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Recent Accident to My Son

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    There hasn't been much to report recently. The wound is healing and Brian is slowly spending more time sitting. I'm going to Baltimore over the Memorial Day weekend.

    There are a few things to fix at the condo and arm rests on the powerchair. The screws holding the gel pad arm rests on the Quantum Powerchair keep breaking. It's a bad design, I've replaced the #10-32 screws several times.

    Ann wants me to get everything fixed so that there a no issues when Brian starts classes at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at the end of June.

    Roger

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      Brian had his last appointment at the wound clinic. The doctor said that the wound looked good and that he didn't need to see Brian again unless something changes. Next week Brian is going to begin two weeks of physical therapy a Kennedy Krieger then on June 30th classes at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. I know that getting active again is the best medicine. Nothing about this process is easy. I go to Baltimore on Thursday for the Memorial Day weekend.

      Roger

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        Great news Roger. Guess this negates the saying that doctors make the worst patients, I am glad that Brian put healing before school and came out well.
        Don - Grad Student Emeritus
        T3 ASIA A 27 years post injury

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          Donno

          Thanks for the kind comments. You are absolutely right about Brian being a good patient. Last November Brian was not a good patient, he should have interrupted his surgery clinical rotation to take care of the pressure sore.

          Roger

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            I think most of us learn that the hard way. It turns out that in most cases, it *can* happen to me... Have a great Memorial Day weekend.
            Don - Grad Student Emeritus
            T3 ASIA A 27 years post injury

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              There was a minor set back last Friday. Brian spilled a cup of coffee and burned his leg. At the time I didn't think the burn was bad but by Monday the burn was looking worse. Tuesday he was suppose to start rehab at Kennedy Krieger but when a nurse at KKI saw the burn they put a dressing on it and told Brian to come back next week to start rehab.

              Roger

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                Brian started rehab on Monday at Kennedy Krieger. He started using the manual chair and this morning instead of my wife driving him to rehab, he drove himself. We're pleased that Brian was able to get into rehab at Kennedy Krieger prior to school starting on June 30. The Masters in Public Health one year program at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School is intense and I doubt that he would have time for rehab once school begins. Brian told me that it's a two year program that has been compressed to one year. This sounds like it's going to be like his first year at medical school, a lot of late nights studying.

                Roger

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                  Last week Brian completed the two weeks of rehab and Kennedy Krieger. Everything worked out well during the rehab. I think that the timing was very good. It got Brian out of the house socializing with people. Last weekend a college friend flow to Baltimore from San Francisco for the weekend. I'm flying to Baltimore on Thursday for the weekend.

                  Monday Brian starts class at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins. This Masters in Public Health program is going to be a lot of work but I think Brian is looking forward to it.

                  Roger

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                    Thanks for the updates. Glad that Brian is back on track. Mike
                    T12 Incomplete - Walking with Crutches, Injured in Oct 2003

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                      Brian started classes today at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. The first day of classes went fine, Brian is happy to be out of bed and moving forward. He told me that he is going to start going to the gym at Kennedy Krieger after class. It costs $40 per month to have access to the equipment in the facility.

                      So far so good with the pressure sore flap surgery recovery. Brian checks it everyday to make sure that there's no inflammation.

                      I was in Baltimore over the weekend and flew back to Phoenix this morning.

                      Roger

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                        Best of luck to Brian!

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                          Brian finished the first week of classes, everything is fine. At lunch time and after class he's been going to the Kennedy Krieger rehab center. It seems like a great deal to have access to their equipment. I hope that he can keep going.

                          Last week Brian brought an electric drive for the manual wheelchair, it was delivered and installed today. The device is called the SmartDrive Power Assist. It attaches to the manual wheelchair axle and propels the manual chair. He hasn't tried it yet but the man who installed it demonstrated it to Ann. She was impressed with how well it propelled the manual chair.

                          Roger

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                            Thank you for your narrative about your son. It reads like an excellent book about the experience of SCI. My husband is SCI at T10, and I am paralyzed from chest down from Polio. You have a real sensitivity for the day to day challenges for both the person injured and the family members. Very best wishes to you and your family.

                            In regard to the SmartDrive power add-on unit, I had a demo for three weeks and liked it but got the ZX-1 as I needed more help. My husband got an SD about a month ago.
                            FYI a fellow, Grommet, has many posts about his use of the SD. I would suggest caution during initial days of use.

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                              Looking forward to an update on this thread. Hope all's going well with your son and the M.A. program.

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                                Brian is doing well in his classes. Two weeks ago we had a major scare. It appeared that Brian had another pressure sore but fortunately it was only on the surface and it has healed. The problem was the ActiveAid shower chair cushion. The edge around the cutout isn't padded you're sitting on a piece of plywood with a thin vinyl covering. I laugh when I go to the ActiveAid web site where their banner says ActiveAid the GOLD STANDARD. That saying must refer to the ridiculous prices that they charge for their products.

                                I called AcitveAid gave them the shower chair model and serial number and they told me the correct cushion part number. Since you can't purchase equipment directly from ActiveAid I called Southwest Medical and ordered the $250 replacement cushion. Surprisingly the $250 replacement cushion does not include the metal frame that attaches the cushion to the shower chair. When the replacement cushion arrived my daughter was in Baltimore visiting so she removed the metal frame from the old cushion and attempt to attach the metal frame to the new cushion. That's when she realized that the replacement cushion was two inches narrower than the original cushion and the wood screws that attach the metal frame to the cushion couldn't be installed along the front and rear edges. She was able to install three wood screws along each of the other two edges so Brian can use the new cushion for now.

                                I sent pictures of the original and the replacement cushions to ActiveAid and they admitted that they sent the wrong replacement cushion. Another cushion arrived last week and I'll install it on my next trip to Baltimore. ActiveAid wants the first incorrect replacement cushion returned but it's going to be a while before my next trip to Baltimore. I've been sorely disappointed with the quality of the ActiveAid shower chair even though it was recommended to us by the therapists at Shepherd Center when Brian was being treated there. At the time we didn't know anything and thought that we needed to do whatever the therapists recommended. We paid $850 for the stainless steel shower chair model. That crazy price was 1/2 the $1700 list price because we purchased it through the Marcus Bridge Program at Shepherd Center.

                                I knew we wanted the more expensive stainless steel shower chair because I saw several non stainless steel ActiveAid shower chairs at Shepherd Center covered with rust. When I saw those rusting chairs I should have know that this was not a quality product. I'm convinced that these shower chairs are built in someone's garage and resold by ActiveAid at a hugely inflated price. I need to buy a replacement shower chair and get rid of this Gold Plated ActiveAid junk.

                                This was the second time that Brian has been injured on the ActiveAid shower chair. Two years ago when Brian was sliding onto the shower chair the legs slid off of the suction cups and the chair collapsed. Brian ended up in the emergency room with severe neuropathic pain. After that accident for $200 we purchased redesigned shower chair legs that have the suction cups bolted to the chair legs. Instead of buying new legs we should have sued ActiveAid.

                                Roger

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