Thank you all for the beautiful comments and emails regarding my accident. It’s an amazing feeling knowing that you have so many people who have never even met you wishing you well. I feel truly blessed.
Now that I’ve had a few days at home, I thought I would write about what happened. As I said previously, my memory has been damaged. Rob has been helping me remember certain things in the weeks leading up to the accident but the 3-4 days right before are nonexistent in my mind.
I was hit at about 8.30am on Tuesday morning. A wonderful woman stopped and stayed with me until Rob arrived at about 11. Another woman happened to be walking by and took us in to her house for tea. I don’t remember any of this. I spoke to a few people on the phone, but I only know those conversations happened because of my phone records. The one thing I do remember is sitting by the side of the road getting frustrated because I couldn’t remember my phone’s password, which I needed to call Rob.
When I got home on Friday, I found a bunch of bloody tissues in my jacket pocket. Apparently my nose was bleeding for hours and I don’t even remember.
My memory of being in the emergency department is very hazy. I was very battered and bruised but I didn’t feel like it was serious. Rob and I were talking about where we were going to go for dinner.
I had some X-rays done on my face and had to wait around for hours to get the results. I was told that a plastic surgeon was on his way to visit me – that’s when I knew the news was not good.
He told me I had multiple fractures in my cheekbone and eye socket that needed to be operated on. At this point I broke down. As superficial as it sounds, there is something a lot scarier about having surgery on your face than surgery on your body. They have assured me that my face will look as good as new by the end of all this. I can only pray that is true.
I was told that I would have to stay the night in hospital, but should be fine to go home the next day and return for surgery at a later stage.
On Wednesday, the pain started to hit me. I have often used the expression “I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck” and it is not fun to know what that actually feels like. I was sent for more x-rays and a routine eye test. Again, I was not expecting anything serious going into it. But this is when they discovered my retinal detachment. This basically means that the field of vision in my left eye is shrinking. I need surgery urgently or I will lose my eyesight altogether.
They initially told me I would have the second operation in a few weeks time, but would need my fractures operated on the very next day. The surgery went well and I now have a bunch of plates and screws in my face. I was in a lot of pain when I woke up but the two rounds of morphine took care of that! I was discharged on Friday and immediately taken to the specialist eye hospital in London.
After messing up my appointment and making me wait three hours (while I was barely conscious!), I saw multiple doctors who confirmed that I need surgery ASAP. They wanted to operate today (Monday) but I asked them to push it back a week as I really can’t handle the thought of going into surgery again so soon, especially as we are moving house this weekend.
My upcoming surgery makes this last one look like a piece of cake. I will be awake for this one. They are freezing part of my eyeball and placing a buckle on my eye. They assured me that they will only have to rotate my eyeball rather than remove it from the socket. I’m super squeamish when it comes to eyes so I feel like throwing up every time I think about this. The condition I have is very rare – only 1 in 10,000 people get it, and it is even rarer that anyone under 50 years old has it. Lucky me.
After the operation, I will have to spend 8-14 days with my head literally face down in a pillow with my eyes closed. There is a 20 per cent chance the surgery will fail, which will mean another operation. At the end of all this, I will develop a cataract which will require another operation. I never thought I’d have to deal with cataracts at the age of 24!
Here is the worst part of news, and the part that is relevant to my blog. Following the operation, I will not be able to lift weights or perform any strenuous exercise. This is for a couple of months at minimum, but there’s a high chance I will never be able to lift again. As I will have a buckle on my eye permanently, I can’t do anything that will increase the pressure in my eye. Even flying will be problematic for me.
I don’t think I need to explain how upset I am by this news. Lifting is such a big part of my life and I can’t imagine giving it up. It seems so cruel that I have only relatively recently fallen in love with it and now it is being taken away from me. I don’t know how I am going to work if I can’t demonstrate anything. I can’t imagine continuing to dispense fitness advice via this blog if I can’t even walk unsupervised. No amount of insurance money will make this okay.
I am in so much pain, physically and mentally. Over the weekend, the physical pain worsened as the drugs wore off. The entire left side of my face is completely numb and it will take three months for feeling to return.
I hate that I can’t remember a damn thing that happened. My bruises don’t make sense – my left knee is black, my right quad and right tricep is bruised, and yet it was the left side of my face that took the brunt of the fall.
I was saying to Rob only a week ago that I couldn’t remember the last time I cried. Lifting weights has made me such a strong person inside and out that it has been almost a year since I last shed a tear. Well, all that has changed as I’ve barely done anything but cry in the past few days.
I’m torturing myself with what-ifs and whys. What if I had left for work one minute earlier? What if I had rescheduled my 9am client after my 10am client cancelled? What if it had been raining and I’d taken the train instead? Why did this happen to me? What did I do to deserve this?
I know I am lucky to be alive, yet I am far from happy. I am in so much pain and I am so scared of what will happen to me. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life walking around scared.
Sorry that this post wasn’t exactly uplifting. I find writing therapeutic so I just wanted to put this out there for me. I will check in again before I go into surgery but I will not be posting for at least a few weeks until I figure out what I’m going to do. Thank you all again for the positive thoughts.