Yearly Archives: 2000
The Beatles song “I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends” could be my theme song. Literally. I need a lot of help! Let me explain.
I guess you all know me by now from my previous postings, I work as a library clerk in a community college, and I have cerebral palsy. I walk with two canes, and when it is raining or snowing the rubber tips on the end of the canes are very slick on the tile floor here in the library. So if it is raining or snowing when I get here in the mornings I wait for someone to come along and I ask them if they will walk with me into the library.
In a recent study, scientists used cells from pig snouts to successfully repair severed spinal cords in rats. The pig cells were engineered so that they would not be rejected by the rat’s immune system, as is usually the case with cross-species transplants. In the future, doctors may be able to use these engineered cells to treat human spinal cord injuries, according to an article published in the Aug. 29 issue of Nature Biotechnology.
Every year, approximately 10,000 persons in the United States, typically young adults (New Mobility, 1996), seriously injure their spinal cords and become permanently paralyzed. Through advances in medical treatment, most persons survive a spinal cord injury and live two or more decades post-injury. However, researchers have only recently begun to study the long-term psychosocial implications of a spinal cord injury (Whiteneck, Charlifue, Frankel, et al., 1992). One such psychosocial implication is the person’s perceived satisfaction with the quality of his or her life following such an injury. This study examined factors associated with the life satisfaction of persons with a spinal cord injury including biological, personal, and social factors.
Neck immobilisation is vital in patients with suspected Cervical spine injuries and generally involves applying a hard cervical collar–usually by ambulance crew, nurses, or junior doctors. We present the case of a patient with ankylosing spondylitis who sustained a cervical fracture but had no cord injury initially. He became quadriplegic after a hard collar was applied in the emergency department, and he subsequently died.
Traumatic spinal cord injuries are associated with skeletal and ligamentous as well as intraspinal pathology. The most common Cervical level for spinal cord injury is C5, followed by C6 and then C4. T12 is the most common Thoracic level for spinal cord injury.
Traumatic spinal cord injuries are most commonly secondary to Motor vehicle accidents and gunshot wounds, followed by falls, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian verses auto accidents. Fractures, dislocations, bleeding and swelling can precipitate trauma to the cord.
ABC of sexual health
Almost 4% of the UK population have some form of physical, sensory, or intellectual Impairment–almost 2.5 million people. Many of these disabling conditions can produce sexual problems of desire, arousal, orgasm, or sexual pain in men and women. Sexual difficulties may arise from direct trauma to the genital area (due to either accident or disease), damage to the nervous system (such as spinal cord injury), or as an indirect consequence of a non-sexual illness (cancer of any organ may not directly affect sexual abilities but can cause fatigue and reduce the desire or ability to engage in sexual activity).
Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a severe traumatic Disability that occurs suddenly and affects both sensory and Motor functions. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center 1999), there are about 203,000 persons in the U.S. who have sustained a spinal cord injury and approximately 10,000 new injuries occurr each year. Although medical advances have increased the life expectancies of people with SCI, there has been a limited amount of research addressing life satisfaction in people with SCI (Krause, 1992).
I was listening to a tape on the Internet at Greg Smith’s On-A-Roll Talk Radio on Life and Disability (excellent site by the way). At first, I was surprised at the diversion in the disability community over Christopher Reeves’ activities to focus on research for recovery from his spinal cord injury. Then it made me angry.
What is the criticism about of Christopher Reeves? We all have gifts. We all can do something no one else can. I don’t want somebody undermining my efforts because I don’t understand completely what someone else is going through.