Question for anyone who knows about collars for spinal and neck injuries

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by SomewhereOutThere, Nov 19, 2015.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Did you ever change them yourself? My in-care nursing is ready to discharge me to outbound care and mentioned my hubby may have to do it. I'm kind of squeamish, as is he, because in the hosptal I was told over and over again, "If you move your head you can become paralyzed."

    My nurses are trying to find a solution so we don't have to do it ourselves and my daughter Jumper can come home twice a week to hold my head still while it is done (which is way better), but I'm still iffy about our doing a nurse's job that can have serious consequences. I don't knkow how much longer I will have to wear it. We see doctor Dec. 2. I hope then. Nurses think it will b e four more weeks...ugh.

    On the plus side I am healing very fast and the nurses and both surprised and pleased. Needed to put a positive in there.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Here, you would have a "home-care nurse" come and do such things - they do things that are not wise to leave to the untrained, like dressings and injections.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    We do, but I am about to be discharged from home
  4. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Have you discussed your concerns with them, Serenity? It could be a matter of teaching you exactly why the head is to be supported in just the way it must be when the collar is removed. That is the sense I have of it. If you knew more about how the nurse assesses correct angle and how to assess whether she is proceeding correctly as she accomplishes the task, then you will know too, and will not be afraid.

    Please ask the nurse to teach you in detail so you will know what she knows, and can care for yourself properly.

    Even the nurse did not know, until someone taught her.

    It would help you I think to call the agency and request this teaching before discharge. Probably the nurses are thinking, like we all do when we know how to do something, that you feel confident about taking over your own care. If you make them aware of which parts of the process are frightening to you, they will teach you, and will explain how to assess yourself to be certain you are doing it correctly.

    Nurses love that stuff.

    That is where the art of nursing comes in. Helping patients become confident and independent and in charge of themselves.


    Maybe this will help, Serenity?
  5. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Mom had help with Dad through home care. The nurses were very kind. I agree that sharing your fears and concerns will help in your Nurses care and guidance. Perhaps a call to your Doctors office, too, to let them know how you are feeling about it.
  6. As a former EMT in a situation where spinal injury is a possibility like in auto accidents, it's imperative that you keep the spine and neck straight to avoid possibly causing further injury to the spinal column. Using 2 people is great. One person holds your head absolutely straight and the other person put's the collar on.
    But, please ask them for advice on how best to do it correctly. I don't know how badly injured you were so I hate to give medical advice over the internet.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If you were in Canada... they would not pull the home-care nurse until the impact of a problem from not doing the collar right was down to "correctable" - i.e. not critical, not potentially making you a quad. Nursing care would slowly be withdrawn, but the nurse would still come in to do that part. I'm surprised they are pulling your home care that fast.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

  9. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I think insurance is paying less and less for care, leaving it up to patients.
    When the hubs was released from the hospital I was very surprised that he had 6 weeks of IV antibiotic treatment at home. I remember IV treatment used to be a hospital stay. I am glad it wasn't, one can get sicker in that setting.
    Nevertheless, we had to learn how to properly care for the line, inject the saline, medications, saline. It was pretty involved.
    But we did it, because we had to.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I saw it coming. I just am nervous about the collar, but they're coming today to talk to us about that.
  11. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Best wishes to you Serenity. I am sure your prayers will be answered. It is great to read that you are healing more quickly than they had thought.
    Keep up the good work.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Leafie :)
  13. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I can certainly understand being nervous about undertaking such a delicate procedure. I hope the nurse can answer your questions.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry you have to deal with this. Your nurse or doctor can teach you to do this fairly easily. If it isn't safe for you to do it, then they should not release you from home care.

    I have had 2 cervical disc fusions and need a 3rd. I wore a collar each time and could even shower in it. Each of my doctors (different states) was shocked that I honestly waited until I was given permission before I took off the collar even for a moment. My first doctor gave me advice I wish was more widely known. That is that tobacco lows healing hugely, esp of bone. My first doctor would not operate on patients who smoked or lived with a smoker or user of other form of tobacco at all. He was the best in the region but didn't do as many surgeries because he had a hard time finding tobacco free patients. You couldn't even promise to stop and have him operate. He got sued some years before because a patient didn't heal in the 'typical' time but it was due to her tobacco use, so he made sure not to take patients who used it after then.

    Not sure if you or husband smoke, but if you do, stop asap & hopefully it will help. As for the neck, ask the doctor's office to rx more home care if needed. otherwise, ask Jumper or a neighbor or Sonic to help.

    I hope it gets better soon!
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Susie. I found out Friday that my nurse won't release me to outpatient until collar is off (God truly bless was up to her 100%). Neither of us smoke so no problem there.

    Thanks to all again!
  16. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    That is one GREAT home-care nurse. And the right decision.
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I was told by doctors that if I took it off at all, or even moved my head whihle they were changing it, I could be paralyzed. I don't want that experience in this lifetime so I don't ever take it off. I shower with it on too, just before the nurse comes to change it. I have two of them so that I can always have a dry one.

    Insane, indeed my nurse is very good. But if she had discharged me, I would have called around until I found another nursing group that WILL do it. My husband is a car mechanic, not a nurse ;)
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Bless your nurse for not releasing you to outpatient! NOT that I want you to need care, but I certainly don't want you trying to do risky things alone that you should really have a nurse to help you with.

    I am glad you are not a smoker & neither is your husband. Sorry to have gone on about it earlier but it adds weeks to healing time for broken bones and I hope you are healed and out of pain as soon as possible. Here very few docs even mention it to patients - even before surgery or after an accident.
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Susie. I appreciate your info and concern :)