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Car Accident Update

August 5th, 2008 by Madeleine

As you know I was involved in a car accident some months back and have had ongoing issues with my neck and back as a result rendering me unable to work and in pain daily. I have had a lot of support through this site and I wanted to take the time to thank those of you who have left messages and sent emails. It has been very difficult to accept that I am injured as I am someone who does not do sitting still well and I have real issues with not being able to do things because of situations beyond my control.

Four months on I still do not have a full diagnosis as to why I live in pain and why sometimes out of the blue the pain flares up so badly I cannot function. My x-rays are clear so we know there is no bone injury but the first attempt at an MRI to look at soft tissue injuries was a bit of a disaster due to my suffering severe claustrophobia around tunnels (I am ok in lifts and cupboards, etc just nothing shaped like a tunnel) and the fact that I struggle to convince medical professionals that my body metabolises sedatives and anaesthetics freakishly fast meaning I am difficult to sedate. The drug they used for MRI attempt 1 was a drug I knew would not work on me as I have a history of it not working on me but they decided that it works on everyone and that I was just being hysterical so they gave it to me. It did not work, the claustrophobia made me move too much and they did not get a clear scan.

It has been quite depressing at times accepting what has happened and incredibly maddening that we have this ridiculous no fault ACC system which means I cannot sue the woman who caused the accident. I am left forking out a $22 surcharge per doctors visit every second week and I have to live on 80% of my income and my law studies and my career are in jeopardy and my family has to put up with my mood swings when I am in pain not to mention was living on all these drugs is doing to my kidneys. To add insult to injury my new car is not as fuel efficient as the one that got destroyed in the accident, its stereo has stopped working for no apparent reason and it has started leaking in the rain!

Complaining aside, things are starting to feel like they are looking up though. Today we did MRI attempt 2. This time they asked me which drug I thought they should use and we used one that had worked in the past. They told me it was heavy duty and would take me out for the day (yet here I am writing a blog entry). Again it did not work anywhere near as well as they thought it would but it did take the edge off the panic so I was able to control the claustrophobia and lie still and they are confident that this time they got the images they needed. So this time next week I should have a diagnosis – yay!

On Friday I actually managed to sit through my lectures myself at uni. Matt has been amazing going to all my lectures and tutorials and taping them and taking notes for me, not many spouses would do that, he has been fantastically supportive even helping me swot for tests.
Yesterday I returned to work for the first time and although I only did 3 hours it felt really good to be back. While we are still waiting for the official diagnosis I am only going to do 6 hours a week and see if I can slowly build my hours up from there as pushing it too hard runs the risk of triggering a pain flare up and these can last anything from a couple of days to a couple of weeks and leave me in rotten pain and having to take mind altering pain drugs like Tramadol which is revolting stuff.

So in short, I think I am a little better but the progress I have made in four months is pretty frustratingly slow but I guess it could be worse.

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