What I Wish My Loved Ones Knew When I Was First Hurt

Having a new spinal cord injury is one of the most difficult things anyone can go through. Family and friends will do their best to help, but it can be hard to understand what their loved one is going through. Here is a helpful list of things to know, as well as what not to say and what not to do (or should you do), if you have a loved one who's recently suffered a spinal cord injury.


I am Still “Me”

One of the first things anyone with a new spinal cord injury wants out of anybody who visits them in the hospital is to remember that they are still the same person and they would love to still be treated like that. Having a spinal cord injury can instantly make you dependent and disabled, and many people will treat you differently because of this. However, when you have an acquired disability like someone with a spinal cord injury, they deeply want to be treated like they‘ve always been. And the truth is that they are still the same person even with the injury.


Please Don’t Say “Get Well Soon”

It is natural to tell someone to "get well soon" when they are in a hospital for any kind of ailment, but with a spinal cord injury, telling someone this can be tricky because many people do not "get better" so to speak since paralysis is a permanent injury for most. Instead, buy cards that say "Thinking of you" or "you are in our thoughts" instead of the typical “get well soon” statement. It can be tricky when recovering from this kind of injury, so the right wording is important.


Homemade Food is Priceless

When you are first injured, being in a hospital for months on end can be soul-crushing and one of the things people miss the most is the feeling of home. Hospital food will make the entire experience of having a spinal cord injury that much worse. Bringing in homemade food to people with a spinal cord injury is one of the kindest things you can do, and they will appreciate it more than you realize.


Don’t Feel Sorry for Me

Nobody wants to be felt like they're pitied, and people with spinal cord injuries can feel pity emanating from others like heat from a bonfire. It can be intense and hard to ignore, and sadly, it does not feel as good as a bonfire. It can be difficult not to feel pity for someone who is newly paralyzed, but it is important to look at the situation from a different perspective and be thankful they are still alive with life to give. If you truly want to support someone with a new spinal cord injury, pity will only make the situation harder for them.


I Need Fun ASAP

Having a new spinal cord injury can put someone in the worst depression of their life, and staying in a hospital for four months after a spinal cord injury doesn't help. It can be very difficult to find actual fun things to do when in the hospital, and this is where family and friends come in. From games to taking the individual out of the hospital for a short time, whether it's out for dinner or our movie, or bringing the dinner and movie to them, there are plenty of fun things you can do to help their mental state. Planning for a fun activity that you will do together in a year can be helpful too. Having happy things to look forward to is huge.


We hope that these words of advice have helped. Just know that one of the most important things you can do is simply to be there for them. If you are doing that, you are already doing an amazing job.

Topics: Spinal Cord Injury, I am Still “Me”, Please Don’t Say “Get Well Soon, Homemade Food is Priceless, Don’t Feel Sorry for Me, I Need Fun ASAP, treated, ailment, bonfire, Thinking of you, get better, worst depression, Loved Ones, First Hurt, Hospital

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