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Thread: Best freind just got shot (robbery) lower back L2 please help

  1. #1

    Best freind just got shot (robbery) lower back L2 please help

    hey everyone,

    just found this forum and i am blessed that there is a network of people outhere that are willing to guide people through these events.. i am very new to sci and i am learning/reading everyday,,,,

    my best freind was robbed at his store and was shot in the lower back..( i was one of the first persons on the scene and i would of been there working with him at the time of the robbery however had i not gotten tied up with somthing later in the day i would of been there....) i feel like i should be laying next to him..paralzed like him , with him...everything is racing through my head and everytime i go to visit i feel helpless since i cant do anything for him...that is why i have turned to this network for help... i see and visit him everyday for a few hours ...his family does not live in the area and they came in the begining but now they have returned back home and come visit when they can.

    ! believe from what he said its a L2 b incomplete....He was shot about 10 or so days ago ...and it managed to hit im directly in the middle. like squared up..as if somone was standing right behind you and shot you directly in the middle of the lower back....the bullet is still lodged in in back/vertibrey and the docs are saying that they arnt going to remove it??
    he is in the rehab center however he feels like not enough is being done and that its more or less there just teaching him how to coup with this and live like this and not try and recover or regain any movement.... is this normal?

    he can move his whole upperbody however no movement in the lower.he has control of his bowls....however he does have sensation and he says that he can feel his knees and and are in great pain..as if there being twisted while hes just laying down on the bed...

    does anyone have any advise or sugesstions on how to perceed with treament,bullet removal y/n , and where is the best treatment center in the country? hes covered under some victims crime fund from the state so money isnt really an option everything will be paided for...
    also,
    I have looked up a lot regarding sci however i have not seen alot regarding gun shot victims and if there is a possibility of recovery or you should just prepare to live like this for the rest of your life....

    when the spinal cord is severed like this in this type of way *( as the doc said...its like a bundle of horse hair and the bullet went right through the middle of it, leaving very little conected") is there any hope for recovery?
    sorry for the long post and maybe some grammer..i have been up researching this for the last 5 hours and i just came apon this site..

    thankyou for your time,
    steve

  2. #2
    Senior Member skippy13's Avatar
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    Good thing you found Care Cure. Welcome.

    You say you feel helpless and that you can't do anything for him...wrong. Just be there for him and advocate for the best treatment possible. Don't abandon him. That is what you can do for him.

    Where are you guys located now? There are several rehabs that are excellent, but may not be near where you live. Staying close to home should not be a factor in getting the best rehab anyway.

    Sounds like he has a good friend in you. Stay around.
    Anything worth doing, is worth doing to excess

  3. #3
    Skippy13 is absolutely right - you ARE doing the best you can for him right now, by asking questions, investigating alternatives, finding Carecure, but mostly be being there with him and for him.
    Survivors guilt is very common - it's actually damn good that you weren't there to be hurt - now you are able to help.
    Yes, the main point of rehab is to learn to live with what you have at the moment - that's why it's called rehabilitation, not recovery. It was a hard lesson for us to learn, too. To get the most out of rehab, he needs to work hard at it.
    There is no way to accurately predict the degree of return that your friend may experience; it also depends on which just bits of the cord were injured, and how - severed, bruised, etc. It's early days for that now. You said that he has bowel control? If that wasn't a typo, that is maybe the best news there can be for him. How about bladder control?
    So again, for people here to give you suggestions as to locations for treatment, etc., they'll need to know where you are.
    Good for you in hanging in there with him.

  4. #4
    Moderator jody's Avatar
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    I hope that you are able to let go of the guilt of not being there. it is of no use. your being there for your friend now at this time is great. A good rehab is very important to his recovery. one that has a good reputation.
    I recon they left the bullet in because they don't want to cause more damage than is done allready. if it moves or causes more problems, the may remove it later.
    Friends often disappear after an sci. wonderful that you are there.

  5. #5
    Steve,
    So sorry to hear about your friend. There are lots of great rehab centers. Where is your friend - what state? Knowing that will help in finding you a good rehab facility. The fact that he has bowel control is a good sign. Rehabilitation is a long process. You are doing great by researching ways to help.
    Stay strong.
    Ugh, I've been kissed by a dog!
    Get some hot water, get some iodine ...
    -- Lucy VanPelt

  6. #6
    It sounds like his physician is describing a cauda equina (horse's tail literally) injury, which is an injury to the nerves leaving the bottom part of the cord (conus). This is often abbreviated as cauda equina syndrome (CES). The cauda equina starts at about T10 and the tip of the conus is at about L2 (vertebrae level). These nerves are technically spinal roots and not part of the cord itself, but severe damage to these roots will often result in paralysis, loss of sensation, and often pretty severe neuropathic pain. This is especially true with gun shot wounds, as the bullet not only pierces the roots, but the heat of the bullet and shock wave tends to "cook" and burst nerve cells nearby.

    Did you really mean to say he has control of his bowels? That would be unusual with even an incomplete cauda equina injury. With most people with cauda equina syndrome, they have most of their leg movement intact, but often have impairment of bowel and bladder control, and with sexual function. Regardless, there is a lot that he can learn to do in spite of this, and walking (with or without some bracing or a cane) is often very possible, and bowel and blader control can be gained by using a good bladder and bowel management program.

    Neuropathic pain with CES can be very difficult to manage. He should be on medication specific to neuropathic pain already (usually Neurontin or Lyrica) in increasing doses. Sometimes TENS is helpful.

    He should seek at least 1 or 2 second opinions about removal of the bullet. Dr. Young (here) feels very strongly that bullets should be removed if at all possible.

    Where is your friend? Many general rehab centers are not very skilled or experienced with CES or other types of SCI. He would do best if he is at a SCI specialty program (Model SCI System Center or at least one accredited for SCI rehab by CARF).

    Meanwhile, hang in there, visit often, and be supportive. Many here will tell you that many so-called "friends" disappeared very quickly after their injury. Only the true friends stay with you...and he needs that now.

    Please come back often and ask questions, and get your friend to join us ASAP too.

    (KLD)

  7. #7

    CARF = Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities

    CARF is Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.

    Here is there website with lots of information about rehab facilities:
    http://www.carf.org/home/

  8. #8
    I'm so sorry. As mentioned, friends tend to leave when one becomes disabled. The best thing you can do is to continue your support, keep him laughing & fighting & be his shoulder to cry on.

    It's important to find a sci knowledgeable, recovery based rehab. If not, hewill just fall victim again , just being taught how to survive with what is left. He may only have what's left & with that, can still live a good life. A recovery based program may or may not bring about recovery but it's worth a shot. My legs never responded, but many have had success with FES; electrical stimulation. I guess it's also very imperitive to help him keep up a fight but not get rapped up in expecting too much.

    Now, get him on the internet & on Care Cure. I would have been in a much better place; emotionally & physically ,having this place before a year post.

  9. #9
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    I am sorry to hear about your friend,Make sure you reseach the best rehab fac for him,even if it is out of the state that he lives in,because you want him to get the best therapy available while he has the insurance.Just encouraged him to work his butt off when you find the right rehab for him,hard work and a good attitude pays off....Good Luck and ask a lot of questions when you find the right place,because you as well as your friend want to have a good understanding about his theraphy.

  10. #10

    hey everyone..

    sci-nurse,

    sorry i must of typoed...he says that he can for the most part control his blatter... were located in charlotte,nc...it seems like hes at a nice place but he feels that there not pushing him enough or trying to regain control and there just teaching him just to deal with it...as u mentioned, hes in very stong Neuropathic pain...back, legs everything is in pain..he talked about how he can feel sensations if someone is touching his foot...but he has no movment in the legs..and he can remotely flex his calve musles alittle...but thats it...is that a good sign? is there a likly hood that he will be regaining any movment in is legs?





    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    It sounds like his physician is describing a cauda equina (horse's tail literally) injury, which is an injury to the nerves leaving the bottom part of the cord (conus). This is often abbreviated as cauda equina syndrome (CES). The cauda equina starts at about T10 and the tip of the conus is at about L2 (vertebrae level). These nerves are technically spinal roots and not part of the cord itself, but severe damage to these roots will often result in paralysis, loss of sensation, and often pretty severe neuropathic pain. This is especially true with gun shot wounds, as the bullet not only pierces the roots, but the heat of the bullet and shock wave tends to "cook" and burst nerve cells nearby.

    Did you really mean to say he has control of his bowels? That would be unusual with even an incomplete cauda equina injury. With most people with cauda equina syndrome, they have most of their leg movement intact, but often have impairment of bowel and bladder control, and with sexual function. Regardless, there is a lot that he can learn to do in spite of this, and walking (with or without some bracing or a cane) is often very possible, and bowel and blader control can be gained by using a good bladder and bowel management program.

    Neuropathic pain with CES can be very difficult to manage. He should be on medication specific to neuropathic pain already (usually Neurontin or Lyrica) in increasing doses. Sometimes TENS is helpful.

    He should seek at least 1 or 2 second opinions about removal of the bullet. Dr. Young (here) feels very strongly that bullets should be removed if at all possible.

    Where is your friend? Many general rehab centers are not very skilled or experienced with CES or other types of SCI. He would do best if he is at a SCI specialty program (Model SCI System Center or at least one accredited for SCI rehab by CARF).

    Meanwhile, hang in there, visit often, and be supportive. Many here will tell you that many so-called "friends" disappeared very quickly after their injury. Only the true friends stay with you...and he needs that now.

    Please come back often and ask questions, and get your friend to join us ASAP too.

    (KLD)

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