On New Years Eve 2011, my life changed for the worse. I was rear-ended while a pick-up truck going in excess of 55 mph. From my frame of reference, the collision caused me to lightly tap my head against the driver’s side window. All three of my passengers had visible injuries. I had none.
- I insisted they all go to the hospital and seek treatment. I, however, stayed behind. I had no visible injury.
- I did not know that the momentary loss of consciousness or the confused sensation was a clear indication of a concussion. I’m tough. I wouldn’t seek help.
- I do not throw up unless I have a hangover, yet over the next couple of days, every few times I would stand up I would empty my stomach. I wouldn’t seek help.
- A constant unrelenting physical pressure gnawed at my left template. I wouldn’t seek help.
A few days later, while in a design meeting with a client that I had badgered for six months in order to land a contract, I lost the ability to speak fluently. I excused myself and went to my car. By the time I reached the car, I was having difficulty walking. I had my wife take me to the emergency room.
A few days having passed, no bleeds were visible on an MRI. I was dismissed as a malingerer who only wanted painkillers. Back and forth between doctors and hospitals for weeks, and no one would take me seriously. During this time I would literally lie on the floor, in a ball, and wail from the pain in my head. It would never relent. I missed so much work. I rarely slept.
Not one single neurologist would take me as a patient because my condition was brought on by a motor vehicle accident. They did not want to be involved in litigation. However, one solitary neurologist would. He made me pay in cash. This was his prognosis:
It got so bad that by the following Thanksgiving my business partner told me that if I could not bring in some significant income in the next couple of weeks, he would have to close down my side of the business and let me go.
I soldiered through a week long job worth several thousand dollars for us. It was a two hour drive each way. On the first day, the site foreman took me into what was going to be the dance floor and bar of a new club. As we entered, all of his workers put their tools down and walked out. I didn’t really think anything of it. Without going into details, I was sexually assaulted. All that went through my mind was that I wouldn’t have a job if I didn’t complete this assignment.
I was another few months, 18 months in total, before I alone discovered a possible treatment for my head pain and was able to get a neurologist to agree to treat me with neurontin. That was 2013.
I still remember during a deposition in 2014 when the attorney for the people that hit me asked who rendered the diagnosis for “nummular headache” and proposed the neurontin treatment.
I responded very stoically, “I did.”
He then countered with, “What qualifications do you have that allowed you to make such a diagnosis?”
Again, I responded in as serious a tone as I could muster, “I’m a genius and I know how to read.”
Every once in a while, I try to ween myself off of the drug, but the pain is more than I can bare. It, of course, comes with its own host of problems. Even so, I’ve been able to continue moving forward despite everything that keeps trying to hold me back.
Don’t ever give up. Discover how deep your reservoir of willpower goes. If you cannot survive for yourself, survive to show others it can be done.