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Thread: Tetra/Para/MS comparison?

  1. #1

    Tetra/Para/MS comparison?

    I have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (i.e., brain lesions) and Transverse Myelitis (lesions at C7 & T7). I have nearly full bladder control (no leaks, just urgency) and bowel control (occasional staining). I can stand and walk some (Kurtzke 5.5), but walking is so fatiguing, I prefer to use a wheelchair when I leave home because without it, I'd hardly ever leave home. My hands have good gripping strength but little dexterity. I used to type 60+ wpm; now I hunt and peck. It's so hard to turn pages, I no longer read hard copy books or magazines (I read on the computer screen; I can still use a mouse), and I use an electric letter opener on my mail. I rarely write because it's so difficult & fatiguing (slow but legible); I can write my name, but typically use a symbol instead. I have some dysmetria and intentional finger tremors, so accurate arm motions (e.g., wheelie skills) and finger motions are not possible.


    I'm just curious how similar or dissimilar my symptoms are to Tetra/Para. I sort of think I'm a mild Tetra. Is that valid? Or am I off base? Is a comparison of MS and Teta/Para even practical or useful?
    Chas
    TiLite TR3
    Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
    I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

    "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
    <
    UNKNOWN AUTHOR>

  2. #2
    Hi chasmengr. There was a thread awhile back that touched on these issues - here's a link.

    As I understand it, people whose disabilities affect all four extremities qualify as tetraplegic (or paraplegic, in the case of two extremities), regardless of degree of impairment or cause - i.e., traumatic or non-traumatic (disease-related). But disabilities for both of these groups are measured on different scales: the EDSS (Extended Disability Status Scale) is used to assess disease-related disability, and the ASIA (American Spinal Injury Association) scale measures the effects of traumatic injury.

    I believe that the usefulness of these distinctions is greatest where treatment and rehab plans are concerned, and/or in relation to insurance issues. For practical purposes on a day-to-day level, the specific terminology is less useful. For example, I would be considered a "walking quad/tetra" because all of my extremities have been impacted by MS, but I can still ambulate with mechanical assistance; my degree of disability is measured on the EDSS scale, instead of the ASIA (trauma-related) scale.

    It's a confusing issue and I might be mistaken about some of these points - if so, I welcome correction because it's a topic I would like to understand more fully.

  3. #3
    Thank you, Bonnette!! That discussion was very helpful.
    Chas
    TiLite TR3
    Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
    I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

    "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
    <
    UNKNOWN AUTHOR>

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