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Brand New T12 injury. . . so many questions???

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    Wonderful news! Great she is getting out of bed so quickly, she hasn't been weakened by months in bed and will progress rapidly. There's physical and occupational therapy, the latter instructing her how to do the necessary daily activities in a chair such as cooking or going shopping. Of course there are the medical issues, pressure sores and infections are at the top of the list. It's really important to find the best equipment for her such as the right cushion, a light chair, and stander. When she drives she should use a cushion as well, though a 4" high profile one maybe too high, I use a 3" Roho in the car. One of the hardest things was to be around others with worse injuries, you wish they could do the things you can, and you see how unfair life can be. Please keep us posted on her progress if you can. All the best to the two of you. Craig80


      She should have OT, PT, therapeutic recreation, rehabilitation nursing (teaching and care), social work and psychology services. She should take advantage of all of these. Adaptive driving usually has to wait until she is out of her brace. She should attend any group classes and outings offered, and you should go too as much as possible. She should expect to have about 3 hours total of therapy daily, plus recreation activities and classes. She should wear street clothes, and expect to eat meals in a dining room with other patients.

      Learn as much as you is so critical to be able to stay healthy and there are many preventable complications to be concerned about. Good luck. Keep us informed, and get her on-line here ASAP.

      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.


        I would say she should move her ankles around/wiggle her toes as much as she can while she's just stuck laying in the bed - that will most definitely help her PT in the long run. even if she can't move them at all, tell her to focus on it...telling her brain to move them (I know, lol, but thats what i've been told for the last 7 mths).

        I had fractured t12 in july 2011; now 27...still recovering and going to PT 3x/wk (going to start pool therapy in Feb.), acupuncture 1x, massage therapy 1x, counseling 1x and doing as much as i can to exercise at home. It becomes a full time job. I am still employed just on medical leave at this point. i am determined to return to work at some point this year, being able to walk without any assistive devices (currently using cane and AFO out of the house).

        Oh, also, one of the worst things to expect is the B&B problems. yep she'll have bladder and bowel accidents! Its like I would feel when i have to go but then it just goes - no control :0( I'm still going thru it. i'd like to have contact with her when she's able. I'll tell her more about what she can look forward to (things i've experienced).

        Granted every injury is different, I've read a lot of things on here that are inevitables.
        Best of luck.
        Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. -- John Lennon


          Brad, I hope things are going well. Sounds like improvement and progress towards getting her into rehab, so good going on that. Please post back and let us know how she does. From the posts that people have made to this thread, I think you can see that we're all pulling for you!

          Several folks have chimed in with what to expect and that sounds like what my experience was. It was very exhausting at first and there were days when I really didn't want to go to the rehab gym even though I knew it's where I needed to be. Each difficult thing they give her to do is meant to move her towards greater independence. She'll feel wonderful when she starts to see the things she can do for herself.

          My best wishes go with you!


            Thanks for all the help everyone, caitlin got her back brace today and she is looking HOT !!! They got her sitting but today but she was getting pretty light headed, but all in all she was happy to not be laying down. hopefully 2maro we can get her hitting up for longer and mabye even get her out of the room, lets hope. Her question of the day lol is what is the hardest part about SCI to get use to? Thanks again you guys are the best.


              Originally posted by bradevans90 View Post
              We got some great news, caitlin is getting her back brace 2maro YAAAAA!!! and hopefully tuesday we are heading to san jose for rehab at least thats the word. She is very excited and VERY nervous,she wants to know what she expect to do when she gets there, what exactly will she be working on just want to know from some people that have been thru it, Thanks Again.
              Hi Brad,

              I spent a month in rehab at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) this past summer, so I think I can give you a pretty accurate picture of what to expect :-)

              A good portion of your wife's first day at SVMC will be spent doing various evals with each team (medical, PT, and OT). It may seem daunting, but they'll start her on therapy pretty much right away. M-F her schedule will be something like:

              1 hour PT
              * The specifics will vary based on your wife's injuries, but PT will generally focus on ROM, transfers, wheelchair mobility, and walking/standing (if feasible).

              1 hour OT
              * Again, the specifics vary, but my OT time was spent learning "life skills": dressing, bathing, learning how to transfer in and out of a car. The OT will also be responsible for fitting your wife for her first wheelchair. A word of advice: spend some time in the Equipment forum reading up on wheelchairs. They probably won't spend much time explaining your options, but the more you know the better. I didn't find this site until after I left rehab, so I just went with all of the OT's recommendations. Thankfully it worked out for me, but I wish I had known more at the time.

