Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mayo Clinic Pain Rehab Center 3 week program, Unofficial Day 3, Official First Day

Day 1: Evaluation
Day 2: More eval, then testing the waters by going to group.
-Weekend spent at home-
Day 3 (Official Day 1): Day starts with team meeting. We set our goals for the day. After only 2 1/2 hours of sleep the night before, my goal for the day was to stay awake. Follow meeting by morning stretching. OT afterwards. At 10am I had my Biofeedback appointment, it went well. 11am was group again, the topic was okay. Lunch was at 12, had a pretty good time just sitting around talking with everyone. After lunch was group 2. After group 2 was group therapy. Last event of the day was hearing from some program graduates.

Honestly, so far, my favorite part of this program is being completely understood. Not having to explain everything. Being in a room full of people who know what I'm going through.

Still recovering from my crash, not 100%, but getting there.
Thank you all for your well wishes and support!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Being hit at 35+ mph is a terrifying and painful experience.

It was Thursday, July 1st. I was on my way to my orthodontist to pick up my retainers. I was literally blocks away. I was making a left turn, the light was green. I checked and rechecked for oncoming traffic - Nothing. I started to turn, and out of nowhere, I was hit. The main and side curtain airbags deployed. It took a second for the pain to hit. The car was full of smoke, the horn was blaring. The minute my airbags deployed, my car began contacting OnStar (thank you, GM). The crash had happened directly in front of a police cruiser. He turned on his lights and called for backup. The OnStar call went through. Was I okay? No. Did I need an ambulance? Yes. At that time, the officer opened my door. Was I okay? No. Did I know what happened? Sort of. I asked if I could call my mom. Did I have a phone? Yes. Could I reach it? Yes. I called my mother, hysterical. I told her I was in a crash. She asked if I was okay. I said no. Then I had to hang up. OnStar woman said she would contact police and rescue. Officer told her they were already there. He asked for my ID if I could get it. I shakily removed my wallet from my pocket and handed it to him. I told him about my EDS. He told me to stay calm, but people would be coming and asking the same questions. Told me not to move my head.

The next few minutes are hazy. Fire rescue inspected my car for fire, shut off the horn. Began scattering cat litter to absorb the fluids draining from my engine. A fireman came and asked the same questions as the police officer. Officer came back and asked where my insurance info was. Glove box. He said he'd get it. Then the medics arrived. Asked me my name. Suddenly someone was behind me, and they put a C-collar around my neck. They asked me what hurt. Neck, head, back, shoulder, chest, arm. I had been reflexively cradling my arm since just after the impact. Was I trapped? No. Did I think I could walk? Maybe. The police officer and a medic helped me out of the car. I made the dazed walk to the ambulance.

More questions, from medics and the officer. I was sobbing, pain, fear, terror, they all contributed. I was laid on a backboard. Buckled in. The ambulance moved to a parking lot to let traffic flow again. They started an IV. More questions. Poking and prodding. Does this hurt? Yes. An ice pack was put on my arm. Morphine was given. I made sure they had gotten my glasses and iPod from my car. I carefully removed my EDS info card and handed it to her. Informed her that I metabolize morphine very quickly. She game me more as it wore off. Made sure I was comfortable. Pulse ox, BP cuff. What hospital was I to be transported to? I gave her the name of the one connected to my orthopedist's hospital. We were en route.

Time passed, hazy for me. Dizzy, confused, in pain. We arrived. I was brought in to the ER, transferred over to a bed. More questions. My family had arrived before me, and they were brought in. I was relieved. More medications, Dilauded, Valium, things I can't remember. Blankets, a new ice pack. Then they threatened to cut off my clothing. Regardless of my current state, I refused. I loved the shirt I was wearing. The nurse agreed to attempt to remove it sans scissors. It worked. X-rays. Nothing broken. C-collar and backboard removed. Finally allowed a glass of water. Percocet given. A second gown to cover my back, and a trip to the bathroom before leaving. The morphine had caused urinary retention (I've dealt with this many times before) so I asked to be cathed before leaving. That done, I was finally free to go, prescriptions for percocet and valium in hand, right arm in a sling.

Final diagnoses? Whiplash, concussion, severe bone bruising over collarbone and sternum. Bruises on chest, hips, legs. muscle strain/injury in shoulders, right being more severe. wrist sprain. And what I considered one of the worst injuries? a 4" second degree burn from the deploying airbag on my right arm.

It's been 3 days, I am still in considerable pain and can't do much at all. I get to endure daily bandage changes on my burned arm. I can't sleep at night due to my chest bruises/pain. I get dizzy and nauseated if I am up for too long/move too much due to my concussion. My muscles are extremely tense, and I have to wear a sling and wrist brace if I am going to be doing anything where I can't keep my arm and shoulder relaxed and supported.

As for my car? She was a 2010 Pontiac Vibe, gorgeous black with a sunroof and amazing sound system. She is now a partially twisted pile of metal in a towing yard. We think she may be totaled, but that is for the insurance adjuster to decide.

I am also terrified to drive now, and have been very panicky as a passenger in cars. I know it could've been worse, and I should be thankful, but it still kills me inside.