I hope everyone enjoyed spending time at holiday feasts and family gatherings! I enjoy visiting with my family and friends to escape from the day-to-day routine. Not only is it important to be with loved ones during this time of year, but it’s necessary to have that same love and support every day when living with a spinal cord injury…or any disability.
Rehabilitation specialists and therapists are particularly important shortly after a person acquires an injury to provide support while the patient and family adjust to change in ability and independence. Loved ones can learn how to better assist with the new lifestyle.
Individuals can also connect with local support groups who share their experiences through life. I attend the monthly meetings of the Trident Chapter of the South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Association. Guest speakers share topics ranging from advances in assistive technology to opportunities to play wheelchair sports to stay physically fit.
There are many people who are willing to help. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and communicate your needs to others. Communication is necessary to overcome your fears of living with a disability. The solid support from my family, friends and others in my community has given me the determination to succeed.
As we move into 2012, focus on the positive aspects of your life, the abilities you have and the loved ones who care about you. Have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!