I am not one of the lucky few, for whom worries slide off them like water off a duck’s back. I have PCOS. I am infertile as a result. I also have insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. And I have had four majorly shitty car accidents that have each contributed to fucking up my physical and emotional health. And yes, when I talk about my MVAs I always refer to them as ‘shitty’ car accidents, not horrific, not soul destroying, not back breaking, not any another sort of adjective… always just plain old ‘shitty’. Not entirely sure why but probably something to do with associating these incidents with having real shit luck – because none of those four shitty car accidents, were my fault.
The first shitty car accident happened when a cab driver didn’t see me and failed to give way at a Stop sign and pulled out in front of me; I hit the brakes hard and we T-boned into him anyway (it was that or veer into the oncoming traffic). The second shitty car accident happened on a one-lane country road down near Lismore on Christmas Eve; I saw an oncoming car, dipped my headlights, got two wheels off on the shoulder and approached the crest of a hill. The other driver said he didn’t see us, (more likely he was just young and stupid), and was on the wrong side of the road when we got to the top of the hill. We hit head-on. He was doing about 100kmph, I was doing about 85kmph. The third shitty car accident happened in Tasmania on the Great Lakes ‘Highway’ (pfft, read: high speed unsealed road), where a friend took a corner too fast and got loose in gravel that was shifty after recent snow melt. He fishtailed a bit, overcorrected and rolled us into a ditch. I mostly remember careering for a guidepost thinking, ‘Not again.’ Came to hanging upside down in the car with a smashed windscreen in front of us and a boulder about 2.5 feet from my face. Then I smelled petrol and hit the seatbelt release and fell down crushingly on my neck. Not my best laid plan. The fourth shitty car accident happened on my way home from work, less than five kilometres from here. The traffic in front of me had stopped short as they braked to wait for someone to turn into a driveway. I stopped short too. The lady behind me, who I believe was on her fucking phone, failed to stop and just drove straight into the back of my stationary Rav4 with her Mazda RX8, lifting us up onto two wheels; we hovered for what seemed an eternity (giving us plenty of opportunity to wonder if we were going to be rolled into the oncoming traffic – a white ute), before the momentum brought us smashing down onto a silver Falcon that was stopped in front of us. Double whammy that one.
Four shitty car accidents, and all I got was this fucked up chronic neuropathic pain condition and a perfectly logical phobia of other people’s inability to stay the fuck away from me on the road.
Today is exactly twenty-five years since my first shitty car accident. I’ve been through EVERY FUCKING TREATMENT OPTION available… short of heading to Mexico where they stick electrodes up your nose and fry your brain stem – and you have no idea how much I absolutely want to scream when someone says ‘Oh you have back pain? You should try my chiropractor/Bowen therapist/Reiki fucking master’. They may as well be recommending their favourite goddamn barista for all the good it will do. Because unless your practitioner can target the nervous system for rehabilitation and/or nerve regeneration, it’s of no fucking use to me. So happy ‘Quarter of A Century of Chronic Pain Anniversary’ to me.
I’ve been dealing with pain every waking moment of every single day for way too long. I have gone through every fucking emotion possible over these shitty car accidents and the subsequent chronic pain. I’ve gone through the, ‘it’s not fair’, the ‘why me’, the ‘I can’t take this any more’, the ‘I hate my painful body’ and all the other incarnations of negative screwed up thinking that go with having a pervasive and unrelenting chronic pain condition. Most days, I grit my teeth, ignore it to the best of my ability, and vaguely hope no one notices. I’ll go about the day smiling and nodding and pretending I give a crap about all the stuff that is going on around me, and expend all the energy I have not to let on to my friends and family how much I want to scream at them – “I don’t care about any of this shit, I just want to curl up in a ball, cause as much trouble as I can, and have the nervous breakdown I so desperately deserve!!!” Instead, I smile and ask them how their work/wife/life been treating them…
Twenty five years and I am absofuckinglutely exhausted. I haven’t had a single night’s sleep that wasn’t just a medicated stupor, for nearly a decade. I haven’t had a day without some kind of pharmaceutical life jacket holding my head above water for longer than I can remember. I haven’t had a moment where my brain wasn’t screaming that my body is in pain since 1991. I haven’t had a day where I felt strong and comfortable in my body since longer than my drug addled, pain enfeebled brain, can remember. 1991 for fucks sake! I’ve been in pain every day since the C+C Music Factory was ‘Gonna Make You Sweat, Baby’!
I’m completely over it. But have long since had to reconcile myself to one solid unwavering brick wall of a fact, that drives me every day – that where my unrelenting pain is concerned, I have only two options – keep gritting my teeth everyday and getting on with it or opt the fuck out.
And I’m no fucking quitter.