I'm a spaz. No, seriously, I am - but not in the usual he-can't-control-himself-and-needs-to-take-a-lap-to-calm-down way. What I mean is that because of my injury I end up having uncontrollable muscle spasms pretty frequently. My understanding of it is that signals from parts of my body that don't make it to my brain because of the gap in my spinal cord end up bouncing around like crazy for awhile. Then, after they've done that for a bit they decide they need to actually end up somewhere and manifest themselves in a random leg kick or back extension. The end result is that I am often jerking around in unexpected ways. And this ends up being a fairly serious trial for me at times. If you sometimes struggle to stay upright in your wheelchair, probably the last thing you want to do is jerk around in violent and unpredictable ways.
Here's the top 3 undesirable spasticity trials I've endured
#3) Talking to someone (anyone really, but an attractive girl or a professor or boss is the worst) and getting floored by a massive spasm. Okay, this actually isn't too horrible because it only lasts a couple seconds and I just act like nothing happened and keep on conversing, but it's not the greatest impression to give off.
#2) Losing control of my chair. Sometimes if I'm using my power chair a spasm will knock me off balance and also lock my hand and arm onto the steering controls. No good! I took a bite out of our apartment wall and outlet cover awhile back when this happened and I couldn't regain control in time.
#1) Getting knocked off balance in a public place when you don't know anyone well enough to ask for help or can't because something else is going on and no one knows you well enough to know that anything is wrong. When I say knocked off balance I mean slumped over, I'm not actually falling out of my chair. But my back and core muscles are weak enough that sometimes sitting back up can be a challenge. On the first day of my Linear Algebra class this semester this happened and it took ten minutes of effort to sit back up. I made it back on my own though - I was pretty proud of myself.
So there's the challenge of spasticity - one thing that I deal with every day that you wouldn't really think about unless you knew about paralysis. I could take medication to relax the spasms, but baclofen makes you tired. Plus I like knowing my muscles are still working, even if they're oftentimes working against me.