Wednesday, 25 March 2009

A history of pain

Although there were no broken bones, the accident left me with serious medical problems. The pain continued, and it became clear that the real problem was in my shoulder. I had trapped nerves in my neck, plus bad back pain and pain across my chest. I still have all of these problems, and more, two years on.

I can't use my left arm because of the pain, and I can't use my right one much either, because that triggers it too. I can't lift or carry things, I can't walk far and I often have to walk with a stick so I don't fall. At times, the pain is so bad I can barely draw breath. I get terrible migraines from the trapped nerves in my neck, as well as things like my face going numb, my eyes drooping and not focusing, all of my teeth hurting, and losing the sensation in my hands.

I've seen doctor after doctor, had physio (made it worse), injections (made it worse), used TENS machines (burned holes in my skin), been on Pain Management courses (didn't help) and tried god knows how many pills, most of which had such awful side effects that I felt worse than I did without them (and anyway, they didn't help ). Some of them caused severe depression, and even left me suicidal. I now have just one pain killer that sort of works, but it only helps a little bit, and I have to take more pills to deal with the side effects of that one, the migraines and the fact that I can't eat properly because the drugs make me so sick.

In the last couple of months, the problems in my neck have got worse, so I now have to have my left arm in a sling most of the time, just to support the weight of my arm (do you know how long it's taking to type this with just one hand!). The doctors' only explanation for my symptoms is that I've got 'chronic pain' and that basically my nerves are sending pain signals when they shouldn't. The only thing they can offer is pain killers, and medications and treatments to interrupt the electrical signals from the nerves - none of which have worked.

Monday, 23 March 2009

How I got in this mess

Two years ago I was in a bad car accident. Someone coming the other way was speeding and lost control on a corner, slamming into me headfirst. Every day since then I've been in pain. I've been told I always will be.

There seemed no reason for the accident - it was a bright sunny day, the roads were dry and conditions were good. The other driver was just in too much of a hurry, and I pay for that person's haste every day.

I was cut out of the car and airlifted to hospital. I was terrified I had spinal injuries, because I was losing the feeling in my hands and feet, and my neck was really painful. I could hardly breathe because of the pain in my chest. The hospital did a myriad tests, and finally announced that I had no 'serious' injuries and would be fine in a few days, then they sent me home. I was in terrible pain, but they said it would clear up quickly. It didn't, and two years on, it still hasn't.