Many people believe that spinal cord injury (SCI) renders your body a cage, completely sapping your life of freedom and enjoyment. Without question, devastating SCI conditions like paraplegia and quadriplegia make daily living a constant struggle; however, they are not necessarily life-ruining.
While people with spinal cord injury do face challenges that sometimes invite dark episodes of despair and depression, they are also able to overcome their physical, emotional, and mental obstacles with assistive technology, adaptive tools, and, of course, support from family and friends. In other words, it is very much possible to lead a fulfilling and happy life with spinal cord injury.
Below, we have cleared up five common misconceptions, or myths, about living with spinal cord injury.
- All people with SCI are stuck in wheelchairs. In many cases, SCI victims sustain incomplete injuries, or injuries that haven’t fully destroyed the brain’s ability to transmit signals below the area of injury. Some are able to get around using canes, walkers, or even their own two feet, though usually only for a short period of time.
- All people with SCI are completely immobile below the area of injury. People with incomplete injuries have the ability to move their bodies below the area of injury to some degree. Also, people with SCI generally deal with muscle spasms in their “paralyzed” limbs. In fact, some have to take medication to suppress severe spasms.
- All people with SCI are completely dependent on others for care. Thanks to modern technology, people with paraplegia and even quadriplegia can maintain some or most of their independence. There are home modifications and adaptive tools which make it possible for people with SCI to perform daily tasks without need for assistance.
- All people with SCI are unhappy. Yes, it is true that people with SCI usually go through an extremely difficult process similar to the grieving process after their injuries, during which they are prone to depression and even suicidal thoughts. In most cases, however, people with SCI experience significant improvements in their mental and emotional states after a year, and eventually return to their original behavior prior to their injuries.
- All people with SCI are asexual. Although each individual case is different, even men and women with complete injuries (no feeling or voluntary movement below the area of injury) enjoy active and fulfilling sexual lives.
Basically, what it comes down to is this: no two spinal cord injuries are alike and no two people with SCI are, either. It is possible for an individual with extreme, complete quadriplegia to be more content than someone with the most minor injury. There are so many different factors – social, familial, mental, emotional, physical, etc. – which go into the aftermath of SCI that generalizations are needless and ultimately inaccurate.
Hopefully, you have found this article provided by Wilshire Law Firm to be useful. If you or someone you love has recently sustained a spinal cord injury due to the negligence of another party, please contact our compassionate SCI attorneys for legal assistance. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Learn more about your rights and legal options by calling us today at (800) 522-7274. We offer FREE case consultations.