Understand a Spinal Chord Injury at the bottom of my page.
Meet Scarlett, she is a beautiful 4 nearly 5 year old girl. She is a very confident, outgoing girl who has a great character. Scarlett loves music and dancing, going to nursery and meeting new friends. Her closest friend is Angel, she is her cousin and they practically do everything together. She loves nothing but attention and she is always proud to show her mummy and daddy the work she has done at nursery. Scarlett is a big softy at heart and when she is all out of energy all she wants to do is snuggle up with her blankie and cuddling up to her mummy or daddy.
Meet me, I am Scarlett's mummy, Bex. And I can't cuddle my daughter back. I have a c3 spinal cord injury which happened July 30th 2011. I was in a road traffic accident. I can remember dreaming that my arms were stuck to my sides and for some reason I couldn't move my legs. I started panicking and getting breathless and then it hit me, I wasn't dreaming at all, it was very real and I was no longer able to move my limbs. I tried speaking and shouting but no noise was coming out of my mouth, I looked around and saw that I was on a ventilator and the reason I couldn't speak was because I had a tracheotomy, I couldn't eat or drink either. The only way I could communicate was by nurses, family & friends trying to lip read me. When the reality of what had happened hit me I felt extremely scared, sick and I felt empty. My first biggest worry was that I was never ever going to be able to touch or hold Scarlett again.
It has been a 3 yrs since my accident and I have achieved getting off the ventilator which means I can breathe, eat and drink by myself, which the doctors told me I would never be able to do again. As for physical movement, I haven't gained much at all which devastates me as all I want do is try to move my arms every day.. I am not able to have physiotherapy as I would have to have it privately which I simply can't afford. I get no physiotherapy at all, the NHS don't fund any for me at all. Having more physiotherapy would mean my chances of getting any movement back would be greater and I believe with a little more help I can move my arms again. I don't want to give up, I want to fight to get anything back that I used to have. My hope is there not only for myself but for my little girl, who deserves to be hugged by her mummy again. It breaks my heart to know that I can't give her what she needs.
Understanding a SCI:
Life After Spinal Cord Injury2.1. Early Emotional Changes
A spinal cord injury (SCI) is one of the most devastating of all traumatic events. It results in a loss of some or all of an individual's sensation and movement. It is common for individuals who are newly injured to have health problems. Plus, it takes time to build enough strength to be able to fully participate in daily activities.
Individuals who are newly injured will likely experience grief. This is a period of mourning that is similar to that following the death of a loved one. The difference is that you are grieving the loss of your sense of touch along with your ability to walk or use your hands. You will likely experience many different thoughts and feelings after injury. Some may seem extreme and others mild. There is no step-by-step grieving process, but some thoughts and feelings are common after injury.
Denial/Disbelief: You may first react to your injury as if nothing happened. You may refuse to accept that your loss of feeling and movement is permanent. Instead, you may see the injury as an illness similar to a cold or flu that will soon pass with time.
Sadness: Obviously, no one is happy to be injured. It does not matter what your level of injury. Extreme sadness is common after injury because you have experienced a great personal loss. Sadness is that down, or blue feeling that you have when something bad happens. However, it is important that you not confuse sadness with depression. Depression is a medical condition that requires professional treatment. You may be depressed if you have symptoms such as extreme sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentrating, a significant increase or decrease in your appetite and/or time spent sleeping, and feelings of dejection, hopelessness or worthlessness. You may even have thoughts about suicide if you have depression.
Anger: Some people react to their injury with strong feelings of displeasure. You might lash out verbally or want to become physically violent towards others. You may feel angry toward yourself if your actions resulted in your injury. You may even feel anger toward God or someone else for causing your injury.
Bargaining: At some time following your injury, you may begin to admit to yourself that you have a serious condition. However, you may still want to hold onto the belief that your injury is not permanent. You may act as if you accept your injury as "the way things are," but your acceptance may come with the belief that you will be rewarded for your prayers and hard work in therapy and eventually recover from your injury at some point in the foreseeable future.
Acceptance: Grieving usually ends as you come to accept a realistic view of your current condition and find meaning in your life. You begin to think about your future as an individual with SCI and set goals to pursue in life.
That is where I am now thinking about my future with a SCI & I have a goal to pursue in life - making the most out of mine & my daughter's life.
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