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Thread: Why are quads more likely to walk again?

  1. #11
    Senior Member Erin81079's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkeyed_daisy View Post
    I'm coming up on 24 years walking and my injury is similar to yours, Bente's, and Steve's.

    It really is a crapshoot as to what someone gets back and just how bad the injury is. My bone went all the way into the cord and the surgeon describes picking slivers of bone out in his op report. Plus I was trapped in my car for five hours and waited another 15+ hours for surgery so swelling of the cord was maxed out by then. Yet you have someone else who didn't have near that kind of injury who never got any movement back at all.

    I think it depends on where you do your rehabilitation and where your focus is. My main focus was raising my daughter. Then I wanted to work. Sadly, taking care of my body came last.

    I was a stubborn kid and wouldn't let them give me a chair in 1989. So life sucked a lot more than it had to because I would not accept alot of things. I am paying for it now with my joints.

    I was a single mom its hard to do everything you are doing plus focus on recovery. You have alot of motivation to do all that you describe.

    The pool is the best place. I hope they got that lift for you.

    I would encourage you to get in some sort of exercise routine in a pool even if you have to scream to the sky to get them to put that lift in.
    My injury was a burst fracture that didn't even puncture the spinal cord, it just compressed 50% of it; unfortunately it was the wrong 50% I guess. I knew a guy that was injured a few months before I was with the same level injury and he was able to wiggle his toe enough for the therapists to take a gamble that he could do gait training. He's now up and walking. The last time I saw him, which was about 5 years ago, he was walking without braces or a walker, just a quad cane. I bet he's without anything by now.

    My doctor never told me I wouldn't walk again, he just said the quicker I get some return and/or sensation, the more likely it will be that I will walk again. Didn't get much return, so that's been the story. I want so badly to be able to focus on it (recovery) and still continue to do what I do now, but I just don't see that working. But I guess you are right, I definitely do need to get in the pool again. I've read that too much sitting can kill you, so I guess it's time to get out of the chair more than I do, even if it's just 30 minutes in the pool.

  2. #12
    Erin, deal with what you've got. Sounds like not much return so walking is kinda unrealistic. You may be able to do it, heck even I use to with long leg braces and I'm a T4 Complete injury, but it is just not very practical, it really makes you appreciate the wheelchair more after you've forced yourself not to use it because you think walking is the answer.

    Focus on Standing for therapy (standing wheelchair or standing frame) swimming, handcycling and just functioning from the wheelchair like you've been doing. It sounds like you are doing great!!!. Have you tried wheelchair tennis yet, there are so many sports and other things you can do from the chair. Sailing is a blast too.
    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    There are more people with INCOMPLETE injuries with tetraplegia than with paraplegia. This is one reason that there are more "walking quads" than walking paras, except for those with very low injuries, but programs such as external exoskeletan powered ambulation are generally currently only available to those with paraplegia (usually below T6 or so).

    (KLD)
    I believe it takes such force to crush a thoracic vertebra --big fat bone with spines to deflect force, and anchored by ribs--that most paras end up dead at the scene, or otherwise with complete injuries. It is "easier" to break a neck. Also, the distribution of white and gray matter/tracts is different at the cervical level.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Erin81079's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt Leatherbee View Post
    Erin, deal with what you've got. Sounds like not much return so walking is kinda unrealistic. You may be able to do it, heck even I use to with long leg braces and I'm a T4 Complete injury, but it is just not very practical, it really makes you appreciate the wheelchair more after you've forced yourself not to use it because you think walking is the answer.

    Focus on Standing for therapy (standing wheelchair or standing frame) swimming, handcycling and just functioning from the wheelchair like you've been doing. It sounds like you are doing great!!!. Have you tried wheelchair tennis yet, there are so many sports and other things you can do from the chair. Sailing is a blast too.
    That's pretty much what I'm doing, I really don't think there's any hope for me without the "cure." Sounds like I'm longing and stuck in the past, and really I'm not. I guess I've just gotten curious to see if gait training or therapies like project walk are feasible, even 10 years post. I've seen so much on TV about it, and I'm so happy for those people, but I've just noticed that all the stories are quads. I guess I just get irritated sometimes (very fleeting irritation) of all of the stories that pop up about people being so determined at walking that they never gave up and now they walk. The miracle children-like those of us without return didn't try hard enough-so that's my little rant about that. I guess those stories just plant that little seed of questioning, did I try hard enough? did I give up too easily? And then my real life pulls me out of my day dream and I move on.

