In life, which one of us knows what lies behind the next few seconds? For sure no one does. What we are assured of is the wisdom to act in a sensible manner.
There are times when our plans change simultaneously with our movements and that surely invokes pertinent questions as to how much we really know about life. It is a well known fact that accidents happen in ways that are unexpected, causing pain and suffering to occur. You never know...you could leave your home to go to work, play some form of sport, even to recreate and the odd occurrence takes place which can leave you in a disabled condition.
Now, there are several ways to interpret or even explain a sudden accident which turns into a horrible predicament. Some years ago a friend of mine left home to visit a family member. While standing on the sidewalk she was struck down by a vehicle. She was hospitalised for several months and even slipped into a coma for a number days. The eventual outcome, after spending a considerable period of time in hospital under doctor’s orders, she was given permission to return home. My friend left home walking and returned in a wheelchair, unable to walk due to the accident. She is wheelchair bound and paralysed from the waist down.
The psychological effect this must have on this young woman up to this day remains difficult to comprehend. Whenever we chat, my friend always reminds me of the importance of counselling. She felt, and still feels that if she had proper counselling, psychologically she would have been in a much better place today.
The transformation from being able-bodied to being disabled in a matter of hours must create distortion in anyone’s system. An aura of concern leaps through the atmosphere causing dramatic overtones to surface every time she thinks about what took place.
Another aspect of new disabilities is the influx of diabetes into our society. Diabetes is now showing itself as a serious contender of amputations. It is important that observation and an in depth study be carried out to curtail the spread of this persistent form of illness. There are quite a number of folks who are now in the early stages of becoming disabled due to diabetes. This presents a whole new form of adaptation both physically and mentally.
Society must play a vital role in the success of persons with new disabilities. The support will surely encourage and uplift the spirits of those who fall into this category.
Vehicular accidents have also shown to be a high contender as far as new disabilities are concerned. Quite a number of vehicular accidents leave persons temporarily, if not permanently, disabled. Somehow the level of reporting seems to land on grounds of scarcity. Proper recording will surely mend this gap that is developing so that an account of the number of new disabilities can be noted and given to the relevant authorities.
Two areas that society must use as tools to enhance the way persons with new disabilities progress are counselling and prayer. The reason for using these two areas are—if a person who has a new disability is not physically or mentally strong they can easily fall into a zone that can lead to depression or even slip into fatal action.
Counselling plays a vital role in recovery and if the right level of attention is not administered persons can feel castrated and slide into low self esteem. It is said that counselling gives the individual a level of psychological comfort and as a result folks who are new to understanding their present position would have confidence in the ones who are in charge of assisting them through this troubling period. There is no doubt that the absence of counselling would only leave a serious divergence in the way forward.
Readjusting to life must be difficult especially if your livelihood is at stake. It is essential that counselling be an early aspect on the lives of persons with new disabilities, the reason being they have to be brought to the point where they understand their present condition and that, of course, is not easy to comprehend. Counselling has to be at the top of the recuperating conversation for these folks who have new disabilities. If not, quite a number will slip into despair.
Now prayer: this has so many variances that at times you are left confused. It is important that prayer remains a top priority. It is well known that prayer is vitally important. However, there is a factor that is parallel to prayer and that is faith.
Consider that accidents will always happen, sometimes out of sheer ignorance. Therefore, family members of persons who have new disabilities must play a significant role in this crucial time. No room for scorn, disrespect and most of all, pity.
To those who are newly disabled, keep the flag of hope close. Be advocates of your own position. Pave the path so that those coming will have faith and all will work out in the name of the Lord.
In the spirit of growth
Anton La Fond
An advocate for the elderly and disabled