Your life after a spinal cord injury
If you remember the accident, you may recall the exact moment when you knew things would never be the same. Maybe you felt a twinge or a sharp pain, or maybe everything went numb. Spinal cord injuries can be devastating, and 46 percent of them are the result of motor vehicle accidents.
Depending on where along your spine your injury occurred, you may be facing partial or total paralysis of your arms, legs or both. However, you may not be aware of the other health issues that frequently accompany spinal cord injuries. These complications may affect your quality of living and put your very life at risk.
The brutal facts
No one has to tell you that pain is one of the most common consequences of a spinal cord injury. Almost 94 percent of those with injuries to the spine suffer chronic pain, although the good news is that it may lessen over time. However, if your injury has confined you to a wheelchair or bed, your body may react in other ways to your inability to move properly. You may suffer complications that include the following:
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Pressure ulcers
- Blood clots
- Cardiovascular disease
- Pneumonia and other lung ailments
Any of these complications can be life-threatening or, at the very least, land you in a Florida hospital. The cost of medical treatment for the first year after a spinal cord injury may be nearly $1 million. Over your lifetime, you may expect your medical bills to reach $5 million.
Staying positive and seeking assistance
Even if your spinal cord injury resulted in partial paralysis, chances are good that your life has changed because of it. You may be unable to do simple things you took for granted, such as driving a car, walking your dog or doing your grocery shopping. In addition, you may wake up each morning in pain or make numerous trips to the emergency room to treat complications from your injury.
While dealing with these issues may be part of your routine following a spinal cord injury, you can still hope for a full life. If your injury occurred because of someone else’s negligence, you have a right to seek possible compensation. Money may not be able to repair your spinal cord, but it may allow you to pay your medical bills and obtain the therapy, equipment and assistance you need for the best recovery possible for your circumstances.
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