. I don't think I can provide much insight regarding her fevers, except to say my understanding is the wild spikes are common with newly injured people. The explanation I received was that, essentially, my body's "thermostat" was broken with the SCI, so I couldn't really regulate my temperature. But my fevers eventually mellowed and I don't recall the last time I had one (knock on wood and thank you God!).

    God bless, and thank you for the bowling compliment! (Your scores might fare quite a bit better if you bowled regularly; it's hard to develop some rhythm and momentum bowling twice every 15 years!)

    Please keep us updated on Emily's progress.

    Bill Miller
    Wheelchair users -- even high-level quads... WANNA BOWL?

    I'm a C1-2 with a legit 255 high bowling game.

    Checkout the below CareCure thread about a new way to bowl!

  6. #16
    I read your website Bill , your an amazing man. You really have my respect.
    oh well

  7. #17

    What was it like when you went home. What had to be done to your house and do you have someone who cares for you full time? I'm wondering what her life will be like at home. I know she can't afford someone to take care of her at the house all of the time.

  8. #18
    There should be a social worker at RIC who can help with the discharge arrangements and caregivers, etc. We found the social workers to be very helpful.
    Take care.
    Ugh, I've been kissed by a dog!
    Get some hot water, get some iodine ...
    -- Lucy VanPelt

  9. #19

    I did my therapy at RIC six years ago. It is a WONDERFUL place!!! Best wishes to Emily!
    As Bill said, my anxiety was awful when right before I went home and right after.

    T8-9 according to latest scoring.......
    since 1/3/04

    I am the best at being me. No matter how that happens to be!!

  10. #20
    Today was the first day of weaning from the ventilator and she went 3hrs and 45 minutes breathing on her own. Very happy about that!

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