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Thread: An Overdue Update

  1. #11
    Hi Matt,
    Yes you worked your butt off, but you don't know how lucky,
    or blessed you are. I also wanted to reiterate what Jadis said.

    I just found this site the other day and signed on, so a little about me.
    I am 56 years old, an x Army Ranger and Vietnam Vet, in the gym at the crack of dawn 4 days a week and never sick a day in my life.

    In May of 1999, out of the blue
    I was totaly paralyzed from the neck down from an epidural spinal abscess that compressed my cord and left me a C-5 incomplete. I always had sensation but did not start to get any return until 6 months later. I gradually got movement back in my fingers, hands and arms (although weak). Later a little movement in the legs.

    I worked my butt off in therapy. After many months I was finally able to stand for very short periods and also walk for short distances, this however with a lot of help from therapists because I was not able to get up from my chair on my own. After my insurance stopped paying for therapy because I no longer was making significant gains I continued paying on my own for both physical and aquatic therapy for almost two years.

    I did have some complications, I developed HO in both hips in the first year after my injury which restricts movement. Consequently despite all the therapy and constant leg exercises I fractured both left and right phema's and have metal rods in both.

    Long story short, after all the years of therapy, motivation and will to drive on I am still in this chair. So although the mind is willing, the body unfortunately is not.

    Keep up the great work Matt!


  2. #12
    Junior Member MattS's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Fergus, ON, Canada
    Everyone, I am not saying that there are not injuries that are perminant and have no recovery, those are not the injuries I am talking about. One example is I worked with someone who happened to get injured the day before me. I worked with him for a month straight which started 1 month post, he was getting some recovery, some things started happening. Then I couldn't see him for about 3 weeks, when I ran into him again, he had lost everything, couldn't more anything anymore. So, I spent another two weeks with him, pushing him, and what happened, he started to get recovery again. Present day, he can't move anything and is in his chair. Did he want to get better, yes, but couldn't motivate himself to get there. This is just one example I know of, there are others but I'm not going to waste my time.

    People don't realize how powerful thier brain is. I'm going to give you a scenario, some of you might have already know this and only para's and some quad's with return to their arms can try. Have a friend stand or sit infront of you. Hold your arm out infront of you and think about the the thing that makes you the happiest in the world and get your friend to try and push your arm down. Now, put your arm back up and think of the thing that makes you the angriest, and now get your friend to push down your arm. You know what happens, it is so easy to push down your arm while you are thinking negative thoughts. (it doesn't matter which way you do first, just give your thoughts about a minute before you try) Why? I don't know but this is just one very small example of your brains subconscious power over your body.

    Also, I have been told that some nerves have the ability to regenerate, but no the spinal cord does not, so complete injuries don't regenerate. But the nerves that do, do so at about the same rate your hair grows, give or take a little. On the other hand, what happens when you don't exercise, well your muscles shrink because your body only has enough muscle for what it has to do. So my belief is that if your brian does not tell your body to grow and repair the nerves, they won't either, it's proven that your body "shuts" down things it thinks are not needed, like large muscles if they are not used. Remember, I am not talking about "complete" injuries, but incomplete injuries. Every single injury is different, but if you think "determination" can't be a factor and if it was then SCI would be a nonissue, that can't be true. It's human nature, for the same reason so many of the population is obese or develop late onset diabities, etc. The unforutanate reality is that the majority of the population is NOT determined or all these issues would be nonissues also.

    Well gvinton, I don't know maybe you are a motivated person, I am friends with two people who think there were fortunate, both were quads with incomplete injuries and both walk, run and look like nothing happened and one is 2 year post, the other is 3 years post. Both got all recovery and strength back in the first year. Funny thing is they don't think I was fortunate. Just so everyone knows, here is the muscle strength I have recovered in two years of working at this everyday. Right quad 40lbs, Left quad 80lbs, both hamstrings 25lbs, both calves 35lbs and can't feel my right leg at all and can feel my left quad only. Oh ya and I weigh just over 200lbs but I make myself walk everyday because I don't want to use the chair. I limp and get tired very quickly. So do I think I am fortunate or lucky to get this far, nope. The only thing I was lucky about was the fact my injury never severed my cord.

