In the SCI community, we’re familiar with most professional’s prognosis for expected return: Whatever return you’re going to have, you’ll have by the second year. Anything else is a bonus. “Bonus” is the optional—left to personal choice—word.
For many, this is a disappointing truth. But for a large majority, serendipitous bonuses continue to surprise us for many years post injury!
Until I joined Apparelyzed http://www.apparelyzed.com/disability-directory/disability-forums-chat/, I had no idea of the number of happy, productive wheelchair warriors there were like me. I’m a young whippersnapper of 37 years post-injury compared to some 45, 50, and 60+ years post-injury; most of them, still happily and positively contributing to society.
I didn’t know the importance of SCI like-mindedness: the nonjudgmental acceptance of normal depression, grief, and denial following a life trauma; an understanding sounding board to rant—to cleanse the emotions in a safe environment; to learn from others’ similar or like experiences, and how-to cope with such.
I didn’t know the importance of annual evaluations by my spinal cord injury and rehabilitation doctor, or even wheelchair and cushion evaluations from a SCI-specialized PT.
Late in the game, I’ve learned a lot from those contributing on this forum. I’ve learned that many others have also earned bonuses of increased muscular strength, movement, and sensation (my sensation continues to improve after this long!); urinary and bowel control or a maintenance program; having children and grandchildren; achieving professional/financial success; living a wonderful life.
No matter the circumstance, the best medicine for long-lasting mental and physical health, as well as productivity is: having an empathetic and understanding ear to talk to, a sunny outlook, a full calendar, and faithful maintenance of our body and lifestyle.
We’re not the creators of our bodies, but I believe the more we know about them, understand their hints and hitches, envision and profess our hopes for them/our future, and optimistically work toward their fulfillment, the greater our bonuses!
Yes. In time, we will face one or more repercussions of SCI. Meantime, what we do with our abilities—imagination, determination, hope, and faith—assuredly makes a difference.
I wish a long life of serendipitous bonuses to you all!
Would you like to share a few of yours?
http://booklocker.com/books/6235.html (Views From My Chariot)
http://booklocker.com/books/6811.html (HOW TO BE THE BEST YOU)