This past fall my dad suffered a spinal cord injury , which disrupts the signals between the spinal cord and nerves that run down the middle of your back. An injury can be considered complete or incomplete and can vary greatly depending on which vertebrae is injured. I’m interested to learn and share as much about it so I can better assist my dad and understand what challenges he faces everyday.
Struggles come along with complete or incomplete injuries. Incomplete injuries usually mean “unfinished” or “not perfect yet” as complete injuries mean “total” or “whole”. In my dad’s case he is a complete motor and an incomplete sensory injury. With him being partially incomplete he hasn’t lost all of his sensation and is able to move his hands. This means there is hope. Hope for some recovery. Everything is unknown and anything is possible.
Some patients do become “cured” or do recover from a spinal cord injury. The best chance for a complete recovery is from rigorous rehabilitation and great determination. My dad spent the previous three months working with Craig Hospital in Denver, Co and has continued his therapies upon returning home this spring. His therapy has become his full-time job. Along with a rigorous and tiring therapy schedule, he has learned to adjust his daily operations while working to regain normal function.
Craig Hospital has been instrumental in helping my dad to learn to live with his current state of functioning as well as teach him ways to retrain his nerves and nerve pathways to normal functioning in the future. Craig is a leader in the industry for spinal cord and brain injuries. Craig has also helped my dad make connections with other individuals with similar injuries and at varying levels in the recovery process. This is especially helpful so he doesn’t feel isolated and has others he can talk to about what to expect.
This is a journey that we have only just begun and there is so much to try and understand. I know that there will be ups and downs for my dad and my family. Luckily, the fight to cure spinal cord injuries continues with continued research and advances in medicine. The Christopher Reeve foundation is leading the way to continued advancements and knowledge.
1) How can we be more efficient when helping people with spinal cord injuries?
2) Is there way to exactly know if someone is complete or incomplete better?
3) How can we make the world a better place for people with spinal cord injuries?