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  • Turned down for FES

    Well...my insurance company, BC-BS, just denied approval for me to enter an FES program to try to stop the atrophy in my legs. This has been going on for over six months, and I am tired of the dueling with words. They said that because I am a totally flaccid complete para that the FES will not help. I even submitted all my rehab reports which showed the rapidly progressing atrophy. When I was first admitted my calves were 16 ½" in diameter, and my thighs were 20 ¾" in diameter. My calves are now 10" and my thighs 13 ½ ... stork legs. I guess it is what it is........so much for my future of wearing shorts, dresses, and skirts. Bring on the jeans ! SCI more than sucks.

  • #2
    Hi, Laura

    Have you been filing yourself for your bike? Please look here for a topic you may find of interest in the 'Exercise' forum:

    here

    _____________
    Tough times don't last - tough people do.
    _____________

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    • #3
      did you have a good medical justification?

      appeal.
      Get involved in politics as if your life depended on it, because it does. -- Justin Dart

      I shall not tolerate ignorance or hate speech on this site.

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      • #4
        What level and Asia score are you? No doubt it is hard to get these covered. You may want to check with your State Voc Rehab, in some states they will pay for these bikes. I see you are in Ohio, that is the state both FES bike Manufactures are located in. Last question have you had a needle pulse stim test done to see if the muscles contracted when there is current applied? If they do not contract during this test it means a FES bike will not work for you as you are flaccid so therefore it would be a waste of money.

        "Life is about how you
        respond to not only the
        challenges you're dealt but
        the challenges you seek...If
        you have no goals, no
        mountains to climb, your
        soul dies".~Liz Fordred
        "Life is about how you
        respond to not only the
        challenges you're dealt but
        the challenges you seek...If
        you have no goals, no
        mountains to climb, your
        soul dies".~Liz Fordred

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        • #5
          Liz- I thought I did...it was done by the FES Ctr.. I assumed they know what they are doing....

          M.Lady - Thanks for the info...I was talking about an FES program at the Cleveland FES Center, but maybe this is another avenue that I can pursue. However, I am so bummed out, that at the moment I don't want to try anything anymore. There are mixed opinions as to if it would do anything for me, and naturally the insurance took the side that benefits them, not me, as they always do....

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          • #6
            Don't give p. You'll learn some valuable lessons.
            Get involved in politics as if your life depended on it, because it does. -- Justin Dart

            I shall not tolerate ignorance or hate speech on this site.

            Comment


            • #7
              Curt - I don't know what an ASIA score is, or needle pulse stim. But here is what is on my medical papers:
              "T-12 A , flaccid paraplegia with vascular occlusion of lumbar cord segments 2-4 "
              As far as the FES, they did run some tests. They placed pads on various points, and had trouble finding the right settings to get a reading. They then brought in another machine that had really fine needles on the ends of the wires.They inserted the needles into my legs at various places. After a lot of different impulse settings, they found one that caused a little twitch in my thigh muscle every time they pushed the button. They then tested the both calf muscles and managed to get the same type of twitch, but it would only do that for 3-4 times, then nothing. After about 20-30 min of resting, it would twitch again but then stop. I do know that the settings were some kind of high frequency something...sorry, I really don't understand that kind of stuff.
              They felt that after 2-3 weeks of stimulation that they may be able to get the muscles to partially contract. Does this sound right? Am I just wasting my time with all this?

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              • #8
                You're an ASIA A, then.

                Don't piss me off or I'll run over your toes. [img]/forum/images/smilies/tongue.gif[/img]
                "Legs are overrated. You can still get laid." - Kevin Girardi, "Joan of Arcadia"

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                • #9
                  Unfortunetely I would have to say that perhaps the insurance company is right in this case that a FES bike would not benefit you very much. There are advantages and disadvantages to being a lower level injury such as yourself, the main disadvantage is the intense muscle atrophy that takes place as there is no reflex arc. The Advantage is you have more function than a higher level would.

