C’MON IT’S NOT SO BAD!
WELL, IT ACTUALLY IS.
In November 2015 I had a bad road accident. Nothing really special, a random guy didn’t give me way, which resulted in a crash. The problem was that he was driving a car while I was on a Vespa. They say that when you risk your life you see it flashing before your eyes. That was not my case. When I realized what was going on, I clearly remember thinking “Fuck, this is gonna hurt real bad.” And it did. The impact was so violent that his car stopped working, my beloved Vespa was destroyed (R.I.P.) and I laid on the tarmac with a broken femur and a broken wrist. Which by the way it’s not too bad if you consider that I didn’t hit my head nor my back and I didn’t have any internal damage.
They say that when you risk your life
you see it flashing before your eyes.
That was not my case.
When I realized what was going on
I clearly remember thinking
“Fuck, this is gonna hurt real bad.”
And it did.
Nonetheless, I’m a hyperactive, multitasking freelance and a sportive girl, so when I discovered that it would took me AT LEAST six months to get back to normal, my world collapsed. I stayed one week in hospital, where I got a plaster cast for my wrist and underwent a couple of surgeries for my leg. Fun fact: when a broken leg has been immobilized for more that 7 days, it doesn’t move anymore. Your joints become stiff and you lose muscular mass by the minute. What followed was a month and a half of laying in my parent’s living room (I used to live alone at the time so it was impossible for me to go back to my place), 3 months of physiotherapy and crutches, a decent amount of painkillers and a strong motivation to get back on my feet asap. Here are some of the injury life lessons that I learned (the hard way) during my journey.
FINDING CREATIVE WAYS TO FILL MY DAYS
WHILE TRYING TO BE FUNNY
1. Life is unpredictable
You can think you’ve figured it out. You can think you have a clear priority list on your mind. Guess what: it is never true. Everything can change in a second. The time that it takes to check your phone while driving, not seeing a scooter coming your way for example.
2. Believing in yourself is key
Your body is stronger than you might think. And your mind is even stronger. What seems unbearable and impossible to overcome today will become possible by tomorrow. Just take baby steps and set yourself mini-goals. If you think “I have to get back to walking!” you will be disappointed day after day, but if you start with “I bet I can bend my knee a little bit more today” you’ll be surprised by daily improvement.
3. Plaster casts suck
Wearing a plaster cast will make your arm stink as hell and will turn all your arm hair into black giant monsters (true story).
4. Being fit is the best starting point for recovery
Your body really is a temple, and taking good care of it pays back a lot in this kind of situations. Three days of absolute stillness are enough to lose 70% of your leg muscles. Being a fit girl made my recovery easier and faster that it would have been for an overweight, or just not fit, person.
5. Mastering the art of crutching around
There’s actually a technique to use crutches. When you become a pro you can climb and go down the stairs no worries, threaten enemies with them, earn the best seat on public transport and generally bragging around like a you’re a war hero most of the time.
6. Boredom kills more than pain
Having a couple of weeks off work can be relaxing even if you’re sick. But staying at home for almost two months straight it’s not fun. Nonetheless, using this massive amount of “free time” to enrich your musical, literary and movie culture is a wonderful opportunity.
ROCKIN AROUND WITH MA NU WALKER
MOOD AFTER GETTING RID OF THE PLASTER CAST
7. Being a good patient and eating your food pays
Hospital food can be hard to swallow, but if you don’t eat it your organs will start to fuck up as well, so eat your damn food and don’t complain.
8. Loved ones are everything
My parents took me back home and took care of me for more than a month, even if I was super cranky most of the time. Friends will visit almost every day. Long distance friends will reach out through nice messages. Suffering from a severe injury is actually an alternative way to remember how many people care about you.
9. Drugs are wonderful but no, you’re not going to trip
Ketamine is really used in hospitals, except it will knock you down on a complete other lever compared to your average Special K. Contramal makes you sick. Oxy is the sweetest thing in the world but oh-boy it’s addictive.
10. Saying “I love you” to people means a lot
Going through a bad accident makes you reflect on how vulnerable we are. Life is short. It can even be shorter than you think. Don’t waste your time, tell your family and friends that you love them, make sure they know it.
11. Do your heparin by yourself
Heparin injections burn like crazy, but if you learn how to do them yourself, it will hurt less. Fun fact: there’s a “good side” and a “bad side” of the belly. Choose wisely where to point.
12. Always focus on the bright side of things
Even when I felt miserable and some of the people around me will go “OMG, such an unlucky accident!” I’ve always, alway replied that I considered myself super lucky. It could have been oh-so-worse. I’m glad it wasn’t and I’m glad to have had the chance to take in all the lessons that I’ve learned on this journey. And no, some of those lessons cannot be learned the easy way.
13. Being grateful
The biggest lesson I learned, the one that includes all of the above is to be grateful. Grateful for being alive. Grateful for not having permanent damages. Grateful for living in a country where hospital care is good and free of charge. Grateful for smiling doctors and caring nurses. Grateful for all the loved ones that were there when I needed them for real. Grateful for waking up from my bed on two steady feet every. single. morning. Grateful for being able to run, swim, surf, hike and do whatever I want to do with my body.