Life After a Spinal Cord Injury
An injury that damages a person’s spinal cord can have drastic effects on their health, livelihood, and just about every other aspect of a victim’s life. After suffering such an injury, you may be unable to walk or move your limbs, which can make holding a job and even taking care of yourself a daily struggle. Fortunately, while living with a spinal cord injury (SCI) is far from easy, there can still be plenty of options and opportunities open to you. Our Tulsa spinal cord injury lawyers explain.
What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?
The spinal cord is made up of a bundle of nerves extending from the neck to the lower back. The spinal cord carries messages from the brain to the rest of the body, so when an injury damages this connection, messages from the brain can no longer reach the parts of the body located below the site of the injury. The closer the injury is to the brain, the more of the body is affected.
For example, the two most well-known types of spinal cord injuries are:
- Paraplegia, a back injury that leads to total or partial paralysis of the legs, and
- Quadriplegia, a neck injury that causes complete or partial paralysis to the arms, torso, and legs
Spinal injuries can be caused by birth defects, illnesses, and injuries. At a personal injury law firm like Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, PLLC, we most commonly see SCIs that result from falls, motor vehicle accidents, and medical malpractice.
What Is Life Like After an SCI?
Even though a spinal cord injury drastically changes how you lived prior, people with SCIs can still enjoy full and rewarding lives. Medical technology may not be able to cure SCIs entirely, but it’s come a long way. With some major or even minor adjustments, many victims are still capable of working, driving, participating in hobbies they enjoy, and successfully maintaining families and relationships.
With physical therapy and other forms of rehab, people living with an SCI can receive the support, training, and resources they need to function to the best of their ability and achieve their goals. Wheelchairs, regular exercise, a balanced diet, and other medical equipment and practices can supplement your recovery and help you adjust.
This doesn’t mean adapting to this new life is easy, of course. If you are now living with an SCI, you can expect to feel a range of emotions, such as sadness, depression, anger, frustration, and grief. It is important to accept and express these feelings to help yourself move forward. Find someone to talk to about what you’re going through, whether it’s a family member, friend, doctor, or therapist—or, better yet, all the above! Joining a support group and/or connecting with others living with an SCI in person or online can also be a major help. If your depression or mental health issues persist, talk to your doctor about medication.
The most important thing to remember is that you will always have options, even when things feel hopeless. A saying among those living with a spinal cord injury is:
“Before your injury, you could do 10,000 things. Now you can do 9,000. So, are you going to worry about the 1,000 things you can't do or focus on the 9,000 things you can do?"
If you or a loved one has sustained an SCI due to the negligence of someone else, we may be able to help you secure compensation to cover all your medical expenses. Contact our Tulsa spinal cord injury attorneys today to learn more.