Wednesday, September 24, 2008

T-1 ASIA C (and other things)

So, Needlenoggin has been upgraded to a T-1 ASIA C (he was ASIA B before hand). I've spoken with his neurologists and neurosurgeons, and finally found SCI Info Pages as a great website to explain all of this nonsense. What follows is a short explanation of what this means, in layman's terms.

There are 4 parts to your spinal cord. The part that attaches to your neck are the Cervical vertebra, the ones from your shoulders to your hips are the Thorasic. Then there are five Lumbar and the fused Sacrum at the end of the cord (your tailbone). These are abbreviated C, T, L, and S.

According to Dr Wise Young at Rutgers, "In general, neurologists define the level of injury as the first spinal segmental level that shows abnormal neurological loss. Thus, for example, if a person has loss of biceps, the motor level of the injury is often said to be C4. In contrast, physiatrists or rehabilitation doctors tend to define level of injury as the lowest spinal segmental level that is normal. Thus, if a patient has normal C3 sensations and absent C4 sensation, a physiatrist would say the sensory level is C3."

Needlenoggin is a T-1 classification with impairment at C-8 (some tingling and numbness, but control of the muscles in his hand). The ASIA is just the name of the organization that created the scale of injury, the American Spinal Injury Association. Then we get to the numbering, which is very confusing. Here's the RoundPeg version:

A= Complete: No feeling or motor control below the injury level.

B= Incomplete: Feeling but not motor control below the injury level. (According to Dr. Young, a rather rare classification). this is where Needlenoggin was before.

C= Incomplete: Some motor function is preserved below the injury level, but less than half of the muscles below the injury are at grade 3 (able to go through a full range of motion against gravity, but not resistance). This is Needlenoggin's current classification).

D= Incomplete: More than half of the muscles below the injury are graded 3 or above.

E= What Spinal Cord Injury?

Ta-da! What would you all do without me? Anyway, so that's the good news. the bad news is that no one knows when he's coming home (still!) because his Physical Therapist wants to keep him longer now that he'd get something out of it (can actually do rehab now that his cast is off) but the center still wants him gone. Of course, Needlenoggin wants to be home, himself, but knows that the in-house rehab is best for him. We'll see.

Now, the pictures you're all waiting for:

The Oakland Fire guys sent Rorysaurus a firefighter outfit, and some toys. She now thinks that all firefighters do is bring toys and "look at you when you hurt your head." So, of course, she brought the biggest toy of them all to Needlenoggin, and checked on his head.

I don't have a photo yet of her and "PJ", but she named one of the monkeys sent to her after the firefighter who cared for her after the accident. Very cute.

Oh, and the above photo is of a piece of her artwork. I didn't touch a single pen on this (although I did prompt things like "does he need another arm?" and when she asked where his chair went, said "draw circles here"). This is, to quote her, Rorysaurus and Needlenoggin going to the park. They are holding hands." Too sweet.

This morning she woke up with a 99.5 fever, so she stayed home today and vegged on Blue's Clues.