Before I go into this next post, I wanted to share something with you all, in hopes that someone out there has some advice. For four years I have been dealing with insomnia, unsure of whether it is anxiety, PTSD, or another reason causing it (possibly a combination). I was addicted to sleeping medication in the hospital, and after two years I was finally able to ween myself off of the harsh medication, only to put myself on another medication. The day I began school last week my sleep dropped from minimal, to nothing at all. I have been up most nights, thinking of whatever has occurred that day, a book I was reading, a song I heard, and planning the many things I must do the next day. No one functions well on little sleep, and for someone like myself, everything is heightened on these days. My emotions are wild, my mental health declines, and every part of my body aches. I have stuck to a routine, used different medications and essential oils, read before bed, and experiment with different ways to get comfortable in bed. However, nothing seems to be working currently. I am reaching out to anyone and everyone, what has worked for you during a stressful time? Anything is greatly appreciated. Now for Part 2, of Beauty Behind The Scars.
Close to two weeks ago I exposed the story behind my thigh burn, as well as the area they took the skin for the graft. The impact was so severe that the air bag exploded, leaking the chemical gas. As I said before, the air bag still saved me from a significant amount of damage. However, some of the gas reached my face and burnt my chin. I never saw what it looked like for the first few weeks, but Zoe described it as “cartoon like” due to the swelling causing my chin to be triple in size and stick straight outwards. The burn took several months to heal, needing weekly trips to the burn clinic. A chin strap was used every night during my first year after the crash to help the scar tissue. I remember being so aware of this scar, so upset with the aesthetics. One day in the trauma unit, a nurse informed me of a male who was just brought to Foothills Hospital after being in a car crash. The entirety of his face and head was burnt from the air bag. I never had the chance to meet this man, but I hope he recognizes the beauty behind his scars.
I had broken both femurs in the crash, one in two spots, the other in one. However, both were transverse fractures (going straight in a horizontal line), which ultimately resulted in a loss of height. When I was in the coma, I had several surgeries that my father had to give consent for, one was the very difficult insertion of my right femur rod. Many of you saw the photo of my mother that Liam took when she was in the ICU, attached to tubes and completely swollen. While I am unsure of just how swollen both me and my mother were after the crash and for the first few days/weeks, I can only assume it was quite significant. The femur rod could not enter my body due to the swelling, and they informed my father that they would have to attempt the surgery another day. The two attempts to insert the permanent rod unfortunately left a very large scar, starting at the top of my hip going about a third of the way down my thigh.
A memorable part of the story behind this scar is the day I was told how severe my femur breaks were. In addition to these breaks, I had broken my pelvis in five spots. The day they revealed this to me was a painful day, both physically and emotionally. I was told by a team of doctors that while I would be able to walk again, it may not be for close to a year due to the combination of the pelvic, ankle, and femur fractures. Absolute devastation poured over both me and my dad. A few weeks had past, and I was then informed that it looked as though the femurs were beginning to heal and the pelvis was setting. After a few weeks of zero movement from the waist down and the support of “braces”, the estimated time for walking turned into 8 months, six months, and then the day came that I was to weight bare on my right leg, just six weeks after the crash. It is by far my longest scar, while the thigh burn is by far the widest. I was self-conscious of almost all of my scars for many years, but the longer I lived with them, the more I saw them as a part of me. Like many of us in this world, and many of us who are a part of MADD, I tattooed the scar this summer in such a way that it reflected how I now felt about it. It was once my “frankenscar”, it is now unique, eye catching, and beautiful.