Spinal Cord Injury can happen to you too!

We alone choose what our view will be on the world and what is happening to us. We can observe it in a black and white sense but we can always make it a little better, no matter how “black” it may appear. A spinal cord injury is definitely the worst thing that has happened to me in my life and is something that I would never wish upon anyone. On the other hand that is something that happens and unfortunately will continue to happen. When you first don’t know if you will even stay alive and then eventually getting a prognosis from somebody who should know what they are doing saying that you have a 1% chance of ever moving any part of your body, it all looks pretty “black.” Life changes entirely, but then again, you stayed alive.

izaberi da zivis - povreda kicmene mozdine

In a situation like that everyone asks themselves why that happened. Why me?!? There is no answer to that question. Sometimes it is a result of our actions, sometimes other’s actions, but when everything is added and subtracted all that is left is that it happened. Life goes on, we choose how we will continue it. Or at least, we should be the ones who are choosing.

It is clear that it is neither fun nor easy to go through that first period after the injury, but there are always more things that make these situations more difficult. To be more precise, not “things,” but people. First, the doctors and the entire medical staff, that without any hesitation, lets you know that you will never again be able to walk, that you will spend the rest of your life confined to a bed, and that you will never be able to do anything on your own again. And then there are your friends, relatives, acquaintances, and even closest family who feel bad for you, for what happened to you and of course your for life, for which they see no future.

As somebody who did not know absolutely anything about spinal cord injury before it happend to me, I did not even know how life after the injury is. I thought that what the doctors were saying was the most accurate truth that I could hear. And to be frank, it is impossible to stay immune to the actions, tears, and complaints of the people closest to me. At that point, with the health complications that I had, I fought the hardest battle. I battled my own self.

 Be Strong, Be Stronger, Be the Strongest!

-“Poor girl, how will she continue to live!?”

-“It’s sad that her life ended when she was so young!”

-“God forbid that parents live to see their child become incompetent.”

These are just some of the phrases that I listened to on a daily basis. And, because of this, I always wondered how much of a burden I will be to my parents and what will be the purpose of my life when I cant do anything alone. One cannot count how many bad thoughts and questions were in my head, but I wanted to continue my life and show others that I am still me. The struggle between accepting what others were saying to me and what I wanted still lasted.

An important, if not the most important moment in all this was a visit from a girl who had suffered a spinal cord injury earlier. Her smile (she had all the time), the way she talked to me and answered all the questions I asked her circled the thickest possible line of my decision to continue my life in spite of everything and the way that I want. MILICA THANK YOU!

After the hospital, I battled a new fight with myself. This time it was the struggle for accessibility that was almost nonexistent in my environment, the pitiful looks of 99% of the people who passed by me and their even more pitiful, and frequently nonsensical, comments, and getting used to the completely different way of functioning. I admit, I did not know how difficult it would really be to achieve the goal I had set, but I do not regret a single moment.

My view on the world and life had completely changed. Those who should have and were there for me continued to support me in everything. Many were not, but there is no purpose in writing about them. I met, I do not even know how many, beautiful and above all, positive people who complement my life in all aspects. There is no reason for anyone to look at me in a different way other than a person who has values, virtues, and faults as well as anyone else. Using a wheelchair does not make you stop being a person.

As in all things, if you experience something you can realize what something is really like, but with this I do not mean that every man should be hurt, on the contrary, it is enough to listen to someone who is in such a situation, to do a little reading about it, sit down in their wheelchair (they will not bite) and feel just a fraction of what it’s like to live that way. Life after a spinal cord injury is not easy, but it is very much possible. People who suffer from these injuries fight in every way, and as long as they are capable they seek to return to their activities, continue to study, work, do sports, establishing a family, and everything every person wants, to live their life.

Living Life is not a Special Need

Journalists, government representatives, citizens, people of different professions and ages, and even in many cases people who have a disabilities themselves call people with special needs. Life isn’t a special need. For various reasons, different people perform daily activities differently such as cooking, taking children to school, taking exams, taking care of hygiene and health, going to the store, etc.. I do not see a single special need in any of these. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

Nobody knows what life will bring us tomorrow, but if for any reason you think that spinal cord injury can’t happen to you or someone dear to you, I have to be honest, you are mistaken.

