Day 185

What’s the story

On Tuesday I was invited back to Southmead to talk about my experience to a team of acute therapists from the South West. Pete and Wyn were both there, and Pistol helped me discuss the clinical side of my time at the RUH.

We started off talking about my experience from ‘impact’, to when I went into surgery. I guess a lot of major trauma patients either won’t remember these early stages or understandably won’t want to recall them. Its nice to offer the therapists a bit of an insight into this important stage, as most do not get the chance to experience it. We then moved on to highlight some of the challenges we faced in hospital.

The SCI protocols have only recently started to change. Twelve – sixteen weeks of bed rest is thankfully now starting to be replaced by early input. The improvements in the acute care of spinal patients (operations, response speeds, immobilisation protocols) are resulting in more incomplete injuries. Following extensive studies in America and Japan it is now commonly accepted that incomplete injuries can benefit from early and more intensive input. This is the approach that I have taken, however it requires a lot more time and resources, two things that the NHS currently doesn’t have. Pete and I explained how we got around this, from educating myself and my family in physio, to standing the tilt table in the Corridor so he could keep an eye on me whilst attending to other patients. The NHS have done an amazing job for me, and whilst they may not have all of the resources in the world, it does have some incredible people. Where there’s a will there’s a way, and sometimes you just have to think outside the box.

Maybe I just chatted rubbish for an hour, but I didn’t spot anyone sleeping, so hopefully a few people managed to take something away from it. I’m trying to pull as many positives out of this situation as I can, and if sharing my experiences helps in any way then that’s great for me too, it makes the whole thing a bit more worth while. ✌️

P.s. Great to catch up with some of the Southmead crew + Wyn managed to refrain from a public fist bump this time. All in all a good afternoon. 👊

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