Introducing myself

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

7 Replies

  • Hi Dens nice to meet you and welcome to the site. I had tears in my eyes reading of your awful suffering and just plain bad luck. I couldn't imagine ever going through anything similar and hope I never do.

    It is your strength, both physical and mental which has kept you going so all credit to you and of course you do have a supportive family which does help.

    Depression is very common with physical illness and I am wondering whether you have been to the doctors about it? I understand you are probably sick of doctors but meds and/or counselling might be able to help you. You seem to have come to terms with it anyway and I do so admire your strength and that you have kept your sense of humour is wonderful.

    We are a very friendly and supportive bunch so stick with us and we will do our best to help. There are quite a few on here who do have physical illnesses and I am sure they will be in soon as well. Hugs

    Bev xx

  • Hi Dens you are very welcome to the site. I'm not surprised that you

    Feel depressed as pain is horrific. Thank goodness that you have a supportive

    Family, that is worth everything and I am glad that you have that.

    Dens I hope you join us here as we have a laugh and fun too, suffering

    Is hard but laughing and support and friendship definitely lessen the burden.

    Take care.

    Hannah xx

  • Hi, Your post was so sad - although if I was you!! I would write a book others may benefit from reading your story and boy have you got one to write about - you and your family can only be admired for your courage to carry on! I feel for you and the pure bad luck you have had in your life. Tomorrow is another day though -

    All my love and best wishes to you and your family jue1.

  • Hi, so sorry about your pain but nice to hear your family are supportive. I have had lots of support.from the kind folks on this site so I hope you can too. Best.wishes to you and your family. Regards Lorna

  • What a lovely surprise to wake up to your messages, thank you. Yes meds. covered, was sent to a pain management course 2 sessions a week for 13 weeks and it was so insightful. We had specialists in all fields to explain ie; pain relief meds, how to take them, the 7 levels etc (have become an expert almost), a Pain Specialist Nurse, a Physiotherapist and the CBT person, so a very useful experience and have a folder, produced by them, to refer to and permitted to share.

    Psychiatrist seen, 1st appointment he was 35 mins late and told me there wasn't enough time and to rebook, 2nd appointment he was taking notes, 3rd he asked,"...and you are?" needless to say I refused to see him again which put a black mark against me until I expressed my reasons. I have always been non confrontational especially when dealing with myself, if someone said a white object was black, I'd smile and say nothing, never had the energy or fearlessness, so it surprised me to stand up for myself which as you all know is so hard when one is at their lowest. Funny what age brings! ;). Counselling was the best as the counsellor was wonderful and realising my need gave me more than the 6 sessions allocated by the NHS, until there was an opening for me to attend 'New Thoughts', again it was brilliant.

    Sense of humour is the only way I can deal with things and I do indeed see the funny side of any situation my vivid imagination turns even the most uncomfortable situation in to a comedy sketch, self preservation. By the way if any of you ever feel really in need of cheer and laughter, I recommend to watch, Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Gene Hackman and Richard Prior ( could be See No Evil, Hear No Evil) it always does the trick for me and I have given it many times as a gift to those in need ie; grieving, depression etc. and everyone has said that it was the 1st belly laugh that they had had in a long time.

    I too believe in Scarlett O'Hara's final words in Gone With The Wind, "Tomorrow is another day". So once again thank you for your kindness and encouragement, Dens x

  • Thanks for sharing your incredible story. You are a strong and determined person and by writing this its clear you are now on the mend from the trauma. I can't imagine the pain of what you have been through but I'm sure things will improve now. I hope writing the article in itself has been beneficial. You will certainly have a caring and listening ear here, even if not everyone replies. I really wish you well for the future and keep posting.

  • Hi,

    What a strong and brave person you are. You have endured such tradgies and yet come up smiling. I am sorry for your sad losses but glad you have a supportive family around you.

    I send you hugs and I hope you enjoy being a member of the group. X


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