                  "Life is about how you
                  respond to not only the
                  challenges you're dealt but
                  the challenges you seek...If
                  you have no goals, no
                  mountains to climb, your
                  soul dies".~Liz Fordred
                  "Life is about how you
                  respond to not only the
                  challenges you're dealt but
                  the challenges you seek...If
                  you have no goals, no
                  mountains to climb, your
                  soul dies".~Liz Fordred

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Laura'
                    Hi, I'm kinda new here, I don't know all your circumstances, except that your T/11 sci, right? Anyway I am T11/12 and 7 years ago (when I worked for G.E) we had really good insurance between my husband and I but I couldn't get approved by either of them,( at that time my main concernes were for atrophy which was really bad and I have severe osteoporosis also) but it didn't matter they would not approve me.I ended up buying an EX-n-Flex ( peddling system that does the peddeling for you) Looking back on everything if I could go back I would have focused more on standing.why don't you look into getting a standing frame or a mobil standing chair? Just a suggestion from a long time SCI survivor.Whose bone denstity is off the charts for having no stress on my bones
                    Oh Yeah, I used the F.E.S bike years ago, because of my low injury it didn't work to help me peddle,these thing are very expensive but look around and see if there is an Independant living center that might be able to help you, Good Luck

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                    • #11
                      Curt - thank you for your insight and honesty. You are probably right in your accessment. Maybe I was just running on "hope" more than common sense...I don't know. At first I was glad that I don't have any spasms that most paras experience, but now I know that was not a good thing.

                      Sue - I really appreciate your input. I do have a standing frame. It was given to me for free by a woman whose husband had died ( he was a para). I am painfully aware of the bone loss situation, However, I only use it maybe 2-3 times a month. It is very difficult for me because of the floppiness of my legs. I have to put on support boots to stabilize my ankles, plus it always seems that there just isn't enough time in a day. My main concern was to try to stop, or reverse the atrophy of my legs. I kinda agree with Curt's outlook, but I was just upset that my ins co. wouldn't even give me the chance to find out.

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                      • #12
                        I don't know if I'm the only one, but I have never once in my almost 19 years of being injured, used FES or anything else to prevent atrophy and my legs look just fine. They have not atrophied one bit. I have always attributed that to spasticity keeping them fit.

                        My point is, don't sweat this. There are many other ways to keep your legs from going skinny w/o costing major $$$.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LindsayS:

                          There are many other ways to keep your legs from going skinny w/o costing major $$$.
                          Thanks Lindsay for your advice. I would REALLY like to know about the "many other ways" that you mentioned. I have never heard of anything other FES that can increase muscle bulk.

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                          • #14
                            Laura - There are muscle stimulators that you can buy for as little as $100. Unfortunately, your very low level of injury means that you won't benefit from them the same as those with higher injuries. My legs respond so strongly to electrical stimulation that an inexpensive device produces very strong muscle contractions. Of course, I'm a quadriplegic with limited hand/arm function, too.

                            Work is underway to restore tone to the most flaccid of muscles. I believed they are finding some success with very high electric currents. The best thing you can do is to keep stretching your muscles everyday. This will help prevent fibrosis. Someday, if and when there is a way to restore innervation to your muscles they will be a better candidate if you massage and stretch them daily.

                            ~See you at the SCIWire-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~
                            ~See you at the CareCure-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jeff:


                              Work is underway to restore tone to the most flaccid of muscles. I believed they are finding some success with very high electric currents. The best thing you can do is to keep stretching your muscles everyday. This will help prevent fibrosis. Someday, if and when there is a way to restore innervation to your muscles they will be a better candidate if you massage and stretch them daily.

                              ~See you at the SCIWire-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion http://www.stopstart.fsnet.co.uk/smilie/wavey.gif ~
                              Thanks Jeff....like I said before, when I was tested - they did manage to get a slight response with some kind of high frequency current ... I think that's what made me a little excited at the prospects. I do ROM stretches occassionally, but not often enough because there doesn't appear to be anything tight to stretch. What muscles that are still present are very soft and floppy - it just doesn't seem like a necessary activity...but, I may be wrong.

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