My dad suffered a incomplete spinal cord injury at C4-C6. His injury was seven months ago and he is 58 years old. Prior to the injury he was really healthy and worked out at least three times a week. Currently he can wiggle his fingers some, and has more control over his feet (central cord syndrome). He can kick out and propel is wheel chair backwards, but not forward. He had a baclofen pump put in a few weeks ago. He still needs full support for transfers, and all of his daily living skills.
I had a couple of questions....
1. Are there any other people out there that had incomplete injuries around my dad's level? What did your recovery process look like. (Time wise?) I know every spinal cord injury is extremely different, but I want to know if there is still hope that my dad can develop even more independence. We would love for him to be able to walk and use his hands for simple tasks like feeding and cathing himself period. Can y'all share some of your "firsts" and at what step in recovery it was? Like "I started getting control of my right hand after 8 months" or "I could walk with a walker a few steps at 14 months"
2. He's going to be getting phenyl injections his arms soon. Has anyone had any experience with this… What was that like?
3. Has anyone had to hire a nighttime caregiver? We are now going to have to start hiring someone for two days a week. About what do you pay someone for nights? There's goning be a lot of downtime because once he's in bed and bowel program is complete there's not much to do besides cathing every 4 hours.
4. Has anyone got a baclofen pump and experienced a lot of trouble with leg muscles? Now that my dad is a lot less spasticity and tone in his legs, transfers are becoming a lot more challenging. I know it's because the spasticity and tone some what helped with keeping his legs straight, but what was the process like for rebuilding that muscle without the spasticity and tone? He used to be able to do things like squat pivot transfers and standing with support a lot more easily. Does it get better?
I'm injured at c3, c4, c5. had multiple fractures in that area in an auto accident. it sounds like your dads injuries were more severe than mine but there is hope so I cant compare my progress to your dads. its only been 7 months so a lot can happen in healing over the next 2 years.
Recovery is slow and very individual. It depends on what part of the cord was injured and how badly and also, as time goes on, it can depend on Dad's determination. I was about your dad's age when I was injured but my injury was lower in the neck and less severe so I will not give you a step by step of my recovery as it will not compare. I am also not surprised that not many have responded to your post as we all know how misleading it is to compare injuries and recoveries. Read these pages often to find out how others are coping and improving and use the search function for specific questions and feel free to ask questions as they arise.
Very difficult times ahead for you and Dad but just hang in there.
Hi Kpdgtt7. I'm glad you found this forum. As you share pieces of information about your dad's abilities and disabilities, more responses will probably be evoked. I'm a paraplegic. I was in nursing homes for a year and a half where I dodged wheelchairs coming at me 'in reverse'. Twice, when I saw them coming but couldn't get out of their way in time, I got an earful for "running into them." You haven't really 'lived' until you've experienced road rage from an old lady in a nursing home.