Friday, October 22, 2021

13 Years Later, Now

I recently posted Reflecting 12 Years Post Accident, which I wrote in 2020. Please feel free to click over and give it a read. While I don't post about it every year, I felt the need to, again, this year (2021).

Mixed emotions. That's how I feel, as the 13th anniversary of my car accident approaches. Each year hits a bit differently. It doesn't always affect me. I took the power of that date back several years ago. I know that the date isn't inherently bad... yet, I feel the weight of it a bit more this year.

Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

This year, it makes sense why it's on my mind more.

On September 30, I woke with what I labeled a "sleeping injury." I had pain and limited range of motion in my right shoulder and neck. I joked about how ridiculous our bodies are, that I could hurt myself while in an unconscious state.

I figured it was simply a matter of sleeping weirdly and that it would dissipate in a few days.

It didn't.

The tightness, pain, limited range of motion worsened each day. I've tried: heat, ice, muscle relaxers, nsaids, theracane, lidocaine patch, gentle massaging and stretching.

My sleep and daily functioning are both being disrupted and limited. I want to write, but I'm having a difficult time physically doing so.

There's an emotional component to this pain, as well, as it's reminiscent of past trauma / pain.

I know that our minds are prone to distort or misremember things, including pain experiences. This is often compounded by time. Understanding all of that, there's still a familiarity with the pain and limited range of motion I've been experiencing.

I injured my neck and right shoulder in a 2008 car accident. While I don't fully remember a chunk of time after the accident, I remember pieces. One of those pieces is that there was a lot of pain and I was physically very limited in using my right arm and neck.

Two years after the car accident, I had a neurostimulator implanted (2010). I had a very long and difficult recovery, including severely limited range of motion in my neck.

I've been doing a good job recognizing the connection to these past traumas / events that my mind and body are making, and reminding myself that they are separate. The car accident isn't happening right now. I am safe. 

In light of current struggles, I'm being reminded:
  • Healing isn't linear - past grief, trauma, loss, challenges keep showing up. Each time they do, I do my best to feel it and process through.
  • I'm safe - it can be especially difficult to remember this, when there's such similarity in how I feel (physically and/or emotionally). 
  • I'll get through this, as I have previous challenges.
Update: I was seen by primary care on 10/5. I woke on the 13th anniversary day (10/10) with the first notable improvement in symptoms since they started. I'm so grateful for that. I have imaging and doctor appointments on the schedule to help determine the path forward.

Disclaimer: Nothing on this blog is intended as medical or legal advice.

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