There are countless ways a person in Colorado can sustain an injury. One of the most catastrophic of these is the spinal cord injury, an event that can leave a person completely paralyzed if severe enough. Damage to the spine can be acquired in nearly any setting – it simply requires some sort of trauma to occur to an individual’s spine.
If nerves get severed, a person may become incapable of using certain parts of his or her body. He or she may never be able to experience the same sense of control that was once the norm. But physical therapy and innovative medical advances can assist in the reparation required to recover from a spinal cord injury.
One woman, who was a competitive cyclist, found herself injured many times before she received a spinal cord injury in 2007 that left her in a wheelchair, eliminating her ability to compete in the mountain biking races she had come to love. Prior to her debilitating injury, she had competed in countless races, rode as a BMX biker, broken her collarbone several times, tore an MCL, collapsed her lungs and fractured three of her ribs.
After her injury, she attempted to keep her active lifestyle by training for a triathlon. She underwent a surgery during this time and complications arose, resulting in severe chronic pain. She missed her triathlon and was left on a regimen of painkillers that made her feel dazed and regularly out of it. Later, a pain management expert helped her determine a schedule for her medicine that allowed her to feel a sense of clarity.
Some time after, she fell asleep with a heating pad on and awoke to find that she had sustained third-degree burns. Had she not damaged the nerves in her spine and back, she may have felt the burning. After this accident, she was forced to spend 10 months on her stomach so her back could heal properly.
Source: Bike Magazine, “The Bakery: Don’t Call it A Comeback,” Danielle Baker, Jan. 31, 2013