chronic pain

‘I did a quick 20 minutes on the elliptical at the student gym. When I woke up in the morning, I couldn’t lift my head.’ Woman describes freak accident after typical gym workout

“I was only 18. I had my whole life ahead of me. I was a freshman at my dream college, making friends, and discovering myself. I knew my life and body would never be the same. I could no longer walk and fell to the ground. The pain was unbearable. The workout was nothing I hadn’t done a hundred times before.”

‘I was sent home alone in an Uber in the middle of the night. ‘Just tell me your name!’ I couldn’t remember for the life of me what it was. All I could do was cry. That’s the only thing I remembered how to do.’

“I’ll never forget how I felt. I seemed hungover, except that wasn’t the case. My doctor told me, ‘Have you ever thought that it might be all in your head?’ Everything began to take a turn. I was once the quick-witted friend who always had a joke. Now I was the girl in the back of the classroom, crying because I didn’t know how to be a person anymore.”

‘A co-worker came up to me. ‘Half your face looks a little strange.’ I tried to respond, but couldn’t move my mouth to speak. My first thought was, ‘Am I having a stroke?’

“I rushed to the hospital. The pain was so bad I literally thought, ‘There’s no possible way I am going to survive this. A human being can’t survive this much pain.’ I was prescribed a copious amount of medication. When would I stop needing it? Never. I thought I would never get a chance to be a mom, but I didn’t want to give up my dream.”

‘I was out at a restaurant. ‘I’m not feeling well,’ I said. I knew something was wrong. Shaking, I excused myself and drove straight home. When I got back, my world crumbled around me.’

“I crawled to the bathroom. I couldn’t stand up without blacking out. I was paralyzed. I was supposed to be getting ready to go off to college with friends and I suddenly found myself unable to get out of bed. The wheelchair made others roll their eyes. ‘You don’t need that,’ they said. ‘Faker.’

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