Questions from readers
Before I answer questions, I wanted to thank those who were brave enough to ask! I know it might seem too personal, or even a little invasive, but I promise…I honestly don’t mind. I’m an open book. =)
Again, if you have any questions about my life, blog, marriage or my upbringing please do not hesitate to email me at Wayman.firstname.lastname@example.org. Your name will not be mentioned (unless you want me to), and I will answer your question as honestly as I can. If you prefer, I can even make up a name for you (a hobby of mine)…your choice!
I had a question sent to me a few weeks ago. I thought it was a good question and wanted to answer it right away, but wasn’t sure if I was going to have a blog about that specific topic. I didn’t so…here is the question…
“Okay – you can’t feel anything from the waist down right? I wonder if this will mean less discomfort during labor/ delivery if you do end up having a vaginal birth?” -TB
Thanks T for a great question!
I think there is a lot of misunderstandings when it comes to paraplegia in general. The spinal cord is such a delicate nerve and it doesn’t seem to affect everyone the same way. So…let’s clear up some misnomers, shall we?
First off…I can actually feel my waist (with my hands AND my waist has sensation). I actually start losing sensation around my knees. The sensation itself is a little different as well. I can feel my waist like normal. My lap, I can sense pain, pressure and extreme hot and cold (if it’s been on my lap for a bit). For some reason it takes my brain a few minutes to register temperature. I can feel my knees…but only touch. I can’t feel surface pain (extreme pain is a different story. I can also feel sensation (vague-like light pressure) on my lower extremities, but if you want my attention it’s best to tap my shoulder. I had a friend in 5th grade once that didn’t believe that I couldn’t feel pain in my lower legs. When I wasn’t looking…she pinched my shins until they bled. I had no idea until I turned around and saw blood on her fingers and a shocked look in her eyes (the confession was unnecessary, but helpful). Chris actually surprised me with his ability to be completely perceptive. He noticed that when it’s cold in the room, the places on my legs that I CAN feel get goosebumps. So, apparently, I have “pockets” of paralysis. Now, whether this is true for everyone with a spinal cord injury/Spina Bifida/etc. I have no idea. But that’s what it’s like for me.
Now…for the answer to the question…
Labor and delivery…there will be discomfort. LOTS of discomfort from what I understand. I do want to attempt a vaginal birth, but it will be up to my doctor to decide if a C-Section is needed. I will require pain meds (lots please…) or an epidural. I have heard of people going all natural…hypnosis…hot water…delivery help dogs…and/or getting high…as for me…I plan to not feel anything with the help of modern Western medicine. =)
T, again, thank you for your question! Keep them coming, I know a lot of you are CURIOUS! (Which is totally fine, because if I see a blog that gives me the opportunity to peek inside their lives…I’m totally posting!) Keep it wheel!