Personal Story: Life with Pain.

This is a different sort of post to what you’d usually find here, I’ve been toying with the idea of sharing this story for a while now and to be honest I am petrified of publishing it. I don’t know why, I just am. I have not shared this story to get anyone’s sympathy vote, I some times post a moaning tweet but no one actually knows the story apart from close family and friends, so I hope this sheds a bit of light on those. I also hope that it will potentially open peoples eyes to being more understanding and sensitive to people in similar situations. It’s quite a long story so apologies in advance and I hope you’ve got a cuppa ready.

Living life with pain

Nearly 8 years ago I was hit by a bus while crossing the road. Parts of what happened are still hazy and I am still not sure how much I do/don’t remember but here is the story to the best of my memory.

It was around 4pm in November, I had popped out of work to nip across the road for afternoon biscuits for our little team. The road is a very busy, well known road in Sheffield. Its one of those that has a bus lane on either side plus a lane for “normal traffic” so as you can imagine it was really wide. It had already gone dark and the opposite side of the road was at a stand still. I looked to my right and a bus was well up the road at some lights, someone, to my left, waved me across the road. I didn’t look to my right again. BIG MISTAKE. I placed my right foot into the road and was just about to step fully into the bus lane when something, I don’t know what or why told me to look again. I did. The bus was inches away from me.

Strangely I did not feel panicked, my first instinct was to turn away from the bus while trying to step back onto the pavement. I actually thought I had got away with it, but it turns out I was flung into air and the pavement, when I hit the floor with the left hand side of my face I realised I hadn’t gotten away with it. I still find it strange that I don’t remember feeling the bus hit me. A woman started screaming, screaming so loud that I tried to get up and comfort her but my body just wouldn’t work. Someone else kept telling me to lay still on the floor until help arrived but I kept protesting saying I was okay. Within seconds my face and lips had swollen to such an extent that I could see my lips and cheeks while looking ahead. I then became very cold and sleepy. I don’t know who the people were who stopped and stayed with me until an ambulance arrived but it seemed like I was laying on the pavement, in the cold and spitting rain for hours with everyone telling me to not fall asleep. They were all really kind and I wish I could thank them. I don’t remember the ambulance arriving or the journey to the hospital.

I know I arrived into A&E strapped to a board with a collar on. I recall a Doctor asking me if I was in any pain and I said no, in hindsight I probably was but the adrenaline was pumping through me. At this point they whipped me off the board and took the collar off me and made me walk through to a bay. My experience of A&E was not fantastic to say the least, I had been hit by a bus travelling around 30 mph yet I was not given any scans, x-rays or even had any of my many wounds cleaned. I was merely sent on my merry way after being in there for a whole 30 mins.

The next day the pain was intense, when people say they feel like they’ve been hit by a bus they really don’t know how that feels. We tried to clean the wounds as best we could but sadly I got an infection. My left foot which was on the curb had slipped off and got wedged between that and the buses wheel. As I turned away and got hit the force of it flung me onto the air and pavement, with my foot wedged, my skin had been stripped on a large part of my foot as something had to give. I ended up with frequent visits from the District Nurse to clean my wounds and change the dressing to avoid further complications. She was actually quite disgusted that they hadn’t cleaned me up in A&E as this would have probably reduced the infection risk massively. I received two sessions of physiotherapy on the NHS and was apparently not entitled to any more despite needing it.

Fast forward nearly 8 years on and I still suffer with various pain issues. My ankle is still very week and painful, especially when its cold. It has very little strength and I have to take this into account if I’m planning on walking or doing any activity. My left arm will not extend fully and the tip of my elbow is deformed. It is also very painful most days, this extends to my wrist and I suffer with painful pins and needles throughout the day/night. On very bad days it is so weak I struggle to hold a cup or drive a car. I have back and hip pain, all though this is probably the least painful issue. I hit the pavement with mainly the left side of my face/body. My lips and nose are now slightly off centre, which does not bother me too much but I suffer with constant pain in my ear/jaw. This never stops, it is always there and is probably the worst part of my pain problems and can reach unbearable levels when I am tired/stressed.

Despite this I do feel so very lucky, it could have been so much worse. I’ve pretty much given up hope of getting help through my Doctor/NHS, no one seems willing or is able to do anything for me. I have paid for private physiotherapy sessions but at up to £60 a time it isn’t affordable for me anymore. I am in some form of pain everyday, I put a smile one and try to front it out, most people would not know. On bad days I moan, whinge and pop over the counter painkillers like sweets.

Thankfully the vast majority of my family and friends have all been great and try to understand but there are a few arseholes. They are the reason for this post, please don’t be one of them. If you know someone who suffers with any form of pain please try to be understanding. Ask them if they are having a good/bad day pain wise and if they say bad offer to do something to make their day a little easier. Trust me, it will be appreciated and please remember just because someone doesn’t look like they are in pain doesn’t mean they aren’t.

If anyone is suffering with any sort of pain/accident problems and you feel like you don’t have anyone to chat to, please, please send me an email, tweet, DM anything. I’d love to chat to you.

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