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Thread: Hi all, I'm c4/5 complete, living independently.

  1. #11
    Senior Member landrover's Avatar
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    Hi all, I am also a C4/5 Quad, injured 17 years ago. The last 3 years I've lived independently in an apartment. I work full-time and I'm out the door by 6:30 AM during the workweek, and home by 5:30 pm. I am provided personal care in the mornings and in the evenings. During the weekends or my days off when my attendant is not here, I am able to manage without any problems. Obviously, if I need something to eat I need to wait for an attendant to arrive but other than that there have been no issues. At night, I have a cell phone available in bed, as well as an emergency call system. I'm sure my set up would not work for everybody, but it is possible.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Tim C.'s Avatar
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    My full respect for you, that's quite impressive at that level.

    Quote Originally Posted by landrover View Post
    Hi all, I am also a C4/5 Quad, injured 17 years ago. The last 3 years I've lived independently in an apartment. I work full-time and I'm out the door by 6:30 AM during the workweek, and home by 5:30 pm. I am provided personal care in the mornings and in the evenings. During the weekends or my days off when my attendant is not here, I am able to manage without any problems. Obviously, if I need something to eat I need to wait for an attendant to arrive but other than that there have been no issues. At night, I have a cell phone available in bed, as well as an emergency call system. I'm sure my set up would not work for everybody, but it is possible.
    May I ask: You're ASIA A?
    Also from 6:30am to 5:30pm are you managing to straight cath while at work, you get help while there, or do you have a SP with a large capacity bag you wear?
    How you manage tube blockages?
    bowel accidents?,
    On off days how do you manage;
    to remove your outerwear when you arrive somewhere?
    , keyed door locks?,
    access drinking water?
    medications?
    do you wear a chest strap?
    , retrieve items you may drop on floor?,
    does your emerg call system consist of one of those necklace panic buttons?
    and I assume;
    you have an adaptive kit to help you manage your cell phone?
    you have an easy access desk top PC?
    you have any smart-home technology in place?
    you wear any adaptive wrist splints all day?
    you have easy public transportation?
    you're not wrought with nerve pain?
    I apologize for the interogation. I've tried to live without my 24/7, and do so for half days, etc, even cruzing to the beach near by in warm weather.
    I thought out everything I would have to anticipate dealing with, but
    for sure I'd make a mess-a-shmitt.

  3. #13
    Senior Member landrover's Avatar
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    Hi, I’ll do my best to answer your questions:

    -I am Asia A.
    -I wear an external cath with a leg bag. I limit my intake during the day, and have yet to need my bag emptied when someone is not there. I am sure to drink plenty during the evening/night, and have my attendant empty my night bag right before she leaves.
    -I have been fortunate, in that I haven’t had bowel accidents in probably 15 years.
    -As far as removing outerwear, I rarely wear jackets in cold weather, as I’m not outside for too long. Otherwise, if I was going somewhere that might require removing a jacket, chances are I’d have a friend with me willing to help.
    -My apartment has an electronic door opener, which I can activate with a remote button.
    -I have a camelback pack for drinking during the day
    -I only take medications in the morning/evening
    -I do not wear a chest strap
    -I don’t usually drop things on the floor. I have a tray on my chair that holds my cell phone, my door opener, papers, etc.
    -As far as my emergency call system, I have a little button that I can press with my mouth stick. When my attendant leaves at night, I have a hospital bed table that has that button and my cell phone on it.
    -My phone is not adapted. I use a mouth stick, and its speakerphone.
    -I can access my computer when I am in my chair independently, yes.
    -I do not wear wrist splints
    -I currently do not use public transportation. I hired someone to drive me in my van to/from work.
    -I fortunately do not experience nerve pain

    Please let me know if you have other questions

  4. #14
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    Hi Landrover,
    Your injury sounds similar to mine, which in my case was at c4/5 too. It's great you've been able to work. If you don't mind me asking, where did you find a job? How has having assistants come in to help gone for you?
    It would be great to hear about your experiences.
    Kyle

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by landrover View Post
    Hi all, I am also a C4/5 Quad, injured 17 years ago. The last 3 years I've lived independently in an apartment. I work full-time and I'm out the door by 6:30 AM during the workweek, and home by 5:30 pm. I am provided personal care in the mornings and in the evenings. During the weekends or my days off when my attendant is not here, I am able to manage without any problems. Obviously, if I need something to eat I need to wait for an attendant to arrive but other than that there have been no issues. At night, I have a cell phone available in bed, as well as an emergency call system. I'm sure my set up would not work for everybody, but it is possible.
    Good job landrover! I too am a c4/5, plus a right arm amputee, for 26 years. I lived with my parents 3 months after my injury and knew that was not going to work for me. I lived in a nursing home while going to college and had a job waiting for me when I graduated. I got my own apartment and from then on I have lived by myself. Don't tell the IRS this but I only "need" 2.5 hours/day of PCA help. 1.5 hours in the morning to get me up, bathed, drinks setup, bite to eat, etc....and an hour at night to get me to bed. I now have my own ranch and back doing cowboy stuff and live by myself.