Backbone injuries are one of the worst injuries because they often monitored even after spinal cord injury. There are different causes of these injuries, but are usually caused by traffic accidents, then jumps into water, falls, violence, sports accidents and other causes.

izaberidazivis povredakicmenemozdine

When it comes to spinal cord injury, the first and the only problem that people see, if they had not encountered it before, is the inability to walk. The truth is that there is no one problem. It’s a collection of smaller and larger problems that vary from person to person, or from injury to injury. Only some of them have very low blood pressure, infection, neuropathic pain, and loss of sensation, etc… A very extensive article can be read about this in on Wikipedia.

Do not wait until something happens to change some things in your life, and therefore in the lives of others. Acceptance of a person as a person is a big step, and certainly the most important thing to improve many others.

Be an example of understanding, support and above all humanity.

Would you really want someone else’s tomorrow to be unnecessarily more difficult?






Thank you so much for reading! Tell me what you think in the comment section bellow.
Milica Knežević

10 comments to Spinal Cord Injury can happen to you too!

  • Dan Wireman  says:

    Oh, Milica, what an excellent writing. It brought chills to me, as I can even see you writing it. You are such an inspiration, and strong willed individual. You are making tremendous progress, even after our visit. I’m so proud of you, and hope to be able to see you again someday. I know if anyone can walk after the injury you have had, it will be you. I pray for your continued progress everyday, and know that I think of you always. Friends forever, Dan

    • Milica Knežević  says:

      Thank you so much Dan. I’m really happy that finally everyone can read my blog.

  • Ginger Pritchard  says:

    Hang in there. God has a plan for you 🙂

  • Jennifer Sheehan  says:

    I felt like I was reading the story of my life! I am so familiar with everything you said and feel, as well as what others do , say, and feel towards you. I broke my neck (C7-T1) almost 8 years ago and am considered a quad. I too was told I would have less than 1% chance of ever moving from my chest down, and with lots and lots of hard work, and an even stronger will, I can walk with a walker around my house. I am however, still wheelchair bound when I go anywhere other than my 500 sq ft apartment. Even after so many years it is still hard when I do get out, with the constant stares and comments. I very rarely see or even talk to half my friends from before. The first year I was surrounded by everyone, but then I think it sunk in just how much help I do need with some things and I think that was too much for most of them to handle. I was more of a burden and it was easier if they just did things without me. I will say though some of the greatest people, and those I may not have expected, did step up and are my true friends that don’t look at me like anyone or anything other than me. I am a person to them and I think they have grown with me. I am so happy when I hear others that have that same will as I do to continue on and live our “new” lives to the fullest, even if we may need a helping hand from time to time! Stay strong!

    • Milica Knežević  says:

      Hard times in our lives show us who our true friends are. And I’m not sorry for any of “friends” who are not in my life anymore. Actually I’m greatful for that. Thank you for sharing your story! Keep fighting!!!

  • Rita Enzo  says:

    Thank you for your story so far, I am a c5 incomplete, I’m very grateful to the doctors/ nurses and the OT’s and everyone else that encouraged me to learn to walk, a wee bit and to regain a little strength in my upper body. I think it’s about attitude, I’m the type of person who is determend to get stronger. Ok I still have my bad days but don’t we all? I wish you luck for your future and that you continue to remain the strong person that you are xxx

    • Milica Knežević  says:

      Bad days are part of life as well as good ones. Working on yourself is important thing and definitely it’s much easier with the support. I’m glad that you have it. Stay determined!

  • Carmen salazar  says:

    Very nice all you wrote and very true I too suffer sci and I feel the same way .. guess gonna have to keep up with our lives till a mircle happens. At least you have therapy I don’t the place where I live there is no good therapy places .. I don’t like to go out because of the ignorant people out there. Hate to be stare at and question about…I do work and have children and caring family.

    • Milica Knežević  says:

      I’m doing everything I can to make this therapies possible for me. I know how it is to live on place without good rehabilitation centers, on place where anything isn’t accessible(I’m working on translation of my post about accessibilty of place where I live, so you will see it) and on place where people stare. Unfortunately it’s not just you and me. Many people fight that battle every day. If they ignorant you have right to ignore them and don’t answer. For me it took time to start to don’t care about it and make fun of it. But sometimes people still know how to piss me off. Your family is probably the most important for you so Never stop fighting!

  • Vic Malafronte  says:

    Wow! I love it, this is from the heart and your writing is so meaningful. My son is a c4c5 complete, he’s 22 and July 14th will be 3 years, and it want to tell you his injury has changed my life for the good. He fights everyday with a smile on his face and it has led me to blogs like yours and you have giving me a smile and I want you to keep smiling everyday, your alive and that’s great

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