Friday, April 27, 2007

questions you haven't asked, but probably have wondered about.

As we are ramping up (har har har) for Dad's big move home, I thought I'd guess what your questions might be. How'd I do?

What muscles work? What ones do not?
Dad has good back muscles. He can control his forward tilt with his back. He has no tummy muscles, so flopping backwards is a problem. His range of loss in the front is about two inches below the nipples.

What about, uhm, er, tolieting?
These websites should answer all your questions and perhaps then some: #1 and #2.

Any chance of recovery?
Not so much. The neurosurgeon said that the injury was complete, which means that the whole spinal cord was damaged. An incomplete injury means that the front or the back or some part of the cord was not damaged, and those folks have more function than Dad. Dad's spinal cord was not severed, but all parts of it were damaged by the bits of crushed vertebrae.

By the way, lots of folks tell stories about people who broke their backs and are walking again. Therein is the difference between damaging your spinal bones and damaging your spinal cord.

Any chance of improvement? Absolutely. He regularly has twitchy legs in response to his legs being bumped or touched. This is a good sign, even though the twitches are involuntary. Today the therapist was trying to get some good twitches going so that Dad could, on an up-twitch, grab his leg in preparation for moving it off the bed.

Where did he get that fabulous haircut? I did that. Dad can be glad he wasn't my first haircut, featured here. I don't charge anything and I think they both overpaid.

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