A Little Girl Lost

Archive for the ‘sensory testing’ Category

Tested and Proven

My physical therapist is doing sensory testing on me today. With my eyes closed and head turned away, she begins. Following a dermatome chart, she touches different areas of my upper chest and arms with a pin. I respond “sharp” or “dull.”

Laughing she says, “That’s incredible, Berta. What level are you supposed to be?”

“I’m a C-4* complete. My spinal cord is severed.”

“That means all you’re supposed to feel or move is your head.”

“I know.”

She checks her chart again. “You’re testing at T-4** on your chest, C-6/7 on your arms, and even some distant sensation that is difficult to classify. Tell me again about your injury.”

“The initial classification was C-5/6 complete with very little strength, and no stamina or control. A year after the injury I was still struggling with weakness in my arms, and I couldn’t hold my head up. An x-ray revealed that my neck wasn’t fused, and I needed surgery.”

“In surgery, broken pieces of my fifth cervical vertebra were removed, and a piece of my hipbone was wired in place from C-4-7.”

“Four months later I returned, and after several tests were completed the surgeon began the exam. He seemed perplexed, rude even, as he tested function and sensation. I was able to do most of what he asked. He looked over my chart and shook his head. ‘Well, I’m going to release you to go home and I recommend you go to physical therapy.’”

“Seventeen years later a friend, who is also a radiologist, encouraged me to have a cervical MRI, ‘Just to see what’s going on in there.’ What was going on was an obvious lack of spinal cord from C-4-7. I’m thankful no one told me that little bit of information in those early days. I might have quit trying.”

“That’s amazing. What do you think it is?” She’s still looking at the chart.

“A God thing.”

“God is healing you, isn’t He? “


In Christ Alone,

* C: cervical
** T: thoracic

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