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Thread: super sad stepdaughter

  1. #11
    What is his actual cord injury level (not fracture)? C4? C5? C6? Each level lower in the cervical cord makes a big difference in outcomes. Can he flex his elbow? Move his shoulders at all?

    How old is your stepfather? Is he a smoker? Does he have any other health problems? These are major factors in his ability to wean from the ventilator.

    Was he employed at the time of his accident? Was there another driver at fault in the accident? Have you or anyone else in the family talked with a social worker or case manager about his eligibility for Medicaid, and if so, has an application been made? Is he a military veteran by any chance?

    He needs to get moved ASAP to a specialty SCI center that can both do his ventilator weaning (it is different for someone with a SCI) and start his rehabilitation program. If he can get into a program in spite of no insurance, then it is likely he would be in rehab 6 weeks or so, so it is not too early to start planning for his ultimate discharge. Temple is about equal distance to both Houston and Dallas, both of which have major SCI centers. He should not just go to a local small rehab unit.

    Does he live alone? Are there family members who can help with his care? Is his home accessible or can it be made so?

    (KLD)

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    What is his actual cord injury level (not fracture)? C4? C5? C6? Each level lower in the cervical cord makes a big difference in outcomes. Can he flex his elbow? Move his shoulders at all?

    How old is your stepfather? Is he a smoker? Does he have any other health problems? These are major factors in his ability to wean from the ventilator.

    Was he employed at the time of his accident? Was there another driver at fault in the accident? Have you or anyone else in the family talked with a social worker or case manager about his eligibility for Medicaid, and if so, has an application been made? Is he a military veteran by any chance?

    He needs to get moved ASAP to a specialty SCI center that can both do his ventilator weaning (it is different for someone with a SCI) and start his rehabilitation program. If he can get into a program in spite of no insurance, then it is likely he would be in rehab 6 weeks or so, so it is not too early to start planning for his ultimate discharge. Temple is about equal distance to both Houston and Dallas, both of which have major SCI centers. He should not just go to a local small rehab unit.

    Does he live alone? Are there family members who can help with his care? Is his home accessible or can it be made so?

    (KLD)
    I'm not sure what level his spinal cord injury is. I need to ask his doctor about that. He can flex his elbows and shrug his shoulders and he was telling us today that he can feel his feet. He even moved them a little bit.

    Before the accident he was employed at a distributing company as a salesman. He is 43 years old, drank and smoked occasionally. Or maybe a little more than occasionally but not all the time. He doesn't have any other health problems that I know of, but he has had a hernia several times. It was a one car accident so I don't think anyone else is at fault, but we don't know exactly what happened since he can't remember anything.

    He's not a veteran and I haven't talked to anyone about Medicaid personally. His dad probably has, but if not, thanks for the suggestions. I will tell his dad to talk to them about getting him financial help and see what happens. Do you think that he will get accepted into a good rehab facility without insurance and no way to make money to pay for it? I don't think his dad would be able to afford to pay for it either.

    He is having rods put in his neck tomorrow afternoon. How soon after that surgery do you think he should be moved to a good rehab center?

    Before the accident he was living with his dad (he had financial problems and also is bipolar... long story) and I guess that's where he'll go when he's done with rehab. I really don't know. It should be pretty accessible to him in a power chair, but there may be a small step up in the front door, I can't remember. That could be fixed with a small ramp though. I'm not sure how well his dad would be able to take care of him, so he may need a nurse to come or something. I can take care of him sometimes too, but I'm in school and working so I don't have a whole lot of time.

    They put the speech cannula in again this morning and he did pretty well with it. The trach nurse said she was working with another patient on one as well and it took him like a week to get to where Blake was this morning. He's been pretty positive this morning that he's going to be ok and he's going to get through this. It's a huge relief to me that he's being more positive!

  3. #13
    A lot of good news here, fingers crossed for his surgery!

  4. #14
    Rods should not be put in the neck. Perhaps they are putting in a plate?

    He should be moved to a SCI rehab program ASAP. There is no reason to delay as long as it is a program that also has an associated acute SCI unit or program that he can go to first.

