There are no guarantees in life. You can go every day without a serious injury or even cold to knock you down, or you could face a horrible accident that changes how you live forever. Being seriously injured is painful, terrifying, and the effects can last a lifetime. What it should not do, however, is rob you of your ability to live a good life. By working together and being honest with yourself and those around you, we can all work together towards getting you back on your feet and learning to live with your new limitations. To help you get from injured back to your old self, try following these steps:

Get the Right ToolsLife After a Serious Injury

Injuries inhibit movement. Perhaps this mobility limitation heals with time, perhaps it doesn’t. What does matter is that you accept that you will need help? If your hands have been affected, for example, it can mean a lack of independence when it comes to many tasks, including eating and drinking. Thankfully, there are plenty of tools at your disposal. You can choose from a variety of adult sippy cup, or you could get specialty utensils to make the daily task of nourishment that much easier. There are all kinds of tools out there, and it is up to you to know which ones are available to help your specific disability.

Commit to Your Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a critical component of your healing process. Without it, you won’t gain maximum mobility back, and could actually end up crippling yourself unnecessarily. When you start, this therapy will likely be painful, but you owe it to your future self to push through at the therapist’s suggestions and to keep up with any at-home therapy routines at home.

Be Patient with Your Body’s Healing

Healing takes time, and while pushing yourself with medical supervision is recommended, that doesn’t hold the same true with how you conduct yourself elsewhere. Take it easy; it is always better to wait longer to “get back to normal” than to risk hurting yourself and prolonging your recovery time.

Join a Support Group

Not every injury will heal completely, but that doesn’t mean it has to rob you of your life. Instead, try to come to terms with your new reality as fast as possible. By accepting that you need new, specialty tools to help you stay independent you are taking a great first step, but it is likely not enough. Support groups are a great way to help you work through your new reality, make friends, and to even gain key insight on how to live in maximum comfort moving forward. By denying yourself the advice and friendship of those who have gone through the same situation as you, you close one door to healing. Go, share in your experience, and realize that you are not alone.

Healing and recovering after a serious injury takes time, and there is no guarantee that you will ever get back to your old self. That is why half of the healing process is in your mind, because your body will heal on its own, but it is you who has to learn to live afterward.

This article was written by By Jonathan Cluett, MD

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