9. It’s very hard to comprehend that a traumatic event happened to you if you can’t remember it.
My memories of the accident are scattered. An ambulance. Aldrin asking me questions about my medical insurance. The realisation I had no front teeth. My new floral jumpsuit being cut off. Clumps of dried blood in my hair. All that, but no memory of the actual collision. Some days, I still can’t wrap my brain around the fact that it happened to me.
10. Just because something bad happened to you, doesn’t mean you deserved it.
Throughout my recovery I’ve struggled more than the eye can see.
Flashbacks. Dizziness. Concentration problems. Short-term memory loss. Recurring dreams about car crashes and crushed scooters. And let’s not forget the emotional side of things, too.
12. The key to emotional recovery is finding a sense of purpose.
14. Social media can be an amazing source of support and motivation.
To my surprise, I found a lot of comfort in social media. Instagram is full of accounts with motivational recovery stories, including @em_carey and @majotorrealba. Similarly, Facebook groups like “Broken Femur Victims Unite” and “Car Accident Survivors Support Group” connect thousands of international survivors. It’s been great to share experiences and feel understood.
15. Sometimes, laughter really is the best medicine.
Another crucial ingredient during recovery is a sense of humour. I’ve cried of laughter with a friend after my dentures flew out mid-sentence. I’ve had friends tell me supportively to “break a leg!” before important hospital appointments. My walk-in wardrobe was christened the ‘hobble-in’ wardrobe.
When I passed the time sewing Bag Lady tote bags, my friends brainstormed totally inappropriate but funny collection names, like “tragedy totes“, “pity purses“, “disability duffles” , and “hit-and-run handbags“. You just can’t expect to survive this thing without a laugh.
16. Surviving a road accident will change you forever.
I don’t think anyone can survive such an experience without getting some sort of a wake up call.
My own accident led me to an unbelievable appreciation of privacy, dignity, mobility, and independence. I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid at these words before all this. Yet now I value them more than I can articulate.