    Elbow flexion is C5, so that is a good sign for him to be able to wean from the ventilator. Being a smoker will mean it will take longer and be more difficult. Hope he does not start again...it is a bad habit for anyone, but esp. for someone with a cervical SCI.

    (KLD)

  5. #15
    Medicare/medicaid is available to him, if he's 'old' enough, he/you can apply for medicare, if not, go for medicare disability, he'll likely have medicaid for 2 years, but I'm in Wa & don't know the 'rules' in Tx. Good luck to all of you!!

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Coleen View Post
    Medicare/medicaid is available to him, if he's 'old' enough, he/you can apply for medicare, if not, go for medicare disability, he'll likely have medicaid for 2 years, but I'm in Wa & don't know the 'rules' in Tx. Good luck to all of you!!
    Coleen, he is only 43, so will not qualify yet for Medicare. He must be disabled 24 months before then. He may qualify for SSDI if he has paid or had Social Security taxes withheld for sufficient quarters (40). Once he applies for SSDI (which he can get after 6 months), then he can also apply for Medicare. If he is not eligible for SSDI, he may be eligible for SSI. If so, then he is probably also eligible for Medicaid, but would need to have few assets. If he has been working, he may have more than $2000 in assets (bank accounts, stocks, bonds, savings, money market, etc. etc.) and would probably need to spend down in order to qualify. You can only spend down on certain things (a house or a vehicle or medical costs, for example). You cannot give the money away or spend it on luxury items. A social worker at the hospital should have already been working on these issues, and if not, the family needs to insist that they do so. In some states, rehab units will take you with Medicaid-pending if you have a SCI (we used to do this in CA, but not any longer).

    (KLD)

  7. #17
    Maegan,

    Best of luck to him and to you for the surgery!

    You said he was injured on Thanksgiving which means that's 4 weeks ago. Did he have an initial surgery the day of?

    I am also a C5 burst fracture from a traffic accident and had a hematoma according to my surgical notes. You can read about me in the link below. I'm certainly not on a ventilator but I have also been given an extremely fortunate second life considering my level of injury. I am 6 months post now and yesterday, I played a full 18 holes of golf in Maui in front of the Pacific Ocean with no pain. I even scored pretty well too.

    No matter what, don't give up. I know that every injury is different and I am not a typical case. My surgeons were doubtful about my progress because there is literally a bright white spot in the middle of my spinal cord on the MRI indicating damage. That kind of stuff is meant to be proven wrong. I went swimming in the ocean and surfing this week which was exhilarating. Anything is possible. My thoughts are with you.

    Sincerely,

    Kendrick

    PS: KLD, I think I have rods in the back of my neck, no? A plate up front with 4 screws, 2 rods in the back with 6 screws. A PEEK cage and my old morselized C5 fills in the middle.
    Last edited by Khatsalano; 12-29-2009 at 05:49 PM.
    C5 Burst Fracture - Motorcycle - June 21st, 2009 - Father's Day.
    http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/showthread.php?t=124135

  8. #18
    Thank you guys so much for all the support. I'm going to find out if any financial stuff has been started yet and if not I will get on them to figure it out.

    Kendrick, I don't think he had surgery the day of the accident, at least not on his neck. They did make an incision into his abdomen, which I'm not sure why, the nurses think it was an exploratory surgery to make sure no other damage was done. They didn't do anything with his neck because they didn't even know about the damage until a week or two ago. Initially all they thought was that he had a stroke and some brain damage in the occipital lobe. Anyway, I really hope his story turns out to be like yours. It's amazing that you're doing all that 6 months after your accident! Congratulations

  9. #19
    ((hugs)) Im so sorry. This is going to be a rough road but one you will be able to get down with the love and support of those around you (and us)
    Best of luck and keep us posted!

  10. #20
    I'm so sorry to hear about this. On a side note, him moving anything voluntary is awesome news!! Keep us posted on how he's doing and his recovery...
    Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.
    xxxJoaniexxx
    God is good

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