Daniel’s Disability and How it All Began


In this article I am going to give you a history of my condition and how it affects my day-to-day life. This is not something I have ever done.

This is a 3D rendering of an MRI done last August (2011). Here you can see the spinal column shifting to the left causing spinal cord impingement. As well, if you look closely, you can see the titanium bar (part of the fusion) is shifting to the left.

.

3D Composite Image of My Cervical Spine

3D Composite Image of My Cervical Spine done by scans from August 2008. Notice the shift, in the spine, to the left. This causes pressure on the nerve roots and pressure on the spinal cord.

.

This shift causes; pressure on the  nerve ‘roots’ (this causes great pain, Sciatic Nerve Pain), pressure on the cervical discs, a narrowing of the cervical spinal canal. The pressure on the nerve roots causes pain, a lot of pain. However, this also greatly contributes to the condition of nerve impingement that result in the loss of use in my left hand and arm.

As if that were not enough; there are osteophytes pressing on the remaining cervical discs. These osteophytes are bony projections arising from the vertebrae and with they gouge and tear the {Dural sack(s) that make up the} discs causing them to tear and shred and fail to support the discs. (I have these osteophytes through out by entire spinal column, they are just worst in the cervical spine)

In the image, below, you can see just how the vertebrae in the cervical spine are compressing on one another. If you look very closely, about mid fram/spine, you can actually see the compressed disc at C7-T1 pressing directly on my spinal cord. Pressing past the spinal cord sheath, past the cervical spinal column, across the channel of cerebral-Spinal fluid and creating a concave impression on the central spinal cord. This is the condition that my neurosurgeon referred to as “not conducive to continued life…”, it was the scariest day of my life.

.

This is one cross section image for the series done in August 2011. This shows the disc @ C7-T1 pressing directly against the spinal cord. This is the source of the spinal stenosis.

(This MRI Shows Cervical Disc Compression)

.

This shift causes; pressure on the  nerve ‘roots’ (this causes great pain, Sciatic Nerve Pain), pressure on the cervical discs, a narrowing of the cervical spinal canal. The pressure on the nerve roots causes pain, a lot of pain. However, this also greatly contributes to the condition of nerve impingement that result in the loss of use in my left hand and arm.

As if that were not enough; there are osteophytes pressing on the remaining cervical discs. These osteophytes are bony projections arising from the vertebrae and with they gouge and tear the {Dural sack(s) that make up the} discs causing them to tear and shred and fail to support the discs. (I have these osteophytes through out by entire spinal column, they are just worst in the cervical spine)

In the image, below, you can see just how the vertebrae in the cervical spine are compressing on one another. If you look very closely, about mid fram/spine, you can actually see the compressed disc at C7-T1 pressing directly on my spinal cord. Pressing past the spinal cord sheath, past the cervical spinal column, across the channel of cerebral-Spinal fluid and creating a concave impression on the central spinal cord. This is the condition that my neurosurgeon referred to as “not conducive to continued life…”, it was the scariest day of my life.

.

MRI Image from August 2011 Shows damage to cervical spine.

(This Image Shows The Degenerative Nature on The Discs)

.

That is a pretty good account of the WhatWhat is wrong with Danny? Now, I would like to talk about the How. The how I got into this condition and how I got into the position I am in today? That, that is going to take a little bit longer. It all starts with genetics, the human genome that I inherited from my mother and father. That accounts for the Degenerative Disc Diseasethat is at the root (yes, that was a pun… nerve root?) of my condition. However, there is more, usually this type of disease is more common in women… in the 70’s and 80’s.

Yes, that is what I was told by the neurosurgeon that performed my fusion surgery in my cervical spine. That D.D.D.usually isn’t as bad as mine, except for in women in their 70’s and 80’s. So, what accelerated the process?

The ‘HOW’

August 20th, 1987 is what accelerated the process. The autumn of 1987 I was working two jobs; one as a small business consultant in corporate automation, the other as a stock clerk at a local Target. I was living in Manhattan Beach California, and worked with K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) a Redondo Beach business operated by my good friend Ginger Lindberg. Business was slow, for Ginger, so I had taken another job at Target, to help pay the bills.

