There are approximately 220,000 people with spinal cord injury in
the United States and about 10,000 new injuries each year. This
straightforward book is designed to help them -- and their family
members and friends -- during the rehabilitation process and the
journey that follows. Written by three professionals in
rehabilitation medicine and psychology, Spinal Cord Injury is an
easy to understand, comprehensive resource for everyone with SCI,
containing essential information for people who are newly injured
and for those who have longer experience in coping with injury.
The book thoroughly reviews the challenges that may be
encountered by people with spinal cord injury throughout their
lives, addressing all aspects of spinal cord injury, from
psychological, sexual, and social matters to transportation,
housing, and employment. The authors explain how spinal cord injury
affects physical functioning and how those changes may lead to
lowered self-esteem, depression, family conflicts, and social
isolation -- all problems that can derail the adaptation process.
But they remind readers that, as with any major life crisis, spinal
cord injury can be a catalyst for positive change. A spinal cord
injury challenges a person to find creative channels for
self-expression, personal strength, and new ways of being in the
world. One of the book's most important messages is that a
meaningful life is possible after spinal cord injury and that
psychosocial adjustment is not necessarily linked to one's degree
of physical function or disability.
Illustrating each chapter with patient histories -- ranging from
relatively mild to moderate to severe disability -- the authors
begin by demystifying whattakes place during emergency treatment
and hospitalization and explaining the consequences of different
kinds of spinal cord injury. Later chapters describe
rehabilitation, returning home, and learning to live independently.
Chapters include: Part I -- Trauma, Hospitalization, and
RehabilitationChapter 1: Into the Wilderness: Trauma and
HospitalizationChapter 2: Lost and Searching: RehabilitationChapter
3: Reading the Map: AdjustmentPart II -- The Challenge of
ReadjustmentChapter 4: Going Home: Old Territory in a New
LightChapter 5: Focus on the FamilyChapter 6: Lovers' Lane: Dating,
Coupling, and SexualityChapter 7: Life Goes On: Independent
LivingPart III -- Successful Living with Spinal Cord InjuryChapter
8: The Next Frontier: Spinal Cord Injury ResearchChapter 9: The
Journey ContinuesChapter 10: Concluding Thoughts
Life after spinal cord injury is a progression through medical
recovery, emotional adjustment, social integration, and fulfillment
of personal goals. People with SCI must find the courage and
persistence to redefine personal and professional relationships as
well as their own relationship with a changed self. Spinal Cord
Injury: A Guide for Living is a much needed resource that will help
people with spinal cord injury overcome obstacles in managing the
challenges of their new lives.
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