Editor's note: This will be a serious blog post. See the post above (the more recent post) for a lighter, funnier blog post.
Second editor's note: I have an editor?!
It's been awhile since I posted an update. But this time, I have an excuse! (Normally, I don't, other than sheer laziness or someone's borrowing my brain for a week.)
On April 6th, 2011, I was in a car accident on a local highway. Essentially, an F-150 pickup truck rear-ended me (actually, rear-ended my car), and both me and the car suffered damage. In total, there was about $6700-worth of damage to the car and a moderate whiplash for me, which translated into back pain, neck pain, and some cognitive issues.
It's not well known that whiplash can cause a variety of cognitive issues such as forgetfulness, irritability, depression, confusion, malaise (wtf is malaise? sounds like some sort of cheese spread!), sleep issues, headaches, and forgetfulness. My doctor explained this to me, and ironically I found her explanation to be irritating. Unfortunately, other than sleeping issues (I already acquired some of those beforehand in anticipation), I did and continue to suffer from some of the cognitive issues bestowed upon me in the crash.
I found it somewhat ironic that within 24 hours my insurance company had taken care of my truck -- arranged for a repair shop to fix it; approved all bills with nothing out-of-pocket for me; determined I was not at fault; and arranged for a rental car.
Six weeks after the accident I received a notice in the mail that coverage for my whiplash and physical issues have been approved. :| Well geez, thanks for the timely response there. At least I have my car back to drive to the doctor!
Describing what's happened to me physically is easy: lower back pain, upper back and shoulder pain, neck stiffness and range-of-motion issues. Describing what's happened to me mentally is more difficult. When I'm in a very stressful situation (i.e. flying -- see my blog posts about it as they're quite amusing), I raise up this inner wall inside my head. On the outside of this wall, I'm functioning and doing whatever I need to do, but without the emotions or stress because nothing reaches the other side of the wall. On the inside, my inner-voice and thoughts continue uninhibited or disturbed by the outside stress. Once the stress is over, the wall goes down and I'm fine as nothing got in or out.
After the car accident, that wall went up -- without me controlling it. Imagine this wall being up where things aren't getting in (i.e. new things that I cannot remember later), nor are things getting out (trying to remember something from the previous day...or random thoughts for my blog). It was a very frustrating time as sometimes this wall would lower itself a bit or shoot up and block things entirely. I was aware the wall was there. I was aware that I was forgetting things I should know or remember. I was aware that I was confused about something I had no business in being confused, yet there was nothing I could do about it.
After 6 weeks, I'm mostly better now. There's still some back pain, and I'm still easily confused (though that was the case before the accident anyways), but for the most part, my wall is back down, though I cannot claim to have control over it yet. This is good news as I'm happier, nicer, not depressed, and it means I can write lengthy, serious blog posts that are somewhat boring to read.
But this is also an opportunity to thank my friends and family for their support over the past 6 weeks. I've been a "challenge" to them, to put things diplomatically, and they've put up with me, supported me, encouraged me, and occasionally told me to fuck off -- all of which is much appreciated.
So a thank you to all those who helped. You know who you are. Raise your hand if you think it was you. Yup, that's about right, though not you, sir. Who the hell are you?
I think it's time to return to some random thoughts...in my next post.
P.S. Yes, I know on the third paragraph I put 'forgetfulness' twice. It was meant as a joke, so please do not call my neurologist.