Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES) is a serious medical condition that occurs when the cauda equina nerves located at the base of the spine become damaged. Symptoms of CES can include loss of bladder and bowel control, paralysis and chronic pain.
There are many challenges for those who have to live with CES. In addition to dealing with physical symptoms that can be painful and debilitating, mental and emotional stress often accompanies them. While pain medications may help cope with pain, there is currently no treatment that can alleviate the most serious symptoms of advanced CES.
While there may not be a cure for CES or the chronic pain that can accompany it, there are many tricks or “hacks” those with CES have developed to make their day-to-day lives easier.
The Right Tools
Walmart, Amazon and other online retailers offer a wide range of assistive devices and tools that can make your life a lot easier.
Need to extend your reach? Grabbers and other reaching tools make it easy to pick up items that have dropped on the floor, from laundry baskets or located on high shelves.
Then there are all the kitchen items, such as specialized slicers and cutters, to help you out when it comes to making a meal. You can even purchase devices to help you put on your shoes and socks!
There’s an App for That!
There are several apps you can download that can help you do everything from ordering a meal to getting a ride to keeping track of your medications. Most can be downloaded for free. Here are a few suggestions:
- Tecla access makes your smartphone or tablet completely hands-free.
- Uber is an inexpensive and convenient way to get around if you can’t drive.
- Skype allows you to make hands-free video calls.
- AXSMap will let you know how accessible a building is.
- Medisafe Medication Reminder is a simple to use app that reminds you when to take your medications.
Try New Things
You may not be able to engage in the all of the same activities as you could before Cauda Equina Syndrome, but having CES is no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy or discover new hobbies and interests.
Find a hobby or activity you enjoy to keep yourself mentally and socially active. The possibilities are nearly endless. You can find some ideas here, here and here. Check with your doctor if you are concerned about whether your new hobby or activity is too physically challenging.
Regular physical exercise will help you regain your strength and improve your circulation after a diagnosis of CES. Walking, biking and swimming are great aerobic exercises. Leg extensions, hamstring curls, calf raises and other resistance training exercises are great ways to increase your strength and endurance. Just remember to speak with your doctor before starting an exercise routine.
Plan carefully when you venture outside your home. Make sure you take your medications along with you, as well as any devices or other items (grabbers, a pillow to sit on, etc.) that might come in handy. If you’re going out of town, know the names and locations of the local medical facilities that can treat your conditions.
- Arrange your living area to more easily accommodate your disability. Make sure everything you need on a daily basis is easy to find and get to.
- Keep an updated list of what medications you need to take daily and when. Don’t just write it down in a notebook or calendar, but keep an electronic version of the list saved on your phone and computer for access anywhere.
Look for Support
Develop a support group of family and friends that you can turn to for help when you start to feel a little overwhelmed. Also, look for support from others who have Cauda Equina Syndrome. Support groups are a great place to find people who can truly understand what you’re experiencing and share recommendations on ways they cope with physical symptoms and limitations.
Check out our Cauda Equina Syndrome Support Groups page for several online groups to get you started!
Was Your Cauda Equina Syndrome The Result of Medical Malpractice?
Cauda Equina Syndrome must be diagnosed quickly so that the patient may get the emergency medical treatment they need. When treatment is delayed for more than 24 hours due to a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose, the symptoms of CES — loss of bladder and bowel control, numbness in the “saddle” area of the body, tingling in the legs and feet, impotence, chronic pain and even paralysis — may become permanent.
Are you suffering from the debilitating and painful symptoms of CES due to delay in treatment or misdiagnosis? You may be able to obtain compensation for your past and continued medical treatments, as well as your pain and suffering and economic losses (lost wages, unable to return to work) by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the liable party.
Cauda Equina Syndrome attorney Lisa Levine has extensive experience and specializes in helping those who suffer from CES and other injuries that resulted from medical errors. Contact her today to find out how she can help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries.