I was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in 2002 and I plateaued after one year. I was using a motorised wheelchair, but was able to stand and transfer. In 2015, I had an accident in my motorised wheelchair, which capsized in a water-filled hole and tipped me onto my side. I sustained a C4 spinal cord injury; my left side is affected more than my right. I live at home with my wife Fay. I use a tablet and desktop computer with a wireless headset to assist with using the keyboard. My speech is impaired at times secondary to the MND, so the computer is an important form of communication to me.
The frequent visits from the therapists helps break the monotony of living with a disability. I’ve found rehabilitation varied, which has made it more interesting to me. We have worked out an ongoing therapy plan that is helpful.
Sarah, the speech and language therapist, has been responsible for getting the tablet and helping to get it set up so I can use it to communicate. She also arranged for swallow studies at North Shore Hospital which showed that I was unable to eat/drink safely. As a result of that I now have a PEG feeding tube. Shona, the occupational therapist has arranged splinting for my arms to maintain the range in my elbows and wrists. I wear these splints at night. Shona has also been helpful liaising between all the therapists. In physiotherapy with Janine, I do exercises for my arms and legs, which I’ve found to be very useful. Without physio, I wouldn’t have as much movement in my legs as I currently have.
Written Feb 2017; Posted June 2017
Eighteen months ago, I was discharged from the Auckland Spinal Unit, still barely able to move following a fall from a ladder while doing some house maintenance six months before.
I had an incomplete spinal cord injury affecting C4 to T1.
I was 72 at that time and had had a fairly eventful life as a NZ Police officer for 25years, also involved in Search & Rescue, Armed Offenders Squad and covert operations, and for the last 23 years as an Investigator, Auditor, Snake Handler, Prosecutor, Intelligence Analyst for MPI.
While lying in bed in a motel unit, after discharge, waiting for my house modifications and wondering what the future held, I was visited by Dr Suzie Mudge who pulled me out of the bed, got me to my feet, and told me that she would get me walking again.
Another challenge! And it worked, thanks to all the therapists at Neuro Rehab Results who worked with me towards this: Suzie, Juliet, Todd, Pip, Amy and for the last eleven months, Sam; I can now support my own weight and walk the length of the clinic using a gutter frame.
Written and posted Dec 2015