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Thread: Paras, Quads and Level Envy

  1. #1
    Senior Member keps's Avatar
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    Paras, Quads and Level Envy

    How do people view people with different levels of injury to themselves?

    There is quite a bit of "paras vs quads" joking on the boards. All good fun...but is anyone deadly serious about this?

    I must admit, as someone with a T4 injury (thought it was T2 until evidence said otherwise), if I learn someone has, say, a T12 injury, I tend to think "So no dysreflexia for you then".

    But if I learn someone has a higher injury than myself, I feel (rightly or wrongly) that they must have a more difficult time of things.

    Don't get me wrong; any injury is a hugely traumatic, life-changing event.

    I'm curious as to how others feel on this matter.

  2. #2
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    Cut one wire in the muliticiore cable and you will shut-down a system; cut of more wires and you will further isolate more systems. Then cut those wires closer to the fuse box and you will furthermore isolate even more systems. Now, on top of that, switch off some fuses in the fuse box and you will have a perfect power outage and a complete mess

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jadis's Avatar
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    I was wondering something similar, not so much from an envy standpoint. I was wondering what the trade off was. I don't really know how to word it without getting blasted.

    For example, are paras more prone to more severe sexual dysfunction than quads? Would a quad trade sexual function for more finger/hand use?

    Do incompletes have more pain than completes? Would an incomplete be willing to trade the level of function they may have below injury for less or no pain?

  4. #4
    I would love to be a spastic para. Sometimes I get a little
    frustrated when I here about how bad someone's spasms
    are. Being a flaccid para, my legs are getting very thin and
    way more vulnerable to sores.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by keps
    How do people view people with different levels of injury to themselves?

    There is quite a bit of "paras vs quads" joking on the boards. All good fun...but is anyone deadly serious about this?

    I must admit, as someone with a T4 injury (thought it was T2 until evidence said otherwise), if I learn someone has, say, a T12 injury, I tend to think "So no dysreflexia for you then".

    But if I learn someone has a higher injury than myself, I feel (rightly or wrongly) that they must have a more difficult time of things.

    Don't get me wrong; any injury is a hugely traumatic, life-changing event.

    I'm curious as to how others feel on this matter.
    T4! Bloody T4! I used to like you when you were T2. Do you know what those two levels you've casually acquired would do for my quality of life! You'll be walking next woman!

    Seriously though. Everyone is so different after this injury. I'm higher level than you but have never suffered with AD. I met people in hospital far worse off than me for a variety of reasons - even walkers wracked with pain and bowel problems.

    I used to get annoyed by paras moaning about how difficult it was to cath themselves or how heavy their chair was too push when I was doing the same with no grip or triceps but I never really bothered to challenge anyone. Everyone is dealing with something.

    I do genuinely feel sometimes when everyone - friends, family, even people on here - go on about walking they severely miss the point from this quad's perspective.

    If I could retain what I DO have as a quad (I admit I have many benefits from my incompleteness) yet become a T4 or T6, I believe I would desire that as much as a T4 or T6 would want to walk.

    I know this is a generalisation. I also know there's vent dependent quads with a fraction of what I have who would take C5/6 80% independent for life if it were offered to them.

    As I said to Jadis the other day..........we're all in the same boat, just on different decks...and it's still sinking
    Last edited by RehabRhino; 05-07-2006 at 04:28 PM.
    C5/6 incomplete

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

  6. #6
    Senior Member LaoziSailor's Avatar
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    I think, whether quads comparing to quads, or paras to paras, or paras to quads, in the end it is all an "apple to oranges" comparison.

    Sometimes the subtleties are so small and yet have a tremendous impact.

    I don't have a PCA, when my wife is out of town and I mop the bathroom, it takes me one (1) hour (takes her 5 minutes) and if I had the PCA I'd be put to bed (whenever that is) -- wouldn't necesarilly stay there and stay up till 4:00am and then pay for it later that day.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is the issues we have to deal with are so different that comparison becomes impossible. For instance if I have an involuntary, I will spend four (4) hours performing damage control -- from trying to keep my sheepskin clean (I sleep on a sheepskin and a cotton pad), ...anyway I hope you get my drift.
    Han Tacoma

    ~ Artificial Intelligence is better than none! ~

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Jadis
    For example, are paras more prone to more severe sexual dysfunction than quads? Would a quad trade sexual function for more finger/hand use?
    Penis Envy vs. Hand Envy?

    It's all relative really....I'm a C5/6 Incomplete....I do have pain, but it's manageable....My hands are not too curled, or too loose, so they are useable....Very few UTIs....No bowel troubles/accidents....I can breathe on my own....So yea I have a lot to be thankful for.....

    I know some paras have a ton of pain, so much that they are on bedrest....Severe atrophy as Buck said.....At the age of 40, some will have the shoulders of a 60 year old.....

    I know some high quads would kill to be C5/6....They would be able to use their arms, feed themselves, or even just scratch their nose! When I think about it like that, and I know how it feels because I functioned like a high quad coming out of a month of ICU, I do feel as though I'm not appreciative of what I do have, but that isn't the case at all....

    As they always say, the grass is always greener on the other side


  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by jayday9
    Penis Envy vs. Hand Envy?
    Ah......what about one working hand and a half working penis?

    Ooooh I'd be raw.

    Sorry. TMI?
    C5/6 incomplete

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

  9. #9
    Senior Member NWC4's Avatar
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    I may get a lot of grief, but I believe the distance from being a high quad to a para is much greater than the distance from being a high para to an AB.

    With no arms and no hands one is severly limited in every aspect of life. The only thing one can manage on one's own is limited to what one can do with a mouthstick that's within reach and a joystick or sip -n- puff switch.

    Besides para's get all the cool toys! And they can actually play with them as appose to watching someone else play with them!!

  10. #10
    Senior Member LaoziSailor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NWC4
    I may get a lot of grief, but I believe the distance from being a high quad to a para is much greater than the distance from being a high para to an AB.

    With no arms and no hands one is severly limited in every aspect of life. The only thing one can manage on one's own is limited to what one can do with a mouthstick that's within reach and a joystick or sip -n- puff switch.

    Besides para's get all the cool toys! And they can actually play with them as appose to watching someone else play with them!!
    Well, my principal toy is a sailboat. I was consistently beat by my friend Debbie, a C2 no longer on a ventilator (used a diaphragm pacemaker?) and she used a si-n-puff to handle the sailboat.

    Just now a new class (UD18) has been added to the paralimpics and is specifically oriented to high quads and females.

    A New Paralympic Class
    "Sailed by two disabled crew (one will be classified with an IFDS International Classification 1) with at least one female on board, the boat will be an exciting addition to World and Paralympic competiton."

    If you Google it you'll find more info.

    Now, I may have misunderstood your use of the term "toys" and if so, I'm sorry. The way I used it, there are multiple other "toys" that are available to high quads. I just focus on the sailing because it is sooo capable of leveling the playing field to just plain skill -- you can go head to head with an AB.

    Kathy (one of our SCI Nurses) can probably attest to this. She's involved as well.
    Han Tacoma

    ~ Artificial Intelligence is better than none! ~

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