I can't believe it's been five years.
I can still hear the screech of tires as if it were happening right this moment.
I can still hear the horrible sound of metal on metal – crunching, scraping, and collapsing.
I still see his eyes, vividly, as they made contact with mine in the milli-second before his car sent mine spinning …
Objects inside the car were flying around me.
The thought, "This can't be happening," came to me at the same time as "this" most definitely was happening.
Eventually the spinning stopped, the sounds of screaming metal stopped …
There was quiet,
Both at the same time.
People appeared and disappeared in a confusing haze.
"I shouldn't be in the middle of the street," I thought.
I was worried about being hit by a car,
Ironic, really -
After all, I had just been hit by a car.
I remember muttering, "I'm okay," to the officer.
He answered, "No, you're not okay. You're in shock right now. You only think you're okay."
Stubborn, even in my pain and confusion,
I whispered, "I think I'm okay."
(Two of them just this last year.)
Thousands upon thousands of hours of torturous physical therapy.
Pain, surgery, pain, surgery –
Rinse and repeat, over and over, and over again.
I haven't always believed I'd make it through this.
There were days, months, years when there was just pain and my desperate fight against it. There have been so many days of concentrating on breathing.
One breath at a time,
There were days I gave up,
Days when I said, "I can't do this."
Let's be honest,
There still are.
Friends disappeared, family members were (and sometimes still are) less than supportive.
When you're the only one experiencing something truly horrible,
There is such a sense of being alone.
Which is worse?
The never-ending, teeth-clenching, pain?
Or the aloneness of dealing with it?
In addition, I suddenly had a disability.
What the hell?
I'm not supposed to be disabled.
Disability and denial – they seem to go hand in hand.
I'm damned good at denial.
But somewhere along the line I stopped saying, "When my arm is working again."
Somewhere along the line,
I began saying,
"One of my arms doesn't work and I was wondering if you could help me?"
This year there was more metal.
Metal, and wires, and electrodes, and computers,
Expertly, skillfully, placed inside my body.
My body became an example of modern medical science.
There's still constant pain.
There are still days when the pain is so intense I say, "I can't do this."
But much more of the time now, the pain is manageable.
I've been told I'll never regain use of my arm.
I've been told I'll live with pain for the remainder of my life.
But, increasingly often,
I hear myself saying,
"Only one of my arms works,
I bet I can find a way to do this anyway."
I can't believe its been five years.
I think I'm okay.
© Twenty Four At Heart