Saturday, April 28, 2007

Autonomic Dysreflexia

Last time I visited Dad, I learned about Autonomic Dysreflexia.

I'll try to explain it in non-medical terms. Something goes wrong in the body, the sort of thing that would, in a non-paralyzed person, result in discomfort or pain and action to relieve the discomfort or pain. In paraplegics, it can happen that the nerves sends the pain or discomfort to the 'auto-pilot' part of the brain but of course no message reaches the part of the brain that can do anything to relieve the discomfort or pain. Well, the body still knows that something needs to give, so it ramps up its response, basically starting a physical panic response in the body of someone who doesn't have a clue that he or she is in crisis. AD can be life-threatening.

Speaking of life-threatening, did you know that the statistics indicate that if a person survives the first ten days of whatever caused them to become paralyzed, they usually live at least another ten years. The far-and-away leading cause of death for paraplegics is, however, pneumonia, so if you are sneezy and wheezy, don't visit my folks.

Anyway, back to AD; if you would like to learn more, click the link above.

Why am I getting all medical on you? Because many of you have offered to help, and if you are like me, the more you know the more comfortable you are. So I'm just going to share whatever comes my way.

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