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Sara Lift or other INTENSIVE rehab

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    Sara Lift or other INTENSIVE rehab

    I came really close to landing this thing yesterday for FREE but, alas, it was not to be. I’m thrilled to learn that such a home device even exists! If any of our several pending “cures” come thru, I’ll pull from retirement to get something like this. Does anyone already have and use something similar?

    Here’s another one. This one looks like it may possibly allow for independent use.


      Similar to the one directly above posted by Sheri, you can lease a litegait for a few hundred dollars a month including a treadmill that goes under it.

      You will have a safety harness, handlebars, and the ability to off-weight yourself as much as possible.

      In the beginning I was off weighting myself very much. After a few months I did not need to off-weight myself at all. I basically used the harness for safety.

      After that I completely ditched the harness and was walking normally as if it was just a treadmill. And of course I fell a couple of times like a schmuck...

      But these things do work extremely well if you are incomplete and have the ability to ambulate. I would certainly suggest having someone there with you especially in the beginning for safety.

      After a few years of paying the monthly lease, I owned the unit.
      Last edited by Mitchitsu; 19 Jan 2022, 5:45 PM.


        Fantastic! How much did it end up costing? Did you try to get insurance to cover it? (I just get madder and madder that they decline preventative and improvement things like this and just hope we’re someone else’s problem down the road.)


          Originally posted by Sheri View Post
          Fantastic! How much did it end up costing? Did you try to get insurance to cover it? (I just get madder and madder that they decline preventative and improvement things like this and just hope we’re someone else’s problem down the road.)
          Hey, I'm sorry I disappeared on you for a few days and didn't get back to you.

          I will get the information for you on the price and even where I got it from. I will try to get it to you tonight or tomorrow.


            And also, could you get yourself to standing with offset weight by yourself or did you need assistance?


              In the beginning I needed help getting up. Somebody would help me stand up and I would hold on to the bars. While I was holding on to the bars the person would put the vest on me. From there I would take as much weight off as I needed to take steps. My left leg would step naturally and my right leg somebody would have to move for me. We tried all different types of things for my right leg to get going and eventually it did. It's still my weaker leg but no longer an issue to ambulate.

              I would have to sit down a lot so they would just put a chair or even my wheelchair behind me when I needed it. Bring the machine all the way down and there was enough slack to sit.
              I never actually used the machine to help me get up but I guess you probably could.

              Eventually, off weighted, my right leg was able to move on its own. And then over time as I slowly took less and less weight off myself I was 100% using my own body weight and the vest is just there for safety.

              Now I don't need the vest at all, although keeping it on for safety is the right move because like I said I have fallen.

              Falling with the safety vest on is no picnic either. Hanging is miserable for me and makes me feel like I'm going to pass out. But it beats the hell out of hitting the floor. I just yell at the person bring it up bring it up

              Of course if you are using it to off-weight yourself you can't really fall anyway even if your legs give out on you.

              I don't know if you've ever used one of these before? I had experience because I used to use it in rehab a bit. Although it took a lot of resources for them so it wasn't very often. I could barely move when I was still in rehab.


                Btw, I can barely get insurance to cover stuff that I need to stay alive. Covering something like this would be an absolute joke. Not a chance for me.

                I believe it was right around $300/month for 3 years. Then they let me pay a couple more months as a buyout to keep it.


                  How much of a gap in time was there between your bad leg not having intensive therapy and when you started this? So I’m hearing that you used one immediately post injury, then were sent home, then eventually got one of these things on your own? How “plastic” we are and when is fascinating. As I look back on 27 years of progressive MS, I definitely wish my docs had been screaming “PLASTICITY “ at me from the beginning. Better late than never, tho, I hope!

                  And now you do “PT walking” but still do your functional stuff in a chair?


                    So I guess to give you a bigger picture of this:

                    When I first got hurt I wasn't able to move at all. After a couple of months I was able to wiggle my toes.

                    I went to Kessler at first. It was mostly things like the table that goes up to help with blood pressure. A lot of stretching. And a bunch of occupational therapy. By the way, c4 / 5.

                    After about a month there my insurance company of course kicked me out and I ended up going to another rehab facility for about a year. They had no experience with spinal cord injuries but my physical therapist was an amazing person and brilliant. She worked with me a ton and we learned as we went together.

                    Even though I had very little mobility I was always able to be weight-bearing. So I was in the parallel bars a lot just doing sit to stands. I always needed a lot of help getting up.

                    After a few months they got me onto a platform walker. My left hip flexor started kicking in so I was able to take small steps with my left leg. They would pretty much drag my right leg. We used to put a pillowcase on my foot so they can slide it forward. That went on for a couple of months.

