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Thread: Do we live to be older...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Jeff's Avatar
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    Do we live to be older...

    ... when injured earlier? Or just live longer past our injury? Or am I getting it backwards completely?

    Thanks.

    ~See you at the SCIWire-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~

  2. #2
    Senior Member giambjj's Avatar
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    There are charts that list life expectantices for SCI based on age and level of injurgy. Search UAB website for this chart.

    JJG

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jeff's Avatar
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    Thanks, Dr. J.J.

    We live longer past the injury when injured earlier. But our expected age at death is lower when injured earlier.

    Dang. I was trying to look for at least one positive from having been injured so young. Guess this one ain't it!

    I need to be healthy for forty more years. But my life expectancy is only another sixteen! Wow! Never really paid attention until now. Guess I'm gonna have to skew the numbers with a whopping long life!

    BTW, if a cure changes my status from "low quad" to "incomplete motor" my life expectancy will go up. C'mon cure!

    http://www.spinalcord.uab.edu/show.a...0&return=21795

    ~See you at the SCIWire-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~

  4. #4
    Senior Member Belle's Avatar
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    There is so much information hidden in data like these. I wish my degree was more generically social science because I would love to run a study to update survival statistics for the SCI population. I can think of loads of other variables to ask about...presence or absence of 24/7 caregivers...depression...locus of control (do you feel like you control your life, or does your injury status control your life?)...socioeconomic status...education level...income level before injury...physical condition prior and post injury...etc. I'm sure even a cursory review of the literature would suggest a few more.

    I would hypothesize at the least that people who feel that they still control their lives, have sufficent access to caregiving, and are able to work could beat the listed averages easily. People who feel out of control, have difficulties getting care, and cannot work are probably at higher risk to have a shorter life span. If this hypothesis were supported it could be used as a basis for getting greater support to help the injured get better care and live longer (and hopefully more prosperously).

    Sigh.

    Another thing to think about is that the longer you live with an injury, the more likely it is that some oddball event will happen that threatens your life. A fire at your residence that an AB would escape, a bedsore resulting from an inadvertent unexpected event, an episode of the flu or pneumonia that is harder to survive. Those probably contribute to shifting the mortality rates downward. Something where remaining vigilant and safety conscious (getting flu shots, having sufficient exits and fire alarms, etc.) would also improve your odds.

    *************
    AB wife of T8 complete para

  5. #5
    Senior Member Jeff's Avatar
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    Belle - Thank you so much. I was thinking and hoping similar things but couldn't express them as well as you.

    I'm really active, pressure sore resistant, infection resistant, I can cough normally [really helps avoid respiratory illness], I'm becoming really health conscious, I'm married, and my wife is younger. So I refuse to be disheartened by the average.

    My wife and I are trying to get in a position to start a family. And I want to live to see my grandchildren before checking out. Thanks for posting.

    ~See you at the SCIWire-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~

  6. #6
    I don't know if this information will be helpful Jeff but I feel I have more than beaten the odds for longevity.

    I am a female with a C6/C7 injury from a diving accident back in 1958 at age 14. Complete or incomplete was not in our vocabulary back then so never have figured out for sure what it means. I have not regained anything since the accident anyway. I have strong arms and shoulders but bad dexterity in my hands.

    I have had a wonderful full active life. I hit age 60 this year and other than feeling my age like everybody else I still feel well and healthy. I really believe the secret is good family and friends around me and a determination to want to experiance everything I can in spite of my injury. If I have to be here, I want it to be a good experiance.

    I did meet the man created for me and we just celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. We have two natural child birth children ages 38 and 36. Our children have blessed us with 6 grand children. My husband left for work everyday while I stayed home to raised our children, took care of the house, & enjoyed many hobbies. I drove a 2 door car for many years and learned to pull my chair into the back seat. As the shoulders started aching from wear and tear we puchased a van with a lift about 9 years ago. We have many memories of a fun life full of fun experiances.

    Through the years I experianced UTIs, survived breast cancer 10 years ago (still cancer free today), & through time I had a couple broken knees from going headfrist out of my wheelchair. I normally don't have problem with pressure sores since my roho cushion. However, when I was younger before the roho, I did have pressure sores removed surgically two different times about 10 years apart.

    I just have to believe it can work if we have people around us who love us but will allow us to be as normal and independent as we can be. It does take work on our part to take care of ourselves, care about our appearance, & have good exercise and diet. We need to keep moving and keep the weight down. And keep the pressure releases going. I have faced many emotional ups and downs and my family have been patient for me to pull myself back up again. I believe we have to know our health care needs and have a physician who will work with us to meet the correct needs. I do understand your concern to be around for your children. That was always a concern for me.

    Actually, I do happen to be facing the decision right now whether or not to go through rotator cuff surgery if the insurance will cover the post-op care. I do not want to go through it because it will be a long tough recovery. If I indeed do decide to do it I will have to go for it with all I have in me. On the same hand, I do not want my independent mobility to be stopped by a bum arm. I like shopping too much. We are just waiting to see how this one plays out.

    Sounds to me like you are in good shape and have a good attitude and are on the right track. The odds of life statistics are beaten all the time. That is all anyone can work towards and the rest is out of our hands. Good luck Jeff and live long and happy.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Jeff's Avatar
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    thedestiny, your post brings tears to my eyes and fills me with optimism. Wow. What an amazing story. That was exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you so much.

    ~See you at the SCIWire-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~

  8. #8
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    I was reading the life expectancy charts from UAB and would like to know what the category "motor functional at any level" means.
    Can anyone help me with this.

    Thanks

  9. #9
    You are so welcome Jeff. Statistics are made up of titles and numbers and you can create your own category and numbers. You and your wife enjoy those grand children and all your other accomplishments along the way.

    Jan

  10. #10
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    Hi Jeff. I am ac6/c7 imcomplete, motorcycle accident in i956, that's 48 years. ......i'm now 68 and still going.

    olly

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