From Past to Present, Part 3: The Car accident
When I was 18 years old, I completed my last course of high school when I was in a bad car accident. Someone ran a stop sign and smashed into the front of my car. It happened so fast, but when I finally made sense of what happened, I realised I could not move my right arm, and I could not feel my hand or move my fingers. My chest hurt from the seat belt, and I was dazed.
They told me I had suffered a concussion and a separated shoulder when I got to the hospital.
There will be a deep bone bruise on my chest from the seatbelt, and I was released from the hospital later that evening. Over the next week, I suffered from unbearable headaches, and my arm was in a sling. I was right-handed, so life just became a little bit more challenging, to say the least.
I ended up with nerve damage from the separated shoulder. I could not move my fingers and lost most of the sensation down my arm and into my hand.
I was not able to write my final exam, and I ended up having to take a leave from coaching artistic gymnastics as I could not spot and lift up the athletes. Coaching gymnastics is a very physically demanding job.
I was able to keep my job coaching trampoline and have an assistant coach who would spot if necessary. I fell into depression as I went from a busy, active, independent woman to turning my life upside down.
I had cortisone injections to help with the pain in my shoulder. The orthopaedic surgeon arranged more diagnostics. He sent me for an MRI that required a dye injected into my shoulder.
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When I showed up to the appointment, they asked me to remove my shirt and put on a gown.
They asked me to lie down on a table surrounded by weird-looking machinery. The doctor marked my shoulder with a marker and said DONT MOVE. Suddenly, the machine started moving, and a HUGE needle was lowered down and into my shoulder. I felt like aliens abducted me, and they were going to do some weird experiment on me.
All of a sudden, I felt extreme pressure on my shoulder. The pain was unbearable. I then proceeded to have the MRI. I had no idea this was going to be happening. After the diagnostics were complete, I got dressed and went home.
The doctor contacted me with the results. They discovered that I had a tear on my shoulder.
He recommended surgery to repair the damage. He said because I was young, I would heal fast from surgery. If I waited until I was older, the recovery would be much longer and more difficult. I decided to wait and continue with physio, hoping I could heal on my own.
More on the next article. You can red the previous article here.
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— Jen Lee