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Thread: Should I worry about AD?

  1. #1

    Should I worry about AD?

    I'm a C6-7 incomplete. I have complete sensation below the level of my injury. Do I need to worry about AD with tests and procedures, or surgery? I live in a small town and want to know if I should educate my Docs about this. If I understand AD correctly it should not happen to someone with sensation. Am I right? I plan to warn them about my spastisity and clonus. Thanks nurses and all who respond! Lynne

  2. #2
    It can still happen if you have sensation, as it has to do with the autonomic nervous system.

    "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow"
    ~ Anon

  3. #3
    Sorry if I'm stepping in here, but I have an AD question of my own. Is it unusal to never experience AD?? I'm 2 years post - and I haven't ever been unfortunate enough to have it. If it matters, I'm a C5 complete with no sensation. Thanks.

  4. #4
    I learned a long time ago not to use the words "never" and "always". Just as some people with complete injuries never experience AD, some of those with incomplete injuries do. I don't have an explicit physiologic explanation for this, perhaps someone out there does. However, I think anyone with a high injury should always know the symptoms of AD, and know what to do if it occurs. They should also prepare their health care providers prior to any procedure which may produce noxious stimuli. Better to be overprepared than underprepared.(EMK)

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Hi Lynne
    I am a C5/6 with sensation and I suffer from AD. It started about 18 years after the accident. In some ways it is good as it tells (warns) you there is a problem. eg: while in hospital recently my indwelling catheter blocked. I was sweating, high BP etc. When the problem was alleviated I felt fine.


  6. #6
    how do you all do it?
    you all are heroes
    i cant...

  7. #7
    Didn't suffer from it til I had my first bladder stone after 10 years. Urologist almost killed me! Thank God there was a SCI nurse there. She shoved a pill undr my tongue and the pounding, searing headache went away.

    then I'd get it when my Foley clogged. profuse sweating, headache. Would try and get home from work (praying someone was home) to alleviate the problem.

    Had the Mith. procedure. Now I only get severe AD when something is really wrong.

    c6 quad-complete

  8. #8
    80% of those at risk for AD will have their first episode during their first year after injury, but I have seen a number of people who did not have their first episode for up to 10 years post injury.

    You can be fairly incomplete. I know a number of those with ASIA D injuries ("walking quads") who get AD on a regular basis.

    Anything that an AB would consider painful or uncomfortable (below your level of injury) can trigger AD if you are prone to it.


  9. #9

    Should I worry about AD?

    Thanks everybody! I really appreciate all of your replies! I talked to the Doc and he acted sure of what I was talking about (AD) "Sympathetic nervous system, yadah, yadah", but he says he didn't know it as that term, (autonomic dysreflexia). Only thing is, he was speaking as if it were LOW blood pressure he watched for. I'd printed off some stuff about AD for him but he didn't want it. He talked as if he'd done colonoscopies on SCI before, saying that sometimes he'd have problems with them, especially "quads". He seemed rather confident, and tried to reasure me. Should I be concerned that he wasn't familiar with the term AD? I admit, I am a worry-wart! He said I could use the phospho soda
    prep, but his instructions call for drinking 1/2 3oz. bottle with 4oz. 7-up, the other 1/2 with 4 oz 7-up in 20 minutes, and then repeating it all in 2 hours. I noticed the nurse said to do the other bottle in the AM. I'm supposed to be there at 7AM. Do you think that's why I'm told to do it all the eve before? Should I drink gatorade, or other electrolyte drink that eve to help with the loss of same? I don't drink much (always been hard to swallow liquids). That's why I like the phospho soda routine. But since I border on dehydration most of the time I wonder if this plan is more risky for me. Sorry this is so long! As this gets closer I seem to have more questions! I really appreciate the help! Nurses, others? Thanks, Lynne

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    middle of nowhere
    I'm always suspicious about Drs. who do all the talking and none of the listening. Connecting AD with "low" BP sounds wierd. It's tough, but if you're not comfortable with your doc. you need to get his attention even if you have to interrupt him. I've had to educate most of my pc docs I've had over the years because most don't know much about SCI and it takes awhile sometimes before they figure out that we have some "unique" problems.WR

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