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Thread: Your Pre-SCI Knowledge Of SCI

  1. #1
    Senior Member keps's Avatar
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    May 2005
    United Kingdom

    Your Pre-SCI Knowledge Of SCI

    Before my injury, I was pretty much ignorant of SCI.
    I thought paralysis meant you couldn't move - I didn't really know that it meant total disconnection - no sensation - too.

    I can't believe how little I knew about paralysis.
    I had no idea about bladder/bowel problems...ingrowing toenails...pressure sores...dysreflexia

    It never ever crossed my mind that I would one day be paralyzed

  2. #2
    My knowledge of SCI was less than zero.

    I can't remember a single thought about "people in wheelchairs" before my accident. It wasn't because I was an @$$hole, I just did not know any sci's. I thought breaking your neck = death, it was only when I read about CR did I even realise you could survive.
    Phil C6
    "If you can't explain it to me in less than 10 seconds, it's probably not worth knowing anyway..." - Calvin

  3. #3
    Senior Member jb's Avatar
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    Jan 2002
    it's ironic because i knew a guy in town who was cripple for years. i remember one night sitting on my front porch w/my bf and we got into talking about him and i said if one of us was to be cripple it should be me because i could handle it better. low and behold now i am cripple. another time i woke up and just laid there thinking and i didn't move anything as if i were trying to understand first hand. maybe somewhere in my subconscience i knew i would be one day. i don't know but that haunts me to this day. pretty weird, huh?

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2005


    Good thread. I believe this thread will show how the AB people will look at us. This will also show why politicians etc. Don’t pay attention to us.

    For myself I also did not now the details about SCI. I guess it’s because we all had our busy life and was dealing with our job and daily life situations. I know a couple (not close friends) of SCI people before my SCI. One of them had a diving accident many years ago and he broke his neck. I remember me just thinking I felt sorry for this handsome young man ending up in a wheelchair and become paralyzed. I had no idea about all the other problems that comes with SCI. I believe it also has to do with nature of men; we don’t want to dig into serious problems like this if it has no impact on us. We take the easy way. I believe there will be many posts under this thread. Thank you.

  5. #5
    I knew a little about sci from this para they brought into my high school to talk about the dangers of drinking and driving. But I never knew personally even one person in a wheelchair. Even after my accident in the icu, I was told I would never walk again but had no clue that I wouldn't be able to feel anything from my chest down nor have control of my bowel and bladder.

  6. #6
    Similar story here.I knew nothing about SCI, knew nobody in a wheelchair, and didn't pay any attention to people who were. Not because I didn't want to, simply because I didn't need to.

    Leif is correct about the way that people look at disabled people. I think this may have been mentioned in another thread, but diseases such as cancer seem so much more likely to afflict someone that you know.

    Now I am in a wheelchair I don't actually mind people asking me questions about how how I ended up disabled because it is an opportunity to at least educate people about what breaking your neck or back can do to you. Of course, I don't go into detail about the worst of it - B&B etc - because it's not the kind of thing you want to share. Unfortunately, it is possibly the full paralysing effect that people need to be made aware of. Just thinking that you can't move and have reduced or no feeling doesn't really give the full impact.

    I sincerely doubt that there's many of us who could say we would particularly knowledgeable pre-SCI. I for one know that if I had known somebody with a spinal injury prior to my own accident, I would probably have been even more scared about what my future held when I was first lying in my hospital bed.

    As it was, it took me weeks to realise that catheters and dodgy bowels were the norm. I just thought it was because I was stuck in bed that people were having to help me with these functions!! It was only after a conversation with a nurse that everything dawned on me.

    I was just beginning to accept that I was going to be in a wheelchair when I began to realise that there were possibly worse aspects to what I had done
    C5/6 incomplete

    "I assume you all have guns and crack....."

  7. #7
    I had no knowledge of SCI before my injury beyond what I'd seen in movies. The summer I was injured I remember thinking that the worst thing that could ever happen to me would be losing the use of my hands because I wanted to go to art school. I never imagined it would happen a month later.

    Oddly, there was a guy on my street who was a walking incomplete, but I never knew the actual details until after my injury. He'd actually broken his neck three different times, but never significantly damaged the spinal cord. He just couldn't turn his head because of all the plates in his neck (I assume). Some time before I was hurt I actually helped him fix the brakes on his truck. He was the only SCI person I'd ever met.
    Last edited by Saorsa; 08-16-2005 at 09:44 AM.
    "I'm lost. I'm no guide, but I'm by your side." - Pearl Jam

    "It decomposes, mendicant, therefore, truly, one calls this the world." -- Loka Sutta

  8. #8
    Senior Member McDuff's Avatar
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    May 2004
    Dallas area, Tx
    I had a good work friend for many years who is sci. He was in the chair long before I met him and was on with life. I got a fairly good insight into sci thru him as I was young and inquisitive. I learned about spasms("What's going on with your legs?"), pressure relief("Dude, you squirm a lot"), transfers, hand controls(drove his car a few times to try them out).

    We never got into the B&B or sex stuff, as Leif said, probably TMI for men. I did learn his kids were adopted as I ate at their house a lot(feeding the single guy). I remember wondering whether or not "he could do it" but never had the nerve to ask that question.

    So I guess I got to see the visible parts of sci but not the "behind the scene" parts. Which of course is the hardest part. I got a phone call from him after my wreck, first thing he said, "so has anybody told you about B&B yet?"(now he tells me) We had a good talk thinking of the irony of it all.
    "a T10, who'd Rather be ridin'; than rollin'"

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2005

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by RehabRhino
    ...but diseases such as cancer seem so much more likely to afflict someone that you know.
    Remember. Cancer can also cause SCI. As I wrote under another thread SCI can be caused by a lot of diseases, not only accidents. Like MS, AVM’s, TM etc. etc.
    I was diagnosed with an AVM that caused my SCI. I remember going to the neurolog and getting the answers on my first MRI examination. I could barely walk at this point. Before the doctor was going to tell me the diagnose I remember telling him that I hoped it was cancer in my spinal cord, because at that time I believed it was MS causing me the problems. Boy was I happy when the doctor told me it was not. When the doctor told me about AVM’s which I had never heard of, I still was happy due to all my knowledge about how MS can develop.

  10. #10
    It is pretty much the same story for me. I think the reason is that for many many years most SCI's probably were confined to the home or an institution. They weren't visible to the general population unless you actually knew someone in your inner circle so to speak. Quality of home healthcare, wheelchairs, accessibility out in the towns & cities, access to cars - none of this really lent itself to allowing a SCI to be out there with everyone else. It still doesn't in many places. But with recent improvements, for example in self-healthcare and new building regulations for public places, there is the opportunity to be more visible, to integrate with everyone else. I don't go out of my way to tell people what happened to me and what works or doesn't work, but if anyone asks I will tell it all. People should know that it isn't just a case of legs not working. We do owe it to ourselves and to each other to be very visible indeed!

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