Sunday, April 1, 2007

Spinal Cord Injuries

To give you a glimpse of Dan's injury, here is an excerpt from a very informative article on spinal cord injuries. The entire article is here Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and is a very good explanation of spinal cord function.

Complete vs. Incomplete

What is the difference between a "complete injury" and an "incomplete injury?" Persons with an incomplete injury have some spared sensory or motor function below the level of injury – the spinal cord was not totally damaged or disrupted. In a complete injury, nerve damage obstructs every signal coming from the brain to the body parts below the injury.

While there's almost always hope of recovering function after a spinal cord injury, it is generally true that people with incomplete injuries have a better chance of getting some return.

In a large study of all new spinal cord injuries in Colorado, reported by Craig Hospital, only one in seven of those who were completely paralyzed immediately after injury got a significant amount of movement back. But, of those who still had some movement in their legs immediately after injury, three out of four got significantly better.

About 2/3 of those with neck injuries who can feel the sharpness of a pin-stick in their legs eventually get enough muscle strength to be able to walk. Of those with neck injuries who can only feel light touch, about 1 in 8 may eventually walk.

The sooner muscles start working again, the better the chances are of additional recovery. But when muscles come back later - after the first several weeks - they are more likely to be in the arms than in the legs.

As long as there is some improvement and additional muscles recovering function, the chances are better that more improvement is possible.

The longer there is no improvement, the lower the odds it will start to happen on its own.

Dan's injury is labeled as complete. He has no movement or feeling from his neck down. He has not felt the sharpness of a pin-stick in his legs. The meeting tomorrow morning will focus on how Dan is to function with his disability, not if his condition will change.

We know that our great God is the Healer -- He is able to do what the medical field cannot. We don't know His plan, but we know that it is good. Let's trust Him for the best.


Anonymous said...

You guys are so brave. It is obvious that the Lord's grace is working in and through you.
You are so right when you say that "our great God is the Healer." I get so upset when people limit Him by saying that Healing and Miracles are a thing of the past; and only took place in Bible times. I will keep trusting in a Huuuuge God and keep believing that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever! He is our Healer and ever present help in time of need.

We are praying for you!!!

Mark & Family

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine how difficult it was to write today's post. We will be praying for you all tomorrow morning that the Lord would give His peace and grace in this time of need.

Anonymous said...

You each continue to be in our prayers - often - throughout the day and night. God is the great Healer, and we agree with you that HIS plan in each of our lives is best. May you continue to rest in HIM, tonight and in the morning.

Amanda Martin said...

Thank you for that informative update. Praying often for you all. Keep looking heaven-ward.

~Amanda Martin

"Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, you who have done great things. Who, O God, is like you? Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up." (Ps. 71:19-20)

Mamá to the best 2 said...

Dan, Dad and Mom,
Your lives are an example to many because GOD is your strength and protection. That is a reason we can never stop praising GOD. We declare HIS glory all day long. GOD allows us to suffer much hardship, but HE restores us to life again and lifts us up from the depths of the earth. HE will restore us to even greater honor and comfort us once again. Then we will praise GOD with music on the harp because YOU are faithful to your promises OH GOD. (Ps. 71) I miss you all so much and love you tons!

Even when we don't understand GOD is still in control, and SOOO worthy of our trust and praise.

don and gail said...

Bill & Deb, Pastor Paul prayed this in his closing prayer today and the Lord immediately brought you to mind.

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:3-5

He prayed that we may live only for three things. To bring Him glory; the upbuilding of His church; and our joy in Him. May He give us the ability to do that through the power of His Holy Spirit within us.

We love you all so much and are praying for you without ceasing.

Stan & Sue said...

We are praying for you all as you draw on God's strength for the adjustments you are going through now and the ones that lay ahead. We love you so much & want you to know how much your faith in our sovereign God is bringing Him glory in your every response to the trials He is taking you through.

beaker said...

wow, i dont even know what to say. you all are so brave, and you've really been an influence in my life, this whole time. since the time of the accident. and as much as it hurts to hear what you all are going through, i am so happy for you that you have made it this far and are still pushing on.
someone once told me, that when you're going through tough times, really really hard and challenging times, its because God has something big planned for you, and satan knows it, so he works overtime to try and break you before you make it to the point God is preparing you for.

and so i jsut want to encourage you all to not lose hope. keep pushin on and relying on God, because He has something extraordinary planned through all of this. you're all a part of His perfect plan:)

we're all prayin for you guys. love yall!

Jeff & Kim Thiele said...

