Spinal cord injury can leave you unable to move or feel. And, while the physical consequences of SCI can be challenging to come to terms with, the impact on your life may be far greater than that. It’s unlikely that you will ever return to the role you had before an SCI; however, there are many options for how you can build a new future after an SCIs. A SCI leaves you with limited mobility and limited sensory function. These limitations often result in social isolation and disability depression. However, not all disabilities are created equal; some people with disabilities are more likely than others to thrive after an SCI. Rehabilitation offers many potential benefits for those who do it properly, allowing them to access as much independence as possible within a supportive setting . HoweverCHECKcOUT
Find and Register with a Rehab Partner
You may be able to find a rehabilitation provider on your own, but it is a good idea to get a referral from your doctor or occupational therapist. You’ll want to find a rehabilitation clinic with a good reputation, one that specializes in people with SCI. You can also search the internet to find local resources that specialized in people with disabilities. Register with the clinic so that they can contact you if they have any openings.
Get Physical Therapy
You may have access to physical therapy while you are in the hospital and after surgery to repair your cord, but you will not likely be able to access therapy as soon as you need to when you leave the hospital. Therefore, it’s crucial to schedule your first therapy session as soon as you can. Your therapist will likely want to review your medical records and discuss your goals for therapy. Choose a therapist who is right for you. You should also consider who offers the type of therapy you think will be most helpful for you. You’ll likely need to try different therapies after an SCI, depending on your specific needs. You’ll also likely need to use different techniques and equipment, depending on your level of mobility and ability.
Learn New Habits
Once you have begun physical therapy, you’ll want to make sure that you are following the program your therapist outlines for you. It’s very easy to get lost or overwhelmed when starting out. Make a commitment to yourself to stick with it. Make a list of things you need to do and make a commitment to check things off your list. As you start getting used to the idea of doing things in a wheelchair, you’ll likely find that you are forgetting things. When you feel like you need to, take a look back over your to-do list.
Use Technology to Help You
Many people who have an SCI find that technology can be a helpful way to ease the pressure of social interactions, including communication with medical providers, family, and friends. SCI Chat and Access are two popular programs. You can also consider using a virtual assistant to help you get things done. There are many options out there to help you automate errands, manage your calendar, track your health, and more. These services can also be helpful for visitors and family members, helping them stay in touch with you without requiring lengthy conversations or written communications. You can also access these tools from any computer or smartphone.
Get Organized and Stay Safe
While it’s important to be active and engage with the world, it’s also important to take care of yourself. Remind yourself to rest, eat healthy, and get adequate sleep. You’ll be less likely to exhaust yourself and put yourself at risk if you take care of yourself first. Make sure you have a way to protect yourself and your belongings, including a phone and a means to alert someone that you need help. Educate yourself on the warning signs of self-neglect and abuse. Safety is always a priority while in a wheelchair, which can make it difficult to go out with friends. While it can be frustrating, social isolation can be a risk factor for depression and is something that you need to be aware of, and consider, while you are adjusting to your new lifestyle.
There is no silver bullet for people who have an SCI. However, once on the path to rehabilitation you are likely to see many benefits. Rehabilitation can help you regain strength, balance, and functioning throughout your body; it can also allow you to re-establish confidence and identity. Most people who do it well experience great satisfaction from the process and are able to return to a more independent lifestyle. It is likely that you will never again have the same level of independence that you did before an SCI, but you can still live a full and rewarding life. Understanding what can be done to maximize your potential can help you to realize your full potential after an SCI.