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Thread: Acute spinal cord injury experiences

  1. #11
    When I was 8 years old, I was riding in the back of a station wagon, without a seatbelt. We stopped for a stop sign, but the drunk driver behind us did not stop. I was thrown out of the car, along with my two friends. Both of my friends died. I'm a T4/5 para complete. A few days after the accident, both of my parents were in a different hospital and my aunt was looking out for me. She asked my doctor if I'd ever walk again. He laughed at her and said, "She'll be lucky if she ever gets out of bed. (Keep in mind this was 1978, and obviously an idiot doctor.) I guess that was when they decided to transfer me to a children's hospital.

    I was a very shy kid before the accident, and became even more shy after the accident. I had a really difficult time in the hospital and growing up in a chair,especially my teenage years. I think my shyness is what made it so difficult.

    The most important thing to me when I was in the hospital, was when volunteers would bring in their pets for us to pet and play with. I've always been a huge animal lover, and it was very theraputic for me.

    Now I'm a 32 year old single mom of 6. Okay, only one of them is human. 4 of them are cats, and one is a puppy. I'm currently training the puppy to be a therapy dog so that I can take him to the Children's Hospital.

    If you have a young child who has a SCI, my best advice to you would be to not act like it is the end of the world. Everyone I knew felt so horrible for me and it made me feel so bad. Yeah, I was going to be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life, but I was still me. I couldn't understand why they weren't thrilled that I was still alive, and still myself, except my legs didn't work. My grandfather wouldn't even come to see me in the hospital because it was too painful for him to see "his little girl" hurt so badly. When I was allowed to leave the hospital for a couple of hours, my parents took me to my grandparents house. He took one look at me and started crying like a baby. That was really hard for me.

    My adult life has been very good. I've had bad times, but who hasn't? It's been 24 years since my accident and the teenage years were no doubt the hardest for me.

  2. #12
    Guest
    I guess my experience is a little different. I had a spinal stroke (ishemia). I woke up about 3:30 am on August 17 with an horrible backache. I took Aleve and tried some stretching to aleviate the pain. I went back to sleep (or passed out I'm not sure which). I woke up about 4 hours later and went to the bathroom. I couldn't go and I noticed my right foot wasn't working properly. The toes were curled under like someone who had a cerebral stroke would be. I called my physician and was told to go to urgent care. When I saw the urgent care doctor and told him I couldn't go to the bathroom, he sent me over to the ER.

    When I got there, the paged the neurologist on call. He did a pin prick test. Everything below my breast felt dull. I could feel just not pain.

    As the day progressed I got worse. I went into the hospital walking, but by that evening I couldn't move anything below my waist. It was very bizarre to be able to feel my feet and legs yet not be able to move them. It took about 5 days to get a definitive diagnosis. The had to rule out MS, and myletis. I think it even took a few days for the injury to appear on the MRI.

    Anyway, I'm a t 5-6 incomplete. The first 3 weeks in rehab I couldn't move a thing, but it movement started coming back slowing. First I could wiggle a toe then a knee. Now 7 months post injury, I'm starting to stand independently (although I still have balance issues). I can walk VERY short distances with a walker.

    My improvement has been steady albeit it slower than I'd like.

    My advice to new SCIs is to make your recovery the focus of your life. Learn as much as you can about your injury.


    Now I have a question. Is there anyone else out there with a not traumatic spinal cord injury????? How is your recovery going?

  3. #13
    PATTI,

    My non-traumatic injury was so similar to yours it's scary. I also woke up at 3:00 a.m. with severe pains across my shoulders and neck and the backs of my arms had gone numb. I took 5 aspirins and later Tylox. I went to the E.R. at 7:00 a.m. and they took x-rays and CT scans. The CT showed I had 2 severely herniated discs in the C5-C6 region. I was released from the hospital under heavy medication for the pain and was scheduled for a MRI the next day. Upon arriving home, I was still able to walk. I walked from my car to my bedroom and went to sleep. A few hours later I woke up and realized that I was paralyzed from the chest down. EMS was called and I was brought back to the ER. Things happened quickly from then on (so I was told, because I was out from all the pain meds given that a.m.). An MRI was performed revealing 2 herniated discs and a third that had fragmented cutting the blood supply and oxygen from the spinal cord. Emergency surgery was performed and C5-T1 was fused. I spent a couple of weeks in the hospital and then 6 more at T.I.R.R in Houston. I am now 10 months post injury and have regained use of my hands and arms but am still paralyzed from the chest down. I have regained some feeling in my lower extremities and as of today have only been able to move my little toe on my right foot. I have a standing frame, a motorized leg therapy machine and work out with weights a couple of times a week.

