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A trip report to SCI-Step

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    A trip report to SCI-Step

    Quite frankly, I have been lazy this past year when it came to maintaining my body. When I read about the free trial week offer from SCI-Step, I figured it was just the kick in the butt I needed to get started again, and what did I have to lose by taking them up on the offer? Besides, my daughter and her family live in that area, so I could plan my stay at SCI-Step along with a visit with them. Only my grandsons could entice me from Florida to Ohio in the dead of winter!

    It was sunny, and 80 degrees as I waited for a plane delayed in Boston due to foul weather. There were snow and ice storms from the midwest to the northeast. I was scheduled to fly from Fort Lauderdale to Cincinnati, and then on to Dayton. The delay meant that I would miss the flight to Dayton, which was fine with me. I was not looking forward to the short hop during an ice storm, and it was just as easy for my daughter to pick me up in Cincinnati as Dayton. (FYI -- Cincinnati is a very expensive airport destination. I saved more than $100 by going on to Dayton.)

    My 3-year-old grandson, Dominic, met me full of smiles, holding a hand carved cane they got for me at a craft fair. "Granny! Look at the cane I gotcha! Don't you just love this cane I gotcha?" I swear he will grow up to be a physical therapist, or something of the sort. He was constantly on me to use the cane instead of my walker. "Why aren't you using the cane I gotcha, Granny?"

    My daughter brought me to the condo provided by SCI-Step Sunday evening. We were impressed with the accommodations, spacious and nicely appointed. I brought a few groceries to tide me over until I could go shopping after therapy the next day. I would not have gone hungry if I had not, though. There were canned goods, breakfast cereal, and pantry basics in the cupboards. The previous tenant even left behind a nice selection of Samuel Adams beer in the fridge! That was very thoughtful of you! Thanks!

    I decided against renting a car. I didn't think I would be comfortable driving a rental on unfamiliar roads in uncertain weather conditions. As it turned out, I made a wise choice. It snowed nearly every day. Michele recommended Holly, who operates a home care and driving business. The price was right, and I was picked up, dropped off, taken grocery shopping, and assisted with my equipment. I had no need for a car. I finished therapy totally pooped, with no desire to do anything, or go anywhere afterwards. I was perfectly content to relax in the condo after eating lunch, and napping.

    Michele met me when I arrived Monday morning, and gave me a tour of the facility before we entered her office to discuss my goals. It was clear she had studied my application thoroughly in preparation for my visit. I held no great expectations for huge gains during my week at SCI-Step. I'm aging with SCI. I told her I want to stay as strong as I can in order to maintain independence. That was my goal for the week.

    I was turned over to the ever smiling Kevin for stretching. Every session starts with stretching, and Kevin's smile made it almost enjoyable. If my grandson does grow up to be a PT, he will be smiling like Kevin all the while he is torturing his patient. I did a little walking before being turned over to Matt for more stretching and resistance exercises. Matt smiles too. But his is a wee bit on the diabolical side. You can almost see the wheels turning behind his eyes as he plots his next move. If the truth be told, Dominic is more like Matt. I can always see him plotting his next move behind his diabolical smile, too. The two of them should be outfitted with horns and tails! By the end of my first day I was told I WOULD be walking, unaided, by the end of the week. I wasn't given a choice. My goal was changed.

    As the days passed I was introduced to various equipment, and therapies. I had reflexology, acupuncture, and, on Friday, I looked forward to a well earned massage. Well earned, indeed! I had to walk, with only Kevin's smile as an aide, across the room and down the hall to the massage room. It was a long, slow walk. I'm sure there was nothing pretty about my gait. I think I made a lot of noise. I grunted, let out a few yelps, and maybe cursed a bit. I grabbed Kevin's arms a few times, and rested against the hallway walls -- BUT I DID IT! I walked all the way into massage!!!

    I was not the only patient who walked that week. I saw two people with far more severe injuries than mine take their first steps with walkers. It brought tears to my eyes to see them work so hard and take those first steps!

    Although I worked mostly with Kevin and Matt, there were other young, dedicated, and enthusiastic professionals involved, as well. I thank you all for what we accomplished in that short week! I brought home an invigorated spirit, newly found confidence in my ability, and a determination to continue. My family is impressed, and surprised at how I now bound out of my chair to work around the kitchen with only a cane.

    So I ask you, what are you waiting for? Take the good folks at SCI-Step up on the invitation for a free trial week! What have you got to lose?

    #2
    Sounds like a great trip and WELL worth it. Enjoy the new cane!

    https://www.facebook.com/john.baxter.1213986

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      #3
      Already signed up a month ago. I go for a week in May. I am currentyl attending sci-fit.org but they are excited that I am going to try scistep as well too. I am really looking forward to the pool which I hope we get a chance to do. I heard the floor lowers and it turns into a giants treadmill... Congrats on your trip

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        #4
        The pool chemicals were out of whack while I was there. Actually, I was not looking forward to it anyway. There is just something about getting into a pool while there is snow on the ground that did not agree with me. I'm sure the pool will be quite welcoming while you are there in May, arod636! I look forward to your trip report!

