I freaked out! It was the scene from the Doctor Strange movie where Benedict Cumberbatch’s character discovers that his hands are permanently impaired. The fine motor control in his hands required to be a neurosurgeon are lost forever. I looked at my right hand; being unable to move my fingers had left me feeling terrified!
During the first month of my hospitalisation I had the biggest smile in the face of a disaster. I was unnerved by the accident and kept a positive outlook towards recovering fully. But, watching that scene in the movie, and being unable to move my fingers normally caused my strength to quickly fade away.
However, the loss of motor control wasn’t the only cause for my fear. I was afraid that this injury occurred at a very critical time in my life-when I was experiencing several positive changes. In that brief moment it seemed as if the accident was a massive, irrecoverable setback to all my plans.
Before I continue any further I want to thank you for your attention as I narrate a personal incident!
Steemians who personally know me will attest to the fact that I am very optimistic. No matter how difficult a situation, I’ve always faced it head-on!
I met with an horrific accident on the 9th of February and broke my right leg. I fractured my femur, fibula and shattered my tibia. In addition to some torn muscles there was also a minor hip fracture and a severe nerve damage in my right arm. No matter how hard I concentrate, I simply cannot move them!
The old saying that, “An idle mind is a devil’s workshop” is true!
For several days after I had watched Doctor Strange, I continued to feel that life had let me down. Days passed, and even as I slowly managed to get back on my feet I was weighed down by negative thoughts. I imagined my motorcycle crash through day and night for a month! Waking up several times to these recurring nightmares of the exact moment I got hit!
My right hand is the dominant one and I’m unable to write properly, type or even hold the computer mouse well enough to use it. Breaking food with my fingers or eat with my hand is difficult. I cannot sign cheques well enough to withdraw money from my own bank accounts! But, the worst of them all was the stark realization that I cannot ride motorcycles which requires fine motor control with surgical precision, and this broke my heart.
It was the worst of them all and caused me great mental agony! I woke up everyday scared of losing my passion for motorcycling. Motoring across the country, experiencing and enjoying motorcycles and cars has been a way of life. The life lessons these activities taught me helped shape me into the person that I am today. More importantly, motoring gave me purpose!
What was I going to do now?
I had just turned 29 and is it time to hang my riding boots already? What was I going to do if I cannot experience the things I love the most anymore! These are tough questions that I faced everyday!
I had analyzed every part of my accident countless times. Despite being fully aware that a careless rider crashed into me at a great speed, and there was nothing that I could have done to prevent this, except never having stepped out of my house to begin with! I continued to put myself through self-blame, guilt and regret!
If there was any chance my nerve could recover on its own, then there would have been some noticeable improvement within 6-8 weeks of the accident. But there was no improvement and instead I was continuing to experience a progressively escalating pain from my elbow to my wrist.
Learning to play an electric guitar was on my bucket list since my teenage years. 10 days prior to the crash I gave myself an advance birthday gift; a brand new Yamaha Pacifica-012 beginner’s electric guitar paired to a Fender Mustang I v2 and was teaching myself to play it. I could play it very little after the crash and yet it helped uplift my mood.
As fate would have it I had to stop this as well as I couldn't strum the strings anymore without considerable pain and discomfort! Neither was I able to strum it fast enough.
It was April, nearly two months had passed. I was happy when I was visiting any friends but felt a little depressed in my moments of solitude. This momentarily had a paralyzing effect on my life.
Despite being fully geared from head-to-toe in high quality motorcycle gear, a blunt impact in the accident caused a massive damage to the radial nerve that controls the wrist and fingers. The jacket’s elbow armour prevented a fracture while my top-of-the-line motorcycle adventure boots prevented open fractures and my leg from severing off in the impact!
My gear was nearly destroyed but served it's purpose!
After two weeks of consultations with multiple doctors and surgeons, blood-work, MRIs, neurology and ultrasound tests, I was going in for another surgery. Luckily, my plastic surgeon, Dr. Dinesh Kadam happens to be one of the top surgeons in my part of the country and we explored the possibility of opening up the area for an investigation, possible repair and/or a nerve graft.
My surgeon cut a portion of the healthy nerve from near my right ankle, about an inch or so to replace the damaged portion in my arm.
After 3 weeks of wearing a cast, I’m able to start moving my arm again. Although, there is no immediate improvement, yet I remain hopeful. I have to wait a minimum of 5-6 months before we expect to start seeing any positive results. But nothing guaranteed! Now, I have this weird numbness and burning sensation near my ankle but I can live with this if it means my arm can recover and I can use my fingers again.
Sometimes, one can only hope for the best!
Back at the hospital, I was still reeling under the effects of the general anesthesia and pain medications when I was shifted back to my room. I had access to my phone once again and began updating my friends on a successful surgery.
It was then I read a simple quote, shared by a friend and authored by Paulo Coelho, who said and I quote:
Close some doors, not because of incapability, arrogance or pride but simply because they no longer lead where you want to go.
This had a profound effect on me as it struck me that there’s a lot that I could still do.
