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Thread: Is it possible to be happy again after spinal cord injury?

  1. #1
    Senior Member omeleteman's Avatar
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    Is it possible to be happy again after spinal cord injury?

    Hi there. It is the first time I write. I'm a 30 year old T3 brazilian para who suffered a car accident just 6 months ago and I'm tryng to reach rehabilitation at home with daily physiotherapy sessions and I have some doubts which some of you who might have more experience may clear up.
    - Is it actually possible to reach total independency?
    - Am I going to be able to get up from bed, take a shower, undress and dress, get an adapted car to go to work, obtain some intestin and urinary control, and finnaly do all these things without other people's help?
    - Is there any hint in terms of psychological recovery? Is it possible to be happy again in my present situation? what about sexual life?
    Thanks in advance for those who could give me some attention

    [This message was edited by Fernando on August 14, 2001 at 01:10 AM.]

  2. #2
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    Fernando

    I know SCI is pretty daunting in the begining, but it will get easier. I was 31 when I broke my back, I needed quite alot of help for the first 6 months but then as you begin to experience more things from your chair, you will find that you are pretty much the same as before, you just can't walk. I was always worried about hurting myself if I came out of my wheelchair, but after I ate shit a couple of times I realized that this wasn't the case. My level is a little lowerl than yours; t12, but I've seen low C quads attain the same level of independance that I now have. As far as being happy..I am rarely very happy, but that is because I have always felt unsatisfied if I knew that I could do something better than I am now, so I can deal with this injury, but I'll never accept it. Good luck. How is Brazil for accessability. One of my SCI friends wife is from Brazil. I know she would like to return but I think he has doubts about going

  3. #3

    Questions

    Fernando, I am afraid I am not very familiar with what is available for rehab in your country. I have a friend who is a rehab nurse in Sao Paulo, but she teaches in a nursing school there. Did you get any inpatient rehab at all? Do you have any access to specialized SCI rehab programs? What part of Brazil are you in?

    I am also anticipating possibly traveling to Brazil this fall with my mother who is quadriplegic due to MS, so may want to communicate with you about this separately. (KLD)

  4. #4
    Senior Member omeleteman's Avatar
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    Rehab

    Well, there are some specialized rehab places here in Brazil but my neurosurgeon guaranteed that a personal treatment at home with the fisiotherapeut he indicated would be more effective. This fisiotherapeut has got lots of experience in SCI rehab. I watched videos in which he recorded the evolution of some Para patients, some of whose injuries with higher level than mine, were able to walk, with difficulty, with the help of mulletes and that apparatus that you hold to keep your body straight and walk(I don't know the name of it in English). This gives them more independency. I also know some people with the same problem that obtained satisfatory independency. I'm from Rio de Janeiro and would have pleasure to help people about things, related or not to SCI problems.
    Nurse, you can e-mail me whenever you want to.
    I've never been in the USA but it is much probable that accessibility here is much more difficult than in the USA. Anyway, things are a bit better than they were before due to pressure that people with the same kind of problem usually make on Brazilian Government.
    Sorry for some probable English mistakes.

  5. #5
    Member Becky's Avatar
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    It will get better

    I am a 21 year old T9-10 post about 14 months. I am not 100% independent now, but almost there. I am not saying that you won't have bad days, but you will eventually be able to do most everything by yourself. I am not able to walk, but I can dress, shower, cath and use the rest room by my self. But don't get discouraged if you have a bad day. Like just recently my bowel program went haywire, and I was so upset and didn't want to leave the house. I had to work hard, and get it back in order and get on with my life.

  6. #6

    HUH!

    Your independence will come,i would'nt worry about that.Happy i dont know about,i hope you do.Myself im a lot of different words im more understanding,concerned,helpful,caring will you get the picture,the best words i've found describe our situation is coping,dealing,hoping but the most important one's and never forget these bro are reach and obtain.Remember those and you'll find yourself smilin all the time..
    .........\/PEACE
    ~Shaun~

  7. #7
    I have some friends that are lower level cervical injuries that are fully independent and don't depend on anybody for anything. I'm a c5-6 level injury and I plan on becoming fully independent in the next couple of years. And that's without finger movement. I think it all depends on your state of mind. And now thirteen months post, and I have some bad days, but for the most part all I do is work towards independence. I spend good portions of my day working on my computer building web sites. The rest of the day, I tried to spend exercising and getting stronger so that one day I will be able to transfer myself. You have a lot of muscles that I don't have, nor do my other independent friends have. I think that you will become fully independent and have a somewhat normal life after that. It just takes some time. Hell, If I can do it, you can. I also am planning to join quad rugby in the next couple of months. I hear there's a lot of good advice amongst the players on how to become independent. Maybe if you found found a sport to do where you could get advice from other people with similar injuries, it will make a go by faster. Not to mention keep your mind off of your injury. Good luck to you.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Scorpion's Avatar
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    Yes, you can be happy again. It takes a hell of a lot of work compared to before being paralyzed, but you can be happy. Now, this is not to say that I'm happy all the time or that I don't mind being paralyzed. A day doesn't go by where I don't have at least one occasion to curse the day I was paralyzed, but this doesn't consume my whole day or my entire thought patterns.

    You've got to socialize with friends and family, do things that you enjoyed before your injury that you still can, and above all, fight the urge to feel sorry for yourself. Even with all your effort, you'll still have days where you will feel sorry for yourself, and we all need times where we can grieve for what we've lost. After over 10 years, I still have those grieving days, but they are fewer and farther between.

    Being happy doesn't mean you are happy with being paralyzed. It simply means that you are happy for what you have, even though that seems like very little at times. No matter how bad it gets, someone out there is having it worse than you--and they're not only surviving, they're thriving. I'd turn down the fortune of Bill Gates to have the body and life I had before October 13, 1990, but I've had some damn good times since then, despite the quadriplegia. I plan to experience even more happiness in the future, despite the quadriplegia. And if the day comes when I can walk barefoot into the ocean again, I'll be crying tears of joy. In the meantime, I find my happiness in my art, my enjoyment of music, movies, the fresh air and warm sun, the smiles of my nieces and nephew, the love of family and friends, etc.

    ~Rus

  9. #9
    Senior Member Scorpion's Avatar
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    Fernando, I'm a fully independent C-6 quad, living 11 hours from my nearest family. If I can become independent, I trust you can too. But only you can determine that.

    ~Rus

  10. #10

    No Problemo Fernando, it becomes second nature.

    I have been a t-4 complete for 20 years and after a while you hardly even think about being paralyzed. You just do what you have to do. Think about getting involved with other Disabled folks in you're area, Wheelchair Basketball, Handcycling, Tennis, etc. at least for me, staying active, really helped out.

    I just noticed Scorpion, you got me beat by 10 posts, darn.

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