The Day that Forever Changed my Life

Article is full of errors-we were hit by the other car after if came downhill and hit hard. Felt like my spine got whipped like a wet towel. It was not a bump. Then our car started back up and stopped on opposite side of track. Here comes other car and hits us again. The boy they say went to the hospital with me, is a girl. Need I say more? Anyways, here’s my story…..

June 8th, 1997. The day that changed life as I knew it. A lot of pain, a lot of surgeries including spinal fusions, blood infection, ER visits, physical therapy, sleepless nights, headaches from Hell, five plus years on morphine and fighting to get off of it, memory loss. I could go on and on.

I remember with clarity the headaches. I would be fine and then boom. Nothing stopped them, intensity was the same from start to finish. It felt like I had been bashed in the head with a ball bat. I couldn’t function, all I could do was cry and pray and hold my head. No sleep. When this goes on for a week at a time, you think about killing yourself. I know I did. I was 27 years old and I wanted to die. I was hospitalized for headaches.

My doctor put me on 800 mg of morphine a day. The morphine didn’t get rid of headaches. It made me not care though. It also had another side effect, loss of consciousness. I would pass out. I didn’t realize this until I passed out in passenger seat of the car and was awakened by my head falling into the window. It was then I realized what was happening.

Within 6 months of being put on morphine I had winged myself down to 300 mg a day. I thought I could just throw the pills out and be done with morphine. I was wrong. I went into withdrawals. Ended up in the ER shaking violently. I was left in ER room for four hours in agony and treated badly. I guess they thought I was a drug addict looking for a fix. Had they just called my doctor from the get go they would have known the truth. Once they finally contacted my doctor, their attitude changed.

After that, I started seeing a pain management doctor who helped get me down to 200 mg of morphine daily and began spinal blocks and muscle injections. I remember one visit losing count at 30 injections.

I continued to try to wing myself down from the 200 mg of morphine only for the pain to exacerbate. I continued to lose consciousness. I could clean my house, would go and do things not realizing just how much I was blacking out. Even at a Chicago Cubs game I was blacking out throughout. I only know I was doing so because my family was there and told me.

My husband (now ex) was in an accident and facing a major surgery himself. I knew I had to do something. How could I care for him in that state? My pain management doctor put me on slow acting morphine and began winging down process again. After 5 1/2 years of battling to get off of morphine, I did it. My doctor and his nurses told me that people don’t just get off of morphine unless they die. That I believe.

What most people don’t know is the memory loss afterwards. I didn’t know how old I was. I didn’t know how old my parents were. I couldn’t remember what year I graduated from high school or college. I couldn’t remember meaning of words. I couldn’t remember the year of my accident. I couldn’t remember a lot of things. I had to set reminders in my phone for the simplest things. I went through paperwork to get the dates of events and wrote them down. Would look it over constantly. There is much of that five years that is just gone. I only had my family to fill in the blanks.I feel like I had been in a coma of sorts. Time stood still.

I kept these things to myself. I started playing word games to relearn and stimulate my brain. I would have to continually subtract my birth year from current year to figure out my age. I just kept repeating things in my head until they stuck. It took a long time.

I look at that time and it brings tears to my eyes. I know morphine took some of my life away. But I also know it saved my life. It helped me sleep and gave my brain time to heal from the damage done when it bounced off my skull. It was the lesser of two evils.

So here I am now. How does all this make me feel? I feel very proud and strong. I am not who I once was. Not at all. I am much stronger. Losing time is hard. Losing your memory and confidence is hard. I have found out just what I am made of. I don’t know why this was meant to happen. But it did and here I am. You do the best with the cards you are dealt. I no longer look at what I lost. I look forward to little things. Things that most people take for-granted. I look forward to adventures. To living. So many things that I used to do with regularity, I am doing again. Yes I still have pain issues. No I can’t go and do as I once did. I don’t let these things stop me from trying. No more. I replaced spinal blocks and injections with chiropractic visits. I use peppermint oil, ice packs, heating pads, Epsom salt baths to help with pain. I look at where I once was and where I am now and I thank God for the strength to get here. Twenty plus years ago I thought my life as I knew it was over. I was right. But it’s not over. There is still so much to experience and relish.

Don’t waste time being scared. Don’t waste time on things that beat you down. Don’t let anything suck the life out of you. Cherish every second on this earth. Make the best of every situation. Just live!! Blessings!!

14 thoughts on “The Day that Forever Changed my Life”

  1. Wow Laura it takes a lot courage to allow yourself to be so vulnerable I admire you for that.

    There somethings we can lived through and wish we never did that Fate would been seen as act of mercy than the living Hell we were thrashed into.

    And force to endured the many dips throttled into the Fire over and over again I can relate in more ways than one as you know.

    There are many times when you think your at your ends but know this you are never outta the fight only if (Y O U ) choose to.

    When you say you know what FUCK THIS…. I matter you have 2 choices after you been rocked !!!!

    “Rise above like a Phoenix outta the depths of Hell’s inferno or lay smouldering on the ashes of ruins ” E.O.S

    As you have seen through my unpredictability and my conviction that I will never surrender to the Storm or bow out ever! !!!

    Telling our testimonies can inspired others to find their purpose and drive again but it’s not up to you or I ….but T H E M and T H E M alone.

    nastoyashchiy voin vdokhnovlyayet drugikh svoim ubezhdeniyem, a ne slovami


  2. Oh heck, that must have been incredibly difficult, both the morphine and the pain and problems from the accident. So they started you on 800mg? I’ve only had IV morphine when in hospital, so I’ve had it around 12 times or so now, but I’ve never been on it long term, the longest was bucket loads a day for a week. I can only imagine what being on it for longer would be like, and of course coming off something like that.. not easy at all. You should definitely be proud of yourself. Thank you for sharing this so openly, you’re one kick ass lady, keep fighting the good fight!  ♥

    Caz xx

  3. Wow even if someone reads just the last paragraph to this post it is both moving and inspiring ! You are strong and you are writing a new chapter in your life. You are a survivor!

      1. Well its obvious it’s an inner strength that you have. Not everyone has it and not everyone puts as beautiful as you did in your post

  4. Thank you for sharing this! You’re right, live! Get out and experience life! These kind of things might not happen to us, but someone definitely.

      1. Your posts are almost as awesome as yourself!

        I’ve left my 30’s… one thing I started thinking about in that era was how many people have went their entire lives but have never lived? Makes you see and approach things differently.