Ramblings on healthcare, medical education, and life with a spinal cord injury

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New Section

People have been sending me links to some very inspirational stories lately, so I’ve decided to start posting them.  On the right-hand column of the site, you’ll see a section entitled, “Inspirational Stories.”  I’ll be adding links to that section whenever people send them, and the newest links will appear at the top of the list.  For more details on a story before you read it, just hover your mouse over the link, but don’t click it.

April 18, 2008   2 Comments

I’m Just as Uncomfortable as You

Being on a spinal cord injury (“SCI”) ward at a top hospital like Mount Sinai makes it easy to forget how people see those in a wheelchair.  Everybody around you is either a patient or support staff that specialize in handling this type of injury.  I’ve made a good number of friends here, and while heading down the hall I’ll speak with or at least smile at the other patients.  Everything seems easygoing, until you’re faced with something that makes you so uncomfortable that you don’t know how to respond.  Even here. [Read more →]

April 17, 2008   4 Comments

Maybe it’s *not* HO after all.. And back to popping wheelies

So after all my concerns about the swelling in my leg being due to HO (Heterotopic Ossification), it turns out it might not have been after all.  But we’re still not 100% sure yet.  I was sent for a CT scan last week after the swelling hadn’t changed at all over the weekend, and the results were surprising – my leg is filled with blood.

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April 7, 2008   4 Comments

It’s Baaaaaaccck: HO’s Revenge

Well, it looks like I wasn’t quite out of the woods as far as the HO goes.  Just as the fevers last week from the infection were starting to trail off, something else cropped up.  And the fevers I got were even worse.  Just after I thought I was out of the woods from all those recent ups and downs, I was pulled back in seemingly even deeper.

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March 30, 2008   7 Comments

New Look

As much as I liked the look of the previous theme, I don’t think it was very clear.  A number of people commented that they only saw two posts on the site, but there were a number more.  So I decided to go with a more simple theme for now.  I’ll keep looking for something a bit more visually interesting, but keeping clarity the topmost priority.

March 26, 2008   No Comments

The HO was (hopefully) a False Positive.. And Some Random Thoughts

When I was first admitted to Mount Sinai, Dr. Stein‘s initial exam revealed limited flexion in my hips.  The left was observed to be worse than the right, but both were suspected.  I was sent for a bone scan and when the results were in,  Dr. Stein indicated that from what was observed on the bone scan it was believed that I had Heterotopic Ossification of the hip (or just HO for short).  Basically, bone was forming in my hip where it shouldn’t be.

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March 24, 2008   9 Comments

Ups and Downs, Part 2

Well, after a few days of feeling pretty down and out about everything, my spirits are finally starting to look upwards a bit.  But of course with that up comes another down – some type of suspected infection.  To paraphrase a famous canine musician (since this is a G-rated blog), if it’s not one thing it’s something else.  (I think about one person will get that.. and he knows who he is…)

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March 22, 2008   1 Comment

Ups and Downs

Some days are better than others.  Most here are positive – there are a lot of positive people around, and the spirit is very supportive.  Sometimes, that doesn’t make one bit of difference and something seemingly routine just sets off all kinds of unpleasant emotions.  It seems to be par for the course around here.  Today was one of those days. [Read more →]

March 20, 2008   1 Comment

Grip Strength Returning

Grip strength.  It’s an interesting indicator.  One thing I didn’t realize prior to my injury (among many things) about SCI is how many systems are affected.  My injury level would suggest that I would have much more limited upper body movement than I do.  Despite good mobility, the movement I do have is affected.  But it is getting better.

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March 19, 2008   2 Comments

I’m inspirational? And my first wheelie off a four-inch curb.

Today in Transitions (a group composed of both in-patients and out-patients here at Mount Sinai that meets once weekly), we all shared feelings relating to getting back out in the world.  In-patients talked about how we felt when we got here, how we feel now and what our expectations are for the future; out-patients talked about what their expectations were before leaving, and whether those expectations have been met, exceeded or unmet.  Overwhelmingly, all of the out-patients said their expectations had been exceeded.  They also said they still have a lot they can learn from in-patients.  I never thought I would be complimented in the way I was before the discussion ended.

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March 13, 2008   7 Comments