I was reading earlier about a guy who became quadriplegic 10 years ago, the article, as many are, is very inspirational yet what I found the most important information from the article was that he had made improvements 8 years post injury.
He could never sit up and lean forward at one time but now he can. It looks like he has continued with his PT throughout the past 10 years and this could be contributionary, especially if muscle strength has improved but then you would think that would and could have happened sooner?
I am confident that if we spoke to the majority of the SCI population we would hear more of this. I made some significant improvements 3 years post injury so this cut off point that the medical experts give, really does need adjusting or explaining properly. Obviously, we are not going to expect miracles but I do think it is reasonable to tell patients at the time of injury that even with a complete injury, there are possibilities.
It is fair to be realistic but it is also so important to give a message of hope too and ask them to start their own journal on what they experience each day. It is invaluable, for themselves and for others.
I do feel that in some respects the attitude towards SCI is still stuck in the 1950's where patients stayed in hospital beds. Of course it isn't the same degree but I do think that there is an approach of 'this is as good as it gets' and its left at that.