Since my SCI Injury in the waves of Virginia Beach, USA in July 2003, I am fighting with my own body.
Injured Spinal Cord (C6-Incomplete) has a tendency to squish my body in fetal position crawling my legs and fingers, bending my spine and slowing down my metabolism.
I need to stretch & exercise everyday to be able to survive long day in wheelchair. As I can not help a lot from the beginning (specially in the morning) I need a help. I have assigned 5 days a week, 2 hours – by Canada Health care person (PSW) that suppose to help me with stretching, help with dressing, transfer to wheelchair and help me with some light exercises.
Unfortunately everything listed above is good only to maintain status quo of my current physical situation.
To make any improvement I need extreme, “Know-How” specific, long and Canada’s Health Care Insurance unsupported & uncovered Physiotherapy.
In search for better Rehabilitation I was trying to find the best solution for myself considering my budget.
Thanks to my friends that had organized great Fundraising dinner within first year of my Injury, I was able to go to Excellent Rehab center in Fojnica in Bosnia and Herzegovina 2004 and 2005 (by 3 months each time) .
In Fojnica, I was able to walk in parallel bars just using knee braces.
Since 2005, the most of my therapies were arranged on my own after paying for them according to my budget in private clinics.
Year, 2009 in July I’ve visited Great SCI-Step clinic in Mason, OH. for 1 very promising introductory week Generously sponsored by the clinic owners but due to insufficient budget I was never able to proceed with their therapies.
I was also attending few hospital Outpatient clinics using my OHIP* rights (once per month x 1 hour condensed in 3 months once per week visits) set of exercises for about 8-12 weeks each year. maximum you can get from OHIP [*Ontario Health Insurance Plan] and I was always discharged after about 3 months regardless results achieved.
The latest such a venture was my visit to state of the art Facility of Rehab Outpatient clinic by General Hospital @ Wellington Street in Hamilton.
Regardless great improvement and independent standing + walking with soft braces in the pool they had to cease my therapies (again OHIP / flow of people policy);
In October 2009 I have started Lokomat therapy in Theraputix, private Rehab clinic in Toronto and after some promising results and 3 months of LokoMat Gait Training therapies my funds were depleted.
The most recent movement, as of May 2011 is my Rehab exercise
within MacWheelers program @ Faculty of Kinesiology @ McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario where I am attending body weight support and leg assistance exercise first once
and now twice per week.
My exercise routine at home is based @ 1 hour stretching and range of motion exercise in the morning and after that about 30 minutes walking using this “SteadyMate” walker:
The way I am standing & walking is obviously supported by braces that lock my knees and belt behind me or platform I am leaning forward to.
I am also from time to time using terra-bands and weights and in the evening I am going for extra session
on Motorized Station Bike for about hour. (Motomed Viva)