    I'm going to ride horses again soon through a program called Hearts and Hooves (which I'm VERY excited about), but I've really not had time to do anything else. For the last two months I've gone to 2 hours of therapy a week to work with the braces and strength training-and I know that I will never be using those braces full time, my arms kill me after 10 minutes with the walker. I'm very involved in the PTA (I have to be because I'm the President-SCARY, I know) at my oldest son's school, and my other son just started baseball. My husband works full time and is in grad school, so we just have a very full schedule-doesn't leave much time for anything else. So I guess that was a long drawn out reply, but just wanted to let you know that most of the time I live in the reality you suggested, I just flirt with the dreamy recovery non-sense every once in a while.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Erin81079's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cripply View Post
    I believe it takes such force to crush a thoracic vertebra --big fat bone with spines to deflect force, and anchored by ribs--that most paras end up dead at the scene, or otherwise with complete injuries. It is "easier" to break a neck. Also, the distribution of white and gray matter/tracts is different at the cervical level.
    I like this answer, it makes sense :-)! Thanks!

  6. #16
    [QUOTE=Cripply;1510789]I believe it takes such force to crush a thoracic vertebra --big fat bone with spines to deflect force, and anchored by ribs--that most paras end up dead at the scene, or otherwise with complete injuries. It is "easier" to break a neck.

    That is what a Physiotherapist told me.

  7. #17
    Erin, I remember you from around 10 years ago, we talked a lot on the forums. I always wondered what happened to you. I thought maybe you were the same Erin who is the producer of HBO's "Curb your Enthusiam" she has the same name as you're maiden name, lol.

    Anyhow, it sounds like you done great, come to terms with everything. I guess we all think from time to time maybe there is more we could be doing or all the what if's. If only I had more return etc. Things are what they are and we do the best we all can. I do know some people who refused to accept the chair and could walk and pretty near destroyed their bodies in doing so. Sometimes best not to push the envelope too hard.
    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erin81079 View Post
    My doctor never told me I wouldn't walk again, he just said the quicker I get some return and/or sensation, the more likely it will be that I will walk again. Didn't get much return, so that's been the story. I want so badly to be able to focus on it (recovery) and still continue to do what I do now, but I just don't see that working. But I guess you are right, I definitely do need to get in the pool again. I've read that too much sitting can kill you, so I guess it's time to get out of the chair more than I do, even if it's just 30 minutes in the pool.
    My doctor was right the opposite and said I would never walk again. He went so far as to tell my parents that they needed to hire someone to take care of my daughter because I would never be able to.

    I really didn't care either way. I wanted to live because I had a six month old baby who needed a mother. Her father walked away not long after my accident and somehow I knew he wasn't going to stay.

    I also had an injury to my head which they told my parents another 1/8 of inch and I would have been decapitated. My scar goes all the way across the back of my head from ear to ear like a skin flap.

    Why am I saying all this? The surgeon had been on call 24 hours when I came in and then they had a plant explosion. Other trauma got taken before me as I was now stable. What he said "way back then" is neither here nor there. They really don't know.

    You have made your focus having a family and a career. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that as long as your life brings you happiness. It has taken me years to realize that. It's really not about walking or not walking although I understand completely your desire and your heart.

    You don't lack motivation at all. Go join that gym and share your progress.
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

    My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

  9. #19
    Senior Member Erin81079's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt Leatherbee View Post
    Erin, I remember you from around 10 years ago, we talked a lot on the forums. I always wondered what happened to you. I thought maybe you were the same Erin who is the producer of HBO's "Curb your Enthusiam" she has the same name as you're maiden name, lol.

    Anyhow, it sounds like you done great, come to terms with everything. I guess we all think from time to time maybe there is more we could be doing or all the what if's. If only I had more return etc. Things are what they are and we do the best we all can. I do know some people who refused to accept the chair and could walk and pretty near destroyed their bodies in doing so. Sometimes best not to push the envelope too hard.
    Yep, it's the same me-this forum helped me so much when I was newly injured, don't know why I left for so long, but I'm back now. Ha ha, it would be nice to be a producer, but instead I'm just a regular working gal, no fancy job just yet. Sometimes I just need to hear from people who understand. . .

    But what you say is very true, I figure if it's meant to be, then I will know at that time, until then, I'll just do what I can and enjoy most every minute.

  10. #20
    Senior Member ColonusFan's Avatar
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    Any Recovery is worth the HARD work

    Dear Erin,

    I am T-4 INCOMPLETE with a burst vertebra. I agree with Darkeyed_Dasey POOL. There is something about buoyancy that allowed me to redevelop some strength in my legs. I used swim fins to help minimize foot drop. I still get tremors and spasms in my legs and that reminds me that OH YEA I got a problem with my spine.

    Even though it has been some time from your initial injury still TRY. Most of my return happened that first year post injury but almost 8 years later I am still WORKING AT IT.

    Some "collateral recovery" for me included some bladder and bowel control. It is not perfect but some thing is better than the big ZERO of NOTHING.

    Keep at it,

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