Page 1 of 12 1234567891011 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 114

Thread: The Incomplete's Dilemma

  1. #1

    The Incomplete's Dilemma

    THE INCOMPLETE’S DILEMMA

    The Incompletes are the so called ‘lucky’ SCIs that have some level of voluntary motor function that enables them to leave their wheelchair for varying periods of time before pain, fatigue, and weakness bring them back to the world of sitting and rolling.

    Every incomplete is different and can walk away from their wheelchair for varying times and distances. For some reason, severe neuropathic or central pain are companions to Incompletes even more frequently than Complete injuries.

    As an Incomplete, certain nagging questions arise each day. What if I worked just a bit harder, could I not use a wheelchair at all? What if I tried to strengthen my legs just a bit more, could I walk farther than I can now? What if I could transcend this neuropathic pain that accompanies incomplete injuries, perhaps more commonly than complete injuries, could I accomplish more out of my wheelchair? The conclusion that is reached is that I am not working hard enough.

    This is what I term the “Incomplete’s Dilemma”, something that I feel every day. If I only try harder today, I could move closer to being a member of the able bodied group and walk. But I can’t get there due to a combination of weak muscles and debilitating pain. It includes feeling guilty that you don’t feel as “lucky” as you should.

    The Incompletes occupy a spacial limbo that is not fully in alinement with the culture of full time wheelchair users and certainly is isolated from the able bodied world. Even the term ‘Incomplete’ has an unfinished ring to it, like an unfinished task or person. People like completion, we can take it off our ToDo list. This is the ToDo task that never leaves our list and we are living an Incomplete('s) life.


    Wasn't sure whether to post this in life or exercise.
    Last edited by arndog; 01-01-2011 at 03:32 PM. Reason: last paragraph removed - not on the topic . It is in next post..

  2. #2
    You write so eloquently about this. My incomplete level of function is disease-related, non-traumatic in origin but certainly not in experience, so I totally relate. This is such a truthful post, beautifully expressed, and I have nothing to add except: I hear you.
    Last edited by Bonnette; 01-01-2011 at 03:36 PM. Reason: removal of response to relocated paragraph

  3. #3
    The late cartoonist John Callahan offered the insight that, "Yes, quads wish they were paras, paras wish they were able-bodied and the able-bodied wish they were Jane Fonda."

    It's really a slice of insanity for, say, a T4 complete para like myself to wish that "if only I was L-level injury instead" -- that is, the way we bargain in such small increments. I think it's a false dichotomy, or trichotomy, quadromoty (whatever) to bargain to be only slightly less spinal cord injured (or more injured if that will alleviate suffering from neuropathic pain). The dream, the wish, for all of us should be to rid of SCI altogether, rather than bargain within the margins.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by stephen212 View Post
    The late cartoonist John Callahan offered the insight that, "Yes, quads wish they were paras, paras wish they were able-bodied and the able-bodied wish they were Jane Fonda."

    It's really a slice of insanity for, say, a T4 complete para like myself to wish that "if only I was L-level injury instead" -- that is, the way we bargain in such small increments. I think it's a false dichotomy, or trichotomy, quadromoty (whatever) to bargain to be only slightly less spinal cord injured (or more injured if that will alleviate suffering from neuropathic pain). The dream, the wish, for all of us should be to rid of SCI altogether, rather than bargain within the margins.
    Wow, yes, exactly!

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    4,993
    Blog Entries
    1
    arndog,

    as the dad of a 16 yr. old c5/6 complete i can tell you for certain that no one with a sci is lucky.para,quad,walking quad,incomplete,asia a,asia c,all of it sucks.
    enjoy all you can in life and avoid dwelling on the negative.thank god, or your lucky star, you have what you have.and hope for every ones situation to improve.
    above all else,
    have a HAPPY NEW YEAR and many more to follow!

  6. #6
    Well put , Stephen212. I think I would like to take out that last paragraph. I see that it is not part of the thesis of the Incomplete's dilemma but rather a different idea so I will include it here to give your excellent post some context:

    "I can’t help but think that every complete injury would love to have the Incomplete’s Dilemma, but this may be a Faustian pact with the association of a life time of chronic neuropathic pain. If you currently don’t have the distraction of severe daily pain, I would think twice about this wish. I have often wished the converse - that if I could eliminate the Central Pain, I would take being complete. I really don’t know the right answer."

