In order to understand a day in the life of a paraplegic, it is important to understand what paraplegia. Paraplegia occurs due to damage of the spinal cord where nerves get damaged and as a result movement and sensation is either weakened or completely destroyed. Usually paraplegia occurs due to a physical trauma like an accident or a fall. However, it can also occur due to diseases like cancer or disorders that affect the spinal cord. Most paraplegics lose their ability to walk, and spend the rest of lives in a wheelchair.
When they are told about the injury, most paraplegics go into a state of disbelief because their whole life has turned topsy turvy. However, with proper counseling and guidance, they do manage to find their way back.
Paraplegia can be complete or incomplete. In complete paraplegia, the person loses all the abilities to move and sense below the point of the injury. On the other hand, incomplete paraplegia means that the person still has some amount function below the point of injury as the damage to the spinal cord is partial.
Paraplegics are not invalids. They undergo proper rehabilitation and training, and can live independently. They can do all the day living tasks and activities without any assistance. They can also join the work force and drive cars just like other people. Also, they are capable of having families should they wish to.
Although a paraplegic can live independently, there are some risks associated with this condition. For instance, a paraplegic who has suffered high degree of injury could have a problem in some muscles in the chest that could bring about breathing problems. People who sustained injury of the thoracic spine are at the risk of getting pneumonia. In addition, due to impaired or lost sensations, these people are at a higher risk of getting pressure sores.
However, when you look at the day in the life of a paraplegic, it is no different from any other person's day. The paraplegic will go about usual tasks like getting ready for work or school, taking a shower, brushing teeth, eating breakfast and then driving off to work or school.
Though they have certain disadvantages, life of a paraplegic is not bleak. They lead happy and healthy lives just like any other average person.