We just want to say that it is an honor to call you guys our friends. Your response through faith in Jesus is so very amazing, although through the years we have known you, we wouldn't have expected less, but to see it in action is truly an amazing picture of what faith should look like. I hope through all these notes back to your family that you can see how you guys are encouraging all of us to grow in our faith, love and holiness. Thank you for that!! We love you and we are praying for you. Love, Jeff & Kim

Anonymous said...

We continue to pray for you in the womens' Bible study at Capital City Baptist Church in Mexico City. You have been a blessing in your example of how to go through a very difficult trial. God is there with you, during the night hours, during the day, as you face each new challenge.

We will be very aware of your time tomorrow discussing how to proceed. It must be so hard and we pray for God's grace.

Our God made us and He can re-make us. I've been praying specifically for this.

Sending our love,
Sergio and Janni Sales

Anonymous said...

Dear Dan, Debbie and Bill,
Just want you to know you are still heavy on our hearts and minds and we are still praying for you. May God's peace that passes understanding be with you.
We love you,
John and Kathy

Anonymous said...

Words aren't enough all I can offer are my prayers.
Praying in Norhern Ohio....

Anonymous said...

Dr. Scott G., from the CVS cycling group here in Montgomery, sent an email out informing myself and everyone else of Dan's injury. I just want you to know that Dan, yourself and your entire family are in our hearts and prayers. I will pass this along to our prayer chain at Frazer. We will be checking the blog to stay up to date with Dan's progress.

Stay strong and faithful,

Brooks in Montgomery, AL

Anonymous said...

I pray for you every day.
When I get scared I look at an angel I have in my bedroom. It helps me to think that God is taking care of me. There is an angel watching over you too.
Alaina Vejvoda

The Johnson's said...

Dear Precious Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We're praying for you as you receive and process new information today. Rejoicing with you that we have a great big God who is holding Dan safely in His arms! Lifting you up continually before the throne of the One who knows every thought, emotion and need that each of you have.

Loving you through Christ,
Tim and Vickie
Jamestown, OH

Gramma said...

"and lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure, For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

Dan, Deb, Bill,Matt&Em,Jen, and Mike, may the Lord give you the strength, courage and power to go through this challenge - for today. We know we have a miracle working God and we will continue to pray for healing - even as I write this, I weep for as Deb said "when Dan hurts, I hurt" and I have a mother's heart and hurt for my children. Oh, but precious ones, read Isaih 53 and may the Lord give you insight and wisdom and realize the most valuable things that last for eternity cost someone - and Jesus is conforming you to His precious Son. Never give up - Jesus conquered the grave and His power in limitless. Love Gramma

Charlie said...

I'm praying for you, Dan, your family and friends, and I'm encouraging my friends to pray for you, too. The Lord is good, and He is at your sides.

Laura Elliott said...

Dear Dan, Bill, and Debbie,
It was hard to read these statistics today and know how very real and discouraging they can seem in the face of what you are living. That is the challenge of faith; to believe God can do what he says he can do no matter what it looks like, knowing that he is ABLE when others don't yet know. We continue to pray that his plan for Dan would unfold beautifully, that you will have a peace in it, that it will be a glorious thing to see God shine through. We love you very much.
To Him who holds our hearts close be glory forever,
Laura and Matthew Elliott

Anonymous said...

Y'all are in my thoughts and prayers constantly.

Mary said...

Bill, Debbie & Dan,
Our hearts were heavy when we read your most recent posting. Yesterday Pastor Stowell spoke about being a friend of God and when we are His friend, He tests us. He tests us by using what is most precious to us. I know that Dan is most precious to you as our children are. When they hurt, we hurt. We know you are hurting now. I know you know that this is not a surprise to our Lord. Your great faith will get you all through this. You will pass the test. God is faithful. He loves Dan even more than you do. Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. We love you all and can't wait for the time when you will be able to tell us all -- guess what the Lord taught us! You are loved!
Jim & Sue

a praying friend said...

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who DAILY bears our burdens.
-Ps 68:19

Jesus is so willing to hold those burdens - continue to daily hand them over to His capable hands!

"Worry never empties today of its trials, but always drains tomorrow of its strengths."

On my knees,
a sister-in-Christ

Jamie Loker said...

Just checking in to say we are still praying. Dan, you sound like a trooper charging into your therapy. I appreciate your family's transparency to also acknowledge your frustrations and fears. It helps us to know how to pray. You inspire us all. Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

You are constantly in our prays. Remember the strength of the Lord in all things.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dan, Mrs.Knudsen

I am praying for you all! just wanted to encourage you not lose hope! Sometimes things may feel hopeless but Don't forget that God is always with you and HE WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU!


Grace T. Lohner

Rick said...

I just wanted to say hi and I am a friend of the family

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you guys know I'm praying for Dan and the whole family. God has placed you guys on my heart and in my prayers daily

-Nathan Walter (Cedarville)