Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Life As a Quad II: Sensory and Motor

On Monday I went to an appointment at a clinic with a physical therapist. They did something called sensory testing. By doing this, they can tell how much sensation I have and where throughout my body. I have feeling everywhere but it is more predominant in some places than others. It is hard to explain what I feel and where, so this was just a way that they could measure how much sensation I really have. They only did my lower extremities this time. The physical therapist had me close my eyes and then he took a small poker (it kind of looked like a needle but it bent easily and was not sharp) and touched certain places of my legs. Each time, he asked me if I felt anything and where. There were a lot of inconsistencies with what I said to where he was touching. Most of the time I didn't say anything because I couldn't feel it. When he was doing the testing, I had a few frustrated looks on my face when I didn't get it right. I was feeling disappointed that I didn't have as much feeling as I wanted to.

After a while of using the poker, he started using his hands to touch certain places on my legs. I was able to feel where he was touching. That means that on my legs, I can only feel deep pressure. I kind of knew that but it was nice to actually have a test done. He told me that it is important not to get discouraged and the fact that I have any feeling at all is a good sign. My greatest sensation is on the top of my arms. Hopefully I will be able to do a return appointment at a later time to see if I have gained any more sensation. I have to tell you that it isn't typical for someone with my injury to have sensory or motor.

I am a C1C2 incomplete quadriplegic, with incomplete sensory and motor. I usually just tell people that I am paralyzed from the neck down even though I do have movement below my injury. The reason I tell people that I am paralyzed is because it is just easier that way. It is hard to explain how I move things and specifically how it is possible that I can move things. I basically have to know exactly which muscle or muscles move what. Then I have to pick out the muscles and tighten them to move certain parts. It was a difficult process in the beginning but now that I know all of the muscles and what they do, it is a little easier.

I am able to move all of my toes, five fingers , and my shoulders and I can bend both of my wrists, elbows and knees. I'm also able to tighten the muscles in my stomach and pull myself forward and tighten the muscles in my back to pull myself back. I have attached a video of myself bending my elbow. After my arm gets to 90°, gravity takes over. I'm not able to bring my arm back down.

I will try to post more videos of me moving. If you have any questions for me about this post or want to know something in more detail than what I have described feel free to comment below.


1 comment:

Greg said...

great post! Thanks for sharing