Living with a spinal cord injury comes with many challenges and getting used to a new way of living your life can be especially difficult at first. A newly-injured person may remember being able to walk and run, but has recently lost that ability to move freely. Going out in public can be frightening because you are not sure how people will view your disability.
It can also be difficult trying to communicate your needs to others. You may be used to doing tasks on your own, but now require someone to assist you. When I speak with newly-injured individuals, I encourage them to maintain as much independence as possible. However, they should not hesitate to ask for assistance when at home or in public. Most of the time, people are caring enough to help.
Over the years, I’ve learned to better communicate my needs to others. When it comes to alleviating a physically-demanding task, I’ll ask for assistance or find out if there is assistive technology available to help me do it on my own. For instance, my camera tripod that mounts to my wheelchair allows me to take pictures without holding the camera.
When there is clear communication, it makes living life with a spinal cord injury a bit easier. Once you’re comfortable talking with others, you’ll be able to get back to more comfortably living your life again.