Hello I’m new to this site although I posted the letter from my cousin to make you laugh like I did or at least smile. I hope that you do not feel this self-indulgent but this is the only way I can let you see why I feel as I do.
In the 1970’s I fell through a trapdoor during a performance thus ending my career as a ballerina. It was not until the early ‘80’s that I woke up paralysed and was taken to the hospital, where it was found that I had broken my back in four places to which they rebuilt my spine from my hip bones – ‘hip graft and spinal fusion’. The reason I had been able to continue to walk, albeit in tremendous pain, before being paralysed was my muscle strength due to all the years training as a dancer with the Royal Ballet. After the operation I was wheelchair bound. I conquered it through endurance of exercise and the muscle strength I still retained.
In 2001 an 18 tonne lorry lost its brakes and came around the corner on my side of the road hitting me head-on at a combined speed of 100 mph. He was doing 80 mph and pushed my Shogun 4x4 back 5 car lengths. I did not lose consciousness and was trapped, my hands by the steering wheel and consul, my knees by the engine block. As none of the doors were in alignment, they could not be opened, the only way into the car was through the back. Then the car caught fire. The fire brigade cut me free, I was taken to hospital to deal with the physical damage of broken bones. I was literally in plaster from head to toe.
I suffered mentally and physically. I have general whiplash to the whole spine, I banged my head so hard that I now have trouble concentrating and have memory problems naturally frustration sets in and eventually depression which on one occasion lead me try to overdose as I couldn’t sleep at night, couldn’t get out of bed in the morning, cried constantly and felt nothing but despair. Luckily my daughter rang and heard it in my voice, she came over and called an ambulance. My allocated high dosage of medication prevented the amount of pills I took to do the deed.
I look at photo’s but don’t recall the event or being there, I have forgotten so much about my children and husband however I have now come to terms with this and can laugh at myself, occasionally!
The effects to my posture and muscles have left me in continuous chronic pain. I find walking difficult, sitting, standing, even breathing. I try to walk as much as possible but fail due to the muscle spasms in my back that restrict my breathing and ability to move my legs. I have gained a lot of weight due to inactivity which in turn adds pressure to the pain. I see pain as colour, everyday pain that most people experience is blue, ie; headaches, toothache, migraine. Red is intense pain that sickens you and whatever you do it doesn’t go away. White is all engulfing leaving one shaking, unable to move, sweating profusely, feeling hot and cold simultaneously. I live with red and experience white several times a day and night depriving me of breath when all my muscles go into spasm.
I am so, so lucky to have very supportive husband and my children understand but this illness called depression lingers and although it can be supressed, it comes back with vengeance, even after all this time. I am very low at the moment as I am grieving the loss of my parents, who I adored, my best friend of 50 years (we entered the Royal Ballet the same day aged 7) and 2 aunts and uncles all from cancer within 3 years. I cannot breathe with the loss. I know that I sound ungrateful with all I have within my family to help me but I feel that I’ll never recover the loss of those so precious to me.
I have read your responses to each other and recognise the support you give to each other as a united family which in turn I would like to be a part of. Dens