    So for all the people that hate me, i'm not going to reply or bring this up again. It just bothers me when I meet so many people that tell me they want to get out of the chair like me, have incomplete injuries with some return, but won't put the effort in.

    So everybody, best of "luck" with your individual recovery.

  3. #13
    No one 'hates you' here, but you need to realize that your statements can be very hurtful to those who have not been so fortunate. It is cruel to imply that people don't get return because of some character flaw, and arrogant to imply the if only others were as brave, strong, motivated, etc. as you that they too would have as much return as you. You need to learn that everyone's injury is different, and that no one can judge anyone else based on their own injury, because every injury is different.

    I hope you don't disappear simply because others don't agree with you. Such a thin skin doesn't work on the internet.


  4. #14
    Junior Member MattS's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Fergus, ON, Canada
    I do realize everything you say, my problem is that I hate it when people don't take 100% advandage of their life. I personally have 5 stories of other SCI people with slight recovery, I took my time when I could have been doing more for myself but worked with them instead. As we worked togethor, they gained more and more. I only have so much time and my recovery is my first priority, so after a couple months of them "working" without me in whatever way, they fall back to where they were before I started helping. It's just been frustrating and I guess I was more or less venting.

    I'm not going to disappear, just going to keep my opinion to myself even though I have seen it work and I know it won't work on every injury. My skin is thick and nobody is close to getting under it, I just felt I was making more harm than good and that was not my intent.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Jesse's Mom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Winthrop, MN, USA
    I think you need to put yourself in the position of some of the people who responded to your post. What IF you did exactly what you did during your therapy days and didnt get any single bit of return. Yeah, you would keep plugging away, working as hard as you could work, and then what if you still didn't see any improvement? Thats a few too many 'what ifs' but put yourself in the place of people who did exactly the same as you did, my son for example, and still are in a wheelchair. If someone would tell you that you could walk if you just MAKE yourself do it, wouldnt you feel a little bit defensive? Just wanted you to know that people on here are not mean spirited people, just sensitive to the subject of return.I think if you would have left out a few sentences in your post, you would have gotten congratulations instead of the responses you did.

  6. #16
    MattS, oh geez..... where to begin...? i think that most everyone has ''ripped you a new one'', esp. Jadis and Bob Clark... rightfully so. now it's my turn... the 1st thing that you need to do is learn ALOT more about SCI before coming into ''our house'' with your dumbass condascending remarks about how great you are....

    let me tell you a little about me... i'm c5,6 COMPLETE... based on your remarks, being that they were all towards incompletes, i should just sit here and do nothing or even work hard because of the possibility of zero return....? or atleast that is how i took it. most of your return is based on your injury level, not your determination or ''willing to put the effort in'' as you say... yes, extra effort does help to build muscle strength, but is not the determining factor...

    i have had tendon transfer surgery on both arms to regain some hand function and i bust my ass everyday working out at home and at a rehab center 6-7 days a week.... i've known that at 18 or so months that whatever i have, i have... no biggie. that hasn't discouraged me by any stretch to not rehab, nor should it for anyone.... i may not have regained any motor function, but my arm, shoulder and back strength is awesome. Jesse's mom said this towards her son... we both are still in a chair...

    if you learn yourself, 'cause you must think we all are dumbasses, more about other ppl's condition and how varied c2's-L1's are, you may not make such idiotic remarks... i'm still trying to get your rehab info. processed.. when did you become a PT? you sure do make remarks like you are a f*cking PT at 1 month post. when i was rehabbing, i didn't have time for anyone but me. how do you explain this ''high-horse'' that you are on? you ''worked'' with someone and didn't see him for 3 weeks and he got worse... give me a break dude... didn't he have his own PT? reviewing your comments, you are so high, i'm not sure if you've been smoking something or think ur God....?

