Unfortunately, no matter how careful you are in protecting yourself, accidents and other incidents can cause serious harm to your body and mind. The effects of a serious injury can be far reaching, impacting your physical abilities, your appearance, your independence, as well as your relationships with others and the activities you would normally enjoy.
Without a doubt, the disruption to your life caused by serious injuries can be devastating. Here are a few things to consider in order to better cope with the challenges created by an injury.
Understanding the Healing Process
After sustaining a serious injury, youíll need time recover, both physically and mentally. Depending on the type of injury youíve sustained, this could take weeks, months, or even years to return to your way of life before the injury. In more extreme cases, such as spinal injuries, brain injuries, or physical disfigurement, a full recovery may not be possible.
In any of these scenarios, it can be extremely difficult to accept your path toward healing. Aside from the pain and physical challenges involved, you may face emotional barriers. First, itís important to acknowledge the difficulty of what youíre going through. It may be helpful to keep a journal where you can express uncensored thoughts and feelings related to your injury and recovery. Speaking with a professional counselor can also help you to externalize your emotions and find healthy coping mechanisms.
In many cases, serious injuries require significant amounts of time in order to heal. Even if you feel motivated to begin your journey toward recovery at the outset, your stamina may wane over time. It might be helpful to find a support group of other people who have experienced similar injuries and challenges. This can be another chance for you to share your feelings, rather than bottling them up or isolating yourself. You might also learn new coping strategies while receiving support from a community of people who truly understand what you are going through.
Many paths toward recovery can be aided by attending regular physical therapy sessions. In some cases, physical therapy can even help you to avoid surgery. Physical therapy can help you to regain a range of motion and mobility after certain injuries, improve balance, and restore muscle strength. Physical therapists can also serve as a level of emotional support, helping to keep you motivated and on track during the healing process.
As an additional benefit, physical therapists may provide pain-management techniques that could reduce your need for opioids. While opioids can certainly help relieve pain, seeking natural pain management strategies when possible could help you to avoid potential complications with addiction within the ongoing opioid crisis.
Managing Financial Needs
During your recovery process, you may be unable to work, which can put you in a precarious position financially. Obviously, losing your source of income only adds to the financial challenges presented by costs related to medical treatment, counseling, or physical therapy.
As a precautionary measure, maintaining some level of medical insurance can help significantly in offsetting the costs of medical treatments. Supplemental insurance policies may also help you to cover medical bills as well as costs related to housing, food, transportation, and more while youíre out of work. Of course, if you havenít been paying into one or more insurance policies before your injury, it may be impossible to cover your expenses this way.
If your injury occurred in the workplace or was in some way related to your job, itís important to consider applying for workerís compensation as soon as possible. The expenses workersí compensation may cover include medical costs, missed wages, and ongoing care such as physical therapy. If, unfortunately, the injury leads to death, workersí compensation may also cover funeral costs.
Without insurance or workersí compensation, you might incur large amounts of debt related to medical bills, rent, car payments, and other daily costs. In this case, you might work with a medical bill advocate in order to negotiate with healthcare providers to lower your overall costs and create a reasonable payment plan.
If some other person or organization may be responsible for your injury, you might also consider looking into filing a personal injury claim. A financial settlement from this lawsuit could cover the costs youíve accrued as a result of both physical and psychological injuries. By holding individuals or companies responsible for careless and harmful actions, you will not only help to cover your own expenses, but you may help shape new policies to protect other people from the same sort of incident that led to your injury.
If you have a sizeable emergency fund saved up, itís possible youíll be able to cover your medical bills and costs of living for a period of time. Otherwise, you may need to explore options like personal loans or credit cards in order to pay off your debts. These may not be the best options, especially considering interest rates that may add to the overall costs. However, itís important to seek the care you need in order to be healthy, rather than suffering with an untreated injury.
Finding New Ways to Grow
In the face of a serious injury, it can be extremely easy to focus on all the things youíve lost. This might include your job, your mobility, your ability to take part in your favorite sports or hobbies, and other activities and freedoms that may be limited since your injury. Despite how difficult this time may be, itís also possible to reinvent yourself by seeking out new ways to grow as a person.
For example, taking up a new hobby can be a great way to keep your mind busy and find satisfaction in how you spend your time. You might experiment with creative activities like writing, sculpting, drawing, painting, collaging, photography, or singing. You might also take this time to research subjects that interest you, such as literature, history, electronics, coding, genealogy, or philosophy.
By seeking out new ways to interact with the world, youíll spend less time feeling like youíre being stifled by the healing process. You may even discover and kindle lifelong passion. Many hobbies and interests also lend themselves to community gatherings, which can provide you with opportunities to interact with others and make new relationships.
Facing a serious injury can be one of the most difficult processes youíll ever go through. Even after a full recovery, the experience can have lasting trauma. However, if you seek out the treatments and support you need as well as new opportunities to enjoy your life, you can better cope with the intense emotional and physical challenges and move forward in a positive way.