After suffering a spinal injury, life can be difficult. You must adapt to a new normal as you adjust to living with lost abilities. You also must work through your grief as you mourn the life you have had previously. To make sure you have the best quality of life after you have suffered a spinal cord injury, you must express your feelings, join support groups, seek rehabilitation, manage your pain and find enjoyable activities.
Express Your Feelings
When you have incurred a spinal injury, you are going to experience a wide range of feelings. Two prominent feelings you will experience are anger and sadness, especially immediately after the injury has taken place. If you experience these feelings, you need to find people you trust so you can talk to them and work through your feelings.
The more you talk through your feelings, the better you will feel. It is good to get things off your chest because bottling your feelings inside is not good for your health. If you bottled up your feelings, you are at a greater risk of developing health complications such as high blood pressure and heart problems. Not to mention, you will have difficulty moving forward with your life and finding things that bring you joy. Seeking support from your friends and family is the best way to help you cope so these feelings do not dominate your life. Your friends and family can make suggestions of coping strategies that you can implement.
Join Support Groups
Perhaps, you feel alone since you have been injured. You feel like nobody understands your struggles. This is only natural. All spinal injury sufferers feel alone in the beginning. The best way to combat these feelings of loneliness is to join support groups. Joining support groups enables you to talk with other people who have spinal injuries, and you can share experiences, tips, and tricks. You can also receive advice for overcoming the challenges of living with a spinal injury. Many are veterans on this journey and will have much guidance to offer. You can find support groups online on social media sites such as Facebook.
To make sure you maximize your independence, you will need to seek rehabilitation. Rehabilitation specialists will help you to learn adaptive techniques for accomplishing everyday tasks. If your injury is extensive enough that you require mobility aids, rehabilitation specialists can help you procure such equipment. Furthermore, rehabilitation specialists can help you obtain adaptive living aids for you to use in your homes such as shower chairs, tub bars, and toilet rails.
Rehabilitation specialists can also help you to set goals. What will happen is that you will have several meetings with your rehabilitation team, and you all will work together to come up with short and long-term goals that you will be able to attain. You and your rehabilitation team will likely start out by coming up with two short-term goals and two long-term goals. Once you have met all your goals, you and your team will work together to set new ones. You and your team will work on goals until you have established independence.
Manage Your Pain
When you are contending with severe, chronic pain, such as when experiencing herniated disc symptoms, it is tough to find enjoyment in life. The severe, chronic pain will wear you down, and this will lead to depression. It is important that you do whatever is necessary to manage your pain. You can talk with your doctor about pain management options, or you can choose to take a holistic approach.
Find Enjoyable Activities
Finally, you need to seek out enjoyable activities. When you fill your time with enjoyable activities, you will have less time to focus on negative feelings. You will spend more time having fun and less time mourning the person you used to be before your injury. If you are not sure which activities to engage in, you can ask others in your support groups for ideas.
Incurring a spinal injury may be life-changing, but you are still able to lead a full and productive life. Many people with spinal injuries can hold jobs, have families, have fun, play sports, travel, run errands and build long-lasting relationships. Some even drive with special vehicle modifications. Sure, you will need time to adjust to this new way of life, however, you will become used to this new normal and you will be confident and self-assured.