Make That 26 Years and Life To Go
I’ve shown some of what goes on with this animal human. Today is an anniversary date and not a good one.
Twenty Six years ago today I was on the receiving end of someone else’s negligence. So now it is 26 years instead of 25 years and life to go.
Twenty Six years without a single day without physical pain. That folks isn’t a complaint it is an actuality.
For a number of reasons the book got set to the back burner. That isn’t the case anymore. Writing the story and history is also part of my coping mechanism.
One of those coping mechanisms that isn’t in Chapter 1 and will be covered in another chapter is the drug culture, or in my case the lack there of involved with such an injury. One of the things that I will on rare occasion go to is a drug called, “Nabilone” and that is the generic. The same drug is also known by the name, “Cesamet”.
For this creative soul with severe Osteoarthritis, Nabilone is very fine stuff. The effect is a body stone without the psychotropic effect. On the rare night I just want to scream, that works for me big time!
By the time I get the book done, it’ll probably be 27 years. That’s okay though, I got a 150 year plan!
Enjoy Chapter 1.
25 Years In and Life To Go
A personal look at Chronic Pain by G.R. Hambley
Chapter 1 The Event
March 5th 1989 is the day this journey began. There hasn’t been a single pain free day for me since.
The day was usual enough. Get up, get showered, get out the door to work. For an early March day in Toronto it was a beautiful day. Bright and sunny and below freezing but not that cold. Well not that cold for a 7th or 8th generation Canuck.
Work was as a sheet metal worker doing mostly commercial and industrial air systems. The work day was uneventful. Me and my partner hanging duct and setting curbs in a new industrial strip mall. Four O’clock quitting time comes so we pack up the tools, we say the see you tomorrows and head for home.
The job site was in the northwest of the city out by the airport, so for me to get home the drive is straight south and then straight east. Pretty much all highway and the volume of traffic wasn’t above average so everyone is clipping along at posted highway speed, or faster.
Now the historical weather data will tell you different about that March day but the facts are this. The road conditions look ideal because there wasn’t any snow. There weren’t even any of those little snow banks along the edges of the roads that seem to take forever to disappear. We’d had a melt a short time prior to the event and the roads had a chance to dry out before the temperatures dropped so there were no icy spots. If you live and drive in northern climates and with how the weather had been you expect to encounter some of that fine grit that will accumulate on the road and can make stopping and adventure if you have to stop fast. There wasn’t even much of that on the roads either. With all the sunshine that day everything really was picture perfect for a beautiful drive home along the lake shore.
With the time of day and the sun hanging pretty low in the sky on the eastern portion of the drive you do get a lot of glare off the back windows of the cars you’re trailing. You get some glare in your own rear view mirror as well.
So I’m sailing along, getting close to home enjoying the sites and thinking about what to have for supper. Being a Canuck and the weather not bad I’m thinking maybe fire up the gas grill for some burgers.
What took place next got my full attention in a heartbeat!
I’m at a spot where one highway starts north and almost to the end of the east bound highway I’m taking. On the east bound road there is a dip in the roadway. You come over that dip and when the sun is right the glare is even worse off the other vehicles.
The highway is now two lanes instead of the four before the split and I’m in the right lane. There is also a very wide breakdown lane left of the left lane. I’m trailing three or four cars over the dip. There is lots of glare off the other vehicles. All of a sudden the cars I’m trailing jump in to the left lane. Much to my surprise there was a broken down pickup truck in my lane.
Now lots of things start to happen all at the same time. The breaks get slammed on. The thought does go through mind about why the hell the truck is in my lane when he had the breakdown lane. My vehicle fish tails just for a second and then I’m straight again. I can feel I’m sliding a little on that fine grit. The truck is getting real close and I’m pretty certain I’m going to hit it. I wind up stopping about fifteen, twenty feet short of the back bumper!
It seemed as if I’d just got stopped. I Hadn’t even had time to take a breath. The next thing I knew was that I had just been slammed from behind. Don’t know how I managed it after that impact, but somehow I managed to manoeuvre the car out in to the left lane and then back in to the right lane in front of the pickup. How there was no one in the left lane that I could of hit or hit me I chalk up to an act of God!
Now I have time to take a breath and process what just took place.
The first thing was a self check. Secondly I wondered about the state of my five week old Corsica LTZ. Thirdly I wondered about who hit me and what shape he or she might have been in.
I get out, the driver’s seat is broken for certain and head back to where the vehicle that got me is, behind the pickup. I look at the back of my car for a few seconds and can see the muffler is definitely scrap. I wonder how much of the exhaust system will need to be replaced. I wonder what else could be wrong with my car with the force of impact it just took.
I walk back to where the guy who hit me is standing beside his car. We both ask if the other is okay and we both seem to be okay for the most part. Shaken up for sure with an adrenalin rush still going on. Well still going on in me. Him I’m not so sure. He was kind of looking like he couldn’t believe what just happened.
His car was a VW Jetta. The Jetta is about four feet bumper to windshield and he’d pushed the nose of his car in about two feet. You could see short skid marks that were his making. Thankfully he got on the brakes at all. His car nosed dived a little when he hit the brakes or he’d of probably been in my trunk. The other factors that made the damage to my car not so bad is my car had fifteen inch wheels and a beefed up suspension.
We start talking about the collision. Turns out what had happened to me had also happened to him. Three or four cars he was trailing jumped in to the left lane and there I was right in front of him. Yes he did get a severe look from me after he’d told me his story. The look was saying, “I managed to get stopped what’s the matter with you”. I am completely certain he knew what my look was saying to him, on all levels!
That was enough engagement with him for me so I walked away and waited for the police to get there.
Toronto’s finest arrived, took the reports and I left in my car with the other guy waiting for the tow truck to hook him up.
Buy the time I get home it’s about an hour after the accident and I told the wife what had happened. She’s asking about me and how I’m doing. I’m still pretty exasperated by the event and relating it gets the adrenalin going again. Trust me when I tell you that the language I told the story to my wife in was much more colourful than you’re reading here. She was as dumbfounded and incredulous as I had been when the guy told me what had caused him to hit me. The look on her face was a lot like what I’d given the guy.
If you’re a tradesman you tend to come home grimy. Virtually every day after getting home it was in to the shower or the bath. I took a long hot soak to cool off. By the time I emerged from the tub I was pretty much back to my usual self. Not pleased with events and the adrenalin was still going but okay with what had taken place.
It was later that night that the pain started. There hasn’t been a pain free day since in almost 25 years.
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