Life Lately: Healing From Trauma

As you may have already noticed, I haven’t published a blog post in several weeks and I’ve been very quiet on my Instagram.

I contemplated writing a blog post about what’s been going on with me for a while, but I wasn’t mentally prepared to tell my story because I’ve been focusing on my recovery. I also considered blogging about my usual topics to keep me from constantly thinking about the trauma I experienced. But it just didn’t feel right. It wasn’t reality for me.

I was in a life-changing car accident on June 25, 2019.

I was stopped at a red light less than a mile from my house when I was rear-ended. My car propelled into the car ahead of me. The driver who rear ended me is 100% at fault.

My face hit the air bag as it exploded. I was bleeding everywhere and my face was throbbing in pain. The studies and CT scan at the hospital revealed I had fractured my nose in a few different places and had lacerations under my left nostril, the bottom of my septum and upper lip. It also showed I have a herniated disc in my neck.

The days that followed the accident were painful, both mentally and physically. It took me a day or so just to look at myself in the mirror. I didn’t recognize myself.  It took over a week for the swelling to come down. I had some bruising too.

My birthday happened to be the day before my nose surgery… and I spent it hiding inside my apartment, ashamed of the way I looked. Not exactly the plans I had in mind.

About two weeks after the accident I had surgery to repair my nasal fractures and deviated septum from the trauma.

I underestimated what recovery would be like. Being put under general anesthesia made me drowsy for days and for the first 24 hours I had packing in my nose. I had to breath through my mouth when I slept, ate, drank, etc. It was rough to say the least.

Between the accident and the surgery to fix my nose, the healing process for my nose is taking much longer than I thought. Since I got the splint off, I’ve been dealing with a lot of soreness, tenderness, lack of mobility with my upper lip, swelling, and bruising (it took a few weeks but the bruising has faded away finally).

The soreness and lack of mobility I feel in my upper lip/front teeth has been one of the most difficult things I’m dealing with. I feel like I can’t talk like a normal human being. I’ve been eating soft foods since the accident. I can’t bite into anything hard because I have a bite sensitivity (this diagnosis was determined after I met with an endodontist to make sure I didn’t have nerve damage to my teeth from the accident).

On top of healing from surgery, I’m also getting treatment for my neck injury from the accident. I started physical therapy earlier this month. I am hoping that makes a difference with the tension and pain I’m dealing with every day.

I wish I could enjoy my new car (not brand new, but pre-owned) but I feel extremely anxious when I drive by myself. I drive the bare minimum—work, doctor appointments, physical therapy, and the grocery store. It’s survival mode for me. I’m hoping with the help of seeing a counselor or therapist soon, I can find some ways to cope with this new anxiety.

Another stressful factor from the accident– my complexion. Ever since my face hit the air bag, my skin has been a mess due to the chemicals in the air bag. I could barely wash my face the first few days and even now as I continue to heal from surgery, the sensitivity and tenderness makes it difficult for me to properly detox and exfoliate my skin.

I know I’ve made progress when it comes to healing from the trauma of the accident and surgery, but I also know I have a long way to go. Mentally, this accident has changed me forever. The panic and trauma I experienced that day is something I’ll never forget. It’s hard to think about what my life was like before this car accident. I wish this was just a bad memory but I find myself re-living what happened every single day.

I’m not quite sure when I’ll get back to blogging regularly but it’s a relief to just share what’s going on with me right now.

I have some images of my totaled car I want to share, so you can better understand just how bad the impact was. These photos were taken at the tow yard.

You can click here to view the back of my car. As you can tell my trunk was basically gone.

This is the view from the side.

Lastly, this is the view of my front driver seat.