The first memory that I have from the accident was when I opened my eyes for the first time. It was 3 days after the accident. When I woke, I saw my mother and a doctor and they explained to me what happened but nothing that they said to me would get me ready for what I was going to experience from that moment on.
Throughout all of the adventures and experiences that I ever had in my life, not one time have I felt the way that I did after the accident. The pain was beyond excruciating and this was the first time that I truly felt vulnerable. Well, being vulnerable feels like an understatement. I can say that I felt like an infant that was not able to feed myself, let alone, protect myself.
Any other time in my life, I would say that this feeling would have affected me in a very rough way. I have always been the go-to guy. I was always the one making sure everybody else was fine and I was the one who naturally felt the need to walk people to their cars to protect them. This accident changed my thought process in more ways than I can explain, but I hope that on my road to recovery I will be able to put it into words.
One thing that really opened my eyes to somebody that was in a tragic accident as me was that everything was way harder than I could have ever imagined. Before I got hurt, I always looked at people in wheel chairs and assumed that they could do more than I could see. To see people with crutches, I still figured that most actions and activities may be a little hindered but I never knew to what extent the hinderance would be until I was in their shoes. Everything was hard for me.
To remind you of what I was dealing with, I had broken bones in my left leg and left arm that required emergency surgery to put in metal rods, plates, and screws. I had fractured ribs as well as a tube coming out of my right side, under my armpit, that was draining fluids from around my lung. I had fractures on the left side of my face and in some of the vertebrae down my neck and spine. The pain was almost unbearable while I was laying in the hospital bed.
So a change of perspective was all I needed to understand that many people have it way harder than I initially imagined. Just rolling over took a lot of energy and I was out of breath. Due to the swelling in my left leg because of the surgery, it was throbbing excruciatingly. I was told to keep my leg elevated above my heart when I was laying down but it never seemed to work. On average I would wake up every 45 minutes on average but no longer than an hour to an hour and a half because of the pain. Massages soothed it a tiny bit but not enough to allow me to go back to sleep.
To make things worse, I don’t know what it was but everytime I would wake up, I would have to pee extremely bad. That plus the amount of pain in my leg and the energy it took just to try and sit up was way too much for me. Having my leg facing the ground only intensified the pain and swelling so bad that many times, just that action would take about 10 minutes before I successfully was able to put it on the floor. That affected me mentally as well because it honestly felt like my leg was going to burst open like a fish tank with too much water in it. My mother witnessed me in that kind of pain and asked me to describe it and the only thing that I could say was that it reminded me of how a hotdog splits when you boil it for too long. Standing up only made it worse.
By the time I made it to the bathroom, sat down, released myself, built the strength to get up, wash my hands and make it back to bed, it was easily 30+ minutes in all. Readjusting in bed and getting into a comfortable position took another 10 minutes to do and now I was wide awake and forced to try and go to sleep only to do it all again an hour, after the sandman punched me in the face. The first day and full night going through this, I knew that it was going to be a very long journey but I was mentally ready to take on every challenge. Bring it on.