You may have no recollection of the motor vehicle accident that left you with a spinal cord injury, or you may remember every vivid detail. Either way, the fact remains that your life changed forever on that day, and many of the things you used to enjoy are a distant memory.
A spinal cord injury has left you with a completely new world to negotiate. The accident may have left you with partial or complete paralysis and the long journey of rediscovering your place in your world. You may be fighting to keep your optimism high in spite of the enormous task ahead of you. Some research shows that many factors can influence your quality of life after a spinal cord injury.
Factors that affect your quality of life
Doctors measure the quality of life of an injury victim by using various assessment tools, which often require you to give honest answers to survey questions about your life, your activities and your emotions, among other things. Overall, the data compiled by these surveys reveals the status of your social, emotional and physical well-being. Doctors will use the results of your QOL test to decide which treatments may benefit you at various times after your injury.
The most meaningful factors that may result in a lower QOL after a spinal cord injury include these:
- Your injury was severe, for example a cervical spine injury resulting in complete paralysis.
- You retain minimal or no independence after your accident.
- You have an unreliable or non-existent support system among your family and friends.
- You were unable to return to meaningful employment after your accident.
- You were of an advanced age when your accident occurred.
- You have spinal cord injury complications, such as loss of bladder or bowel control, continual muscle contractions or neuropathic pain.
One significant factor that affects the quality of life of a spinal cord injury victim is the heavy burden of ongoing medical expenses for the intense and prolonged care necessary to maximize improvement. Studies show that the higher the quality of treatment early after an injury, the better the chance that you will need less medical intervention in the future.
Seek assistance wherever you can
The average cost of a lifetime of care following a spinal cord injury can reach into the millions of dollars, depending the severity of your injury, your age at the time of the accident and other factors. Obtaining quality medical care is essential for you to maintain a high quality of life.
Because of this, it is critical for you to find assistance wherever you can. This includes seeking the counsel of experienced Texas professionals to guide you through any issue related to your accident, including physical, emotional, financial and legal.