April 5th, 2003 started like any other day. I awoke, and went out to get my morning methadone drink and some smokes. As I was on my route home, BANG!!!! That’s when it happened….. I was in a car accident. That bang will resonate in my head for the rest of my days. I can’t say I remember much, other than not wanting to die. After that, it was lights out. Apparently they took me via helicopter to Sunnybrook Hospital. I was busted up pretty bad; both of my legs were dislocated, my hips were fractured, my pelvis was broken, and my right patella (kneecap) was shattered. I remember coming to for a moment as a gentleman was casting my right leg from hip to toe, and then I was right back out. I had a fractured disc in my neck, multiple head lacerations and a concussion. My status at this point was referred to as non weight bearing (confined to a bed and a wheelchair). Not bad for a day’s work, ha! Needless to say, I was on enough meds to put an elephant out.
The next time I awoke, I was not in a room, but in the basement of the hospital, and I was surrounded by concrete block walls. I can remember 2 girls watching over me. There were no lights, just the emergency lighting. When I asked where I was, one of the girls walked out, and the other one provided no answer, and then I was out again. The next time I came to, it was 2 days later. I was in a room with a view, and I was hooked up to everything. Apparently they did my toxicology report, which indicated zero drugs and zero alcohol. What they didn’t consider is that I had just taken my methadone 5 minutes before the accident. It hadn’t soaked into my body; and for that reason, it hadn’t shown up in the report, so they pumped me full of morphine. When my methadone kicked in, I went under. They had to Narcan me to get me stable. I suppose this was all kept hush hush because it wasn’t in any reports, and when questions were asked, no-one was available.
For the next 2 weeks I was doted on and kept a very close eye on. Then came rehabilitation time.
I was taken to a rehabilitation centre not too far away. I was determined to get out of this wheelchair. It had a stigma all on its own. So I went at it hard. I did water exercises in the pool, anything I could do in the gym, I was even working from my chair. After being told that I may not walk as good as some people, or maybe not even at all, I worked day in and day out to prove that theory wrong.
It took me 6 months, but I was on my way home, and I was walking!
All was great. Here I am, 5 to 6 years later, still on all the same meds that I am still very dependent on. I am very lucky to be walking, but I can’t do the stairs the way I used to be able to. I can’t run anymore, and I walk with a bit of a limp. Heavy lifting or repetitive tasks are a definite problem for me. But with a regimen of pain suppressants, I manage once again to live and love my life. My biggest problem now seems to be the stigma in dealing with my ongoing chronic pain, and trying to find help in my battle against it.
Posted on Wed, February 8, 2012
by Taboo filed under