August 20th, 1987 I was working in the electronics storeroom at the front of the Target store in Manhattan Beach, California. I was working doing a visual inventory of the electronics storeroom, looking to ‘pushing’ some stock out on to the store floor. There was another employee, in the storeroom with me, at the time of the accident. She was on a ladder and shifting items around on the rack (we called steel, where stock was stored) right beside me. In front of me was a twenty-foot ‘stack’ of merchandise, and impromptu assortment of unrelated merchandise that could not fit on the steel in the storeroom. There were all sorts of merchandise in that stack; there were boxes containing Photo Albums, and flashlights, and assorted small handheld electronics. In addition, at the very top of the pile, unbeknownst to me at the time, was an Electric Smith-Corona Typewriter still packed in its shipping crate.

I was minding my own business, doing my inventory, and the other employee was busy sorting through merchandise, obviously looking for something. When all of the sudden, and out of no-where, I hear her scream “Move, get out of the way…” that was all I heard, when I turned to look up, where she was pointing. Oh, “My goodness”It’s a flying typewriter! I said, to myself. “but its not so much flying, as falling, I see!” So, seeing a typewriter, falling, not flying, at me I duck to my left and try to avoid its fall, I do.

Though poorly, one must guess, I cowered in fear, for the typewriter struck me, and hard in the neck, it did! I remember it hitting… I remember the pain… I remember my breathing stopped… I remember the pain. This part I have gathered from people there that day, and friends I had at the time. The other employee saw me get hit, in the spine. From what she has said, I stood shaking for a moment or two, then back on the rack of steel I did fall. She heard as air left my lungs, when the steel I did hit, and slump to the ground, with a whimper, I did. I sat there, from what I am told, a quarter hour before. I awoke!

I awoke to being moved from the spot where I was hurt, I was taken to an Urgent Care right there across from the store. As they were moving me, I remember asking “When?”… When is this, what year? I didn’t remember my name, or the time. And when asked

“Who is President?”

I gleefully replied;

          “Why Nixon is President with Checkers at his side!”

The next six months I spent in Centinela Hospital in Los Angeles, California. I heard about nerve damage and “contusions of the spine”, I heard about head injuries and “closed head trauma” and “brain injury”, too. My right hand and arm, without feeling they were, and my left leg, it appears, had taken a nap with them, too. Form the hospital I was moved, to Long Beach I was sent, fore no family close, I had. I was taken to ‘Villa Serena” in Long Beach, I was, it was a rehabilitation center, for head injured adults, like me, and help me they would.

When February the next year, came, I was released from their care and told “Nothing more, for you, can we do… You arehealed, and we are done.”

That, was the second part. That was How it all started, all on that day.

Forgive the rhythm. I just knew that would be difficult, writing that, I have never done that before. I have lived through those events, time and again, but I have never written about that day. Three days after, I was admitted, I had my very first visitor. It was Ginger. At least, that is what she told me. This, I remember well, that I do! (Ok, Stop it… )  I was sitting in the bed, at the hospital, and I just had managed to eat lunch, with only my left hand. Ginger walked in, and she was smilingreally big. Like one would do when seeing a loved one after an accident or such. (I am not warning you, again)  She gave me a big hug, and smiled and kissed me on my right check. I felt like telling her, if you want me to feel that, better kiss the other cheek. But, she just looked too happy for me to do that to her, who ever she was.

She sat down in a chair, by the door, and to me said… (Danny, you are doing it again…)

“Its so good to see you, Danny! I have been so worried, here I brought you cigarettes!”

Still wondering who the heck are you, I asked;

“I smoke?”

Her face dropped to the floor, and in astonishment, she asked;

“Daniel, do you know who I am?”

I sheepishly smiled, and lifted my shoulders and replied;

“Not the slightest idea, I have, of Who you are… And, I don’t think I smoke, it’s bad for your health!”

The color left her face, and away went the case of cigarettes. She just looked at me blankly, turned toward the door, and said;

“I am going to go look for a nurse, you stay right there…”

I guess she hadn’t noticed I couldn’t move…

There is a lot of pain, for me, back there… Please, let meleave, and talk about something else. How about, the Why?

