Resource CenterAdvocacyHow can I learn to be a health care self-advocate?Know and understand your medical condition (the most important step!)

2.1. Know and understand your medical condition (the most important step!)

You should know: 
Level of your injury, [e.g. C7, T2, C4/5 etc.]
Whether your injury is complete or incomplete
Whether you were given a high-dose steroid at the time of your injury


You should understand
Function and capabilities associated with your injury level
Difference between a complete and incomplete injury

Know the risks for secondary conditions and complications; readily discuss health management with your doctor to avoid or minimize risk factors

Know your family medical history

Know, understand and carry AD management information with you at all times if you are at risk for Autonomic Dysreflexia (AD) [for injury levels T 6-10 and above]

Seek to receive health care from providers who are familiar with SCI or are willing to consult with a physician with SCI expertise

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