Spinal Cord Injury, Medical Negligence – Video Transcript
Dana Vogel Video Testimonial
Below is the transcript of the original YouTube video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDSIpnA6KkY
(The YouTube video will open in a new window.)
A day in the life of Dana Vogel, who suffered a spinal cord injury after her doctor failed to diagnose a spinal cord injury, which led to ignoring the signs of spinal cord compression due to a ruptured disk.
I don’t do a whole lot because there’s not much I can do. I get pretty tired easily, so I won’t overdo it because it’s just, it’s too hard on my shoulders and my hands you know rolling around. My house isn’t that large so I’m you know I take two rolls and I’m always having to make a right or a left so that’s a lot of strain on my shoulders. To get in my bathroom I had to take the door off so I could fit in there. I can’t get on to my commode because it’s too narrow for me the way my wheelchair fits in, so we’ve got a shower bench chair in the bathtub, so I transfer on to that and that’s where I go to the bathroom and then you know I’ll take a shower you know, get dressed. I’d say the hardest things if I do it are my dishes. And laundry is really tiring. It took a lot of adjustment, it was you know from being able to do everything to fixing my house, painting my house you know, clearing the yard. I had to relearn how to live my life. It’s very limited, I used to work of my garden all the time, so it’s pretty frustrating. But you know you have to come to grips with the fact that this is your life now, so you know you learn to manage it, there are still challenges, I still have to ask for help – had to learn that really quick. You know on therapy days I go to therapy, and I basically get up about five in the morning. It depends on the time, five or six, and then I have to get on VTA outreach, and they have two hours and fifteen minutes to get me there, so I always have to leave really early. So I’m on the road about quarter to seven and I have a ten o’clock appointment. I wear a catheter, a suprapubic catheter, so I have a leg bag during the day and at night I put on a night bag, and I just set up my roller table that I have with all my stuff and all the way down and you know I’ll just go to sleep. I’ll watch TV. I was pretty active traveling, visiting, going to school, multitasker I was you know. If I wasn’t at school I was here, if I wasn’t here it’s like I’m visiting friends. I’d get me on a plane, take me anywhere, I was a go-go girl, you know. Maneuvering around my house can be difficult. It’s a very small house. I don’t have a dining table. I had to make room for you know removing all my living room furniture, so I could put a hospital bed. My office is a complete wreck. I don’t want to have to rely on someone to constantly call me, or me to call them for help, so I order my medical supplies and I put them in my office, you know. Someone goes grocery shopping for me – I buy extra because I don’t want to have to ask every week, you know. I have been using food storage bins because I can’t get in my cupboards. It’s those kind of adaptions that I’ve had to make to keep my house feeling like a home you know without it looking like a complete mess. The ramp I have outside is very steep because my friend’s put it in, and it’s not an ADA certified. Everything I do: to open up a refrigerator, it’s I just can’t go and open it. I mean, it’s open the door, back up, open it a little more, and back up. Same thing to shut it, you know, grab it, let it go, two inches rollback. Going to the bathroom that was a real eye-opener to me when this happened. I’m not able to go to defecate, so I have to manually extract it. The muscles are not strong enough and so you know, you train yourself to do that at certain time in the morning, so that your body gets on a schedule and so you know you take a lot of suppositories to help that. What’s it like to get dressed and go to the bathroom – challenging you know, when you don’t have the strength to stand up to pull your pants up you know, you’re having to wiggle and use your arms, try and pull your pants up, and it’s very tiring. When I get dressed I have to go into my bathroom, and I have to get in the shower because it’s a hard bench. I can’t dress myself when I’m on the couch or on the bed. I don’t have the strength to pull my pants on, so it takes me a while to get dressed you know. My left hand doesn’t work so great. I don’t have fine motor skills, so you know my biggest challenge is putting all my underwear and my pants. Because that’s the part that you know I can’t move very well. So you know, it takes me about 10-15 minutes to get ready, you know, because I’ve got to manipulate my feet, to lift them up to put my shoes on. And my legs are heavy so like I’m lifting weights. So I miss camping, I miss traveling, I miss photography, I miss driving, I miss working in my garden, I mean, there is not one aspect of my life now that has not been affected.