Tabitha Brown lives with chronic pain due to a spinal injury, has anxiety and depression, and has lost several loved ones—including her beloved mother who died from ALS in 2007. Tabitha has spent most of her life in the hospital and since Tabitha Brown was a teenager has been dependent on the help of others.
She feels that she is not disabled at all, and that she can do anything she wants. She believes that if she was not in the wheelchair, she would be able to walk and live independently like a normal person. She feels that people treat her differently from other people with disabilities because they do not understand her situation.
What is Spinal Injury?
Spinal injury is a medical condition in which damage to the spinal cord causes nerve cells to be damaged or destroyed. Nerve cells are part of the nervous system, which transmits information from the brain, through nerves, to muscles and other organs. Spinal cord injuries can be caused by a physical injury as well as an accident.
Spinal cord injuries can affect people of any age but are most common in children and young adults. Some types of spinal injuries cause paralysis below the level of injury, while others may cause numbness and tingling (paresthesia), loss of feeling (intractable pain), or weakness (dysphagia). Most spinal cord injuries also involve some degree of sensory loss.
The severity of spinal cord injury depends on where it occurs in the spinal column, how many nerve roots are damaged, and how long it takes to recover. A person who has suffered a severe spinal injury will have impaired sensation below their waist (paraesthesia), but may be able to walk and feel pain below the level of injury.
Spinal cord injuries are often accompanied by other injuries, such as a head injury, lacerations to internal organs, or fractures. In some cases, the spinal cord is completely severed and a person will die immediately; in others it may be able to be re-connected without surgery. The prognosis for recovery varies greatly between individuals, depending on the nature of their injury and how quickly they receive care.
Spinal cord injuries are caused by various causes:
Trauma: A traumatic spinal cord injury occurs when someone is hit or falls on their head or spine. This type of injury can cause damage to all the nerve roots in the spinal cord that control movement below the level of trauma. If damage is severe enough, this type of injury will result in paralysis below the level of trauma—from neck down—and death above that level.
Accidents: An accident can cause spinal damage if the accident results in force being applied to parts of the body. Injuries can result from falls, car accidents, sports injuries, or even medical procedures that are performed without proper care.
Medical conditions: Spinal cord injuries can be caused by conditions that affect the spine, such as cancer, arthritis, or infection. Some cancers (such as those in the spine) are not always fatal but may cause severe pain and damage to the spinal cord.
Spinal cord injury is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention if possible. A person who has suffered a spinal cord injury will need to be monitored at a hospital for several weeks after their injury as they recover and undergo physical therapy to regain function below their injury level.
What was Tabitha Brown sickness?
Tabitha Brown sickness is one of the rarest known neurological diseases, affect 10% of those with hydrocephalus, and is still not well understood. It was first described in 1869 by Dr. Richard Asher Scriver, a professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School.
Scriver described it as a disorder in which all the cerebral lobes are expanded and filled with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). It is characterized by involuntary movements and spasms of the limbs and trunk, as well as involuntary contractions of the muscles that control breathing. In some cases, these symptoms may be preceded by headache, nausea, vomiting and dizziness.
In rare cases it can cause death due to respiratory failure.
The disease causes brain swelling and is caused by an excessive accumulation of CSF within the brain. This occurs when there is damage to the ventricular system or to the back part of the brain (cerebellum) that carries CSF from the ventricles to the brain.
Why did Tabitha become vegan?
Being vegan is a high priority for me. I believe that animals are not ours to use and abuse, but rather to be respected and protected. I became a vegan because I was sickened by the way that animals were so cruelly treated in factory farms, on farms, in slaughterhouses, and in laboratories.
I have been a vegetarian for about ten years now, but after reading about the horrific conditions that many farm animals live under, I decided to go vegan.
My first year as a vegetarian-turned-vegan has been very difficult at times. It’s hard to find food that is both healthy and tastes good. Being vegan means giving up many of my favorite foods (chocolate milk, cheese pizza…), but it has also helped me become more aware of the things that I eat everyday (like meat from factory farms).
I’ve seen how much better my life has been since becoming vegan, and how much better it could be if everyone chose to eat vegan.