    I see your point that while one is wishing , go for being Jane Fonda and winning megabucks, why stop at being incomplete. But in fact, my mind does fantasize about these incremental wishes, and I would imagine others do this silly exercise too.
    I hope this is okay to do... !
    Last edited by arndog; 01-01-2011 at 03:20 PM.

  7. #7
    I am about 2 yrs post and now T11 "Incomplete" and I always feel that to much is put on incomplete/complete. If your complete your excluded from things like lokomat. If your incomplete then that may only mean your anal sphincter reacts if a Doctor puts a finger in you. I guess you may have a better chance of gaining stuff back as incomplete but I see people in wheelchairs and have been for years that are incomplete C levels or high Ts. Would you rather be C4 Incomplete or L2 Complete. I agree that it all sucks just how much is a case by case scenario.

  8. #8
    Senior Member medic1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    New London, WI USA
    Posts
    1,144
    Arndog I completely agree with your post. Especially the feeling guilty of not doing better. I too tell myself if only I would work harder I could do better. Sadly this is not the case. It doesnt matter how hard I work I will not improve my condition, in fact it can hamper what i already have. The pain, the fatigue, only compounds when trying to do more. We are left in limbo. We are not able bodied we are not in a chair permenantly.

    I feel guilty for complaining of the pain and issues we deal with, because there are many with higher injuries dealing with so much. It feels like a trap, the whole lucky for the level of injury and yet we all face being in a chair permenantly. It is like we are on a delay. Our bodies are wearing down, we are abusing them trying to be normal when we are not. Trying to be tough and push through to stay out of the chair. Inevitably we are all headed towards the use of a chair full time. In the meant time we deal with the pain, fatigue, wearing down, central pain, burning, neuro pain, etc. And we all put on the happy face and say how lucky we are.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    4,993
    Blog Entries
    1
    medic1,
    i prefer to think you are all headed towards the great chair toss.maybe i am too optimistic but it gives me comfort.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by arndog View Post
    THE INCOMPLETE’S DILEMMA

    Certainly, most people believe that to be incomplete paraplegic is better than to be complete. The Incompletes are the so called ‘lucky’ ones that have some level of voluntary motor function that enables them to leave their wheelchair for varying periods of time before pain, fatigue, and weakness bring them back to the world of sitting and rolling.

    Every incomplete is different and can walk away from their wheelchair for varying times and distances. For some reason, severe neuropathic or central pain are companions to Incompletes even more frequently than Complete injuries.

    As an Incomplete, certain nagging questions arise each day. What if I worked just a bit harder, could I not use a wheelchair at all? What if I tried to strengthen my legs just a bit more, could I walk farther than I can now? What if I could transcend this neuropathic pain that accompanies incomplete injuries, perhaps more commonly than complete injuries, could I accomplish more out of my wheelchair? The conclusion that is reached is that I am not working hard enough.

    This is what I term the “Incomplete’s Dilemma”, something that I feel every day. If I only try harder today, I could move closer to being a member of the able bodied group and walk. But I can’t get there due to a combination of weak muscles and debilitating pain. It includes feeling guilty that you don’t feel as “lucky” as you should.

    The Incompletes occupy a spacial limbo that is not fully in alinement with the culture of full time wheelchair users and certainly is isolated from the able bodied world. Even the term ‘Incomplete’ has an unfinished ring to it, like an unfinished task or person. People like completion, we can take it off our ToDo list. This is the ToDo task that never leaves our list and we are living an Incomplete('s) life.


    Wasn't sure whether to post this in life or exercise.
    Right on the money buddy! I couldnt sum it up any better than you did.

Similar Threads

  1. Duoderm dilemma
    By stephen212 in forum Care
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 01-31-2009, 09:43 PM
  2. Any T12 Incomplete's hurt like this?
    By duge in forum Pain
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 08-21-2007, 11:24 AM
  3. Dilemma
    By Michaela in forum Life
    Replies: 34
    Last Post: 07-29-2007, 04:21 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •