Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Spinal Cord Injuries: The Basics ( & a giveaway!)

With September being Spinal Cord Injury Awareness month, I really want to do my best to pack this month full of information and hopefully it will be helpful to one of you guys. Like I said in last weeks post, I didn't know much about the injury before it became my reality. I remember always having a weird fear about breaking my back because in the back of my mind I knew it could cause me to be paralyzed but I never thought much into it.

A lot of you are curious about MY personal injury and I can send you over to the post I wrote while I was still in the hospital. I feel that even though those words aren't perfectly put together, it sums up exactly how I was feeling at the time of my wreck and during some pretty intense recovery. You can find that post HERE.

I wanted to start this off with the basics about spinal cord injuries so that you can get an understanding of what the injury IS and then we can get more in depth. Whenever I speak about SCIs, I will be speaking mostly about my personal injury, as every SCI is different. What may be the case for me, might not be for someone else who has the exact same injury. Feel free to leave questions in the comments or email me. I will be doing a Q+A at the end of the month.

So, What is a Spinal Cord Injury?
- A spinal cord injury is an injury to any part of the spinal cord. This often will result in being paralyzed or having some sort of loss in the strength.  There are different levels at which the person can be injured. My personal injury level is t12, which is around the belly button. So I stop being able to feel around that area but I have movement into my hips. I've regained a lot of feeling since my accident but nothing is even close to being back to what it was before my injury.

How do they happen? Who can get injured?
- A SCI can happen to ANYONE. That's why it's so important to be educated. I met a girl in physical therapy once who went for a run, she ended up tripping and breaking her neck. What started off as a simple daily task ended up with her having to work to regain function of her arms and legs again. Around 11,000 people get injured each year and most of those injuries are from car accidents. The second highest percent comes from sports injuries. It's also stated that more men are injured then women. People can also become injured whenever they get a virus that can attack their spinal cord.

Each injury is different, no two are alike. I think it's so important to be aware because it could be you. I never once thought I would become paralyzed at 19... nobody thinks something bad will happen to them.

Oh, and there's a giveaway. Each week of September I will be hosting a giveaway and this is week TWO! Head back to week one to find out the winner of last weeks giveaway!

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