Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Will I be able to walk again?
Every case is different, yes. But things have also changed. Innovative researchers and doctors now know that so much more is possible than people used to believe.
The answer has a lot to do with you. How much do you want to walk again? How badly do you want it? How fierce is the fire in your belly? How hot does it burn? How determined and how clear are you that it will be possible for you? This is vital.
We know your body has tremendous self-repair and self-healing mechanisms. Many people with spinal cord injuries have recovered far more function than doctors originally predicted or declared. Nerve signals can be restored. A number of them ARE on their feet again. You can be one of them. We believe all things are possible for all people with a spinal cord injury. Do you? We can guide you through these processes on your journey of rehabilitation.
Q2. Is there a “cure” for me?
The dictionary defines cure as relieving a person of the symptoms of the disease or condition they have. I have not yet met a person who had a significant injury to their spinal cord who was “cured” of all of their symptoms. And I hold out hope and believe in the possibility that one day it will be so.
Over the past 30 years we have helped many people achieve a significant return of function and mobility – even walking. Some say walking is everything. If only they can have that. Others know that walking isn’t everything. That if only they can have more control over their bowels or their bladder and urination or if only they could have great sex again, they would be happy.
The spinal cord injury program we developed is not a cure. It’s a program to accomplish the most from your effort. Many of our clients come to us after participating in spinal cord injury rehabilitation and other extended therapy programs. They have hit a plateau and they want more back. Each person we work with accelerates their progress in the first month. Month after month, more gains are achieved. Do they ultimately hit their goals? Many do.
Q3. What progress can I expect?
No two people respond or recover in exactly the same way. You will not experience the journey of changes – both setbacks and improvements in the same way someone else will.
What we do know is how to guide you to any end you desire. The keys are attitude, effort and never quitting on you.Experience tells us that the amount of recovery you can expect is fully dependent on your attitude, your effort and never quitting on yourself. Know that no one can predict or guarantee what you will achieve. If someone does try to predict your future, wheel or walk away. There isn’t a program out there that yet has the data to do that.
Q4: Will my bowels & bladder work normally again?
Here at Amplified Agility our clients are experiencing positive changes and improvements in bladder and bowel function with the components of the program as they exist today. We are cautiously optimistic and will share information when it becomes available.
Your digestive and urinary system is not separate from your body’s self-healing capabilities. Your body’s normal system of control of the bladder and bowel has been affected by the injury to the spinal cord. Nerve signals or “messages” for example, can’t be fully passed between the muscles of the bladder wall and the sphincter to your brain. The brain thus no longer has control.
Q5: Can I have sex?
Many people with spinal cord injuries can and do. There is not a straightforward one size fits all answer to this question – as you can imagine. However, we can guide you to several sites online that have updated information about sexual health for people with a spinal cord injury.
For other questions, including, “Can I still ‘get it up?’” or “have an erection?” “Will I “come” or ejaculate?” “Can I father children or carry a baby to term?” we recommend talking witha physician or qualified health care provider. The person or person(s) you choose to guide this part of your journey may well specialize in helping people with spinal cord injuries to discover how to create a gratifying sexual experience and relationship in their life.
Q6: Can I be more independent?
We ask our clients this question weekly in their coaching meetings. It sounds something like this: “Given the improvements in strength and range of motion you are experiencing now – what can you do to transfer this improvement to function and doing something independently or more independently (with less help) than you have in the past? What is your goal for independence this week?”
A recent client declared he was going to dress and undress his upper body, i.e. put on and take off his own shirt. He hadn’t done this since his accident and subsequent injury. After setting the goal and intention – he did it within a week!
So, asking the question and listening to how YOU answer the question in your day to day and week to week activities is vital.
There are a number of “assistive technologies” to aid you and your care team as well. The National Spinal Cord Injury Association has a great assistive technology guide in their resource center online. It covers equipment of all types, assistive technologies and devices to aid you in independence. You will also find great information on assistive technology on the Reeve Foundation site.
Because we come to you in our home-based program we often help our clients be creative finding things in their own environment.
Q7. Can your spinal cord injury treatment program get rid of my pain?
Yes. If not totally, at least significantly.
The components of our program in combination with advice from your physcian do make a difference. The SCENAR technology that our clients use as a part of their program is FDA cleared for chronic pain and is effective in providing relief. In addition, with changes in hydration, diet, supplementation etc. the body’s healing mechanisms are able to perform better.
8. How can your spinal cord injury treatment program help me?
You help yourself through participation in all aspects of the program. We don’t do things “to” you. You and your team execute on all parts of the program yourself. You learn a lot along the way. We provide the facilitation and coaching. The program is designed to facilitate forward progress on your journey of recovery.
The full length of your journey is dependent on your vision and goals. You will likely utilize the experience of various experts, providers and resources on your whole recovery journey.
We are confident that when you participate 100% full out all areas of our program you will experience acceleration in your progress. You will experience gains you weren’t experiencing before you started. It happens time and time again. Our clients track every new sensation, movement, ability, change day to day and provide a summary at month’s end. There is always a great list of positive changes.
Since we know paralysis doesn’t have to be permanent and we have some of the answers we feel compelled to be part of the solution. We are NOT a magic bullet or the only solution. The right people find us and we find them. Our program is not for everyone. It takes time and energy to participate fully. We will talk with you about the expectations in your qualification session with us.
Q9. How is your program different?
There are two key things that set us apart from a number of other programs:
1. The integrative nature of the program (i.e. integrating or combining aspects of a number of different schools of thought, study, research, or expertise to promote self-repair and wellness). In our program, this includes coaching our clients as they use the SCENAR technology, utilize various neuro-psychology techniques, do their intentional exercise and rehabilitation, practice extreme self-care related to hydration, diet and supplementation, as well as making environmental adjustments and influencing the dynamics of their team. Our clients realize they get to step into a “team leader” role and this often requires learning new skills.
2. Where the activities of the program happen. Most programs have you “come to them” i.e. you go to a gym or rehab facility where the experts are. When you are a participant in our program the daily activities of the program take place in your own home. Whenever possible, you go to your own local gym if it is time for the use of equipment you don’t have at home. We come to you for some of your monthly visits. Experiencing you in your home environment, meeting your family and care team, seeing how you navigate through life is an important part of the process. We can coach you better when we fully understand your situation and its dynamics. You have weekly coaching calls in person, or via phone or Skype. You send us video of your exercises and/or functional activities to review progress.
Q10. How long does it take?
The answer to this question depends on when we meet you on your journey of recovery from your spinal cord injury and the type or level of injury you have.
Program time is related to the level and type of injury, the client’s goals, the time resources in their life, financial resources, and progress made. There does come a point that a client may have learned all they need to learn from us and they have demonstrated full competence in performing all aspects of the program and they may take it back into their life to continue their journey of recovery without us. Some clients achieve their set goals with us…others learn enough and continue their journey toward their goals on their own or with other providers.
Either way, we are honored to be part of their journey of recovery. It is important to understand that recovery can be a lifelong process for many.
Q11. What does it cost?
We offer several distinct programs depending on the needs and desires of each specific client. We are often lower or at least comparably priced to other extended therapy programs across North America.
We encourage you to call and request a consultation to guide you through understanding the options available, applying for what is appropriate for you and getting the answers to any questions you have.
Q12. Do I have to come to San Diego for treatment?
No. Given our program is a home based program you do not need to come to San Diego to stay and do your rehab.
You will need to interact with our team on a regular basis so once your needs are understood a program will be designed for you. We have face to face as well as virtual options to explore to fit your unique needs.