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Paralyzed and Pregnant: Four Years Later

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  • Paralyzed and Pregnant: Four Years Later

    Has anyone seen this update? I'm frustrated just watching it. After giving birth to her son four years earlier, this woman is bedridden because she's struggling with UTIs, c-diff, and unexplainable spells of passing out. Why hasn't any doctor been able to help her? Perhaps I'm unfamiliar with c-diff, but I thought it was treatable? Also, these dizzy spells?? Is there no specialist, anywhere in the world, who would know what is causing these spells? This woman is forced to stay in bed, almost 24 hours a day! How can this be possible?

    Her marriage to her child's father ended as well which was really sad to see, especially because in the original documentary, they seemed solid. He claimed it wasn't because of her disability, but it seems as if the stress of being constantly sick led to their break up.

    I felt heart-broken watching this woman's story.

  • #2
    c. diff is VERY difficult to treat... hence it's name dif = difficile. it is a spore forming bacteria. spores are just super tiny "nuggets" of dna that can regenerate after the immediate danger of antibiotics is over. the bacteria release them as they die. the only way to really combat it is with high doses of probiotics as other bacteria are competitors/antagonistic to it so it keeps the c. diff in check. we all have c. diff in our guts, but it is the balance of the flora that keps it from going awry. pregnancy can change that balance pretty badly so may be a cause of her problems.

    he may have divorced her cuz of her illness, u never know, he may have had caregiver's burnout? still sad
    "Smells like death in a bucket of chicken!"
    http://www.elportavoz.com/

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    • #3
      I am no MD, but is the c-diff not the cause of her diarea? Doesn't chronic diarea mess up your electrolytes? If your electrolytes are fucked up you will be faint and passing out.
      Chug the 3 litres of Gatoraid and call me in the morning. The fluids won't hurt the uti, either.

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      • #4
        I haven't seen the update, but I have watched the original several times.

        I can't say I'm shocked that their marriage ended, and am certain even without seeing the follow-up that it was due to caregiver burnout. IIRC, the woman was very independent prior to her pregnancy -- her spouse had little, if any, responsibility for her care.Even before giving birth, she became bedridden and he became the primary caregiver for both her and the baby, on top of still working a full time job. They might have been able to make it if she'd been able to recover or if they'd immediately hired outside caregivers for her and the baby. But it seems that didn't happen, and their relationship paid the price.

        Some strains of c. diff. have become insanely resistant to treatment in recent years. It's led some people infected with it to try treatments like fecal transplants (which have shown to be pretty effective) when repeated attempts to treat the infection with flagyl and/oral vancomyacin fail.

        As far as being treated for her UTIs and dizzy spells, I'm not sure what's going on. In the original, she lived near Miami, so it would seem that someone down there would be SCI-savvy enough to help. Perhaps she's not able to afford the cost of seeking treatment elsewhere? Frankly, she seemed pretty passive about looking for answers to her problems with dizzy spells in the original -- maybe she's not aggressively pursuing solutions even though it's four years later.

        Maybe someone should write her about trying Microcyn/Vetericyn for her UTIs.

        Does the baby live with her or with his dad?
        Last edited by thehipcrip; 05-17-2010, 01:33 AM.
        It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.

        ~Julius Caesar

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        • #5
          It was very sad, I just seen this too. Maybe it just wasn't pretrayed very well, but it seemed like she wasn't doing to much for her own medical self other than spending money on a big birthday party, permanent makeup, etc. Would love to hear an update too. Hopefully all turned out well.

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          • #6
            thc - fecal transplants are one of the coolest and grossest treatments i have heard of. and they work! but imagine trying to sell that to a patient and their family....

            maybe her husband wouldve stuck around if she had been proactive about getting better? who knows what goes beyond closed doors...
            "Smells like death in a bucket of chicken!"
            http://www.elportavoz.com/

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            • #7
              I saw that this was on tonight but didn't watch it because I didn't know it was an update from the original, which I had seen. I think I am grateful to have spared myself the watching though. I have to admit that when I watched the original I wondered just how they were going to pull this off over time. It seemed too much for him, and her mother's involvement seemed too crucial too. I think it is nice to look forward to the future, but only if it is done with a heavy sense of the real, and I guess I never thought they were doing more than trying to fufill some fantasy of what a family should be like.

