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Thread: just some questions?!

  1. #1
    Senior Member amanda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Arkansas, USA

    just some questions?!

    I am fairly new to all of the hoop-la that comes with a SCI. I am 8 months post injury, about 5 months post hospitol. My injury is at C5/C6. But, I jnow that I perform on at least a C7 level. Please correct me if I get any terminology wrong. I could of sworn they told me my injury was complete. I know that my spinal cord was just bruised, but I do not fully understand complete vs. incomplete. Am I wrong in that if my injury were complete, I would not perform on a higher level? Also, I have small sensations here and there that are below my level of injury. (i.e. spot on my lower right rip cage that I can feel, spot on my right hip bone that has come and gone, spot on left knee)These spots are felt in pressure, not sensation to touch. What do these mean? good, bad, nothing to get excited about, jump for joy? also when I sit for longer than needed my but, legs, hip( whatever the pressure is on) seems to start burning or tingling. Just as though it would when your butt hurts from sitting to long( WHEN ONE HAS FULL SEENSATION). Is this a normal SCI OCCURANCE? Should I turn every two hours while sleeping, just as they did to me in the hospitol? Haven't been doing that since I got home, haven't had any sores though either.I know that I have a million and one questions.....but I don't know who to ask other than those who have "been there, done that".Also, I seem to have tingling sensation in legs after they have been elevated, then let down after a while. Almost like what you would feel if your foot goes to sleep and "is waking up". (like blodd rushing back?) Any pointers on learning to cath on the toilet? Please pass on the wisdom! thank you!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Panama City, FL
    Your injury and level is similiar to mine. c-5/6, sensation through out,and my cord was only bruised. Didn't even have surgery. Best thing you did was find this site. Don't have a lot of time today, but with sensation below your injury level it sounds like you are incomplete. The burning sensation when sitting may be telling you to shift your weight.Even abled body people shift around when sitting. They just don't realize it. As for turning every two hours, you will get a lot of different opinions. Just do whatever it takes to not get a bed sore. Me, for 22 years I have slept on my right side, pillow between my knees, on a hospital bed. I have an egg crate from Walmart. Its comfortable and easy to clean or just get a new one. During the night I roll from my side to my back and to my side again using the bed rails. If I'm lucky I do it without waking up.Develop a routine that works for your SCI care and challenge yourself in otherways everyday. I think staying active and busy is the key to physical and mental health in our situation. I'm guessin' you have a lot of adjusting to do and a number of things to figure out. Many you will have to figure out on your own and develop your own creative solution process. For everything else there are plenty of people here willing to share there insight and experiences.

  3. #3
    EveryBody is different. You can have two spinal cord injuries that are the same level that will still feel different things, function differently no matter what a textbook says.

  4. #4
    AMAC, welcome to this forum.

    While many people are told at the time of their injury that they are "complete", it is nearly impossible to determine if someone is really complete for at least 1-2 years. It is common to get some sensory return, and sometimes motor return of 1-2 levels with a cervical injury.

    You can read a little more about complete vs. incomplete injuries here:

    Dr. Young's article

    It is still important to turn at night, just as it is important to do your weight shifts in your wheelchair.

    Since you live in Arkansas, are you hooked up with a case manager through the Arkansas Spinal Cord Commission? If not, you need to get this service. Arkansas is unique in the USA for this program, which can be quite a big help, esp. for those who are newly injured. You can find out more about the Commission here:


  5. #5
    Senior Member alan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    Turning every two hours is ridiculous. IMO. How the hell is one supposed to get any sleep that way? Just always keep an eye on your skin - it will tell you what it can tolerate.

    You may want to try an air mattress on top of yur regular matter. The Grant Airmass is one such device. You can find places that sell it via a Google search.

    The nurses have often suggested sleeping on one's stomach, with bridging. You may want to try that position - some folks like it.


    "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Madison,Wisconsin, USA
    amanda, we were taught to gradually extend the time between turning at night. so now his skin tolerates 6 hours without any red spots. like it has been said, everyone is different and their mattress becomes important in whether they have to be turned more often. if you lie in one position and a red area on skin doesn't fade in about 20 minutes then you could be flirting with a potential sore. there are many different matresses, air, gel, foam. some just get in the habit of turning themselves if able.

  7. #7
    There is plenty of research evidence backing up every 2 hour turning. Some people (esp. when young) can get away with less, but it frequently catches up with you as you age or get other conditions such as diabetes. Use of specialty mattresses and overlays will help, but turning is not only good for your skin, it is needed for your lungs and kidneys as well.

    Proning with appropriate bridging is a good option for many. If you are properly positioned prone you can go 8-10 hours with no problems. We used to prone even our vent-dependent high tetra patients.

    AB people turn and shift weight in their sleep about every 8-10 minutes.


  8. #8
    Senior Member glomae's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    amanda, i think just about every person hear knows what you are talking about when describing that tingle or numb feeling,most of us deal with it also. i'm no expert on why and what that feeling is but you have chosen the right place to start getting the answers to all of your questions. welcome to carecure. gloria

  9. #9
    Hey Amanda,
    I live in Arkansas and if you need any help getting in touch with Arkansas Spinal Cord Comission let me know... Email me or holler at me on Yahoo messenger...

  10. #10
    Senior Member Clipper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Portland, Oregon
    Originally posted by SCI-Nurse:

    ... but turning is not only good for your skin, it is needed for your lungs and kidneys as well.
    I sleep the entire night on my left side and have never had any skin problems or redness. (I sleep on a Select Comfort mattress and perform two daily skin checks.) Your comment above concerns me. Should I be concerned about my kidneys and lungs?

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