A common thing many people unfortunately go through are injuries. They can be very painful, annoying, and could last a long time. Each person’s injury is different depending on its severity and where the damage is taking place. Going through an injury can be a life-changing event, but people can’t let it destroy their lives. It is important to stay positive and make the best of a bad situation.
Recently, I went through a life-changing injury. I was on my boat one day when suddenly we started hitting big waves. I wasn’t holding on tightly enough, so when we slammed into a massive wave, I flew up and crashed down on the wooden floor. Not much later, I went to the hospital where I would soon find out that I broke my spine and the left side of my pelvis. The spinal injury was the bigger worry since it dealt with a hazardous part of the body. When I hit the floor, my spine broke so severely that I received a thirty-eight-degree scoliosis curve. It was thoroughly thought about if I needed spinal surgery to correct the broken mess, but after many spinal surgeons discussed with one another, they decided to delay the surgery and have me wear a major back brace for the time being. This accident happened on June 6th, and I only got my brace off on September 20th. Yet, it took a few weeks to ease off of it completely. Regarding my pelvis, I had to stay completely off my left leg for three months, resulting in me being on crutches the whole time. This was my life the entire summer. Having an injury can cause people to be sad, but it is paramount to find ways to brighten one’s life under new circumstances.
It is unknown if or when one will be injured, and it is usually not prepared for whatsoever. Most of the time, it is a total surprise that could change your life forever. Something that helped me stay positive during my injuries was to accept that this is how my life would be for a little. Whether your injury is temporary or permanent, you have to adjust and adapt to your new condition. You need to think to yourself, “I know this is not normal or intentional, but this is what my new life is like until I fully recover.” Accepting your injuries and healing process will help you immensely.
Another significant way to stay upbeat is to surround yourself with and rely on friends and family. Surrounding yourself with loved ones brightens your mood and makes you feel so much better.
Allan Strimber is a tenth-grade student who sadly tore his ACL, MCL, and meniscus a couple of years ago playing tackle football for the Scheck Hillel Lions. According to him, “Having my friends and family around me at all times helped me forget the fact that I would not be able to play my favorite sports, including football and basketball, anytime soon. I was able to rely on my loved ones for anything I needed throughout this tough time. They all made the process way easier for me to get through.”
Another student at Scheck Hillel, Natalie Abramowitz, who is now a senior, broke her arm in a very traumatic ski lift injury a few years ago. She got hurt on the second day of her trip; therefore, she could not ski throughout the rest of the trip. “My mom found ways to distract me and other things for me to do that were fun while everyone else was skiing,” Natalie Abramowitz said. Along with Allan Strimber, she also relied on her family to cheer her up and make up for missing out on fun activities.
Depending on the severity of your injury, there is one thing every injury has in common. It could have been worse. Whether it was a broken spine or a torn ACL, more could have happened, and you have to be thankful that it didn’t. For example, throughout my recovery process, every time I felt as though it was not fair that I had such a severe injury, I would tell myself how close I was to being paralyzed. Thankfully I wasn’t, but it was very close, and I am forever grateful that I got so lucky. This tactic can help anyone with an injury because it will put everything into perspective, and then they will see how lucky they truly were.
One of the main things people always tell you when they find out you are injured or hurt is to eat and stay healthy. An injury takes a lot out of your body. Therefore, you have to eat the right foods to keep your body healthy. Some helpful foods are almonds, broccoli, dairy products, fish, bread, and anything else with calcium, protein, etc. My doctors repeatedly told me that I would recover much faster if I ate many of these foods, and I believe it worked.
Before I got hurt, I used to work out all the time. I would run three miles every day and go to numerous workout classes a week. After I became injured, my body could not endure the same activities I was doing before. Instead of moping around all day, I spent my time doing other things that make me happy. For example, I got involved with many charities and helped out the best I could. Now that I am out of my back brace and I can walk, I still cannot work out, but I go to physical therapy and work my hardest to regain the muscle strength I lost. Every day is a fight, but I have to push through and recover the best I possibly can.
The last thing I, along with many others, did to stay happy during severe injuries was not stressing over the stuff I could no longer do. A significant side effect of becoming injured is not being able to do the same things as you could before, for example, going on runs or doing gymnastics. If you are continually thinking about how you cannot do those things anymore, you will become upset and in a bad mood. Just think to yourself, “I know that I cannot do these things anymore, but I will find new things to do and make something good out of a bad situation.”
Whether you surround yourself with loved ones, adapt to your new life, eat healthily, or think to yourself how much worse everything could have been, finding ways to stay upbeat will ultimately help your mental status and recovery. After discussing with many people who have been injured, we all agree that making the best of a bad situation makes your entire recovery process much more manageable.