I’m not okay. Sometimes.

The mind is a funny thing.  Mine does an amazingly convincing job 80% of the day telling me I am ok, I’m dealing with it, I’m accepting my fate, I’m keeping it real.  Then come nightfall (something happens when the sun goes down) I am reduced to a sobbing, rocking, snotty mess.  Every day at one point or another I am crying.  Not okay.

I am also doing a great job fooling everyone, myself included, that I am fine by posting pictures of me looking fine and seeming well when in fact I am not.  Well not all the time anyway.  This one is a great example of me kidding myself.  It was taken at a work function I attended last night.  For three hours I was fine talking, laughing, adding value.  Then 20 minutes after exiting the function abruptly I was laying on my hotel room floor sobbing and praying for my pain meds to work, trying to figure out why this happened, what I did to deserve this. Not okay.

Also being an A-Type personality I have joined every brachial plexus chat room, facebook community, blog and forum in the world.  Not just the domestic ones.  Today one of the sites had two posts which stuck with me.  One was a man saying he could no longer live in pain and was going to suicide today (and no I did not read the 114 comments but did take a moment to be aghast at the crying emoji someone posted) and the second was a man asking for advice on amputating his non-functioning arm.  And yes I did read those comments and the overwhelming advice was CUT IT OFF.

Christ.  You kind of have to take a moment and let that wash over you.  The overwhelming thing about a brachial plexus injury (or BPI) is that they don’t get better.  And the pain is equally permanent.

Permanent.  Hmmmm, it is very hard to accept.  Especially 30 days in.  If you are injured you rarely get told it’s never going to resolve.  Even diseases have a resolution, they rarely leave you in pain for.e.v.e.r.   One lady was (is) apparently in pain for 38 years, since 1979!  Fuck. Me. Drunk.

Perhaps the forums were not such a good idea.  Of course not everyone is doom and gloom, but its a dark BPI world out there.

So just to keep it real, and after having just had today’s meltdown not long ago, I needed to say out loud its not ‘all good’.  I am not fine or great or going swimmingly.  I am sad, hurt and fearful.  BUT that is only a small part of the day.

Today when I was curled up on the floor sobbing beside my bed my little daughter found me, told Daddy he better check on me and moments later she, my husband and baby boy were all hovering over me.  My daughter gave me a bunny rabbit to cheer me up, my baby boy climbed on me and told me very excitedly a big plane was flying over and my husband just kissed my forehead.

So I got up, kissed my babies and got on with it.  Twenty minutes later I felt okay again.

That is how it is.  For now.

Working is good for you

I have always loved working.  In this way I am blessed.  If you love your job you never really have to work, as working is enjoyable.  This for me is very true.  Especially now as I love my current job – which I have had for more than a decade, I happily work long hours as I am passionate about the company I work for, the work I do and my team.

I have dedicated my entire career to helping others, my job is either keeping people safe or building frameworks to help them when injured.  It is ironical is some ways that someone who dedicated their whole life to safety suffered a life long injury slamming into something at 200kph.  What is ironical in truth is that the event that injured me is a never event, all the planets aligned in a negative way and an event occurred that should not have been able to.  Ironical.

So for the last 28 days I have been blundering around between a drug hazed stupor and pain related exhaustion.  One load of washing or trying to put on my bra required a lay down.  Struggling into a new pair of underpants and sports bra left me heaving like a marathon runner.

Despite this I have dragged my ass to work a number of times despite being certified unfit.  The first day I went to work was 3 days after being discharged from hospital and on that day I did two separate one hour presentations on separate subjects.  One was to a room full of 45 CEOs.  I didn’t miss a beat in either, except for an excess amount of sweating.

At least I don’t have a brain injury.

So the point I am painstakingly getting to is work is good for you.  I currently cannot drive (one of the perks of a serious injury – your licence is cancelled), I live over an hour from my work, I am exhausted all the time, I have every excuse under the sun to stay on the lounge but every day I want to go.  Because when I am there I am busy and I stop thinking about how much pain I am in.  I feel like I did before my injury.

It is the same when our house is buzzing, the kids are running around, my husband and I are doing jobs and I forget I am in pain or that I only have one good arm.  For a moment anyway (or until that god damned plastic bag shows its stupid face).

So today was the first full day, well eight hours anyway.  A full day for me normally is closer to double that.  Whilst I hit the wall of exhaustion in the afternoon I enjoyed being there, thinking, responding, making decisions and being the normal me.  My arm or lack of it was not relevant and that felt great.

So I continue to be a believer of the work is good for you philosophy.  Hi ho hi ho, its off to work I go.

This was me today in my office, which I love, slowly smashing out left handed emails until my dragon software arrives.