Learning to Live With Paralysis

Paralysis is a life changing and oftentimes sudden event. One minute, everything is fine, and the next, your family seems to be in shambles. Suddenly you have to deal with the financial, physical, and emotional burden of a serious injury that will have a lasting impact on the victim and their family. If your loved one has recently been paralyzed, there are many coping mechanisms that you and your family can employ. While this is a difficult time for your family, utilizing these coping skills and learning to live with paralysis will help you support one another and get through this experience.

What the Paralysis Victim Can Do

One resource that your loved one may call on while they come to terms with their paralysis is the help of a professional therapist. A therapist can work through the emotional trauma that your loved one is facing at this time. In addition to this resource, your loved one can start healing in the acute phase by:

  • Making an effort to perform whatever tasks they still can, and build their independence
  • Accepting that they may need help with some things, and asking for help when it is needed
  • Understanding their financial, employment, and insurance information.

At this time, your loved one should focus primarily on their recovery. Then, once they get into the rehabilitation phase of their recovery, they can utilize more coping skills, such as:

  • Taking therapy seriously and showing up to all sessions
  • Celebrating their achievements, even if they seem small
  • Trying to return to a normal routine
  • Setting long term goals for their recovery and what they want to be able to do
  • Trying to stay positive
  • Starting with small, simple tasks before moving on to complex tasks
  • Practicing patience with the recovery process

These attempts to cope with the injury can help your loved one learn to live with paralysis

What the Family Can Do

Your paralyzed loved one will need your help at this time to recover from their injury. While you might not think that there is much you can do, your support during this time can make a big difference in the recovery process. Here are some things that you can do to help your loved one:

  • Help your loved one celebrate their achievements
  • Research their care, recovery, and any special equipment they might need
  • Be patient with them as they try to adjust to their new life
  • Go to therapy sessions with your loved one
  • Help your loved one plan for their future
  • Show your support!
  • Seek help for them, whether it is assistance from their medical team or help from a therapist

Getting Help

The time period following paralysis can be very difficult for a family. Make sure to seek medical help for your loved one, provide emotional support, and see if you can get reimbursement for their medical bills. If someone else is responsible for their injuries, you might be able to do this. You can always call me to discuss this option.

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