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Thread: New to SCI - looking for answers/hope

  1. #1

    Red face New to SCI - looking for answers/hope

    My husband broke his neck on Sept 2, 2007. Just after his accident and after his surgery the doctors came and told me he was a C6-7 Complete SCI. I have since been reading his Hospital records and it seems some docs call him complete and some call him incomplete. How do I know which is right?
    Is there a chance he could regain any functions back at all over the next few years and what can we - ourselves - do to make this a better possibility? I am willing to do whatever I can to help him be the best that he can be. I am his sole caregiver as I am not sure I can comfortably trust his care to anyone else.
    Just looking for some answers and maybe a little hope I can pass on to him.
    Cathi - Wife of Edward (C6-7 complete) as of Sept. 2,2007

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    So sorry to hear of your husbands accident. Always believe there is a chance...I have docs that classify me as complete/incomplete too. Dont give up hope.....doctors are not all-knowing and can be wrong. Hugs and prayers to you both.
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

    My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

  3. #3
    Senior Member shak's Avatar
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    Hi cathi: I'm a c7 complete injury just turning 40 been hurt 2.5 yrs, sorry about edward . this is the right place to find very current and thoughtful info.
    as far as little heads up on some things, you might want to get on with finding some help that your satisfied with , even though he will continue to get more and more independent ,it's not going to happen overnight. also watch his skin as i'm sure you've been told already, but it's worth mentioning.

    good luck and stay tuned to this page these folks are on it.

  4. #4
    As the mother of a 19 yo C-6/7 complete(?) injured Feb. 24, 2007, I first want to say my prayers are with you and your husband. There is always a chance so keep that close to your heart. Make sure you take care of yourself to be able to take care of him as it's difficult with so much coming at you but that's what has to be done. I would like to share that always asking questions and making sure I understood or at least grasp what I was being told has served us well. That doesn't mean I heard what I wanted to hear but we have and still continue to question and investigate all that we are told and experience. This is actually my first post but I have read many, many informative and reassuring comments here. Make sure you ask questions as this community is very giving with their advice, experiences, information and support.

  5. #5
    Welcome to our forums.

    What are you helping him with his care? Our expectation is that most men at the C6-7 level are independent in most if not all of their own care, including bowel, bladder, skin, most dressing and bathing, feeding themselves and even light cooking and housekeeping. Driving should be a given too. Remember that self-care IS therapy, so the more he does for himself, the stronger he will get. Where did he do his rehab?

    From my more than 30 years of experience in this field, I can advise you to look for other options that allow you to be his wife, not his just his maid or nurse if you want to keep your marriage alive. It is not easy letting others help him with his care, but they can learn just as you did....in fact, he will gain a sense of control by teaching and directing them. Over time the strain can just be too much if you are trying to be all things to him. Try just being his wife.

    I would strongly recommend that you read some of the articles here on this website, starting with this one (from the home page):

    Spinal Cord Injury Levels and Classification

    SCI and Families

    (KLD)

  6. #6

    Thanks for advice

    Right now I help with everything, cathing, bowel, basically the whole nine yards I guess. He has only been injured for almost 6 months. His first month in the hospital after injury was a eventful one, dealt with alot of Fevers of 106.5 and heart pauses. Then C-dif got a hold of him. He finally got into rehab during the stay at the hospital but he is still having alot of pain and trouble with his left arm/shoulder. We are going to Neurologists this week to see if we can get that all sorted out. He has been doing more for himself in the last few weeks - feeding, and scooting around the house trying more things. Like running the sink and getting his own water from the fridge dispenser. He has a tenodesis splint for his right arm but no real muscle control in his arms yet. No hand control at all outside what the teno does for him. But he is learning to use his hands for a bit more without the teno. I do have him try to do more and more on his own as time goes on. And he gets angry sometimes when I push him, but I do know he is strong enough to overcome this and I will push him - he gets over being angry when he does succeed at whatever I am pushing him to do. Then he just wants to try more. Today he tried to play the Nintendo Wii. Got frustrated, but will try again tomorrow. The Wii is something he does with our grandkids - so I know if there is a way for him to play it - He will.
    I've been told it will take 1-3 years for him to get to where he is doing most of his care on his own.
    Nothing will tear our marriage apart - we are way to open with each other. I could honestly do this for the rest of my life for him without a thought. What I can't and won't do is sit back and watch him give up. And he knows that. We don't hold anything back from each other at all. We are both very strong people that compliment each other very well.
    We got together as teenagers, started having kids at age 16 and raised 4 fantastically great kids to adulthood, who are also just as open as we are and all have very different personalities and beliefs - even from ours. They have been here to help us all the way and have no intentions of stopping. One is living with us at the moment to help me and one keeps trying to get me to let her move in. But they have lives of their own and I don't want them to do that. We also have 6 of the best grandkids on earth and we love to do things with them so I know that is even more incentive for Ed to work harder to do the things he needs and wants to do.
    I will have PCAs coming in starting next month to help me with his care. But Ed and I have always been together and only counted on each other. Hell, before this happened - we even worked for the same company. We never had much in the way of friends cuz we had each other and family. But the friends we do have - we always loved helping in any way we could.
    Ed makes sure I take care of ME. So we do understand the part of "don't try to do it alone" and "take care of the care giver". We are both Survivors of so many other events - we know we will Survive this too. We just want to be as informed as possible and want to "survive" it in the best way we can. And the best way I can think of to do that is to talk to other people in the same position who are hopefully surviving it too.
    Cathi - Wife of Edward (C6-7 complete) as of Sept. 2,2007

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse
    Welcome to our forums.

    What are you helping him with his care? Our expectation is that most men at the C6-7 level are independent in most if not all of their own care, including bowel, bladder, skin, most dressing and bathing, feeding themselves and even light cooking and housekeeping. Driving should be a given too. Remember that self-care IS therapy, so the more he does for himself, the stronger he will get. Where did he do his rehab?

    From my more than 30 years of experience in this field, I can advise you to look for other options that allow you to be his wife, not his just his maid or nurse if you want to keep your marriage alive. It is not easy letting others help him with his care, but they can learn just as you did....in fact, he will gain a sense of control by teaching and directing them. Over time the strain can just be too much if you are trying to be all things to him. Try just being his wife.

    I would strongly recommend that you read some of the articles here on this website, starting with this one (from the home page):

    Spinal Cord Injury Levels and Classification

    SCI and Families

    (KLD)
    How long should it take for a C6-7 complete that had some complications initially to be able to functional things for themselves? I don't see him ever being able to cath himself or do the bowel program himself.
    Cathi - Wife of Edward (C6-7 complete) as of Sept. 2,2007

  8. #8
    the skin has been an issue in the past already and fighting some redness right now.
    Cathi - Wife of Edward (C6-7 complete) as of Sept. 2,2007

  9. #9
    I've always been a believer that docs read the same stuff we do lol
    Cathi - Wife of Edward (C6-7 complete) as of Sept. 2,2007

  10. #10
    Yes, I have been told so many things. What I hate is what I'm NOT told. I hate it when some-one else has the option to decide what you do or do not need to know. I feel I want to know it all. I want to know what might happen. I want to know what I could expect. I want to know what I shouldn't waste my time expecting. I just want to Know lol
    Cathi - Wife of Edward (C6-7 complete) as of Sept. 2,2007

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