Monthly Archives: March 2011
People who are living with spinal cord injury can do just about anything that anyone else who is not paralyzed can do: they just have to find alternative ways to do it. Part of spinal cord injury rehabilitation is teaching patients to live again using adaptive devices, which are prescribed by a doctor, physical therapist or occupational therapist.
United Spinal Association and National Spinal Cord Injury Association (NSCIA), two leading nonprofits with more than 125 years of combined service to the disability community, have recently announced their intended merger unifying resources to become the single, largest membership organization dedicated to improving the lives of people with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D) nationwide.
The combined organization will significantly increase the membership base and will give all members access to a wide range of national programs and services, including an established community of local affiliates. Equally important will be the powerful, authentic consumer voice that the merger will provide at the national level.
It was a warm, rainy night, and Mike Belawetz and Jennifer Darmon went for a stroll in a flower garden along the Windsor riverfront in Canada, looking at the Detroit skyline. He walked by her side, hiding a diamond engagement ring.
She propelled herself in a wheelchair.
Belawetz went down on a knee and took out a box with the ring. A man of few words, he didn’t say anything.
“I opened it up and I expected her to figure out what was going on,” he said, smiling. “I didn’t think I had to say anything else, but she squeezed it out of me. She made me ask. So I said, ‘Jenn, will you marry me?’ “
We’re finishing our discussion this week about how to identify and manage various pressure ulcers on people who are most susceptible to them, such as people required to be at bed rest, people with disabilities and people dealing with paralysis caused by a spinal cord injury.
Last week, we discussed what pressure ulcers are, how they can occur and how they can be identified, managed and even cured. Read previous article: Spinal cord injuries may lead to pressure sores
This week, we want to discuss a host of other things that anyone susceptible to pressure ulcers should be aware of. Trust me, when it comes to pressure ulcers, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
LANDSTUHL, Germany – Stronger armored vehicles are preventing more servicemembers in Afghanistan from being killed by roadside bombs. But the bombs are still powerful enough to cause severe skeletal and spinal injuries, the worst of which are leaving some paralyzed, Army surgeons say.
Reg Penn, who is paralysed from the chest down discusses his distress at the bowel care he recently received
I was 18 years old when my spinal cord was almost completely severed in a road traffic accident in 1975. I’ve some movement in my arms and can breathe by myself, but can’t move my hands or legs.
A district nurse visits me once a day and carries out a manual evacuation. Normally this works fine. However, in 2009, due to a reduction in the amount of time the nurse was allowed to support me I developed compacted bowels.
‘You almost don’t even believe it when you see it. It’s amazing — the little recoveries that propel you forward’
AUSABLE FORKS — The night Michaela Bushey wiggled her toe, her mom, Angela, called everyone she could think of.
“We called the whole North Country,” Michaela said.
After all, was a “huge, thrilling” step in her daughter’s recovery.
Michaela, 20, of AuSable Forks was paralyzed when she hit her head while diving into a pool on July 4, 2010, and people from all over the area have been following her progress.
Patrick Stroman’s work mapping the function and information processing of the spinal cord could improve treatment for spinal cord injuries.
“Basic physiology books describe the spinal cord as a relay system, but it’s part of the central nervous system and processes information just like parts of the brain do,” explains Dr. Stroman, director of the Queen’s MRI Facility and Canada Research Chair in Imaging Physics.
Dr. Stroman’s research is directed at precisely mapping the areas above and below a spinal cord injury in order to better determine the precise nature of an injury and the effectiveness of subsequent treatment. When medical research has advanced to a point where clinicians are able to bridge an injury on a spinal cord, Dr. Stroman’s spinal mapping technique will be key in accurately pinpointing the injury to be bridged.
There are numerous other health issues that people with various types of disabilities have to cope with on an almost daily basis. Depending on the “main” disability, other issues such as high blood pressure, urinary tract infections, lack of coordination and the like can compound living with that disability to a more uncomfortable life.
Preventing pressure sores is a daily concern for individuals who have a spinal cord injury. If you are a person dealing with an SCI, you should always work to stay healthy and avoid this serious skin problem in order to be free to do what you would like to do or anything else that life has to offer.
Like several of his classmates getting ready to graduate in June, John Demcovici ponders what tux to wear to the prom, works through his classes this final semester, and waits patiently for his college admission letters.
However, for John, all of those milestones will be done from a wheelchair, and the first real hurdle of the spring will be getting through the anniversary day of the accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down.