Ouch! — 14 years on
Chronic pain is no laughing matter. In March it will be 14 years since I was cycling home from work wit thoughts of corned beef hash on my mind when a driver in a blue Ford kindly helped me to dismount. At first I was upset that it was only a Fiesta that hit me and not something more prestigious, like a Mercedes Benz or Lexus, but I realise I would have done me no good, crawling across the floor, “Sorry I damaged your car, mate, let me wipe the blood off the wheels. To have damaged something as beautiful as an Aston Martin would have stayed with me for a long time. I have become pleased that it was only a Ford.
I had been in a similar accident before with less injury. In the early 1990s a Ford Orion, also blue had hit me. Same manufacturer, same colour, same sort of accident–a car travelling in the opposite direction to me made a right turn across traffic straight into me. I seem to have an attraction for blue Fords.
That was then. Now 14 years on things are very, very slowly getting worse. 14 years ago I was recovering, 13 years ago I was diagnosed with arthritis in the right foot, the side that took the impact. From initially using a walking stick some of the time, then all the time, then an elbow crutch and now for the last three and a half years two crutches. Pain often keeps me awake at night.
But I love my life, despite retiring early I am for the first time since 1982 debt free. No worries financially, although health worries continue. Four years ago I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, which tires me at times. Together with sleeplessness through pain I spend a lot of time tired. (Then there is tiredness from coping with the bright shiny world due to autism. Yes, I get tired.)
But I have a great life. A supportive church and family, the children are married but two are still nearby. I have got used to it, I cope with the pain and what was probably depression is lifting. I survived something which would have been fatal if not for the good work of the West Yorkshire Ambulance Service and the staff at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. I am grateful to them. Each day alive is a bonus and I have had over 5,000 bonus days. Life is sweet.