It’s More Than Not Being Able To Walk – Part Two

Living With Spinal a Cord Injury
Part two of our series for National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month.

Be HappyDidn’t even realize it but it’s been 3 years since I was injured. Time flies. Whenever I’m working out my right arm (my weak arm) and my brother sees my frustration, he tells me to be happy. Reminds me that just being able to move that arm is amazing because with my level of injury I should be on a ventilator or even worse, dead. Though living like this sucks It could be a lot worse and I am happy where I am today even though sometimes I may not seem it or feel it. My injury gave me a new life. It may be Far from what I expected and had planned for myself in 2011, but I would not want to change it or what I’ve been through for anything. Be Happy.”
– David Hudgik

“Most of all, I hate how restricted the world feels. I miss celebrations because I can’t get to the second floor of a bar. I have to meet my friends’ new baby on the front lawn because I can’t get into their house. Without my legs, the world feels like a series of obstacles and barriers. It makes me feel like I can’t be a part of regular life. It’s isolating.

Not being able to use your hands is even worse. I would be happy to never walk again if I could have my hands back—just to open the door, to crack my knuckles, to scratch my dog and make her leg kick. To give you the bird when you cut me off in traffic.”
– Jimmy Anderson
From  This Is What It Feels Like to Be Quadriplegic

“Before my accident I didn’t even consider spinal cord injuries. I had a paraplegic friend and admired his strength, how he dealt with his injury. Today I envy him a little, as he can move his arms and fingers without any difficulty. But hey, I know I’m doing well compared to others. People in other WhatItsLikecountries don’t have the fortune to have access to good medical treatment or rehabilitation – far from it! Many patients still die after their injury due to a lack of medical knowledge or facilities. I’m also fortunate to have the assistance and publically funded services which enable me to live a meaningful live. Nevertheless, I cannot wait to put my wheelchair in the corner and continue my ‘old life’…
– Wolfgang Illek
From  Photo Story: Living With a Spinal Cord Injury

What’s gotten harder over time?

“The gradual physical ailments, the secondary conditions —the sores, the broken bones, those kinds of things that other people don’t experience at an age—I mean I’m 33, and it only gets worse as you get older. I know that the aging process happens for everyone, to have it start happening so young in life, is hard to deal with.”
– Megan

What’s gotten easier over time?

“Everything.  Yeah, I would say literally everything has gotten easier.  Even the simplest things like eating sandwiches and not having them fall apart.  And the big things too, like getting out of bed in the morning, and getting dressed, and driving, and yeah, everything has gotten easier.  I can’t think of anything that physically has gotten harder.
– Molly

Visit the SCI Awareness page at David’s Journey to Recovery for more stories from people living with spinal cord injury.

This is the second part of our series for National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month. The series is designed to help us all understand what living with a spinal cord injury is like for David and millions of other people around the world.