How to enjoy life in a wheelchair
Welcome to Tetraplegic Living. Firstly let me introduce myself to you, my name is Penn, I am 45 years old and I live in the picturesque fishing port town of Brixham in Devon which is located on the south-west coast of England
On May 18, 1986 at approximately 6 o'clock in the evening I dived into an outdoor swimming pool here in Brixham and hit my head on the bottom of the pool. I was transferred to Torbay Hospital where it was discovered I had broken my neck at the C5 level. After being transferred to The Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre at Salisbury in Wiltshire I was given the devastating news that I would never walk again and would most likely spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair.
Life is what you make of it
Being told that there is little chance you well ever walk again for the rest of your life is like being hit by an articulated lorry. Everything you planned for the future goes out the window, you won't be able to see any future for yourself, it's a really horrible experience which I wouldn't want anyone to go through. In most cases a spinal-cord injury is permanent, there isn't any miracle cure at the moment so it's best to try and get your head around it as soon as possible. Family and friends will play a huge part in your recovery, but it's only you that can forge a life that you can enjoy.. To put it simply, you have two options once you become paralysed, you can either vegetate in your wheelchair, become depressed and do absolutely nothing, or you can get out there and make a life for yourself. Luckily we now live in an age where technology is advancing at an astounding rate. For those of us who had accidents 30 years ago, there really wasn't an awful lot of technology to keep us busy, personal computers were very much in their infancy, mobile phones were the size of bricks, we had to listen to our music on Sony Walkmans and you only had four channels on the television.
I often reminisce about life before my accident, I think most people who have these type of accidents will do exactly the same. However, living in the past is probably something you should try and avoid. There's nothing wrong with happy thoughts about times gone by when you could walk, but you are much better focusing on your life as it is. Take me as an example if you wish, I now have several hobbies, I go fishing on a regular basis, I can use my amateur radio without assistance when ever I want. I absolutely love computers and much of my life revolves around my PC. I promise you that life isn't so bad in a wheelchair, I have my bad days, we all do, but I now have more good days than bad days, and that's because I've made a good life for myself.