                    At this point the facility did not have a litegait / treadmill. They actually got one towards the end of my stay.
                    Fast forward to the end of my time there the last few months. I was still unable to get up by myself but it was getting a little easier. My right hip flexor kicked in a drop using the treadmill with weight support but not very much and we really didn't use it very often.

                    By the time I left I was walking around the place (maybe a couple hundred feet at a time) on a platform walker but still needed significant help with my right leg.

                    I came home (so now I'm at about 1 year post injury) and after a few months home we leased the litegait / treadmill.

                    I hired a physical therapist to come to the house. He didn't really have much experience with SCI but we did a bunch of stretching, a lot of sit and standing type stuff. Used the treadmill... Etc.

                    It was extremely expensive though to have him come a few times a week. So once I was comfortable with the treadmill I had my aid help me use it.

                    Eventually maybe 6 months later, I was finally able to stand up on my own. In fact I was strong enough to stand up without even using the walker if I was having a very good day and I wasn't on a very low chair. The wheelchair was tough but the bed is a little higher so I can stand up from that without my hands.

                    My triceps and shoulders got strong enough where I could stop using a platform and use a regular walker. But my right hip flexor was still not firing well. Maybe 6 months later using the treadmill it started working much better and I was able to stop using the weight support. Then it just became about being able to walk faster and longer...

                    I got to the point where I felt very comfortable and now I can kind of get around with a regular walker. But not very far and not very functional and it would be dangerous. So I use the wheelchair all the time.

                    The last couple of years I lost a lot of motivation. A lot of personal issues happening with me and I've been extremely bad with the treadmill. I really think if I was pushing it 3 hours a day or more I could possibly become independent with walking. I mean I got all these gains by just doing 15 - 30 minutes a day. Sometimes twice a day. But it's so difficult and I'm no spring chicken LOL.

                    I spoke to Dr Wise Young and showed him video. He basically said he didn't think I needed the cells, surgery, etc. I'm already where that would bring me I just need to do an extreme amount of exercise. I really failed there.

                    I haven't really lost any of the gains but I haven't progressed without doing it. Hopefully my motivation will kick in and I will start pushing it. I have such a good opportunity to make it happen.

                    Anyway, sorry for the long post but I hope it sort of answers some of your questions.

                    Last edited by Mitchitsu; 23 Jan 2022, 5:55 PM.


                      Don’t apologize! Thanks very much for the information! What do you mean by “extreme” amount of exercise? Weightlifters deliberately alternate muscle groups and have intervening rest days to build muscle. Are we doing neuro building or muscle building? I’ve been thinking about trying a big push to see what happens. I have several areas of cord demyelination throughout C and T due to something progressive that may be atypical cord-only MS. Some very old information that still gets pushed on us to not push hard but that hasn’t worked out so well so maybe it’s time for Plan B. I’ve already reversed a pandemic loss so improvement is definitely possible.

                      Good luck and GET ON THAT TREADMILL!
                      Last edited by Sheri; 23 Jan 2022, 10:45 PM.


                        When I say extreme amount of exercise, I'm specifically talking about walking very long amounts of time per day. Very much like his existing program after the stem cells/surgery.

                        In other words 15 to 30 minutes a day is really a drop in the bucket. I should be doing 15 to 30 minutes 3 times a day. Then build that up to 1 hour 3 times a day, and perhaps even go as far as 2 hours 3 times a day.

                        After all if I want to be an independent, society walker again, I need to be ambulating non-stop. This is really Dr. Young's theory more than my own. If you look at the results he has had, people who received the stem cells but did not receive very extensive walking therapy did not have positive outcomes. One might even be able to argue the incredible amount of walking was more important than the stem cells for the subjects that improved. If the "small" amount I did helped so much, it only stands to reason doing it significantly more would have the potential to give me incredible results.

                        The only thing that really stops me is my mental health and motivation.

                        I'm really not in the position to say whether this is helping neurologically or with muscle building, etc. It's probably both.

                        And unfortunately as little as I know about SCI, I know even less about the condition you have and what you are going through. I'm sorry it has happened to you and I hope you find the answers needed for your particular issue as well as a method to get positive results.

                        One thing I know for sure after having this injury about 5 years is that traditional physical therapy does very little for recovery. After having been to many physical therapy centers and working with dozens of physical therapists, I'm not even sure what they are trying to accomplish half the time.

                        But again being this incomplete and having the ability to fire these muscles in the first place is a big advantage. A lot of that was just "luck" for lack of a better word.

                        The only opportunity to improve right now (without science) is to not squander that luck and that treadmill is really the way to get it done...

                        Good luck!