Week 5Dimitri is not the norm, far from it. Each day we are super grateful for each little progression. I feel and see the hopelessness and sadness in many folks on his floor that do not have the same progress.
Let me share the stats as I have been told by “the team.”
- 90 % of individuals on the ASI (American Spinal Institute) scale die as a B. He was an A.
- In ICU, Dimitri was upgraded to a C. There is a vast range in C. 25% of C’s die in ICU, often from an infection in the airway (pneumonia), bladder infection, bedsores, incision site infection or clot causing a heart attack or stroke.
- Dimitri was then upgraded to a D, and only 50% of C’s do. We both nearly fell over with this news; I think around day 10, it’s a bit of a blur.
- Only 20 % of D’s get the use of their legs and can walk “somewhat.” How far and how coordinated no one can predict.
In week 5, Dimitri’s wheelchair was swapped for a walker and a cane! I was shocked since the experts said that the wheelchair would be his main form of getting around, hopefully with some walking way down the line.
Dimitri started a cardio class and did 30 min straight on Wednesday moving his arms/legs in the recumbent machine. His mate stopped after 10 min, chatted and then went out for a smoke.
Dimitri used chopsticks, played a card game of pennies, shaved his face, and put on his socks/sandals and shirt on his own.
Dimitri is not the norm. We (his team and family) all have the utmost gratitude, humbleness and daily surprises of his progress.
There are still many months of rehab, but the trajectory is up, up, up for approximately the next 2-10 months. This is a critical time, as the concept of neuroplasticity is heightened, and progress can continue. Personally, I think improvements can be made for years; however, the older one is, the harder it is to improve. Fortunately, Dimitri was healthy, active, fit and strong before the injury, which has served him very well.