Living with spinal cord injury

The most important lesson for someone who was recently injured to accept is that life is not over. Not only is there hope – there is also a definite curve pointing straight upwards. From the time of the injury life can never get worse; it can only get better. Not better in that it includes some sort of miracle cure which means that you will be able to walk and recover all body function again; many people will talk about such “cures,” but they don’t exist in reality.

What does exist in reality is something else. Not just in terms of a host of assistive devices, but also personal assistants and – most of all – other spinal cord injury patients with extensive experience living with a disability. It’s important to be able to meet and socialize and talk with others who have experienced the same thing, especially because they can show that life still offers a bouquet of possibilities.

But most of all, there is your personal willpower. You have the right to be terribly sad, to feel deep, dark sorrow. Gradually, power of will is born from this sorrow. The will to go on living, the will to conquer life bit by bit, to slowly but surely become increasingly independent again. People say that will has the power to move mountains.

That’s true. But will has the power to do much more than that; it also gives life back to people who have experienced a horrible tragedy, if only they allow it to do so.