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What is life like with a spinal cord injury?

Published: November 18, 2017

Having a spinal cord injury changes some things forever, but you can still have a full and rewarding life. A saying among people who have a spinal cord injury is, “Before your injury, you could do 10,000 things. Now you can do 9,000. So are you going to worry about the 1,000 things you can’t do or focus on the 9,000 things you can do?”

After they adjust, many people with spinal cord injuries are able to work, drive, play sports, and have relationships and families. Your rehab team can provide the support, training, and resources to help you move toward new goals. It’s up to you to make the most of what they have to offer.

Adapting to life with a spinal cord injury can be tough. You can expect to feel sad or angry at times or to grieve for your lost abilities. It is important to express these feelings so they don’t keep you from moving ahead. Talk with family and friends, find a support group, or connect with others online. Talking to other people who have spinal cord injuries can be a big help.

It’s hard to enjoy life if you have ongoing pain or depression. If you do, tell your doctor. There are medicines and other treatments that can help.

Caring for a person who has a spinal cord injury can be both rewarding and difficult. If you help take care of someone who has a spinal cord injury, don’t forget to take care of yourself too. Find a local support group, and make time to do things you enjoy.

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