Can You Wiggle Your Toes?

Hi everyone. This popped into my mind last night and thought it worthy enough to include here. So…When initially hospitalized after my car accident, I was continually asked the same question. Every morning the doctors would make their daily rounds and when they surrounded my bed, I was asked “Can you wiggle your toes?” Why?

As I have written previously about, one injury I ‘suffered’ was a spinal column injury. My first cervical vertebrae (aka a “C-1”) was fractured. It was a clear break that required laying flat with sand bags on each side of my head.

One of the common injuries sustained after a fractured C-1 is paralysis. How did I know? I asked.

First, the doctors would remove the sheets from covering my feet. One would feel my toe temperature to see how well my blood was circulating. Then, it was time to show whether or not my toes could move. “Can you wiggle your toes?” I heard. It took all the energy I had to show them I could.

Picture a pair of feet here….

I do not remember how much my toes moved, only that they moved. The doctors all exhaled signs of relief when this happened. I silently did so.

When first introduced to this technique, I was too drugged to wonder what was going on. As I regained some of my faculties, I began getting annoyed with this daily question. “What do you mean can I wiggle my toes?! Of course I can,” I would think. After I found out why I was being asked it, my annoyance turned into interest and strong concern.

I am one of the lucky individuals who did not experience any level of paralysis from this fracture. I have always been grateful for how some medical information/status was held back from me during my initial hospitalization stays. It was for the betterment.

Hopefully, this helps others going through the same thing.

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AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physical concerns.

This site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.







Shortness of Breath As A Symptom

Hello everyone. It’s always interesting to read about taking care of your health and what the “experts” say. Sometimes it can bring on more questions than answers, though. The topic I will discuss here involves having shortness of breath as a “symptom”.

Start reading about heart disease and related heart problems. A common indication is listed as having shortness of breath. Articles recommend contacting your doctor when you find breathing difficult.

Many times, shortness of breath can signify more serious health conditions. This is according to studies by the American Heart Association, National Institutes of Health and others.

My question is, what if a person has a fractured C-1 included in their medical history? (A fractured C-1 is a fracture of the first cervical vertebrae. The cervical area is located in your neck. In layman terms, a fractured C-1 means you “broke your neck”. )

FYI: When I discuss the topic, I use the wording C-1 since the “broken neck” phrase is creepy. Anyways.. A fractured C-1 usually results in breathing difficulties.

Here is my question: What if a person lives with breathing difficulties for the majority of their live? My cervical fracture, for instance, happened 40+ years ago.

How is one supposed to tell whether it is a symptom of heart disease or just a part of life? This is truly perplexing to me. I certainly am not running to the doctor every time I have shortness of breath. I’d keep the profession in business.

My shortness of breath occurs daily. To some extent, it exists.

I am just pondering here. Anyone have any answers they would like to share?

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Thanking My 190,000 Visitors

Well, it is happening again. The time has come to give another simple thanks to everyone who has visited my site. Those of you who visited, read, commented and shared my site has resulted in a viewership of over 190,000 people.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It couldn’t happen without you and your sharing. 🙂

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Swimming After A Neck Injury

Hi my favorite readers! Recently, I came in contact with a lady who stated she couldn’t swim because she was unable to move her neck. Her neck was fused together with steel plates and bolts. Yikes….I’ve had a fractured C-1 and can relate to her neck injury. (Nothing’s fused together, though. My neck mobility is only hindered.)

Here’s a great way to swim without moving the neck…do a semi-dog paddle with your head in the water. A standard dog paddle has the head out of the water. This position actually puts the neck in an awkward position. At least it does for me. Keeping your head in the water helps keep the neck straight. You don’t have to move your neck or put it into a compromising position.

Of course, you have to feel comfortable having your face in the water. If you cannot hold your breath, you need to use a ….oh, what do you call that device that looks like a….snorkeling tube? I love holding my breath because it strengthens my diaphragm and lungs. Being a wind instrument musician…that comes in pretty handy. 🙂 It’s a good feeling.

So, for the moral of this story: Instead of thinking you absolutely cannot do something, look for an alternative. It more than likely will be there. Good luck!

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Rating Pain

Something interesting happens when we deal with pain. Interesting to me, anyways. The medical profession asks us to rate it on a scale of 1-10, with one being minimal and 10 being excruciating.

I find that very confusing. It’s very difficult to “rate pain” if you’ve been dealing with it for over 30 years. You become accustomed to it and just accept it. It’s a part of life, sometimes a little worse, sometimes a little more. So, what’s up with suddenly rating it? I just don’t get it.

Plus, some individuals, like myself, have had a fractured C-1 and closed head injury. For the past 35 years I have been unable to judge when something was too much until I overdo so severely that it’s difficult to function. After doing research into C-1 fractures and head injuries lately, I found out why that is. It turns out that a fractured C-1 (first cervical vertebrae) hinders the transmitting of signals from the body to the brain. Wow…It was nice to find that out. It provided much needed insight.

So…back to the pain threshold measurement tool. How does it help anyone? I still don’t understand it. It’s so subjective, how can it be useful?

That’s my opinion, anyways. Hoping this helps others going through the same thing.

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After Effects of a Broken Neck

Hi my favorite readers! I am a firm believer in mind over matter. There are, however, some situations where this does not apply. Or, if it does, I do not understand how. The physicalities overrule the mental aspect. Here are a few that apply to my fracturing my C-1 35 years ago….

A C-1 is the first cervical vertebrae. When fractured, it can easily lead to paralysis. Well, luckily, I have not been paralyzed. There are other after effects of the injury that I’ve been living with, though.

It is painful for me to move my neck to look straight up. It seems to pinch a nerve. This is not only uncomfortable and painful, but causes me to lose my balance. When looking up at say – an air show -, I need to brace my head with one of my hands. The discomfort is too immense, otherwise.

I am unable to reach over my head, look up and do activities like clean. Can’t say I really am sad about that. (My attempt at a joke). It is also difficult to change light bulbs in ceiling or overhead lights. Volleyball can be trying. Painting ceilings is very difficult.

Ladders and I do not get along. I do not use them. Loss of balance is too risky for me, especially if I have to look up. Even step stools may not cut it.

Combine all of this with my double vision that is a result of a closed head injury, and there are limitations I must face daily.

It could be much worse, though. For that, I am truly grateful.

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Book excerpt: After Effects of A Fractured C-1

Here is another excerpt from my upcoming book:

One of the injuries I sustained during my car accident was a fractured C-1 (broken neck). The C-1 is the first cervical vertebrae. In many cases, fracturing his vertebrae results in paralysis. Luckily, I did not experience this.

I was initially treated by having to lay flat with sand bags on each side of my head. My head was immobilized this way. This treatment lasted for six weeks.

After my immobilization period, I needed to wear a soft collar whenever I was up moving around. I did not need it when I was laying down. (Seeing that there was a velcro closure in the back, it would have been too uncomfortable wearing this while in the prone position). My soft collar was foam rubber incased in a cotton stretch blend. I needed to wear this for about two months.

Ever since my C-1 injury, sudden movement of my head causes me ill health. I can experience headaches, nausea, confusion and vision problems. I’m not a lot of fun to be around when this happens (that’s an understatement).

This is one of the main reasons I end up driving most of the time. Not many people are good drivers and I am tired of finding that out the hard way. 😕