Death & Taxes

“Surely my sins have found me out God rest my soul, but show me out Surely my sins have found me out Spit on my grave, but kiss my mouth” – Daniel Caesar

The second you reach stability, you realize that calling something stable is like adding rolled up napkins to the short leg of a wobbly table. Precarious doesn’t even big to describe the situation.

Let’s start with the accident that totaled my car in 2017, which also started this whole rollercoaster.

On my way to work with B, 8am, stopped in traffic in the far righthand lane of the freeway, directly after the onramp. A car rams into me from behind, slamming me at 50-60mph into the car in front of me. Thankfully, I had left a car space between myself and the front car, but the impact of the truck that hit me was enough force to propel me the distance to kiss the car in front.

The slow motion, instantaneous impact, whipping me forward, colliding my SUV into another immobile object. The sound of glass breaking and metal compacting. The motion of your body flailing, searching for purchase, until the seatbelt catches your momentum. And just as suddenly as it began, you’re jerked to a halt, left in the weighty aftermath.

Can I move? Is everything working? Am I bleeding? Does it hurt? – well everything eventually hurts, but in the moment you can’t feel, you just act. Shock kicks in. Some part of your knows you can’t stay in the lane, that you have to pull over to the shoulder, that you need your phone, that you need to call the police. Mind and body working as two separate entities.

Wiggle your big toe, get these other little piggies to move. And then it all starts to reconnect. You move to the shoulder. Reach for your phone; call the police. Why am I breathless? Why am I shaking? Am I sobbing? Why am I sobbing? B takes the phone, relaying the information to Highway Patrol. My hand goes up to shield my face from onlookers and also to stop the heavy onslaught of water.

In a daze, you want to screen and rail at the driver. Belittle his character and countenance for this misfortune. But you also care about his well-being. You want to blame and inflict harm, anything to transfer energy from you elsewhere.

It’s surreal how your body can go through the motions without much thought or consciousness.

Information is exchanged, after crawling from the passenger side door out of the vehicle. You notice offhandedly that your driver side is smashed shut. Pictures are taken, with and without flash; statements given; insurance claims filed; off to the hospital for exams and prescriptions.

It’s not until days later when the adrenaline wears off that your body catches up with the event. Everything aches: sitting, standing, moving — all includes a sharp burning pain. There’s no rest day or night. Physical therapy starts. X-rays are required. The crack and clang of the CAT scan.

Your body enclosed in a bullet shaped coffin. Two hours of death simulation – unable to move, shallow breaths. A film that shows multiple herniated disc in the form of shadows and shapes. A black and white pinpoint of pain.

Visits to the specialists. Second and third opinions. Different shoes. Different desk. Various cushions. Bills upon bills. Less mobility. More weight gain. Less motivation. More pain. Threats of surgery. Recommendations of injections. Can’t bend. Can’t lift. No Relief.

The loss of self, of lifestyle. Helplessness. Sadness. The need for improvement. The disappointment. Bills upon bills. No car. New, gently used car. New payments. More payments.

Sleeplessness. Irritability. Lack of energy. Second diagnosis. Risk. High-risk. More surgery. Pills. Daily regimens. Scheduled visits. More specialists. Google searches. Worry. Holistic approaches. Despair. Time off work. Time away from work. Work piling up. Limitations. Lack of focus. Insomnia. Anxiety. Dread. Apathy. Isolation.

Renewal. Hope. Small incremental changes. Improvements. More medication. Adverse reactions. Less medication. Uncontrollable bleeding. No bleeding. Anguish. Loss of appetite. Anemia. Nutritionist. Activity. Pain. Perseverance. Fight. Breathlessness. Chills. Tired. Fear. Rashes. Hives. More specialists.

Potential diagnoses. Auto-immune disease. More Google searches. PTSD. Fear. Crisis. Prayer. Fear. Bloodwork. Prayer.

Limbo.

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