Hi all, I'm recently injured and wanted to share my story and have a few questions. I've also shared on the SCI SubReddit and met a few people there.

Not long ago I was at a party on a lake and everyone was pencil-diving off a 30ft cliff into water. I've never done it from this height, but figured it looked easy and nobody else got hurt. I jumped and did not tuck my butt in, so it hit the water like concrete. My sacrum flexed up and sent a shock up through my spine, eventually neck and into my head. I guess my spine basically hit the underside of my head when I impacted the water at ~30mph. I retained motor function, didn't lose consciousness, and have memory of the whole event. I saw stars for about 10 seconds and felt immediate changes in my behavior, thought process, and emotion.

As the days went on I developed all the classic symptoms of PCS and noticed many sensory issues throughout my body. I had weak legs, heavy arms, and sore joints from changes to my gait. I went to the ER about 1 week in. They did head to tailbone 1.5T MRI's and didn't find damage to the cord itself, stating I was in spinal shock. There was a small fracture within the sacrum from the trauma but I've been told it shouldn't have caused any bone fragments to damage nearby nerves. I personally don't believe the image quality was good enough to be conclusive. They discharged me without any diagnosis.

I have absent bicep, plantar, genital reflexes and diminished ankle reflexes with a lot of anesthesia/dysfunction in the genital area. At first I had diminished bladder and bowel sensation but it has progressed and my bowel is constipated upstream now. They said my symptoms present like cauda equina, but the static MRI's don't look like a classic case. Unsure how much might be peripheral nerve damage from the sacrum out through the pelvis.

I'm about 2 months out and my symptoms are:
- Diagnosed with concussion/mild traumatic brain injury. Working through therapy for this one, been told it should recovery with time.
- Weakness from shoulders to fingers with some fine motor control problems. While it's changed from before the injury, its good enough for me to complete all my daily tasks.
- Weakness from hips to toes with some fine motor control problems. While it's changed from before the injury, its good enough for me to walk around and most people may not be able to tell.
- Core muscle strength is changed, my belly seems to be more distended. Good posture takes more effort.
- Low back pain around the sacrum to L5 area. Substantial loss of sensation in the genitals and sexual dysfunction.
- Poor sensation of bladder, bowel constipation. I've been able to help the constipation with a modified fiber diet and occasional milk of magnesia.
- Sensation changes throughout my body from head to toes, temperature is the most pronounced but pain and touch are also effected. Skin sweating and discoloration also occur. Seems like I have a lack of feedback with regards to many functions.
- Breathing feels altered but can't put my finger on it, doesn't seem to negatively impact day to day. Blood pressure and heart rate seem a bit more variable than before the injury.
- Some neck pain and cracking throughout my back, especially in the morning.
- All of my joints ache especially in the morning, I'm guessing from the changes to the muscle function.

Despite the changes, I'm able to get myself around relatively normally and drive as well. I try to go on walks for 45 mins a day and do minor weight lifting every other day. I plan to get in for a PT exam/workup soon. I've not been assigned an ASIA grade, or given a diagnosis by any neurologist. They consider the injury minor and claim I should recovery, which I disagree with due to the severity of the issues. I've pushed to get better 3T MRI's and be more conclusive on where the damage is but they are not interested.

My questions are:
- Has anyone ever experienced or met someone with a "minor" SCI like this?
- What type of improvement can be expected with an injury like this? I've heard PT and exercise is key to recovery.
- I feel stuck in limbo without any clear diagnosis, and symptoms linger or get worse. Should I push my neuro to get those new scans or what would be a good next step?
- Have you ever gotten an MRN (magnetic resonance neurography)? I considered it for the pelvis to see if sacral nerves were damaged causing the genital/bowel/bladder issues.


Thanks for any input and letting me share!