    I could never feel comfortable relying on my parents for care. One has to figure things out...it might mean struggling at first (ie, living in a nursing home). I can tell you I learned so much about being independant from living in nursing home.
    Brian

  6. #16
    Senior Member Tim C.'s Avatar
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    Cowboy: Wtf? Did I read that right?

    " I now have my own ranch and back doing cowboy stuff and live by myself."

    'scuse me but I dislike doing the entire quote thing when there's only one aspect of your post that's germane for my comment. You mention having your own ranch? So I intrude in your profile thing and I see "Horse Trader". I say to myself, well maybe he really meant "ranch" as in horses, and not as in salad dressing, and maybe cattle and shit that I remember from the old movies and shows like "Bonanza", and things like "cattle rustlin", Smith & Wesson, horseback, and where "breaking in mustangs" didn't refer to the first thousand miles you gently put on your Ford 302 cu. in.
    Why can't I envision power wheelchairs, C4 weak wrists and poor abdominal muscle control, if at all. You actually ride? Adaptive saddles?
    Much admiration for your accomplishments!

  7. #17
    Tim C.,

    My way of "cowboying" now is definately different now than pre-accident. I have "hands" that work for me. Mostly teenagers that I mentor...I also pay them a little. I feel fortunate to be in the position I'm in but it certainly wasnt given to me.

    I can still ride horses but because of my high level injury and missing arm, my balance requires an assistant to walk along beside me. Which in that case, I get more enjoyment out of mentoring somone and seeing them form a real connection with their horse.

    definately not a salad ranch....and software developer is my real job...horse trader/trainer/instructor/boarding/breeding/compitition is my passion!

    BC
    Brian

  8. #18
    Senior Member Tim C.'s Avatar
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    BC : Brian: Cowboy: Whatever you go by ......

    you're a true inspiration and fighter just like LandRover dude. I'd say it near impossible but I think the key thing here is the lack of pain issues that impact so many of us. For me, the pain at times is a deal breaker, it just shuts me down. I'd love to move forward.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Tim C.'s Avatar
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    c4/5 Bullshit

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim C. View Post
    you're a true inspiration and fighter just like LandRover dude. I'd say it near impossible but I think the key thing here is the lack of pain issues that impact so many of us. For me, the pain at times is a deal breaker, it just shuts me down. I'd love to move forward.
    Quoting myself; this is low, but I read their posts and I figure if they could do it, while claiming they're c4/5, why not I? Bullshit, no sooner I wrote that, I succumed to a fantastic gut pain that grew progressively worse until I was knee-deep in AD and calling out to my CG that I had extreme bowel pain. I didn't even make it to the bed before I had a blow out, only to be outdone by what later came out as the result of stimming. Damn, after 10 yrs of this hell to still be getting accidents like in my first month. Accidents just three hours post my regular, daily BP. I am still in a world of pain. (accidents like this not uncommon for me)
    Besides being full of shit, what's up with that?
    This sucks, clearly not all c4/5s are c4/5s. There should be additional classifications that identify these conditions because I clearly can't perform on their c4/5 level.

  10. #20
    Senior Member landrover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim C. View Post
    Quoting myself; this is low, but I read their posts and I figure if they could do it, while claiming they're c4/5, why not I? Bullshit, no sooner I wrote that, I succumed to a fantastic gut pain that grew progressively worse until I was knee-deep in AD and calling out to my CG that I had extreme bowel pain. I didn't even make it to the bed before I had a blow out, only to be outdone by what later came out as the result of stimming. Damn, after 10 yrs of this hell to still be getting accidents like in my first month. Accidents just three hours post my regular, daily BP. I am still in a world of pain. (accidents like this not uncommon for me)
    Besides being full of shit, what's up with that?
    This sucks, clearly not all c4/5s are c4/5s. There should be additional classifications that identify these conditions because I clearly can't perform on their c4/5 level.

    Don't get down on yourself. Despite our similar injuries, we are all different. Like I said before, I couldn't tell you the first thing about nerve pain. I'm sure it has an impact on your quality of life though.

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