              1 hour gym time
              * This is just general strength training. Take advantage of this time as all of the equipment is fully adapted for wheelchairs.

              30 minutes "par course"
              * Your wife will basically just be doing laps around the halls of the rehab center in her wheelchair. This serves two purposes: general cardio and to improve wheelchair endurance. All of the paras do this at the same time, so its bit of a social activity. The PTs will join her in chairs of their own to demonstrate proper technique.

              1 hour class time
              * Every Monday is a support group with former patients. TWTH they'll have classes on various topics from bowel and bladder management, accessible home modifications, etc. The classes are on a three week rotation, and optional, but they have a lot of valuable information.

              These are the "constants", she'll also have other appointments throughout the day - meetings with her doctors, a psychologist, etc.

              On Saturdays they go on community outings. These vary from going to the movies or the farmer's market, to athletic events (I got to go to a wheelchair tennis tournament). The group that organizes these outings will also work with your wife throughout the week.

              The nursing staff generally focuses on home care skills: bowel, bladder, skin. It's important that you're involved with this to help your wife with the transition. I'm a T4 and have been fully independent for several months now, but having my wife there to help me in those early days was a huge blessing.

              I know this is a pretty broad overview, but I could go on and on. Feel free to send me a PM if you have any specific questions. Also, I'm local to the area -- I'll probably be back at SCVMC for additional outpatient rehab in a few weeks. If you (or your wife), would like to talk with someone who's been through all this, I'd be happy to stop by.


                I'd add a few things to my husband's (T4Gimp) comments:

                1. The food at SCVMC is terrible. We brought in all of J's food from either home or nearby restaurants (there is a McDonald's, Wendy, and Subway within easy walking a few healthier options if you're willing to drive 5-10minutes). Try to see if you can get your wife on cafeteria pass as soon as possible...then you at least have the option of rolling up to the cafeteria for better fare.

                2. One of the biggest differences b/t the ICU and rehab was how they handled pain meds. IN the ICU, J was automatically given meds every 4-6 hours. At SCVMC, you have to ask...which we didn't know at first, which led to him going long periods without pain meds (not a good plan with 9 broken bones). Make sure you learn all these policies from the beginning.

                3. Go to as many of your wife's PT/OT sessions and afternoon classes as possible. You'll learn invaluable information.

                4. Start preparing your home for her return don't want to be worried about that in 3-4 weeks.

                Best of luck with the transfer and the first few days in rehab. In my experience, the first few days are the toughest, but stay strong for your wife, and encourage her, and remind her that things will get better.


                  Thanks so much T4gimp and acleyba you guys have been a big help, they have her transport all set up for tomorrow morning so by this time tomorrow caitlin will have had her first full day at SCVMC, ill let you guys know how it goes thanks so much for all the help everyone this site has been great


                    My prayers for both of you
                    I believe that the people with more support has a greater chance to do well.
                    I had suggested PT and OT along with the neuro's help
                    Best wishes


                      My thoughts and prayers go with you. Support Catlin as much as you can as she will need to lean on you sometimes for comfort. You both have a journey a head of you but the journey will be made better if you do it together. I am happy you were able to find the SCVMC facility as I have heard great things. Catlin I wish you a speedy recovery!!
                      ACDF C5/C6, C6/C7 9/2011& Central Cord Syndrome


                        rehab scvmc

                        I too was rehabbed at scvmc, 35 years ago and the food was horrible then. You both are in a great place. My thoughts and prayers are with you both. There are very good places to eat there still after all these years. As the other posts have mentioned try to take advantage of all the activities that are available. Good Luck


                          Thank you so much everyone so much for the support caitlin is doing great so far she has been pretty tired but thats to be expected, thanks again for the help any advise would be great


                            I'm glad to hear that Caitlin is doing well so far. Tired is definitely to be expected...she's doing it wrong if she's not worn out at the end of the day

                            Let us know if you (or Caitlin) have any questions. All you can really do at this point is soak in all the information you can, and work with Caitlin or regaining her independence. You're at a great place for that.


                              PLEASE...don't let herself get hooked on pain pills..especially hydrocodone!!
                              Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. -- John Lennon


                                All I can say it that it is awesome that she is already being transferred to Santa Clara Valey Medical Center for rehab. I hope that she will get some good recovery from it. If she is like I was she will have a few good months feeling positive and like things are getting better. Hopefully in her case things really will be getting better. Personally I'm happy for her as much as I am jealous, because I am over a year post injury, still have not had any PT and I just learned about a week ago about SCVMC. it is the best SCI facility in northern california. SO Good luck to you, I wish her the absolute best recovery she can possibly achieve.