It was a moment of realization, somewhat of an awakening that struck me hard and it resounded deep within me! I wasn’t devoured by any menacing, negative thoughts anymore! Upon further introspection I realized that I was being unnecessarily, extremely self critical because I had almost given up on being patient with my situation and myself and the fact that nothing has changed in 2 months had me frustrated! All the while, I had chosen to ignore all the positive things in my life.
The fact was that I kept my chin up and pushed myself through physiotherapy to be able to walk again. I was also off the pain medications sooner than most people owing to a better tolerance towards pain.
Despite the hospitalisation, I have no major liabilities. I had my family and friends all around me including many amazing people that I met and interacted through Steemit who kept in touch and regularly checked-in on my health. I love the community that we have created here!
A while ago I had a long chat with a very dear friend, “Sharad Sharma.” We celebrated his 50th birthday not too long ago. He’s an Indian news media industry veteran now enjoying his life to the fullest. We ran a motorcycle guided tours company until I relocated back to my hometown. He’s also a fellow biker and someone I look upto and always has some sagely life advice for me!
Knowing my history, he reminded me of all the good things I’ve done for myself, my family and others around me! How I should give myself some credit for the way I have faced every tough situation in my life. My approach has always been right and I was reminded that I needed to believe in myself. More than ever before! This made me take a hard look at my situation and how I needed to look at it differently. I felt that soon I’ll have my head on my shoulders again!
Soon after that one day I was chatting with @aishwarya and she asked me what are all the good things that that has happened to you during these months and make a list and you’ll know that it's not always that bad. I did that as we spoke and realized the following:
Sure, I might not be able to ride motorcycles today, but this can change! With my dynamic splint I can drive absolutely perfectly. Today, I’m limping when I walk but come tomorrow I will be running once again-quite literally!
Cliched as it may sound, these situations in your life wakes you up to the tiny fact: when you push your mind to be positive that you can push yourself beyond any self-imposed limitation in your life.
Today, I can still do 99% of things I wanted to. I am alive and healthy. This incident brought me closer to many of my friends, separating the real from the fake and as you can tell, I can go on. There are plenty of positive things happening in my life today!
@aishwarya sent me this beautiful gift that she painted with my quote. I had once shared it as my status on Whatsapp and it goes like this:“Travel the world, meet you new people, share stories and experience all this world has to offer you.” This is exactly what I've done and will continue doing till I kick the bucket for good! She told me once that it inspired her and now it has inspired me back!
Considering the fact that my accident occurred in the middle of a forest area 240kms and many hours away from my hometown and it’s excellent medical care, I’m lucky to have another chance at this life again! Nothing is lost and there’s so much I will accomplish in the years to come! My motorcycle is being repaired, someday I will ride it again!
@sjennon sent me this engraved guitar pick on my birthday all the way from Berlin. I look at it everyday as it’s on my desk and remember the good ol’ times. I am thrilled to have friends all over who remember me!
Escaping your truth is the worst thing you do to yourself. So I want you to look into the eye of that mental torpedo with fierce determination.
To me, these were very powerful words that completely changed the way I looked at my situation.
You know, a free soul is like a life-full seed, it goes where the wind takes it, seeing the world, being at peace! Enjoying even the harsh strokes of nature, and when the rain and storm bring it down to the ground to bury it, it rises from the ground with the rise of that sun with a new resolution, new form, new ambition and a new hope! — @things
Another instance that motivated me to share my experience was an article, “How Can You Rise, If You Have Not Burned? The Theme of Rebirth” authored by our beloved @mammasitta and it made me feel that If I could share my experience maybe someday I go through a difficult situation again then this will serve as a reminder to me that I can find the strength within me to overcome struggles.
I started off writing this with the thought process of, ‘what it's like to give up on things you love’ but now I don’t feel that way anymore!
I suppose, it's only natural that we feel down and depressed when we go through the hardest situations in our life. It's just a normal reaction to these difficult circumstances. I think if you are someone who is driven by passion, self motivation, a burning desire to succeed despite any struggle, it is easier to bring ourselves out of these difficult situations. If you are unable to, then seek help of your friends and family or a professional.
It's important not to linger with your negative thoughts for too long. You don't realize of the dangers that you expose yourself in doing so. Only when we assess our situation without any kind of bias, delusions or pride can we hope to get over our struggles. Today, I’ve made the decision to live life to the fullest once again. There’s nothing better than being happy doing the things you can do.
I've waited over three months to voice these thoughts down to text and I feel like a burden has been lifted! I'm certain many of you might have faced similar situations in your life and have overcome the obstacles in your path.
My hand is still in the same condition as in the video but I'm confident that I will still make it in life!
Perhaps you can share with me how you handled your most difficult, life changing situations? Did these choices shape your life for better or worse in ways that you never expected it would? I would love to hear your story in the comments if you can share it with me.
If you are tired rest, do not give up. -Banksy
Rest my mind I did and now I’m back for good!
Any time I connect with @liberosist on a call he’s always encouraging me to, ’Make a post and share my stories!’ I suppose that’s the best thing I could do for myself.
I hope that this post helps anyone going through a similarly difficult phase in their lives!
Thank you for reading!
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