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    Independent Living For Quads

    Hi all,
    Im a functional C6 quad from Singapore. Im quite new to this SCI thing, left rehab only in May 07. Thank God for care cure which helped me answer so many questions bout life after SCI. Im still strugglin with all the negative shit that comes with this injury, but what im most concern about is being independent again ( to the extent of which my injury would allow )

    To what extent can a C6 quad be independent?
    1) bowel n bladder care (emptying own urine bag)
    2) lower body dressing
    3) bathing
    4) driving

    any tips n/or experiences would be greatly appreciated
    I've got 99 problems but the wheelchair ain't 1

    #2
    a functional c6 can be independent in every category you mentioned. the questions are how much time/energy do you want to spend on dressing and bowel care? the rest are easy.

    Comment


      #3
      Ya, it's your body so you should know what you are capable of doing.

      Comment


        #4
        Most of my C6 male clients are independent in self intermittent catheterization. Have you considered this instead of using an indwelling catheter?

        If you want to stay with an indwelling catheter or reflex voiding, then get a leg bag that has a flip down type emptying valve. This is easiest to control with the side of your hand. If you use a power chair you could also consider an electronic leg bag emptier.

        It is easiest to do bowel care with the correct adaptive equipment (suppository inserter and digital stimulator) and a raised toilet seat or roll-over commode to let you have access while seated. Do you have access to this equipment?

        Do you have a roll-in shower? How do you get into the bath? Once there, with equipment again (long handled bath sponge with quad grip, soap-on-a-rope, bathing mitt) you should be able to do this as well. If you don't have a good set up, you will probably need help with the transfers for it to be safe, esp. when you are damp.

        Most people at C6 can drive. An adapted van is easiest as it can be difficult if you are a true C6 (no triceps) to get a wheelchair loaded into a car independently. Of course the appropriate hand controls are also essential.

        I know a few people with C6 injuries who can do lower extremity dressing (slacks, shoes and socks), but it does take a lot of energy and time. You need to decide if that is the best way to use the energy and time available to you. If you need help so you have the time and energy to work or go to school, that may be the decision you need to make.

        (KLD)
        The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks for e input cass, kkmay n KLD,

          I switch from intermittent to indwelling from time to time, indwelling when i need to go out alone. I can do intermittent with an adaptive hand tool at home but outside getting all the stuff to cath ready drives me crazy. I still have trouble emptying my leg bag, i can flip e valve but cant get my leg up on e toilet bowl becos of the tone n stiffness or if i bend down i cant push my body upright by myself cos i got no triceps ARGGG!! Its so frustrating!!! How do i solve this??

          suppository inserter and digital stimulator yes i've seen it before n can purchase it but whats a roll-over commode?

          I have a self-propelled commode. Almost got my nuts caought in e edge of e commode while trying to transfer bare-bottomed. I'll never try that again!!!

          I've seen vidios of adaptive vans but never before in my country dont know if its possible to get one? I have a friend who's a C7 quad n drives a normal car with hand controls but he did tendon transfer, so he can use his thumb pretty well. Is it possible to drive with just hand controls without tendon transfer??

          Yes i guess i'll have to figure out how much time n energy i wanna spend on these things but its good to know that its possible. Maybe when i master some of these skills i'll post some vids here

          Thanks again for e advice!!
          I've got 99 problems but the wheelchair ain't 1

          Comment


            #6
            I will try to explain a McCormick loop:

            Get about a meter long piece of webbing. Make a loop out of it (avoid using a buckle). You may have to experiment with the actual length. Attach it to the back of your wheelchair where the back ends and the push handles bend.

            Before leaning forward, slip your arm through the loop, and maneuver it up to your upper arm. You can use just one if you are strong, two (one on each arm) if not. Lean forward to empty your bag (you can drain in a ditch or floor drain or urinal in a public toilet if you cannot get your foot up to the toilet). Once you are done, use your shoulder muscles to pull yourself back up into a seated position.

            It is easier to demonstrate than to write. If anyone else uses this technique, please elaborate. SCI-OT perhaps??

