Adapting to a New Lifestyle

Doctor – Dr. Adam Stein
1. Most people who sustain spinal cord injury achieve successful adjustment and ultimately rate their quality of life as high.
2. The importance of support from family and friends is critical for a successful adjustment to spinal cord injury.
3. Seek medical and rehabilitative care from professionals with experience in spinal cord injury.

SCI Individual – Emma Verrill:

I would say flexibility, positivity and “evolution” – meaning things will change – sometimes for the better sometimes for the worse. Being flexible is important because maintaining a positive attitude is hard, and will be harder if you don’t learn how to roll with the punches. I’m not saying don’t let things slide, being an advocate for yourself and others is critical, but learn to pick your battles! Frustration for the injured and the family/friends/caretakers goes both ways – allow there to be room and a healthy outlet for you to express your frustration. Don’t forget to communicate with each other!

Alex Elegudin:
Meet, discuss and visit with people in similar situations. It is helpful to learn from their experience. Also, do your research. Take things slowly and keep in mind that you need to learn how to adapt your whole spectrum, not just one or two things.

Friend/Family Member – Maria Uribe:
I think the two most important things for families to remember are to have patience and to work as a team. Everyone’s life is affected when one has a spinal cord injury, from the injured to the spouse to the children. We all have to remember that each one of us is affected differently but with patience and teamwork (plus a lot of understanding) you can all get thru it together.