What I Would Tell Myself If I Could Go Back and Visit Myself in the Hospital After I Was Injured
There are many things that go through one's head after sustaining a spinal cord injury. "Will my spouse or significant other still like me?" or "How can I still be the same person?" There are so many unanswered questions that depression and anxiety are often common in people with paralysis. To help alleviate these common side-effects of life with paralysis, especially in the first 2 years, here is advice people with spinal cord injuries would tell themselves if they can go back to when they were first injured.
You Can Still Be Sexy
Acquiring a disability after living life with a fully functioning body can be difficult when it comes to maintaining your self-esteem. Many people have ableist views of what it means to be someone with a disability and are usually not very positive. Take for example a person's confidence when it comes to their sexuality. Many people feel their sexual appeal is erased after their injury, thinking one can't exist if the other is present. The actual truth however is that many people still find people with spinal cord injuries attractive. You can still be looked at as sexy by others.
You Can Still Have a Family
If you don’t have any children at the time of your injury, it is important to know you can still have children and happy family life with a spinal cord injury. Many people go on to have several children after their spinal cord injuries in fact. For men with spinal cord injuries, they may need surgical intervention to assist in getting their partner pregnant, but it is possible. Thousands of people with spinal cord injuries have husbands or wives and children after their injuries, living a normal life in spite of their paralysis.
Someone Will Love You Unconditionally
It is easy to think poorly about yourself, worrying that no one will like you the way you are; as a quadriplegic for paraplegic. If you are single at the time of your injury, this may be in your mind. Do not worry, however. There is someone out there for everyone, and this includes people with spinal cord injuries. People of all levels of injuries have had success finding partners; even those with high-level quadriplegia. The search may take a little bit longer, but there is someone out there who will see you and not your disability.
Start Living & Breathing Your Tough Side
Coming back from a spinal cord injury requires the most inner strength you can find, so try your best to find your "inner badass" because the time is nigh if you have a new spinal cord injury. This is no time for crying or to sulk, wishing you could go back in time to change what you cannot. This is the time to find your inner "Hulk Hogan" so to speak. We know you got this.
Independence May Look Different, But It Is Possible
Don't let anyone tell you that you'll end up in a nursing home. Many people of all levels of spinal cord injuries live in their own homes, and if they need assistance with caregiving, they’ll have caregivers visit them throughout the day. You can still live alone and be your own person, even if you need the assistance of caregivers in the morning and the evening or throughout the day. Your independence after your injury may be different than what you experienced before, but it is possible.
Start Dreaming Big
Despite how difficult a spinal cord injury is, many people use their injury as a time to reinvent their lives, whether that means moving to a warmer climate or changing careers. Many people go on to become authors, motivational speakers, or life coaches after their injuries, leaving behind lives and careers that were not fulfilling. A spinal cord injury can provide a wonderful opportunity to try new things so take advantage of it.
But above all, there is hope to be had after a spinal cord injury. Knowing a full life can be achieved is one of the most healing things anyone can realize when they find themselves in this situation.
Stay Updated on Advancements On Traumatic Brain &
Spinal Cord Injuries
About the Author
Spinal Cord Team