Following your spinal cord injury, you may have had many hours and days to lie in your hospital bed and wonder what kind of life lay ahead for you. Will you ever walk again? Will you be able to go back to your job? Are the activities you enjoyed most gone from your life forever?
It is easy to fall into a depression after a catastrophic injury that alters your life as you know it. However, many with spinal cord injuries have a great deal to be hopeful for. Medical science continues to make strides in developing new treatments and therapies for victims of such injuries, and this is just one factor in measuring the quality of life for someone with a traumatic spinal injury.
Adding up the factors
You may be surprised to learn that your doctors actually have a scientific formula for measuring your quality of life. Some of these factors you have little control over, such as the level of your injury. If the damage from your accident occurred higher on your spine resulting in more complete paralysis, you may have to fight harder to maintain a positive quality of life. However, some factors that can contribute to a higher quality of life include:
- A strong support system in your friends and family
- A college education or the pursuit of one after your injury
- Gainful employment
- Good health
In fact, studies show that the longer you live after your injury, the more your quality of life may improve. That is why it is critical to take good care of yourself, watch your nutritional intake and do whatever it takes to avoid secondary conditions and complications, such as infections. These complications can markedly decrease your quality of life.
Quality isn’t free
Your good health, improved mobility and independence are key elements of a positive quality of life. However, you may understand that achieving these things after a spinal cord injury is not cheap. In fact, if you suffer a C1 to C4 injury, you are likely to spend over a million dollars on care and medical costs in the first year, and nearly $200,000 every year after that. The average lifetime cost of such an injury can reach almost $5 million.
If your accident resulted from someone else’s careless or reckless actions, you may understand the unfairness that you not only suffer physical paralysis but also financial devastation. However, with the help of a Wisconsin attorney, you may have success in pursuing compensation from those whose actions left you with a spinal cord injury.