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Lonnie E. Shipe, M.A.
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Lonnie E. Shipe, M.A.   My Press Releases

“I often wished that more people understood the invisible side of things. Even the people who seemed to understand, didn't really.” Jennifer Starze

Published on 1/8/2018
For additional information  Click Here

For most people, when they hear the word “quadriplegic,” their mind goes straight to an image of Christopher Reeve in his wheelchair. Or when they hear “spinal cord injury,” they think the worst of it is that we cannot walk. But how a body is affected and can still function despite the main nerve being down is quite something. From lesser-known secondary effects to the body’s impressive resiliency, here are seven surprising facts about spinal cord injuries.

We can’t cough.

We may be able to emit a tiny cough, but that is about as fierce of a cough most of us can do. Reason why – spinal cord injuries do not just effect the legs and arms, they affect the chest wall muscles; everything becomes paralyzed below the level of injury. This is why respiratory failure remains the number one cause of death among people with spinal cord injuries. Coughing up phlegm is critical when fighting off colds, but the good news – cough-assist devices and techniques like these.

 Related image

We can pee through our belly buttons

Everyone thinks they know our going-to-the-bathroom secret, we use catheters—duh. But there is one big secret mainstream society has no idea is possible, a surgery that allows you to pee through the belly button. That is right, a hole is put in the belly button, with a new urinary conduit to boot. All you need to do is insert in a catheter, put a drainage cup between your legs, and you are good to go. This fascinating surgery was invented by Dr. Mitrofanoff.

 Image result for quadriplegic

Our legs can still move.

I mention this because mainstream society thinks paralysis equates to the legs being absolutely frozen in time but this is not the case. Paralyzed legs move and shake a lot on their own; anything causing pain below the level of injury can do it.

So there you have it – odd facts regarding spinal cord injuries – a condition many are hoping may be cured one day soon. Stem cells may make spinal cord injuries a far off memory in the next 50 years, but in the meantime, knowing the inside scoop can never hurt.

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