Living with a Spinal Cord Injury

If you’re unlucky enough to live with an injury to your spinal cord then you’ll recognize that living with a serious disability such as paraplegia is a constant struggle.

I was lucky enough to be only left unable to walk for two months, knowing I would recover.  But those two months were the hardest in my young life and if I hadn’t had known I’d be able to walk again in the future they would have been even more difficult to cope with.

There are real and perceived limitations to what handicapped people can and cannot achieve.  One of these is being able to drive a car (or most other land vehicles) which tends to be the last thing on the minds’ of the 42percent of spine injury victims who were injured in a car crash.

Driving made Possible for Paraplegics

Ultimately not being able to drive is a perceived limitation, and with hand controls used in conjunction with handicap car equipment (for the pedals and steering wheel) driving is more than possible – even if you can’t use your legs.

If you can use one leg that’s all the better because your driving experience will be so much easier if you can accelerate.  Even if it’s your left leg which still has motor skills with the use of a left foot gas pedal conversion you’ll still be able to drive more easily than having to utilize your leg for braking only.

Ultimately some drivers with an injured spinal cord certainly need rehabilitation to get back behind the wheel again, but in some places driving is not just a way of life; it’s a necessity.

Rehabilitation isn’t usually a long process, nor is learning how to drive again, but they’re obstacles which need to be overcome nevertheless.

Almost all disabilities can be catered to allow which means that the vast majority of people will be able to drive, even with the most debilitating conditions.

  • But driving is simply one aspect of living with a spine condition.

Using a Car with a Spine Condition

Getting the support of family and friends is incredibly important not only for physical but psychological support too.

Ultimately the installation of various types of equipment around your house will need to occur, especially in places such as the bathroom and bedroom.

There’s also a variety of equipment which you’ll need, and I’m not talking about wheelchairs or anything obvious.  I’m talking about reach extenders which add an extra arm’s worth of length and allow you to reach much further.

Before I close up this article I’d just like to finish with what I believe are the substantial benefits to driving.

Although there are certainly difficulties for paraplegics when it comes to driving these are easily overcome in most cases and the independence and freedom gained is immeasurable.

Being able to drive yourself to the grocery store or out on long day trips is something which most handicapped assume they won’t be able to do again – how wrong they are.

 

 

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