Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: Newsjunkie's Brother in Law

  1. #1

    Newsjunkie's Brother in Law

    Quote Originally Posted by Newsjunkie
    Hi all
    My brother in law sustained a c4-c5 injury at the end of January. He has made great progress and came out of ICU after about five weeks, trach removed and now breathing fine on his own. He has weak movement in his left arm at the moment and none in his right but we hope the physio and occupational therapy will help him to build strength and regain some function. We are based in Ireland and have been over and back a few times. We saw him out in a wheelchair for the first time last weekend and it was great to see him upright although it seems to be uncomfortable for his back.
    This is a fantastic forum with brilliant support and I am hoping to be able to pass the ideas and hope back to my brother-in-law.
    I started a new thread so that all the replies to your post are gathered in one thread. Welcome to CareCure. Many people here have gone through you and your brother-in-law is going through. Recovery takes a long time after spinal cord injury, usually a year or more. So, patience is important. It is very good that his trach is out and he is now breathing on his own. The next step is to strengthen his arms. A C4/5 injury affects the arms and therefore it is a good sign that he is recovering some movement of his left arm. C4 is the deltoids (the muscles that life the arms up). In the coming weeks and months, he should recover his biceps (which flexes the elbow). C6 is the wrist extensor, C7 is the triceps, C8 is the hand flexors, and T1 are the finger extensors.

    Wise.

  2. #2
    Welcome
    Go Georgia Bulldogs

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ireland (brother in law is in Germany)
    Posts
    12
    Thanks a million for starting this thread for me. I should say that he is two months injured and we were told complete c4-c5 by his doctors over a month ago when he was in ICU, he does not know exactly the level of his injury but I would like him to ask this and a list of other questions so that we have a better idea of what he is likely to be able to do. We would like to be able to give him as much hope as possible as he is completely dependent on his caregivers for his care at the moment and he and my sister are worried about the future (although he has great faith in the physio and OT care his his rehab centre, in Tuebingen). As well as twice daily physiotherapy, his hands are also taped into a closed hand position for part of the day - would this be with a view to establishing a passive grip for when his arms are stronger?
    I have heard no mention yet of FES or other exercises to maintain muscle tone - is this type of exercise common at this stage of recovery? Any recommendations on information or treatments he should be looking for would be very sincerely appreciated).

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ireland (brother in law is in Germany)
    Posts
    12
    My brother in law is now three and a half months post injury and still has only weak movement of his left arm (nothing in right). My sister was told by the doctor yesterday that they there will be no further improvement and that they can no longer help him in the specialist spinal rehabilitation centre. She is being told he could not be nursed at home and may need to be moved to a Nursing Home from the rehab centre. She is devastated as she was looking forward to getting him home and starting their new life together. (They live in a first floor apartment so they would need to sell that anyway and buy somewhere more suitable).
    He is also very upset as he had assumed that he eventually would be able to use his left arm to gain some independence (eating, etc). He also really hoped that he might be able to drive some day and he was told that this would be impossible.
    I understand that he has a serious injury but I feel that there must be hope for him to improve his quality of life and go home (with nursing care for certain parts of the day), with the right therapy and support?
    Is anyone familiar with any "gold standard" programmes in Germany or elsewhere in Europe?

  5. #5
    I'm really sorry to hear about your brother in law. I have no experience of being C4/5 or of being in Germany (I am a T4, did my rehab in Ireland and now live in France) but I have heard that the rehab clinic in Tubingen is pretty good, but of course that doesn't mean to say that you are not absolutely right to want to seek alternative information/guidance. I don't know the medical system in Germany but another clinic your family might like to contact for a second opinion is:

    Neurologisches Rehabilitationszentrum Quellenhof
    Kuranlagenallee 2
    75323 Bad Wildbad
    Germany
    Phone : ?+49 7081 1730
    Fax : ?+49 7081 173230

    - I have also read/heard good things about this clinic with regards to spinal cord injuries. It is near Karlsruhe, not far north of Tubingen.
    Hopefully someone from Germany might see this thread and offer you their experiences or give advice.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ireland (brother in law is in Germany)
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by carbar
    I'm really sorry to hear about your brother in law. I have no experience of being C4/5 or of being in Germany (I am a T4, did my rehab in Ireland and now live in France) but I have heard that the rehab clinic in Tubingen is pretty good, but of course that doesn't mean to say that you are not absolutely right to want to seek alternative information/guidance. I don't know the medical system in Germany but another clinic your family might like to contact for a second opinion is:

    Neurologisches Rehabilitationszentrum Quellenhof
    Kuranlagenallee 2
    75323 Bad Wildbad
    Germany
    Phone : ?+49 7081 1730
    Fax : ?+49 7081 173230

    - I have also read/heard good things about this clinic with regards to spinal cord injuries. It is near Karlsruhe, not far north of Tubingen.
    Hopefully someone from Germany might see this thread and offer you their experiences or give advice.
    Many thanks for this information, I'll pass it on. Hope life in France is good!
    Pauline

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ireland (brother in law is in Germany)
    Posts
    12

    Life with c4-c5 - how to give my brother in law hope

    My brother in law Werner is now over six months post his (c4-c5) injury. He was discharged from the Tuebingen Spinal Rehap unit yesterday- they said they could do nothing more for him there. He is in a general hospital in Stuttgart while a nursing home bed is being sought for him. My sister is naturally very unhappy as she hoped that he would eventually be able to go home and would be able to do some things for himself, particularly feeding. He has some movement in his left arm but cannot use his hand. I am concerned that his specialist physio and OT has now come to an end and I am encouraging my sister to check out exactly what therapy he will now be able to access.
    I hope some of you might be able to help me with a couple of questions.
    1. The first is, what therapies would be worth trying to get for him to maximise his independence?
    2. The second is what technologies should we be organising for him now to start giving him some independence, even without the use of his hands? For example voice activated software for his laptop, mobile phones or stereos. What started making life bearable again for you or your family member?
    Your guidance would be extremely valuable to Werner, my sister and our entire family as we don't know what we should be doing to lift his spirits and maximise his independence.
    Thanks so much,
    Pauline

  8. #8
    I am very surprised that he would get such incomplete rehab in a country like Germany with their health care system. With a high tetraplegic injury, the goal of the rehab program should be to:
    1. Get the person independently mobile in a power wheelchair that they can operate themselves, allows independent weight shifts, and build up tolerance in the chair for 10-14 hours daily.
    2. Order/prescribe the proper power wheelchair as well as a manual chair, commodes, standing frames and other mobility equipment appropriate to the person's needs.
    3. Provide adaptive equipment and training in use to maximize the function the person has (such as his arm movement) for basic activities such as self-feeding, computer use, and some grooming activities.
    4. Train the person to direct ANYONE to assist with their care in the areas of range of motion, positioning and turning, transfers, bowel care, bladder care, skin care, medications, activities of daily living, and safety.
    5. Train the person to be able to problem solve the basic common problems in the home setting such as bowel and bladder management, skin issues, safety, how to manage and direct attendant care, etc.
    6. Perform a home evaluation and make recommendations for (and help with ordering) of home modifications including high technology modifications such as ECUs (environmental control systems), computers, power door openers, etc. etc.
    7. Train the family to provide the care they can provide, and provide training to any hired attendants who will be helping in the home. Train the person with the SCI to interview, hire, manage (and when needed), fire their attendants.
    8. Refer the patient and family to community support programs for attendant care, accessible housing, and accessible transportation as well as community advocacy agencies and organizations.
    • Why is a nursing home the only option?
    • Did they work with him feeding himself with a mobile arm support or Swedish Aid at all? Why was this abandoned?
    (KLD)

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ireland (brother in law is in Germany)
    Posts
    12
    Thank you SO much for your response, I am sharing these questions/comments with Werner's wife and sister and I hope they will be able to make sure that he is getting every opportunity at this point.
    The doctors and social workers in the Rehab centre seemed to think that he is not ready to go home but they can "no longer help him" in the Rehab centre. They are not skilled in transfers etc in the general hospital in which is is currently based and my sister says that he finds the transfers terrifying. If he was here in Ireland, I would know how to make sure he was getting the best care but am frustrated that I don't know their system, don't have a network we can link into and don't have sufficiently fluent German to navigate the system.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mona~on~wheels's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cleburne, Texas, USA
    Posts
    5,664
    Sorry to hear about your brother in law Pauline.
    I know how frustrating it is to feel helpless,
    but you're really helping ALOT by asking & tranferring info to them.
    You are the Nursing Home, rehab, etc. need a Hoyer Lift for transfers.
    It won't be as scarey for him.
    Take care, I'll be praying for him, y'all.

    There's lots of different kinds.

    http://www.phc-online.com/Hoyer_Lift...FQZinAodxRzXgw

Similar Threads

  1. Frist Targets Women and Babies
    By sherry38 in forum Funding, Legislation, & Advocacy
    Replies: 40
    Last Post: 02-22-2004, 06:05 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •