Temporarily grounded until the fog clears


This past week has been an especially challenging one, although I have managed to come out the other side still fighting!


Last week I started to notice further increased neuropathic pain along with increased muscle spasms while I was participating in the walking program.  On a hunch, I decided to have a blood test (looking for elevated white cell count)  to see if I might have a urinary tract infection (UTI).  The results took a few days to come in, and so I continued on with my normal workout program in addition to walking 90 steps a day.

On Monday of last week I was informed I did, in fact, have a UTI.  But I did not think it very severe at the time, so I started on a course of Cipro (a common antibiotic to kill bacterial infections) and went on about my business.

Last Wednesday, as I was mid-way through my work out, I started to get the most awful chills, shivering, perspiring on my neck, dysreflexia, and generally felt like every muscle in my body was drained of all its energy. To top it all off I re-twisted my knee that Wednesday morning while I was walking — this because I did not have left enough upper body strength to prop myself up with my elbows as I usually do.

So I decided to head home and take the rest of the day off.  But things pretty much went downhill for the next 2 to 3 days and I was hunkered down in bed just trying to survive the week. I increased my antibiotics and had the hospital staff come over to the apartment to perform bladder flushes.  A bladder flush essentially circulates saltwater into and out of your bladder for an hour in order to flush out small bacteria, which can get caught in the grooves of the bladder.

To put a cherry on top of the cake, my body decided to hit me with laryngitis as well, so by Friday I could barely speak.


This past week is what the Chinese call a “Mafan” week, which means trouble, sort of like Murphy’s Law in the States.  For my regular readers who also suffer from a spinal cord injury, I’m sure you are all too familiar with the impact of a  severe UTI and how it can just knock you on your butt!

But I’m happy to report that my UTI has settled down now, and I plan to be back at the gym this week. The one major setback, aside from the UTI, is the fact that I re-injured my wonky right knee.  My knee is now very swollen again and keeps me in what seems like a constant Autonomic Dysreflexic state.  I am presently figuring out what to do about the knee … perhaps a rigid knee brace might be useful to prevent hyperextension.

In the meantime, I have grounded myself from walking again and will just be standing for the next few weeks. I know it seems like setback after setback, but Rome was not built in a day either!

For my next post, I will further update you on some of the findings my Dad has uncovered on his current “World Pain Tour!”

8 responses »

  1. Ali- I just wanted to let you know I read all your posts and am filled with so much admiration for you. You are a rock star – like no one I have known before. Despite the setbacks you are well on your way to great triumph. You seem incredibly wise and healthful in your approach knowing when to push and when to rest. I want so badly for you to get some relief from the pain you endure. And so I’m sending you and your beautiful family tons of hope and love and keeping you always in my prayers.

  2. Oh Ali you can’t get a break. So sorry to hear about your setback but u r right Rome was not built in a day nor was the Great Wall of China. I hope this week is a more peaceful one for you or as they say in Chinese Heping!!! LOL Hope that’s right.

  3. Love your blog, Ali. Sorry to hear that the pain has continued for you… Looking forward to seeing what you and your Dad discover on the pain tour! Keep up the good work… You are an inspiration to so many.

  4. Awww what a drag about the UTI 😦 I just came across an image that says “It’s OK not to be OK as long as you’re not giving up” – well, that about describes you at the moment! Can’t WAIT to read your pain info and hoping to learn and speak with our pain doc here to maybe try some new strategies. Good luck kicking the butt of that UTI!

  5. Hi Ali, you are so inspiring. Good call spotting the UTI. I hope that is on it’s way out now. Big hugs. I’m looking forward to your blog on pain management. xx

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