        Indeed, I did enjoy the cane once I returned to my daughter's house, CapnGimp. It was much easier negotiating the stairs with a cane rather than walker.

        I'm so glad I went, and remembered to pack my spirit-of-adventure for the trip.

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          #5
          A lovely description of your trip, a great read and full of infomation. Thank you

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            #6
            Thanks for sharing.

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              #7
              Having fun so far.....

              Im sure they think Im a bit cocky tho. I come in very morning like "Bring It!"

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                #8
                multiple post
                Last edited by watchthisbaby; 3 May 2008, 11:10 PM.
                "We're one but we're not the same. We get to carry each other" U2

                Comment


                  #9
                  multiple post
                  Last edited by watchthisbaby; 3 May 2008, 11:11 PM.
                  "We're one but we're not the same. We get to carry each other" U2

                  Comment


                    #10
                    multiple post
                    Last edited by watchthisbaby; 3 May 2008, 11:12 PM.
                    "We're one but we're not the same. We get to carry each other" U2

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Imight
                      Having fun so far.....

                      Im sure they think Im a bit cocky tho. I come in very morning like "Bring It!"
                      I must be behind, are you at sci-step now? If so I'm really interested in how it's going.
                      "We're one but we're not the same. We get to carry each other" U2

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I just got back from SCI step. I had an amazing experience. I can't even find the words to say how amazing it was.
                        When I arrived I could walk 4 steps - when I left I could walk more than 40 (with AFO/walker but no harness or assistance).
                        Everyone should take advantage of the trial offer. No matter how long you have been hurt or how complete you seem to be. There is nothing to lose. You stay for a week at a beautiful accessible apartment in a great complex. Staying there felt like a vacation in itself. The staff are encouraging and work with you and work around your goals and listen to your feedback. Even if you just strengthen muscles that are already working or get to try different equipment you haven't tried before. Even if you just get to spend a week meeting terrific people - the atmosphere alone is healing and worth the trip. I not only saw great physical returns but I returned home recharged after a long somewhat depressing winter. I realize that my injury is quite incomplete and so I have good chances for return of function but I truly believe that even if I had left with no physical return, the visit would have still been beneficial to me. It is a tremendous gift they are offering to all of us. I am glad my doubts did not keep me from applying.
                        I am C4 ASIA C and from reading this site I believe I am Brown Sequard injury. I have been injured 15 years! At 2 years post I could take 4 steps. At 15 years post I could take 4 steps. After attending SCI step I can walk more than 40 steps and I am still improving. It's not magic. It's just a combination of the right equipment, staff that know their stuff and having someone believe in me. I have a file folder with 27 different rejection letters from physio and assisted walking programs I have applied to. Apparently my injury was too high, I have been injured too long, I am simply not a good candidate. SCI step was the first place willing to give me a shot.
                        Here are my walking videos.
                        http://www.sci-step.com/susan_s_.htm
                        C3/4 Brown Sequard

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                          #13
                          ^^^^ I agree.

                          Ive tripled my capabilities just this week. walked a qt mile. Also walked 1.5 hours straight with no breaks. also walked with just one quad cane. These guys really push you, they don't baby you, you're there for one thing and one thing only.....to test your limits, and go beyond that.

                          Originally posted by watchthisbaby
                          I must be behind, are you at sci-step now? If so I'm really interested in how it's going.
                          Yea. Im here now. Today is my last day, but Im coming back in Sept for a month.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            SoFla, AlexAgain, and Imight, I'm so happy for the progress you all had while at sci-step. I'm hoping any or all of you can tell me more about your experience. I'm definitely interested in participating in their program after hearing all of you testimonies, but want to have more info before I ask family for financial help to go.
                            How many hours a day were you receiving therapy?
                            What is services, and/or accommodations are included in their trial week?
                            How long after you filled out your application did it take to receive a response?
                            Can you stay longer on your first trip?
                            What, if anything would you do different?
                            I know I had more questions but I can't remember at the moment. I would really appreciate your input, thanks.
                            "We're one but we're not the same. We get to carry each other" U2

                            Comment


                              #15
                              The first week is free and includes housing and 3 hours of day of therapy. I think you can pay for extra hours during that week.
                              They customize your program as you go. And if there is any equipment you want to try you can let them know. Also during the first week I got to try reflexology, acupuncture and massage for free.
                              You should contact Michelle. She is so great about answering questions and making all the arrangements for you. Her email is on the SCI step website.
                              The only money you will need to come up with for the free week is your travel and if you need any attendant care, transportation or help around the house they can provide that but there is a charge (I think it was $12/hr).
                              If you want to PM me, I would be happy to meet you in chat sometime to talk more about what it was like.
                              C3/4 Brown Sequard

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