spinal-cord injury

another week in paradise: rollercoaster

have you ever noticed that life is a rollercoaster? Best not to get too excited about good news because challenges will not be far away and, conversely, best not to get too worried about bad news because something good is sure to happen sometime.

I woke up at 5 AM this morning to the spectre of three nurses playing around with my catheter. It turns out that my night bag was empty so they suspected blockage in the suprapubic catheter. As you may know I have been having problems for some weeks and, while things had seemed to improve,  the last few days had seen a renewal of  my “leakage”. With that in mind, and in the face of another blockage, the nurses decided to reinsert the urethral catheter.The procedure makes me somewhat nervous. A former neighbour of mine would scream throughout the insertion, and memory of his pain is impossible for me to forget. In fact, however, I have not ever had pain during the procedure and this morning was no different. I am left, however, with a double barrel shotgun; two catheters and two bags. I am scheduled for a urodynamics test in two weeks time which I hope will get to the bottom of the matter.

After this difficult start to the day, better news was to come when the inspection of my bottom found substantial reduction in my pressure marks. One had gone completely and the other was fading. As a result I was allowed up for one hour in the morning and then three hours in the afternoon. There is great joy in  rising after a long period in bed.

my afternoon was spent travelling with my physio, Keira, to the Royal North Shore hospital to visit a surgeon. I was being assessed for the possibility of tendon transfer, which would involve borrowing shoulder and bicep muscles to replace my left triceps, and further operations on the tendons in my left hand to provide wrist extension and help with my  tenodesis be honest, the thought of the operation is scary. Fortunately, I do not need to decide whether to proceed now, since the surgeon suggested that I come back in one years time when the level of my recovery had completely stabilised. we shall see.

About Author

Shane is an ethicist and theologian, Honorary Associate for the Centre of Disability Research and Policy, the University of Sydney, and Assistant Director, Policy, at the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation against People with Disability. Shane is proudly disabled, and an occasional blogger on

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