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Thread: Your Pre-SCI Knowledge Of SCI

  1. #21
    I grew up in a small town where I didn't ever see many disabled people. The only other disabled person I knew of there was the mother of a friend from school who had MS. Despite that, I had a vague awareness of what an SCI was. I knew that a paraplegic was one whose legs were paralyzed and a quadraplegic was one with all four limbs paralyzed. I knew paralysis meant that one didn't have any feeling or voluntary movement, and I was aware (in an adolescent sort of way) that sexual function was affected. For some reason it never occurred to me that one's bladder/bowel functions would also be affected.

    I'm probably like most people here and never thought it would happen to me. Though I knew a bit, it was still a complete shock to find out just how many ways it would affect me, and how completely it would alter my life.


  2. #22
    Senior Member Jesse's Mom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Winthrop, MN, USA
    I would see someone in a chair and all I could ever think of was poor guy, wonder what happened? And that was it. But I sure never had any idea that it is what it is. Unreal. I am so absolutely embarrassed to say this but when our church wanted to spend money that they didnt have on an elevator I didnt think it was necessary. We didnt have anyone in our church that needed a wheelchair, not one. But now I would move heaven and earth to do anything for someone who needed any help because they were in a wheelchair. I still cringe when I think about our church wanting an elevator. Thank goodness they did get one installed because now Jesse is only one of two that use it. God forgive me.

  3. #23
    Looks like I'm in the minority... I worked for a handicapped vehicle conversion company (Advanced Mobility Systems of Texas) out of Ft Worth, installing various equipment, handcontrols, lifts, door openers, tie downs, etc... I had a pretty good notion as to what life with a SCI entailed, well as much as an AB can. Looking back, the biggest lesson I learned from interacting with paras and quads on a daily basis was that, life doesn't have to stop because of a SCI, you just need to have an open mind and go about things differently.

  4. #24
    I just remember a little we brushed over in heath class in high school.

    But nothing can compare to living the SCI yourself. Since my injury I have soaked up any and everything I can. I think the best thing is just talking to people with an injury and sharing your experiences. Most people havent a clue about SCI. What is really bad is alot of DOCTORS,NURSES,and even THEROPST dont have a clue to about SCI till you inform them.

    You never think it will happen to you. All we can do is keep on pushing and never give up.

  5. #25
    I knew the basics about bowel and bladder from my surgical tech degree. I had no idea about complete vs incomplete, spasms, neuro pain. I thought that being a quad meant that you couldn't move your arms at all and para meant that you couldn't move your legs or that you were dead from the waist down. I had a friend who had a friend that was a lower level complete. I new nothing about her injury. I was too...well I didn't ask.

    What would you like the public to know that you didn't know? Or maybe I will start a new thread. Good topic though.

  6. #26
    I remember seeing someone in a wheelchair and thinking 'poor bastard can't walk'. Now I know different. In fact now I consider not being able to walk the least of my problems.

    I also remember a serious discussion with two (then) close friends in which we all promised each other if one of us became a full quad (we thought that was the only type) the other two would help with suicide. Since my accident this has never been brought up when I see them, but both of these guys are now extremely uncomfortable around me.

    In hospital the first few weeks quadriplegia was never mentioned, I was told I'd broken my neck and damaged my spinal cord. I thought this meant it was only temporary. Then one morning I read QUADRPLEGIC on the cover of my notes as some doctor was flicking through them. When he left I called the nurse over and told her that cant be right I can move my arms, as my arm function had started to kick in. She explained everything to me, which upset me greatly.

    So yeah, I was pretty ignorant. Steep learning curve though..

  7. #27
    Senior Member keps's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    United Kingdom
    It sure is some comfort to know that I wasn't the only one to know next to nothing about SCI before injury.
    I can't help but feel a bit stupid for having no previous knowledge of it, though.

    That's a good suggestion for a thread - what do you wish people knew. Start it now, Jplw!
    One thing that gets me is when people assume paraplegia means paralysis from the waist down. I'm a para, but it's from the chest down. So I'd like people not to think - paraplegia always = waist down.

  8. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005


    Paraplegia or paraplegic means two, which mean you, can be a “Para” all the way up to your arms, if problems with the arms then you become a “Quad” which means four. Quadriplegia and Tetraplegia is the same, depending which language it has is origin from. Greece or Latin.

    • ultra-high quadriplegia (tetraplegia) – (above C4)
    • high quadriplegia (tetraplegia) – (C4-C5)
    • low quadriplegia (tetraplegia) – (C6-C8)
    • high paraplegia (above T4)
    • low paraplegia (below T4)
    Quadriplegia or Quadraplegia / Tetraplegia are when the lesion or the injury is in the Cervical or the neck region. Paraplegia is when the lesion or the injury is in the Thoracic, Lumbar or the Sacral region of the spinal cord.
    Last edited by Leif; 08-17-2005 at 08:55 AM.

  9. #29
    A few months before my accident I remember touching my legs, and wondering where exactly the sensation was coming from; were my hands feeling my legs, or my legs feeling my hands? Turns out it was both, as now I can touch my legs, and my hands are the only ones doing any feeling.

    One of the first things I thought of when I was lying in the hospital was of my grandfather's cousin. I didn't really know him that well, but I'd seen pictures, and knew he was in a wheelchair. When I was little and first saw a picture I remember thinking how strange it must be. His injury was higher than mine, and he visited me in the hospital. He died a few months later (I think he was in his 70's).

    I also was in attendance at Giants Stadium in the early 90's when Dennis Byrd was paralyzed. Sometimes I think about the thousands of people at the game that day, and wonder if any of them are paralyzed now. I remember our seats, and the cold weather. I looked with my dad's binocculars to see what was happening, and I remember watching him lie still on the field.

    Two weeks before I was hurt I watched Chris Spielman on "Up Close" (ESPN interview show). He was injured in a preseason game and was momentarily paralyzed. He said in the interview that is (part of the reason) why he retired. I remember thinking how terrible it would be to be paralyzed. Then it happened to me. I'm a psychic!

  10. #30
    I actually had a uncle who was paralyzed. Yet, I still didn't know nearly anything about SCI. I just figured he couldnt walk nor feel. I remember at family gatherings he would go cath and even then I didnt put 2 and 2 together on what he was really doing. I guess when I seen people in wheelchairs I just figured they couldnt walk or had something else wrong with them. I guess I just didn't get to nosey and ask questions, like maybe I should have?? All my close friends ask me how I go to the bathroom and about sex n' stuff. I am comfortable with telling them and they are all aware of how it works. I think just like me, people think I just can't walk nor feel. I don't think its anyones business really though how I do go to the bathroom. If you ask me not being able to feel or walk, alone is just HUGE. You say, maybe we should let everyone know about B&B so they realize just how much we go through. I think just telling someone you can't feel or walk is like HUGE and should tell them right there how much we deal with. I always say have you ever tried putting on a pair of jeans sitting down without using your legs to assist you? It all adds up.

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