Firstly, I realise entirely that no two spinal injuries have the same results, regardless of level, so I'm just looking for a ballpark here.
My dad is an ASIA B C7 since June 2016, with some C8 function (he can bend his fingers, far more on the left than on the right, to the extent that he is able to do many day-to-day things - texting, eating, holding a drink, operating a television remote control, etc. He has absolutely no motor control below the C8 level. Some of you might remember me from Apparelyzed, which I joined mere days after his injury, and what a long way he's come since the day I posted a thread wondering if he'd ever breathe without a ventilator again!
One of the things which has massively frustrated me during his rehabilitation period is the attitude of his medical team to his potential recovery. It seems to me that they took every opportunity to tell him to give up on certain things altogether and not to even fight for them. Because of this, he has come to believe that transferring independently will always be impossible, self-washing and dressing will always be impossible (or so time consuming and exhausting as not to be worth it), that essentially getting up in the morning and going to bed at night are things which will always require external help. He also believes that transferring to and from a couch or other seat without assistance will be impossible, such that from the moment he wakes up in the morning to the moment he goes to bed at night, he will always be in the same wheelchair for the entire day, at least unless he gets help in moving from one to the other.
This does not seem to match up at all to what I've read of C7 injuries, and indeed what I've seen from C7 quad on sites like this and on YouTube - and many of those are *complete* C7s, with no finger function at all. Even one of the government documents I've read on SCI (I believe from the Australian government) suggests that a C7 injury can learn to live independently if they put a hell of a lot of work in to that. The experiences I've read from C7 quads coupled with these other sources lead me to the suspicion that my dad's rehab team were erroneously pessimistic regarding his chances for future independence.
The issue I have is that they've discouraged him from working towards these goals as he now believes them to be impossible. At one stage, for example, he was intending to join an accessible gym so that he could perform weight lifting and therefore regain some of the upper body muscle mass he has lost since his injury - he appears to have been talked out of doing this. He has entirely resigned himself to having to get up and go to bed every day based on somebody else's timetable rather than his own, as he fully believes that independent transfers etc are permanently out of his reach - that, to quote his own words, he'll never be able to set his own alarm in the morning and will instead be dictated by when the doorbell rings for his carers to arrive and/or when myself or my mum happen to be around.
Does this sound accurate to the people on this forum, particularly those with, or those who know somebody with, a complete - or almost complete - motor C7 injury? Is he right to assume that independent transfers and general independent living are entirely beyond reach and therefore to be given up on? It's incredible to hear him say for instance that he'll never sit on any chair other than his wheelchair again even though I've seen so many videos of C7 quads transferring from one to the other, some even without a sliding board due to good back and tricep muscle strength - is this the exception or the rule? Should he indeed resign himself to his life schedule and daily routine being entirely dictated by others, or is this, as I have come to suspect, an unreasonably morose prognosis?
EDIT: Just to be clear, since I haven't posted about this online since before Apparelyzed was taken down, he is now out of rehab and living at home again after some extensive renovations to our house.