            A roll-over commode is one that has either big or small wheels but allows you to sit in it and roll it over the toilet so you don't have to transfer to the toilet, and also then gives you space between the seat and the toilet bowl to reach under and do your bowel care.

            You could drive a car with hand controls, but as I said above, the transfer and loading the wheelchair would be very difficult.

            (KLD)
            The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

            Comment


              #7
              you can easily drive a van with c6 function. ez lock for your chair, simple hand controls. the question is, can you pay for the van?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by SCI-Nurse
                I will try to explain a McCormick loop:

                Get about a meter long piece of webbing. Make a loop out of it (avoid using a buckle). You may have to experiment with the actual length. Attach it to the back of your wheelchair where the back ends and the push handles bend.

                Before leaning forward, slip your arm through the loop, and maneuver it up to your upper arm. You can use just one if you are strong, two (one on each arm) if not. Lean forward to empty your bag (you can drain in a ditch or floor drain or urinal in a public toilet if you cannot get your foot up to the toilet). Once you are done, use your shoulder muscles to pull yourself back up into a seated position.

                It is easier to demonstrate than to write. If anyone else uses this technique, please elaborate. SCI-OT perhaps??

                A roll-over commode is one that has either big or small wheels but allows you to sit in it and roll it over the toilet so you don't have to transfer to the toilet, and also then gives you space between the seat and the toilet bowl to reach under and do your bowel care.

                You could drive a car with hand controls, but as I said above, the transfer and loading the wheelchair would be very difficult.

                (KLD)
                Thanks for the tip KLD, i'll definitely give e McCormick loop a try
                I've got 99 problems but the wheelchair ain't 1

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by cass
                  you can easily drive a van with c6 function. ez lock for your chair, simple hand controls. the question is, can you pay for the van?
                  thats a good question cass...How much is such a van in the US?
                  I've got 99 problems but the wheelchair ain't 1

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by cass
                    you can easily drive a van with c6 function. ez lock for your chair, simple hand controls. the question is, can you pay for the van?
                    Exactly Cass. Also can you pay the outrageous insurance for a quad?

                    Texas Rehabilitation would pay to totally equip a van for me.
                    Lift, hand controls, anything it needed.
                    But no money for a van, or insurance.

                    Good Luck.
                    Have faith and you'll learn all you need to live independently.
                    sigpic

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Aaronykc,

                      An adapted van in the USA, new, would run in the neighborhood of $45,000 USA. Even a used one, with say 50,000 miles on it, will run about $25,000. For you, I suspect they are not made or adapted in Singapore, so you would probably have to import from the USA or Australia. Very expensive!! The shipping alone can be prohibitive. Best bet would be to find someone who would sell you one in the USA and you pay shipping or luck upon an Western resident who has already imported one that they now want to sell.

                      (KLD)
                      The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by SCI-Nurse
                        Aaronykc,

                        An adapted van in the USA, new, would run in the neighborhood of $45,000 USA. Even a used one, with say 50,000 miles on it, will run about $25,000. For you, I suspect they are not made or adapted in Singapore, so you would probably have to import from the USA or Australia. Very expensive!! The shipping alone can be prohibitive. Best bet would be to find someone who would sell you one in the USA and you pay shipping or luck upon an Western resident who has already imported one that they now want to sell.

                        (KLD)
                        Ya that is expensive!!! Not just the shipping the taxes could kill too!!!
                        Car prices in Singapore is one of the highest in e world next to Hong Kong.
                        At least im independent enough to take public transport on my own now
                        I've got 99 problems but the wheelchair ain't 1

                        Comment


                          #13
                          A question for all you independent quads who live by yourself...
                          What is the biggest obstacle you guys face?
                          I've got 99 problems but the wheelchair ain't 1

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by aaronykc
                            A question for all you independent quads who live by yourself...
                            What is the biggest obstacle you guys face?
                            bs from health insurance.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by cass
                              bs from health insurance.
                              what kinda bs??? pls elaborate
                              I've got 99 problems but the wheelchair ain't 1

                              Comment

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