There is an immense amount of truth in the statement, “Things could always be worse,” which is something you may hear after your spinal cord injury. For many people, the thought of becoming a paraplegic or a quadriplegic sets them into a suicidal quandary. We are under no pretense that becoming paralyzed isn’t excruciatingly difficult, both physically and mentally.
It’s no cake walk. Many people experience huge amounts of pain, while others fall into a dark depression after their injury. Losing the ability to walk is one hardship of paralysis, but there are so many other elements to becoming paralyzed, from severe spasms to sexual inabilities.
Despite all of these truths about life with a spinal cord injury, there’s one important thing to remember – people with SCI can live long, full lives. Before the discovery of antibiotics, most people who became paralyzed would die within two years. Now people can have normal lifespans no matter their level of injury thanks to the invention of antibiotics during WWII. Many people get married, have kids and have fulfilling careers all in spite of having a spinal cord injury. Life goes on, just differently.
Life should never be thought of as less than after your injury. And don’t see yourself as broken or less. You are learning some serious life lessons. As long as you have air in your lungs and a brain you can enrich and use, consider yourself lucky. There’s always someone out there who would trade places with you if they could.
Many people believe that if they were suddenly healed, all of the problems in their life would suddenly go away, and the reality is that they many wouldn’t. Even if you don’t believe your injury happened for a reason, there are important lessons people take away from being paralyzed that most wouldn’t trade in the world.