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My spinal injury is at Level L3 - L4, and is incomplete meaning I have movement below the injury. Please keep in mind that every spinal injury is totally different even if you have the same level of injury! I shared how my spinal injury happened so lets get into what this injury has caused for me. If you want to check out how my spinal injury happened check out my blog here.
- I am numb from the waist down, entire right leg and down to my knee on my left side. The numbness is such a weird feeling and still has some getting use to it. When you go to sit it feels like your falling a little, so hard to explain and defiantly something that needs to be experienced to understand lol. This numbness also effects other things like:
- Bladder and perianal numbness and disfunction. I am unable to feel my bladder meaning I have no idea when I have to go unless I have a timer to remind me. This also means that I don't push to pee as I am unable to so I just pee what my bladder will release. Unfourtanly my bladder isn't releasing the full amount leaving urine in there cause my bladder to overfill (have an accident) and isn't good for infection risk.
- At each Urology appointment my bladder retention after voiding has been slowly getting worse and worse. My latest appointment was Friday 9/9/22 and was told that I probably have 6 months before I have to start learning & using a catheter:( I am also having problems with my blood pressure when my bladder gets to fall. My sacrum nerves were damaged which is why this is happening.
- With perianal numbness, yes we are getting that close lol I am unable to push or feel. To keep things healthy I keep a high fiber diet so that my movements are regular and on time. This is helpful so that I am home to avoid accidents.
- Sexual pleasure, I know you want to know! I am completely numb inside and out meaning I can't feel anything but I can still have Sex. The part still work as they are supposed to, I just can't feel. As pleasure is controlled a lot by mind so be sure to focus, breath and let your body have fun. Loss yourself in the moment and just enjoy yourself. Disability doesn't mean you can't be sexy and enjoy sex!
- Bruise and sores I have no idea about and how I got. Like when you are going out for a night at the bar and woke up the next day to bruises on your legs and arms that you don't remember how they got there!? I will check myself regularly to make sure I don't have any sores that could be infected or bruises that are not going away.
- I currently lost my license. There is a few things I have to do to get my license back. First I have to take a drivers ed program through a rehab to learn how to drive with assistant devices. Then I have to retake my drivers test using my assistant devices, show them that I am able to get my wheelchair in and out of the car by myself as well as transfer myself to the car. At this time with it being just my husband and myself we just don't have the extra help or time to get me to rehab as its over an hour away. I will get my license back someday but I will!
- I have to grieve the old me in the sense of ability. I am still on this journey working through it all good and bad but still struggling. I'm not going to lie to you but I miss the old me, I miss the ability to just get up and go, I miss feeling my body, I miss my body as it was, I miss not having accidents, I miss playing with my kids, I miss everything I could do that I can't. I still cry, not everyday but several times a week, I still have a lot of anger and hatred towards the surgeon I'm struggling to process and have guilt about putting my kids and husband through this. Grief is different for everyone, it's important to work through it but at your own time and in your own.
- Independence is a big thing for me and from the start I made it a point that I was going to be able to learn how to do as much as I could safely. Doing it safely was a hump to jump over but with numerous falls and close head hit calls, I kept safety as a priority. I have accepted that I have to ask for help for things and that just is what it is. I am fully aware that I will have to ask for help for multiple things for the rest of my life and its just my life now.
Conclusion is don't wait for the perfect time to do whatever it is you are putting off. The perfect time won't come and something else will always come up. Life is too short to wait because it could change in 1 second. What are you waiting for!?