The ‘Why’

Why am I in the condition that I am, the pain and limited movement? The typewriter fell right on my cervical spine. The accident did damage, to my right arm and hand, that eventually healed. Like 85% the estimated. However, unknown to me, or anyone else, the accident had sent a series of actions into effect. The strike had destabilized the cervical column, and this instability accelerated the effects of my degenerative disc disease. I would have suffered with degenerative disc disease, anyway, at some point in my life. The accident, however, quickened that process and initiated cervical neurological damage that later exacerbated my condition. Funny that, when I was in the process of having legal representation against Target, my attorney (Harvey Ginns, was his name, a great attorney he was) told me this;

“Daniel, I know you think you need to settle right now, and I have an agreement her for you to sign, but I want you to listen and think about this; I think there is more wrong with you than they claim. I think you were injured more, on that day, than we know and I want you to wait…”

Ever have one of those moments, moments of deep regret? Yes, this is one of those. See, Harvey was right, in the end. You see, I was far more injured than anyone knew at that time, and I would end up paying a horrible price for my sense of urgency and haste, a horrible price.

The ‘How’… Now

The how, now, is ‘How does it affect your life, now, today?’ That is a good question. I am going to do my best to answer it, honest. However, at the same time I want to keep my dignity and a modicum of privacy.

I experience sharp shooting pain in my left hand and arm; it starts in my neck and travels down the arm to my hand. The feeling that I do have, aside from the pain, is greatly numbed. I have difficulty moving the fingers of the left hand, and my lower left arm. This makes life difficult, from tying one’s shoes to preparing food or personal hygiene. I must have assistance, for a great many tasks. For that I have a caregiver, his name is Allen. He comes by frequently, and helps me get my household chores done.

Along with the shooting pain into my left arm and hand, I have tremendous pain in my neck. I mean 24/7/365 day and night, night and day… and night. It is there when I wake up. It is there when I go to sleep. It is there, when it wakes me in the middle of the night. It is there, when I cannot get to sleep because of it. There are times, if I take off my neck brace for any length of time, where if I rotate my head… in just the right way… and the TV is silent, and you clearly make out, the sound of a cement mixer coming out of my neck. In, just the past month, I have had spasms of pain that made me chill. Seems my condition is progressive, and forever it will.

I take a lot of pain medications, every day. They bring me a level of comfort, most of the time, which makes life mostly bearable. I try to write. Funny that, when I first thought of this text (this story), especially that last line, I didn’t have this new problem that is destined to plague me to my end. I try to write.

I used to write about politics, mostly, but then my life changed. For the worst. Seems my condition is advancing, I knew my pain had increased, and there was a new twist. Seems the last surgery I had; formed a hinge of my spine. Resulting in pressure now forming, on my very spine. This is the stenosis, I spoke of before, and it poses the worst threat to my health, yet.

My left foot, was the next to fall. Har, Har, it seems ‘left foot drop’ I had developed, thought no one knows how? When ever I walk, and where ever I go, behind me I leave, my left foot it does drag. Some days are better than others are, and they say it could stop at any point. I mean the progression. That might stop; they tell me when I go. So far, though, the progression marches on and leaves parts of me behind.

See, there is no one to blame, in this matter it is just a matter of ‘bad luck’ or something like that. I don’t hate anyone, or blame anything for the plight I live with… boy, that would be futile, to seek and assign blame. Because it really doesn’t matter, in the large scheme of things, who did what or who didn’t won’t make my pain go away.

 

.

MRI August 2011

This MRI Shows the compression on the cervical spinal cord.

(This Image Shows The Spinal Cord From Top Down)

.

Thank you for your generosity and support! 

http://www.indiegogo.com/DannyHanning

.

Advertisements

About Daniel Hanning
I am a; writer, editor and publisher. I write, most often, articles about our space program, fun videos andpolitical works. My most recent additions are; A Week In Review, Sunday Funnies and The Adventures of Nadia. Along with The Mars Report and Lost in Space. ENJOY!

2 Responses to Daniel’s Disability and How it All Began

  1. Come on, people, I certainly don’t bite. Leave a comment, or two, let me know you’re alive!

  2. Reblogged this on The Other Shoe and commented:

    Daniel’s Disability and How It Began is a moving and touching piece about one man’s fight with a disability.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Otrazhenie

Reflection

Allen's World

Personal Blog of Allen Hanning

J T Weaver

When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose. — Dylan.

Invisible Mikey

philosophic topics and the arts

tigerboose

a videolog about tigers

Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.

Movie Dr

Independent movie reviews and more...

palisadespete

10 Facts to Get You Started

The Other Shoe

Home to; 'Lost in Space', 'The Mars Report', 'News From Around the World', 'A Week In Review', and 'Sunday Funnies'

Ruijssantos's Blog

Na na na na naaaaa

%d bloggers like this: