THE PATIENT

Published: June 3, 2006
113

Patients consistently report that it helps to talk about their feelings. If you talk to the members of your Rehabilitation team, your family, and friends, they can help you more. It’s hard for them to know what you’re going through if you don’t tell them. Some people find it helpful to talk to others who have gone through similar experiences and to hear how they handled them. But it is understandable that sometimes you don’t feel like talking about it. It takes time learning new ways to care for yourself, and it’s frustrating, but gradually you will find that you’re getting in charge of your routine. Rehabilitation is a day-by-day, step-by-step process. If there’s something you can’t do for yourself, you will know how to instruct others to help you.

The important thing is to remember that despite all the ups and downs, the disappointments and frustrations, you will make it. Eventually, you will be able to take charge of your own care. Your rehabilitation team, family, and friends want to help you overcome the hurdles and reach the point where you are ready for life outside the hospital. You will only achieve your highest level of independent functioning if those around you are committed to your success.

Remember:

* Do not be afraid to ask for and/or accept realistic help from others.
* Use positive thinking, such as “I can,” and educate yourself in positive ways.
* Set realistic goals for yourself, and evaluate these goals from time-to-time
* Be willing to try new things – things you have not have done before your injury and new ways of doing old things.
* Involve yourself with positively-oriented peers who have SCI and wheelchair sports programs.

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