There’s no doubt that living with a spine injury is incredibly difficult, I suffered a lower compression fracture to my spine as well as a hip fracture.
On the other hand it would have been so much harder to survive without the disabled assistive equipment I had access to.
A good example would have been my hospital bed which had a remote controller almost as complex as for a television and numerous different functions and features.
Without it simply eating would have been almost impossible seeing as I could not support my back or neck whatsoever. I have eaten laying down before and let me tell you it isn’t pleasant, my reason at the time being it was far too painful to bend my neck/spine even for eating.
I’ve had instances where I’ve poured water into my mouth when lying down because I didn’t want to put pressure on my back by sitting up. It’s when you’re laying there hoping the water won’t choke you that you realize how bad life is.
I remember around two weeks into my experiences of living with a spinal cord injury and I was starting to very slowly walk again with a zimmerframe.
To start with using a zimmerframe at aged 19 is humiliating enough, let alone only being able to take steps of a few inches at a time.
But one thing I remember is dropping my bottle of water on the ground, and then having to fashion a noose out of my bed sheets to sling it up.
I was at a hospital in Thailand but I didn’t want to trouble the nurses with something I could do myself.
The humiliating part of course was that I was showing one of my best friends that I could walk again with support, and he watched me for twenty minutes as a feebly tried to get my water.
He asked me over and over to just get a nurse but if you’ve ever had your freedom stricken from you then you want to do everything you physically can just to feel human once more. Humans don’t just lie in beds and ask for nurses all day… if they can help it, and I wasn’t going to be any different.
- Ultimately I’m very lucky because despite my injuries I’m able to walk again, it took several months but I could walk unaided.
Some said I was very lucky to walk again, I turned it back on them and said it was incredibly unlucky to be injured like that in the first place.
On the other hand jet skiing in Phuket – although incredibly fun – is incredibly dangerous too. It was my own fault to an extent as well as a mixture of bad luck for the accident happening at all.
Don’t get jet skiing in Phuket, it’s quite dangerous, I’m not sure if that’s going to stop me going again. I was going very fast, without supervision and I was far out in open sea.
I’m just glad I insisted on having a life jacket which fitted me properly, I’m also glad my Dad decided to take out traveler’s insurance the day before I went travelling because I thought I’d be fine.