Topics: Spinal Cord Injury

6 Surprising Things You Can Still Do After Paralysis

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Paralysis changes the capabilities of your body, but it does not change your purpose as a person. It simply alters the way you must approach life and daily activities. You may not be able to walk like you once did, but you can bet there are still ways to get around, and in fact, there are many things you’re still capable of achieving after paralysis!

1. Playing sports

Not all sports require you to run, jump, and tackle. Believe it or not, looking into local paralysis sporting teams may help you to not only realize what you are capable of, but help you integrate into a new community and find a new hobby at the same time! Swimming, table tennis, basketball, soccer, baseball are just some of the sports that have alterations and adaptations that make them play-able for those in wheelchairs and individuals who are paralyzed.

2. Painting

There have been some extremely accomplished and talented artists who have developed methods and ways of painting, drawing and creating works of arts by using various parts of their body that have been left unaffected by their spinal cord injuries after paralysis. Manuel Rivera is a quadriplegic, but creates beautiful works of art by wielding his paintbrush with his mouth! Although he was born without the use of any of his limbs, Rivera says he find peace when he paints, and that it helps him de-stress.

3. Driving 

It is not only medicine that is rapidly developing, but technology too. In this world of constant technological advances, driving is simply another activity that is now possible for those who experience paralysis. Depending upon your level of paralysis and form of disability, cars and vehicles can be adapted to suit you and provide the means to re-learn how to operate a vehicle and in short, regain some independence!

4. Having a family

Paralysis affects many parts of the body including feeling and movement, but it doesn’t usually affect the uterus. Of course, there are adaptations and challenges to face if you and your partner want to conceive, and it’s unfortunately not always as easy as it is for those who aren’t paralyzed. But there is no reason why you cannot hope to raise a family, and with support and medical guidance, the chances are in your favour.

5. Going on vacation

Being paralyzed shouldn’t stop you from enjoying your annual vacation, and there is no reason that it should! Depending on the location you’re looking for, careful planning and forward thinking can ensure wherever you go, you will be prepared for challenges, and find the ideal places to visit that will accommodate any requirements, like wheelchair access, disabled shower facilities etc. It might not be the easiest to visit beaches and delve into the middle of jungles, but as long as you plan ahead, you can find the solution to mobility challenges from home before arrival. Commercial transport is now required by law to provide appropriate disabled access for it’s passengers, so providing you make any transport provider aware of your requirements, you should have no troubles!

6. ENJOYING LIFE!

Whether you were born without the use of your limbs, or through injury you have become paralyzed, it is normal to feel frustrated and hopeless when it comes to what your body is and isn’t capable of doing. Challenges shouldn’t be seen as barriers, but more goals to reach and surpass, ready for the next one! Many people who have lived with their spinal cord injury for quite some time have come to appreciate what their bodies can accomplish. Don’t be defeated and waste your life forgetting to enjoy and be thankful for each day!

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Bianca Chadda

Written by Bianca Chadda

By day Bianca Chadda works as a healthcare assistant for a mental health clinic but she also has a passion for writing. With a BA in Human Geography, and experience of both print and online editorial, she has extensive knowledge of academic research for editorial purposes that she enjoys applying to the healthcare industry.

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