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              • #8
                I'd say there were a couple of red flags in the original documentary. They played the original and the update back to back, so it was interesting to see the contrast. The husband said, more than once, that he was doing this on his own and that he didn't have anyone he could turn to. There's no doubt in my mind that people with high level injuries can be great parents, but like someone mentioned earlier, I believe the husband was not only taking care of the infant, but also providing personal care to the wife. It was bound to end in disaster.

                What seemed really quite odd was the couples' fixation with the umbilical cord blood. The child hadn't even uttered his first cry, and was in fact, struggling to breathe and the couple was more concerned with getting the cord blood so that it could help the woman walk again in the future. She also mentioned it a couple of times during the documentary. I can appreciate the importance of retrieving the blood, but I found the fixation really odd.

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                • #9
                  This made my heart break to watch. I can't believe either that no doctor can figure out whats making her pass out. I know it probably wouldnt make a major difference but I noticed a couple of time she wasn't wearing ted hose, which if used with ace bandages and a abdominal binder may help a bit. I wonder if she's seen anyone who specializes in sci's because general practitioners really don't know squat about unique circumstances.

                  I also maybe pessimisticly saw the divorce coming...her ex seemed to constantly repeat how he does it all and that he's wanted to give up and couldn't. I dont think it was personality clashes as he called it and more the stress of not having help with their son.
                  Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow.
                  -Dorothy Thompson

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                  • #10
                    maybe it's an orthostatic bp thing. her arms and legs looked awfully thin. i read somewhere in these forums that someone takes sudafed b4 getting up to help with this problem.
                    "Smells like death in a bucket of chicken!"
                    http://www.elportavoz.com/

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KiranA View Post
                      these dizzy spells?? Is there no specialist, anywhere in the world, who would know what is causing these spells? This woman is forced to stay in bed, almost 24 hours a day! How can this be possible
                      And has no doctor mentioned that bed rest is incredibly unhealthy? It causes low BP! It screws with your immune system, can create pressure sores, weaken muscles, slow your digestive system... I would think the worst thing you could do for chronic low BP is stay laying flat in bed most of the time.

                      C.

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                      • #12
                        We were wondering what her oxygen levels were when she was getting dizzy, passing out. If that's a problem why not supplemenat oxygen. The one time a bp was mentioned during the show it seemed well within normal range. As she seemed to explain it her UTIs and C Diff triggered AD which was the cause of fainting. I do strongly agree that the excessive bedrest has to be a bad thing, she could use an extensive inpatient workup in a really good rehab hospital with lots of sci expertise.

                        My wife has had apparent success with getting a really persistant bout of C Diff under control. While hospitalized, flagyl was largely ineffective. They then tried vancomicin and when her bouts of diarrhea subsided did a taper by decreasing doses from 4 times daily to 3 daily for one week, then down to 2 per day for a week, etc. She had a recurrence about one week after full taper concluded. She is now home and stronger but sent home taking 3 doses of vancocin daily. Her new gp had just attended a seminar on C Diff and rather than tapering her by reducing doses weekly he had her stop the vanco for several days then resume again. This was done 4 or 5 times. His rationale was that this method allowed the C Diff spores to germinate then resuming vanco would kill them. This process was repeated over and over until apparently the spores raise the white flag. My wife has completed the taper and now has 2 weeks without a recurrence. Needless to say our fingers are firmly crossed.

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                        • #13
                          low blood pressure caused my son to black out several times(dizzy spells every time he tried to sit up) in inpatient rehab.mitodrine helped,as well as sudafed.the one thing that has done the most is stim bike sessions putting muscle back on his legs.staying in bed all day will only make the problem worse.

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                          • #14
                            I watched it and tried my best not to shout at the tv a few times. She said she found an online community and I was like "Yes! Carecure" then she said something like devo dating. /sigh. I agree! These shows are often edited but she needs evaluated by a sci center or physiatrist. Interesting also that she was using her child kind of like an abd binder. I really think this website could help her.

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                            • #15
                              im afraid she needs a psychiatrist more than a physiatrist right now.

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