Going The Extra Mile: Accident Victims Must Be Vigilant And Maintain Hope In Order To Pull Through

 By: Arthur W. Weiss
These are trying times. It seems your whole existence is challenged. You're in pain and you feel the life you built for yourself is gone forever. You're not in total control anymore. You knew to expect the usual difficulties down the road, but never this kind of hardship. You've seen other peoplego through it and wondered how they copedand now it is a part of your own reality. All you can think about is everything you are going to lose. All you can think about is being a burden to your family and being dependent of their help to be able to survive.

You are entitled to a grieving period, of course. You need time to fully understand what happened to you and how it will impact your life. Cry all you want, vent your frustrations, curse your destiny, lose yourself in your thoughts, but you can't let it become a permanent state. If you do, you are giving up. If you give up, you are throwing away all you have already accomplished in your life and destroying the chance of ever feeling happy again. I'm not downplaying the ordeal you're in. I wouldn't dare to even say I know what you're going through. I don't. It has got to be utterly overwhelming and devastating. But while you're allowed to mourn your loss, you still need to get informed about the options you have and the treatments available that can possibly improve your current state to some degree. It's not over yet. And you won't be alone either. You'll have your loved ones around you. Don't be too proud to ask for help.

First, you need a precise diagnosis from your doctor. If it doesn't satisfy you completely, get a second, a third and even a fourth opinion. You need to know exactly where you stand: what are your real limitations and their consequences in the future. As soon as you do, there is a lot available to consider, if not to improve your state, at least to minimize your pain and the impact of the paralysis in your everyday life. Depending on the type of paralysis you're facing, you have these to contemplate:

Medical treatment and physiotherapy - focusing on helping you to adapt in the best way possible to a new lifestyle, as independent as possible, specialty doctors will provide the best medication for pain and muscle relaxation and physiotherapy will try to maintain the no longer voluntary movement to prevent muscle atrophy and other health related issues that may occur;

Reconstructive surgery - nerve reconstruction has advanced a lot in the last few years, making everything they can to allow patients to regain some muscle function and restore a regular appearance;

Therapy - very important in the beginning: having a professional to help you rise above the dark and depressive thoughts and build up the necessary confidence and strength;

Mobility aids - like wheelchairs and metal braces;

New technologic devices - voice activated home control units and specially adapted computers or special electrical devices and steering wheels for your car;

Alternative medicine - If you decide to give them a chance they also have multiple options available to lessen the impact of your new condition: body massage, acupuncture, specific diets, herbal medication, among others;

Meditation - the art of breathing and clearing the mind. It is not a religious ceremony; it's a very personal act of rediscovering yourself, balancing the body and the mind through its more basic function.

The most important thing is to remember that you are still you. You may have a more challenging road ahead, but that doesn't mean you have to change who you are. Fight to keep your spirits up and move forward. There is still a lot to do, to feel, to think, to live.
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