    I'm glad to hear of your progression and praying that God will continue mine. Keep up the hard work!

    Chuck

  4. #14
    Member
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    Dec 2002
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    anaheim,ca,united states
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    I was hit by a car on the freeway on my motorcycle the car was doing 100 mph .I was taken to the e.r. and stayed under heat lamps for 2 weeks then on to rancho for 6 months for rehab and spinal surgery it was a hit and run too

  5. #15
    Guest
    My little brother was in a car accident on his way home from his senior trip to Mexico last Thursady. He broke his 11th vertebra and had back surgery to take the pressure off of his spinal cord. Apparently, his spinal cord was pinched/stretched. I believe he was given the steroid that is imperative to receive. He was air-evacuated from just outside of Mexico to Phoenix, Arizona. His surgery was approximately 20 hours later, the next day.

    It is now eight days post injury and he has not regained feeling in his legs. He was moved from the hospital to the rehab center two days ago. He began his OT and PT today.

    The doctor is not the most optimistic person to talk to. That is why I feel very blessed to have found this incredible message board. I read each and every one of the posted messages and found such hope and inspiration in them. Praise God for such a forum!

    My little brother is a senior in high school who recently helped his basketball team win the state championship. He is an athelete and a very positive individual. My family feels very blessed that he is alive and here with us today.

    As any person who has experienced what he is experiencing (and their family members), he remains hopeful that he will recover fully and will walk to his graduation. Is this crazy? We will never lose faith.

    Thank you for hearing me. God Bless.

  6. #16
    Big Sister 32,

    No hope is ever wasted. Please assure your family that our hopes for your brother's recovery join with yours.

    Best Wishes,

    Mary

    ...and she lived happily ever after...

  7. #17
    Guest
    Mary,

    Thank you for your reply and kind words of encouragement. I appreciate your support.

    Yvette
    Gilbert, Arizona

  8. #18
    Big Sister 32.

    Keep asking questions in the various forums or try a "search" to find previously written threads that may be useful.

    Right now everything's moving at a million miles an hour with information overload. It's normal.

    Hang in there we're with you. And yes, anything is possible! Stay strong and positive!

    God Bless.

    Peace.

  9. #19
    Senior Member ~Patrick~'s Avatar
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    Lewistown,Pennsylvania
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    Big Sister 32, I am t-10,11,12. Please e-mail me so we can talk. pgantz3968@hotmail.com

    "Often our suffering or the suffering of others blinds us to the reality that the sovereign God is working His own good purposes through a fallen world"

  10. #20
    Senior Member kate's Avatar
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    bellevue, wa, usa
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    Big Sis,

    Good Lord, eight days! It feels like a year, I know, but in terms of what will eventually happen to your brother, it's nothing. Please don't believe it when somebody gives you a timeline. I know of a woman who broke her back and no movement for more than two months--three years later, she walks around and even skis . . . our story:

    Bruce broke c-6 high up on the side of a mountain two years ago. Immediate result: no movement or sensation below his nipple line.

    1st prediction: No recovery, ever. That's what they said to me, but I never repeated it to him. The next morning he had sensation almost everywhere. (He got MP in the helicopter about an hour after he fell, thanks to Dr Y and all the people who worked to get that drug tested and into the market!)

    2nd prediction: Okay, after 6 weeks he'll be about as good as he'll ever get. At 6 weeks he had a few muscle groups in his left leg--no abs, no back muscles, nothing at all in his right side. He could move his toes on his left foot, and if you put your hand on his quad, you could feel it flex.

    3rd prediction: Okay, he probably has enough to be independent, but still no point in putting him in a standing frame, or even think about walking. This was at discharge, almost 3 months after the accident. He first sat up unassisted on father's day, which was, like, 14 weeks after he fell.

    4th prediction: (A real PT at long last!!!) Okay, he'll have to work like hell, but it should be possible to get him on his feet, walking in parallel bars, wearing braces, within 3 months. And that's exactly what happened.

    Today: He caths maybe twice a day, and, as he says, can now "stand up and pee on a bush like a man!" He does a sort of modified BP; sometimes things work in the old way and sometimes he gives it a little help. He walks with no braces, usually behind a walker but sometimes with those "polio" crutches, and BIG NEWS is just starting to learn how to manage with just a cane. Scary to watch . . . also, he can go up and down stairs if there is a sturdy rail AND he has a crutch or his walker to stabilize him.

    DO NOT listen to anybody who thinks they know what is possible. They just might be full of shit!

    Dr. Young, by the way, I would have given anything to have this thread about two years ago. I couldn't find anybody anywhere with firsthand experience. What a wonderful idea!


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