2013 was a year of changes and adaptations for me and my family. The biggest change of them all was the fact that I broke my neck (C1 andC2 vertebrae) All it took was one fall down the stairs – in my own home at that! Most of the spring was a blur as so many things needed to be changed.
For several months I was dependent on others for most of my needs. Due to my head injury also as a result of the fall, I could not watch television, use the computer or even read for long periods of time unless I had propped the book up to look directly at the pages instead of looking down. Audio Books were gold. With the hard cervical collar, I couldn’t bend over or raise my hands above my shoulders. For the first two months I could eat only what could be consumed by a straw as my back molars had been wired together. I couldn’t drive and I had to walk with a walker. Yup, me, a little grey haired old lady with a walker.
I found that I could no longer do many things, one of which is working “hands on” with clients, so I needed to refocus my energies on what I could do.
There are no stumbling blocks, only stepping stones. ~ Heather Burke
I feel very lucky, and after several months in various collars I am almost back to normal, or as back to normal as I can get.
This is what could have happened:
“Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injury levels are used to explain the different severities of paralysis, following an injury to the spinal cord. Generally, the higher the level of injury to the spinal cord, the greater the degree of paralysis will result.
Functionality of C1, C2, C3
Mobility & Movement
Limited head and neck movement depending on muscle strength.
Complete paralysis of arms, body and legs.
Sympathetic nervous system will be compromised possibility of Autonomic Dysreflexia.
Electric wheelchair may possibly be controlled by either a chin or “sip and puff” controller, this will vary depending on dexterity.
The person will require total assistance when transferring from a bed to a wheelchair and from a wheelchair into a car. A hoist will have to be used, possibly by two assistants for safety.
Complete assistance required during mealtimes.”
I also experienced a Traumatic Brain Injury as a result of the fall. I am still developing strategies to cope with the cognitive deficit. I am so very lucky that I can walk, talk and eat all on my own.
I am even back in the gym and working with a personal trainer.
Thank you for coming on this journey with me.