People who injure their spinal cords are thrown into a new world with what is probably, to them, a very negative future staring them in the face. It may be that one moment of recklessness has altered their way of life forever.
Newly diagnosed spinal cord injury is followed by a time of adjusting, adapting and realizing. There are devices to get used to, doctors and therapists around, an altered quality in existing relationships, immobility, medications, possible surgery, humiliating hygiene lessons, rehabilitation and an entirely new lifestyle to live. Combine all of that with grieving for a permanently reduced level of functioning and lost identity.
A main goal during this time is to stabilize the injury, so that damage cannot progress, and life can go on.
Once the initial phase of the injury has past, rehabilitation helps to regain strength, motion and coordination of the muscles that are still available for work. By utilizing abilities that remain, the patient is encouraged to integrate back into his or her life, work, relationships and hobbies.
No one said this would be easy!