    all in all you SHOULD be so damn fortunate that you weren't injured no worse than you were, but you aren't... your two friends that think that you AREN'T fortunate, are idiots.... you need to surround yourself with alot of high quads and gain some damn perspective..

    lastly, your comment on the arm test.... PUT THE BONG DOWN... where did this come from? when i was in karate, when we were to throw a punch or a kick, we were to yell out to produce more power. granted, it was not a yell of anger... well, controlled anger, not a yell of thinking of butterflies or sunsets. IMO, your analysis is crazy..... said my peace... for now..

    Life isn't like a bowl of cherries or peaches. It's more like a jar of jalapenos--What you do today might burn your ass tomorrow.

    If you ain't laughing, you ain't living, baby. Carlos Mencia

  7. #17
    Junior Member MattS's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Fergus, ON, Canada
    Well 2jazzyjeff, I think you must have hit your head and got some brain damage along with the SCI. If you would have actually READ what I wrote you wouldn't have made so many stupid comments. I know as well as everybody else including yourself that incomplete's have a better chance of recovery than completes. I never once said complete's should not do anything, never once even tried to suggest something to help them. I have not experienced it and I give you credit for working so hard at it.

    I also stated what injury I was so that someone with a "similar" injury might work hard for more recovery, it had nothing to do with any sort of quad. As for being a PT, no I am not, but my brother is. I have also had surgery and PT for two MCL injuries, one ACL injuries, shoulder dislocation with rotator cuff injury, plus a bunch of other minor times. The joys of living an extreme lifestyle. So as for an expert, never said I was that either, just been through a ton of PT along with my brother being a PT. As for someone decreasing, yes he had his own PT, yes they "worked" at it, but it happened, believe it or not, I don't really care.

    Of course I am fortunate that I wasn't injured worse, but my question is, are you? There is alot of people in the world that are injured or have some disease that is way worse than you, so maybe you should surround yourself with them and gain some f*ucking perspective.

    Now for the arm test, I think you should stop drinking the water from your bong. Are you so stupid that you think what I said has anything to do with force of a punch or kick in karate? I know exactly what you are saying, I used to take karate for another way to workout. Maybe you should actually get your friends to try it you moron and you would actually realize how your body reacts.

    So now come on, if you are going to give me a reply, maybe you should ask yourself, do I have a "similar" injury? If not, how can you tell me i'm wrong. I don't go on posting stupid replies to a post that relates to "complete quads" because I don't know anything about that. Same goes here idiot.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Clipper's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
    Portland, Oregon
    I think we've ventured into personal attacks. Moderators?

  9. #19
    Senior Member Jadis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Salish Mtns, Montana
    Quote Originally Posted by 2jazzyjeff
    MattS, oh geez..... where to begin...? i think that most everyone has ''ripped you a new one'', esp. Jadis and Bob Clark...
    I wasn't aware I ripped anyone. I certainly didn't mean to come across that way. I did need to make a point though. Yes, there are those who give up and waste away. Others will fight with all they have. No results does not mean their heart isn't in it. The body is a complicated beast. If we think we can fully understand it's abilites, or lack thereof, we are fooling ourselves.

    I said the same as I would when trying to educate others about SCI. I get a lot of "how can you move your feet if you are SCI?" and "you can drive a normal car?" I could drive an automatic without controls, but that ended about a week ago. Now that my friend is a T12 complete and he has NO return or function below injury, the two of us together really sparks questions...and stares.

  10. #20

    For what it's worth, reading between the lines, I interpreted your initial post to give the message--attitude and hard work go a long way to maximizing what you do have preserved. As a C4/C5 complete myself, I was not offended at all.


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