Life After a Spinal Cord Injury

Life After a Spinal Cord Injury

Life After a Spinal Cord Injury 

An injury to your spinal cord can change everything about your life within moments. You are suddenly challenged to re-learn every simple task and to adapt to your new inabilities. But still, there is hope for you and the prospects of your life. Despite this enormous setback, recovery is possible with rigorous rehabilitation and a renewed perspective. With our deepest sympathies, we encourage you in your recovery process and each part of your life after your injury.

What is a Spinal Cord Injury? 

Your spinal cord is a collection of nerves, encased within your spine, that runs from your brain all the way down your back. These 31 pairs of nerves are foundational to just about everything that you do. They extend to your arms, legs, and abdomen, sending commands from your brain and causing movement. Every time you move your arms or walk around the room- that’s all thanks to your spinal cord! It even controls organs, including your heart, lungs, bowels, and bladder. And when your body has a message to send back to the brain, such as information about touch, pain or temperature, these nerves will make the delivery. It’s no wonder that upon injury to this vital part of your body, a lot can go wrong. However, there are many different types of injuries, with varying degrees of severity.

An injury to the upper portion of one’s spine will cause quadriplegia-paralysis. This affects both the victim’s arms and legs. In contrast, an injury to the lower portion will cause paraplegia-paralysis, which affects just the legs. An injury can also be considered complete or incomplete. Complete indicates that there is no function below the level of injury, while one that is incomplete suggests that there is at least some.

Trauma is the leading cause of spinal cord injury. However, it may also occur due to a significant loss of blood, or from the compression of a tumor. And unfortunately, no cure can restore the function of a damaged spinal cord. However, there are methods of learning how to adapt and live with this life-changing injury.

Recovering From a Spinal Cord Injury:

Though recovery is a long and arduous process, there may often arise hopeful outcomes. Rehabilitation will be most challenging in its initial stages. This is when you will require learning everyday tasks such as getting in and out of your wheelchair, going to the bathroom, and bathing. And with time and dedication, these will become much easier. You will then move to more advanced tasks, perhaps including driving a modified car or learning a sport. As you advance in your movements and abilities, life will be renewed some sort of normalcy.

Throughout this process, it is important to keep in mind what you wanted out of your life before the accident. Frequently, whatever this may have been is still attainable. You can enjoy a fulfilling and purposeful life, despite the hardships of your disability. In remaining positive as you look toward your future, it is helpful to set goals. Establish goals that are small and frequent- ones to be accomplished every day. Then, make long-term goals- ones that will keep you optimistic and hopeful.

Throughout this process, it is important to keep in mind what you wanted out of your life before the accident. Frequently, whatever this may have been is still attainable. You can enjoy a fulfilling and purposeful life, despite the hardships of your disability. In remaining positive as you look toward your future, it is helpful to set goals. Establish goals that are small and frequent- ones to be accomplished every day. Then, make long-term goals- ones that will keep you optimistic and hopeful.

As you embrace life after a spinal cord injury, you will face countless trials. Besides the physical challenges, you might experience emotional pain and be confronted with financial or legal questions. So, if you or a loved one has endured a spinal cord injury, it is crucial to seek out and use every available resource. And please, do not hesitate to reach out for legal assistance to ease this aspect of your hardship. Call on us at The Law Offices of William D. Shapiro for expert legal counsel in catastrophic injury.
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