Following Davey’s story has given me an insight into the process of recovery. Spinal injuries differ from patient to patient and the journey to gain control is dependent on a number of factors. It’s easy to take our movement for granted. We get up in the morning, brush our teeth and hop into the shower, dry ourselves off and get dressed. At the moment for Davey, that requires a process, a team to help him do this.
Davey and I head to the Spinal Gym, an amazing unit at Stoke Mandeville’s rehabilitation Unit. We arrive to the hustle of wheelchairs heading to their areas to begin their workouts. Davey, a tad nervous but excited to begin is hoisted from chair to table. (He loves being airborne and wants to stay floating, but the physio is having none of it!)
The process of helping Davey to stand is a slow process, taking place over an hour, the physio team work with Davey to incrementally tilt the bed he is now firmly strapped into. Davey, of course, wants to launch himself like a rocket! However this is not possible, due to the risk of Autonomic dysreflexia, is a serious medical problem that can occur if an individual has injured their spinal cord in their upper back, resulting in dangerously high blood pressure, coupled with very low heartbeats, which can lead to a stroke, seizure or cardiac arrest if this is performed too quickly.
As you can see, Davey blasts through it. The feeling of standing, being upright and feeling more human is a step towards recovery
Davey is grateful you’re standing behind him cheering him on!