Coping During Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation
If you or someone you love has sustained a traumatic spinal cord injury, the future can seem daunting. Coping with paralysis is very difficult; however, there are some things that can and must be done to ensure long term success and independence. These include:
Educate yourself and others around you: In order to regain control of your life after a traumatic spinal cord injury, it is imperative that you educate yourself about your injury. As you adjust to your disability, familiarize yourself with the wide range of equipment and modification products available today that will assist you in reclaiming an independent life. Also important in spinal cord injury rehabilitation is teaching those around you about the facts of your disability. Talking about your paralysis with loved ones can help ease the tension and difficulty that comes with adjusting to such a change. Being open and straightforward about your injury and how it affects you might not be easy at first, but it will often strengthen relationships with family and friends, making coping with the sudden change more manageable. The Internet is a great source of information. Below are a few reliable and informative web sites regarding spinal cord injuries:
Seek support: An essential part of spinal cord injury rehabilitation is to seek out and build a strong network of support. The following are just a few websites that offer forums and communities made up of spinal cord injury survivors and their families. These forums give those affected by a spinal cord injury the opportunity to share their stories and can be very helpful in opening the door to conversation, education, and connections that will help make coping with a spinal cord injury manageable.
Focus on what can be done: New technologies, treatments and devices can help you focus on the things you can do when living with paralysis. In fact, due to this modern engineering, spinal cord injury survivors are able to not only accomplish necessary daily activities without any assistance, but many can participate in and accomplish activities for pleasure and fun, including sporting events. Inventive and ingenious medical devices allow people with paralysis to become more independent, more mobile, and more active. Modern wheelchairs are light, comfortable, and made strong enough to travel over rough terrain. Some can even climb stairs or elevate passengers to eye level, making it easier to reach high places without help. Also, computer devices and other gadgets are wonderful at assisting with common day-to-day tasks. Computer-controlled gadgets can help with cleaning, reading, bathing, dressing and grooming while voice-activated computer technology allows you to communicate person-to-person or to dial and/or answer a telephone.
Have hope: Fifty years ago, the prognosis for those having suffered a spinal cord injury was bleak. Today, faster and fuller spinal cord injury rehabilitation is made possible by advances in stem cell research and nerve cell regeneration. Scientists and doctors are constantly directing their focus to biomedical devices and novel forms of spinal cord injury rehabilitation. These new and advancing technologies are already restoring some measure of independence to those with severe spinal cord injuries. It is unclear when research will find a cure for SCI, but today you can remain confident, while living your life to the fullest, that the future of SCI research will yield some answers.
Click here for a list of clinical trials and latest journal articles about spinal cord injuries.