Sam Maddox Wanted More Resources to assist People After SCI, So He Wrote A Book to Help Others Navigate a New Injury.
In the first few days after a spinal cord injury, you may think you’ve traveled through outer space, been dropped on a planet you know nothing about and are expected to do things you never even have considered before.
Sam Maddox of Los Angeles, California, found plenty of information available for people with spinal cord injuries, but very little of that information covered the very early days. He says that motivated him to write his book, “The First 90 Days.”
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“I’ve been in the resource side of spinal cord injuries and neurotrauma for quite a few years, and I know many people who have come through situations that have left them with these types of injuries,” Sam explains.
“In studying the resources dealing with these injuries, I’ve found very little information available for people about what they can do, or what they may want to consider from the time the ambulance arrives, until they’re in the hospital and then especially after they come out of rehabilitation.”
“There is very little information available for the different choices people have about the rehab centers available or how to choose a rehab facility – especially people who don’t have any insurance or who have marginal insurance.”
The first 90 days after sci: Choosing the Right Rehab
Sam thinks the first big choice that the patient and his or her family has to make is where to go for rehab. “Out here in southern California where I live, we have more than 40 different rehab facilities. But you only may have heard of 10 of them. However, many of them take people with spinal cord injuries and brain trauma. The information I provide in this book primarily focuses on southern California.”
“I want to provide the information to help patients and their families make the best choices possible to select the best rehab facility for that person to obtain the best possible treatment available for him or her.”
Sam is planning to offer other regional editions in the future to cover rehab centers available elsewhere.
He’s learned that a definite difference exists in various rehab centers and the standard of care a person can receive. Some rehab centers are accredited, while others may not be. In that first 90 days after injuries, the patients and their families can select the rehab center they feel will deliver the best outcome.
By continuing to study and research the gaps of information for people with spinal cord injuries and neurotrauma, Sam has also discovered that there’s a lack of information for resources post-rehab.
People need better tools to enable them to fit back into their homes and society after inpatient therapy is completed.
What To Expect in the First 90 Days
These types of injuries are so dramatic that often, patients and their families are lost and need guidance on the first steps, including the following.
- What to do first
- How to contact different agencies that can help you navigate this process
- Where to contact people who have successfully moved through all these changes and have come through those first 90 days successfully
In Sam’s book, The First 90 Days, he gives the following advice to patients and their loved ones.
- Slow down your thinking and don’t rush through the decision-making process
- Learn what your options are
- Know all you can about all the services available to enable you to make informed choices in those first 90 days
Sam says, “If you don’t know what your options are, you don’t have any.”
“A spinal cord or a neurotrauma injury may be overwhelming, not only for the patient, but for his or her family and friends too,” Sam explains. “By moving slower through this process, you’ll catch up to the decisions you need to make, come to understand what your life can be and identify what you want your life to be. The views in this book are that things always get better, you always can improve your condition, and there are chances that your condition may get much better.”
The first 90 days after sci: It Takes a Village
For the patient, laying in a hospital bed and reduced hand function could make reading “The First 90 Days” difficult or almost impossible. And maybe, they’re not ready to go there just yet. In this case, Sam suggests that someone – a family member or a friend – get this book and begin to read it as soon as possible. That person can share the knowledge with the rest of the family, including the patient, and be better equipped to make the best decisions possible.
That doesn’t mean that the individual shouldn’t be involved. Sam recommends that the person not be a spectator on the sidelines, watching others making decisions for them.
“The patient should put up some resistance if the care they’re receiving isn’t what they deserve or isn’t the best that can be offered. They have to become an advocate for themselves, although that may be difficult in that first 90 days after an accident.”
No one ever expects to be involved in an accident that may change his life forever. Sam says, “No one is prepared for possibly living a life in a wheelchair.”
Historically it is proven though, the best way to reach any goal is to get skills and be mentored by others.
Discovering that others have gone through the same process that you’re starting and have had positive outcomes can be really powerful in the rehabilitation. That’s why Sam considers support groups extremely helpful and beneficial during the first 90 days after an injury.
“My first advice is, don’t go through those first 90 days alone. Seek out individuals who have been there and done that. Listen to their advice on how they’ve made it through this process.”
Positive Attitudes for People with Spinal Injuries and Neurotrauma
When talking with people who have had spinal cord and neurotrauma injuries, it’s common to hear, “I’ve been able to do more and achieve more after my injury than I did before my injury.” Sam strongly reinforces this truism in his book.
“After a major injury, people have an opportunity to reset their world views and their outlooks on life in many different ways.”
“Often people slow down the paces at which they’re living their lives and become more contemplative, more aware of everything around them and more caring for others than they ever were before the accident and don’t focus just on themselves. I’ve often mentioned to people with a disability, ‘If a nurse came into your room with a tray, and on that tray, there was a pill. She told you that if you took that pill, you could return to the way you were before your injury.’ The answer I’ve heard from many people is, ‘No, I’m happy with my life the way it is, and I wouldn’t go back.’”
Sam uses the example of putting pottery in a kiln under extreme heat, and then once that pottery comes out of the kiln after passing through the fires, the pottery has become a beautiful vessel and makes the lives of the people it touches better.
“However, not all the pots that come out of the kiln may be better,” Sam explains. “What I’ve learned is the patients who don’t come out of the fires of adversity better tend to be the patients who haven’t gotten resources, help, counseling and much needed family support. Perhaps they and their families look upon this accident as a tragedy.”
Some of the strongest words in Sam’s book are the following.
“This accident has happened, and you can’t go back and make it not have happened. But you can move forward and direct the outcome of the accident by getting resources and help from others. And, if you choose to do that, you can reclaim your life and a full existence on your own terms.”
Do you know someone that could benefit from Sam’s book?
You can read this digital version on SmartPhones, tablets and computers.
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Founded by a quadriplegic, Cure Medical is the only catheter manufacturer in the world that donates the first 10% of its net income to support research programs in pursuit of a cure for urinary retention, paralysis, spinal cord injury and central nervous system disorders.
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