Having a Spinal Cord Injury and Regaining Independence

man in wheelchair smiling and raising his fist in success

A spinal cord injury is an often disabling medical condition caused by damage to the spinal cord or the nerves near the end of the spinal cord. Depending on the location of the injury on the spine, paralysis can occur in some if not all parts of the body. The higher the injury location on the spine, the more assistance a person most likely will need.

Becoming disabled after a spinal cord injury can truly be devastating. However, many individuals – even with high levels of paralysis, such as quadriplegics, go on to be extremely successful and productive members of society. Many also have relationships, including marriage and children.

Managing Life at Home After a Spinal Cord Injury

The biggest concern for anyone who has a spinal cord injury is how they will manage it. This thought happens most often in the early stages of their recovery. When I had my spinal cord injury, I couldn’t do much for myself either. After having a back fusion surgery where rods were surgically placed all the way down my spine, I had to wear a TSO cast that encased my entire upper torso. It gave time for the rods to fuse with my spine. During this time, I was under many restrictions, such as when I wasn’t wearing it, I had to remain in bed and could not even turn myself. After twelve weeks, I was completely free from wearing this cast, but I still couldn’t lift more than five pounds.

As much as I appreciated all this attention to detail, my biggest concern was that I had infant children. My youngest was a newborn who had never been less than five pounds. So, I had no choice but to hire help. It was the only way I was going to have any chance of working on myself. I hired a nanny to live with me to take care of the baby at night. During the day, they went to daycare.

I was in a rental wheelchair when I went home from rehab. I was also sleeping in a hospital bed until the orthopedic surgeon felt it was safe for me to sleep in my own bed. Before I had left rehab, I had hired a home health aid. She wasn’t trained in personal care, such as bladder and bowel incontinence, but she was willing to learn, so the rehab facility taught her. She helped me shower, take care of my bathroom needs at home, dressed me, and helped me into my wheelchair. Once I was in the wheelchair, I was at least mobile.

Then, I learned to drive. I received assistance from DARS, now known as Texas Workforce. They helped pay for the hand controls installed in my car and the lessons to learn how to drive a modified vehicle.

Going Back to Work After a Spinal Cord Injury

woman in a wheelchair working on a computerLater on, when I chose to go back to college, Texas Workforce helped pay for courses and books that I needed. When I got further education to write for teenagers and children, they continued to help me achieve my ultimate goal to be a full-time writer. I chose to work from home, so with their help, I had my office set up with adaptive equipment, including an ‘uplift desk.’ There was no excuse for me to not be productive, so I went to work.

Going back to work after my spinal cord injury was one of the best decisions I could have made for myself, along with learning to drive. The sense of independence I felt was heaven sent. Within months, my confidence as a writer grew. With continuous physical therapy, I also gained upper body strength to take care of my own needs.

I wasn’t shy about seeking psychological help either. I was grieving the loss of my legs and how my spinal cord injury affected my life after that. Everything changed for me, and I could either sink or swim.

Regaining Independence After My Spinal Cord Injury

After my youngest reached four years old, I let go of the nanny. That had been one of the many goals I had set for myself. So from that point on, I was taking care of my two children alone.

I’ve always said that life is about choices, but my thought process became warped when I had my injury. Eventually, I gained hope, which ultimately gave me the strength to keep moving forward. I went on to marry again and have another child. Through all of this, I have learned I needed no help this time around caring for my third child.

What I Learned on My Journey to Independence

group with disabilities from spinal cord injury sharing a beer and playing gamesWhat I have learned the most throughout my self-discovery journey is that there are some really nice people in the world. One of them I married, and the others are my closest friends. I also found that the more I do, the more respect I gain from those who don’t quite understand my disability from my spinal cord injury. However, what they see is a self-sufficient, strong, confident mother of three who happens to be in a wheelchair.

If you or someone you care for has a disability due to a spinal cord injury or any other medical condition, some of the mobility and adaptive equipment and incontinence products we carry may help in everyday life. For more resources, help to find support, and to read other’s stories, the United Spinal Association is a great place to start.

If you have any questions or need more information on the home delivery medical supplies we offer, our Product Experts are just a phone call away and ready to assist.

About the Author

Meena Dhanjal Outlaw

On January 23, 2000, Meena suffered a spinal cord injury that left her a T12 paraplegic. She worked hard to grow and push past adversity and challenges and even went back to school for a four-year diploma in writing for teenagers and children.

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Are You Regaining Health Insurance Coverage This Year?

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Millions of people lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic, which disrupted their health insurance coverage through their employer.  Any economic shock such as this that destroys jobs also destroys access to health insurance coverage. Due to the costs of medical supplies, surgeries, dental procedures, and prescription drugs, many have been living without health insurance coverage.

If you or someone you know are regaining health insurance coverage, we would like to introduce you to our sister company and ConvaTec subsidiary, 180 Medical. Every day, 180 Medical helps people from all paths of life turn the quality of their lives around. They are the experts in providing you with the best insurance-covered medical supplies based on your insurance plan’s benefits.

Who is 180 Medical?

180 medical corporate logo

Whereas Personally Delivered works directly with the customer to help get your home delivery medical supplies, 180 Medical is the reimbursement side of our company and works with the physicians and insurance provider. They put a great deal of effort into getting the highest quality catheters, ostomy supplies, and incontinence products you require. They take care of shipping your medical supplies discreetly to your door and file your insurance claims for you at no charge.

The “180 Way”

Before we get into how 180 Medical works, we would like to share a bit about their standards. This will help assure you that you are working with a genuine team dedicated to providing the very best service.

180 Medical operates by a set of standards that are called the “180 Way.” These include five main points:

  1. Being specialists at what they do.
  2. Genuinely offing others compassion.
  3. Providing top tier service to their customers.
  4. Operating with integrity in every interaction.
  5. Giving education to make sure every customer is healthy and well-informed.

The 180 Medical Process

180 Medical makes the process of obtaining the medical supplies you need as easy and effortless as possible. Here are the three steps for getting started with 180 Medical:

Step 1: Contact 180 Medical

woman taking health insurance coverage notes while on the phone in front of a computerPlease speak to your Personally Delivered Product Advisor or complete our Contact Us form. They will put you in touch with a friendly, trained 180 Medical Specialist. You will need to be prepared with a few pieces of information to get things started quickly.

  • Your insurance information
  • Your physician’s name and phone number
  • The medical supplies that you are requiring

Step 2: Confirmation & Health Insurance Coverage

The 180 Medical Specialist will discuss details with you to ensure they have everything right for your specific needs. They will verify your insurance and discuss your health insurance coverage and allowable amounts, as well as any out-of-pocket costs. Your doctor’s plan of care will also be addressed, and your product order placed. They will let you know when to expect your first order and asked how you would prefer to receive future medical supply orders.

The 180 Medical Specialist will take care of all necessary documentation and required authorizations, including any prescriptions. At no charge to you, they will handle all direct billing to your insurance company, too!

Step 3: Relax!

woman relaxing on a chair and reading a bookAfter your order is complete, tracking information will be sent to you via email to let you know exactly when you will be receiving your medical supplies. You can expect to receive a call from your Specialist to make sure you received everything you needed and are happy with the service.

Providing top tier service to their customers is a part of the “180 Way”, so following up is an essential part of the process.

So there you have it! 180 Medical Specialists take extensive training, so you can count on them to take excellent care of your needs. Even if it takes extra time or effort on their part, you can rest assured that they will always do what’s right. You can sit back and relax, knowing you are in the best hands.

We at Personally Delivered are proud to be connected to 180 Medical. We will help you get in touch with a Specialist if you have regained health insurance coverage and need assistance. As always, if you ever need additional quantities or medical supplies that are not covered by insurance, we are here to help.

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Top 5 Reasons to Shop With Personally Delivered

We take pride in the exceptional service we provide at Personally Delivered and strive to stand out from the rest. Of course, we know there are more than 5 reasons we would like you to order your home delivery medical supplies from us, but we will highlight what we feel are some of our most valuable ones.

1. Save on Your First Order

Saving a little bit of money on your first order is important when you are purchasing from a company you have not done business with in the past. We offer first time customers $5.00 off on your first purchase of $30 or more. All you need to do is enter Code: WELCOMESV at checkout and $5.00 will be taken off your total. It is as easy as that!

2. Free Shipping

Not only will you save $5.00 on your first order, if your total purchase price is $40 or more, you will also receive Free Shipping. Orders that fall below the $40 threshold are subject to a $10 shipping fee. So, you could potentially save $15 on your order!

3. Discreet Delivery

When you order your home delivery medical supplies, receiving your packages quickly and discreetly is important. When we ship your items, they will arrive in a plain brown box that does not disclose the contents inside. You can rest assure that your supplies will be securely packaged and delivered directly to your door on time.

backside of a man in a blue hat and blue shirt carrying a brown box under each arm

4. Personal Consultations

Not all medical conditions are one-size-fits-all. Your needs are unique and our Product Experts understand. When you call our office, you will speak to a team member that listens to your every concern. They will help you narrow down all of the products we offer to customize and tailor your order especially for you.

5. Automatic Delivery Options

woman signing to receive a package from a delivery manIt can be difficult to remember when you need to reorder your home delivery medical supplies. We can take the hassle out of this and make your life easier with our Automatic Delivery Program. You choose the frequency you would like your supplies to arrive and we take care of the rest. With this program you will also save 5% on your home delivery medical supplies on every future shipment. You will never have to worry about running out of your supplies again!

As you can see, there are several reasons we would like for you to shop with us. We are a Satisfaction Guaranteed company and are sure that you will be happy with the services we provide. Taking the time to listen, helping you choose the right products, saving you time and money, and discreetly delivering right to your door, we are sure that you will be happy choosing Personally Delivered as your one-stop-shop for all of your home delivery medical supplies! Our Product Experts are just a phone call away.

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