Everything my Spinal Injury has Caused

Everything my Spinal Injury has Caused

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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.

Numbness

  • 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!
    • Because I have moment in my left leg I am able to stand and let me tell you how difficult it is to stand when you are unable to feel the ground underneath you! I had to retrain my brain into believing the ground was there under my feet.
    • 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.

Drivers License

  • Due to the fact have no foot movement in the right foot 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!

Financial Struggle

  • This might be a no brainer but let me break down a few things to understand how this has caused extreme financial struggle. Starting Aug 2020 I had 9 appointments all hour away from home before my Surgery Oct. 2020, this is when the injury happened. I stayed two night and three days in the hospital alone an hour away from home. After surgery between follow ups, second + options, images and rehab I had a total of 51 appointments. Not only were those appointments over an hour away over a dozen of them were downtown Chicago meaning over hour and half away, tolls to pay and parking garage fees.
  • March 2022 I had surgery to remove the misplaced screw, this was downtown Chicago. Stayed one night and two days and afterwards had only 3 appointments. Besides my drivers ed rehab all my appointments are done. 
  • All this is going on, I an unable to work and let's be real what company would want to have my husband work for them when he is my only means of getting to these appointments. No company is the answer. He has had side jobs but the catch up game is horrible when the debt pile is so huge that the amount coming in just isn't enough so the pile just grows and grows.
  • 60 plus appointments means lots of gas money, lot of time sitting in the car adding miles onto the car and have to hope you have someone to watch the kids. The guilt I have as a mother is enough but adding in this I feel horrible when the kids would have to come to my appointments because they were long. This was also during Covid so they all had to stay in the car:(
  • With my husband being my main support and the fact I am unable to drive he has to do all the driving, be there to pick the kids up from school if they need to be picked up, get groceries and take us to our appointments. He also help me with some things and work on supporting us all at the same time.
  • Myself I have been able to create content for payment and have some affiliated brands but its not enough.

 Grief

  • 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.

Total Independence

  • 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!? Tag me on social Instagram @simplychanon Facebook @channonadams2 TikTok @channonadams

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