Tag Archive | Spinal cord injury recovery

Love each other…

Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other. Romans 12:10 (NLT)

 

Love and honor each other. So simple, yet it often appears that people cannot understand nor follow this. All you have to do is open up the newspaper or turn on the news to see how people treat each one another. During these trying times it would benefit us to take the time to respect and show compassion to one another. So often people are so caught up in their own point of view that they cannot and do not take the time to consider the other side. 

Recently, I personally have experienced nasty comments and bad behavior instead of love and understanding because I defended the “continue to wear face masks” view. Instead of taking the time to understand why I supported the “ continue to wear face masks” point of view, people told me: “butt out”, “ there’s no real risks because the media is lying”, “your stupid for listening to hype,”  “continue to follow the herd” and many other negative comments. Not once was I asked why I believed that wearing face masks was important instead it was negative comment after negative comment. Even when it was explained the response was, “then stay home” and other unpleasant words.  Why must I be forced to stay home and not enjoy the occasional outing with my family?

It would benefit all of us to love and honor each other regardless of our opinions. There is no reason to be hateful and disrespectful to one another. We all have our own agenda, but there is no reason we cannot take the time to understand the why and maybe learn something new. Taking the time to listen and respond with understanding even if our opinions differ can change the mood. After all, we were all given free will so why not choose to love and honor each other regardless of our opinions? Showing others affection and honoring them does not take a lot of effort, but it can change the way we interact and may even turn a negative situation into a mutually beneficial one.

His beauty surrounds us

I took these pictures of the Hawks yesterday afternoon. Not easy when you are having to balance, not look at your feet, have to stay steady and take the picture. It has taken me almost three years to be able to get enough balance and proprioception to stand and take a picture or two. I still lose my balance, but with my LifeGlider it takes the worry out of falling. Most importantly, I also asked God to give me the ability to take the pictures just before I took these. Isn’t He amazing?

These were taken from my back yard. We get a variety of wild life in our area. This time of year brings lots of new life and blooms.

High pain days, what can you do?

pain

 

Living with chronic illness often means learning to navigate the daily pain and stiffness changes that can be exacerbated by fluctuation in temperature and sometimes food. It means being aware of what your body is always telling you and doing something about it before it is too late. For example, when temperatures rise into the upper 80’s and above, I must be extra diligent with drinking water to stay hydrated, doing my best to stay in cool shaded or air condition places,  and watching for signs my body is may be becoming over-heated. Because of my SCI and Chiari Malformation my body does not sweat normally, I only sweat shoulders up, which means my body cannot cool itself off properly. So, whether I am relaxing in a pool or indoors I must make sure that I do not over-exert and get overheated. In cold weather I must bundle up but make sure I do not become too warm. .Becoming overheated or getting too cold can mean increased headaches, more allodynia which in turns triggers spasms in my back, across my tummy, and down my legs. This usually means having to lay around for the next day or two and/or sometimes longer. So, on high pain days what can you do?

Give yourself permission to recover and accept help

It is not always easy to have to admit that your body is rebelling and that the only thing you can do is find a somewhat comfortable position, take your medication, and just rest. I know for me this is difficult. As a wife, mother, and grandmother I am supposed to be the one that takes care of everyone else not the other way around. Not being able to get up and take care of my family makes me feel down. I hate feeling like I am letting those around me down. But the reality is that our family and friends understand. They only want you to get better. It is perfectly okay to ask for and accept help. Our bodies are telling us Stop! It is time to rest and recover.

 

Distract yourself from the pain

We are all different and like different things so finds what works best. For me sometimes it is putting on my VR helmet and immersing myself in a game, go swimming with the dolphins in Ocean Rift or use the meditation application. I have used this method on many occasions and find that my pain will drop from an 8+ to 5 in about 15 minutes. After about 45 mins. I can remove the mask and relax some.

Another way to distract myself is find a sitcom or movie to watch. With all the different services out there like Netflix, Hulu, and Fire Tv it is impossible not to find something to watch. I often find comedies, old reruns of I Love Lucy, or a great movie on the hallmark channel often help distract my mind from focusing on the pain as much. Look, when your body revolts find ways to make the best of it. Whether you are engrossed in a game or coloring do what helps you distract yourself from the pain.

Remember this is temporary

When our bodies misbehave it is easy to fall in the trap of beating ourselves up. It is extremely easy to lose sight of the fact this is only a temporary setback. Often, especially when things seem to be progressing, a minor setback like this seems much more than it really is. It can feel like this is going to last forever and then we start playing the “What if game.” What if I do not improve? What if this means I must start increasing my medications? What if the medications start making more lethargic? And, so on and so on.  Our minds are powerful and if we allow the negative thoughts in, we risk increasing our pain and discomfort. This usually leads to longer recovery times. It would benefit us to remember this is only a hiccup on journey.

Our bodies are complex and sometimes temperamental. Living with high levels of pain is difficult and can drain our ability to cope and cause us to lose hope. It is important to remember that these setbacks are just temporary, and our journey will resume shortly. It is okay to take the time to recover and accept help. This does not mean that this is going to be how things are from here on out. Let us do our best to allow ourselves time reset and recover.

 

Dear Lord, thank you for being the light that guides me through the storms. You renew my faith, hope, and my spirit. Help me to always find You even the most difficult of storms and give you praise through it all.

Thinking of getting a new set of wheels

There notable changes in my gait. This walker causes me to engage my gluteus muscles. I can see it in the video, but more importantly I can feel it. I can feel my weight shift! Because of my spinal cord injury I have lost feeling in many areas from about mid-back down.

I am also going to try a new walker on the market called the LifeGlider(https://www.mylifeglider.com). It is also an upright walker, but this revolutionary walker could be a real game changer. It allows you to walk upright while being securely strapped in allowing the user to walk and move securely even when they let go with their hands. This feature alone would give me back so much.

In the past, I was not a big fan of the upright walkers. When I tried similar ones, I felt wobbly and very unstable. This time was different. The walker felt strong and stable which helped me feel more secure plus it was super easy to maneuver.

I am not sure which upright walker I will end up with, but I know I am switching. No more bending over and stressing out my back more. Traditional walkers cause the shoulders to rotate forward causing poor posture, which stresses the shoulders and upper back. Unfortunately, I am not able to walk without assistive devices, yet.

Still I feel blessed beyond belief. God’s timing is always right. My family and I have done a lot of research on walkers and other assistive devices to no avail until now. I have always believed that if it is God’s will it happen. His timing is perfect.

Not ready to quit

Having hope and believing that God is healing me has continued to give me the courage and strength to continue moving forward. My hard work of going to the gym and working with a trainer at least twice a week, continuing to stretch and crawl as much as possible, and recently adding in the use of the Bioness L300 Go system are paying off . My walking and balance have improved! I am hopeful that I will eventually be able to walk device free again. I have also recently begun to get more feeling in my right leg. Six months ago, my right leg was mostly numb only having feeling in the ankle and behind the knee. I am beginning to have intermittent feeing at the back of my thigh and along the inner and out areas of my leg.

This was 6 months ago in June. My walking is clunky and stiff. It was difficult to control my especially if I wasn’t looking at them.

This was yesterday morning. My walking is still stiff, but it is smoother. My knees don’t snap as often. I also can walk without looking down at my feet all the time. God is good and He is helping me get through day by day. I refuse to give up. I will dance freely again!