Time Ticks On

I’ve been sat here for ten minutes looking at the screen but it appears my brain had run out of words! So this blog may be a bit bitty and all over the place as I’m just going to write it as it comes.

Things have been good, I started back at the gym after a lazy break! Truth is I just never got back into the swing after our holiday and then the sun appeared so I was spending gym time in the garden! It was going really well (my return to the gym that is, not garden time, although it was rather enjoyable) I found that I was actually able to run again without any pain. I felt so amazing when I ran 4km, I was happy all the way through, right to my bones. I’m lucky that my best friend is a Personal Trainer so she helps making sure I do all of the correct stretches before and after my marathon sessions. But then, like a lightening bolt, disaster struck. My right leg became swollen and really quite painful. It now hurts to walk let alone run so once again I’m in the garden and not the gym. I know I need to call my surgeon for advice or a check up. But what can he say? Don’t over do it, take it easy, rest your legs. But I’m so fed up of resting my legs (as much as I can in-between being a housewife and full time Mum to three darlings who are on summer holidays!) I am so desperate to just be able to do normal things without a constant fear in the back of my head that I’m going to do some damage.
Maybe I just need to get over it and accept that pain is the way of life now.
I haven’t built up the courage yet to make that call.

It’s been 10 months since I had the Ilizarov removed.
Time is a peculiar thing. You can’t stop it, you can’t fast forward it, it just keeps ticking by regardless. So even though the last ten months have felt like I’ve been zooming through life on a rocket, I’ve actually been cage-less for double the time I had it attached. And time with Ole Nicholas couldn’t have been any slower without actually stopping.

Sometimes I wonder if the accident changed me as a person. Physically obviously it did, and its still taking to time realise that. I need to remember that it’s not about what I can’t do, but what I can do and how well I can do it.
But mentally, emotionally? Do I think differently? Behave differently? Am I the same person?
In all honesty I just don’t know. Certain aspects of my life are hard at the moment and I don’t know if the way I am dealing with them is how I would have before. Sometimes I wish I could pause time for a little while just to be able to stop and think and rather than make choices because I have to then and there, and actually think about what I really want.

The Oxford Mail called me this week. It would seem its been a year since the court case. My memory had stayed shut to that particular event. Being made to think about made me realise that I can remember everything about that day, possibly with more clarity than the accident itself. The weather, the drive there, even what music I listened too whilst waiting. But what sticks most in my mind is the sound of him cheering at the verdict. In that single moment I realised what despair actually feels like.

People go through so much worse than I have and move on, so I’m not sure why I have the need to think about things so much. I’m not a hoarder with physical items in my life, yet with my thoughts and memories, I can’t seem to let them go.

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More Surgery …. and an angry rant

As I write this the sun is blazing and I have just enjoyed a fabulous afternoon with my gorgeous boys at he farm. I should be feeling content and happy, but alas I’m not. I am sat here with a knot in my stomach, trying to contain the rage and desperately trying not to cry …. again.

The plate in my left leg is continuing to niggle me, I can feel it there reminding me of it’s presence and still regularly swelling up just for good measure. Surgery for the removal has been set for 30th May. In all honesty I am not worried about the surgery itself, it’s very straight forward, one night stay in hospital and I should be up and walking relatively quickly. At least once it’s out it’s out! Just got to hope that the screws stay where they are don’t try escaping!

The gym has been amazing for getting my legs back to a good level of ability. In the past week I have finally been able to advance from speed walking to jogging – a huge achievement! It is an odd feeling if I am honest, my right leg protests to begin with with threats of giving way but once it realises that it wont win the fight it gives up and lets me carry on. I can manage two miles so far and hopefully that will continue to increase. Now, if I could stop eating so much cake (and the person who keeps buying said cake knows who she is!) then possibly this new found love for the gym may have a positive effect on my slightly larger waist line.

And so the reasons for the angst I am feeling.
It would appear that the law is an ass. Perhaps if I was a multi-millionaire footballer and someone happens to say something nasty to me in a newspaper then my multi-millionaire solicitor may not have much trouble in securing me a few extra million to add to my bulging bank balance.
However, little old me (sat here typing away on my three year old laptop in my modest little family home in Oxfordshire, whilst my husband is working a ‘proper job’ ¬†to support us) is having a somewhat troublesome time trying to secure compensation for the accident that broke my bones.
Let me explain as that view maybe a little one sided ūüėČ
After the accident James took a¬†sabbatical¬†from work so that he could look after me and the children. During this time he wasn’t paid and so we borrowed money from family. This money paid the mortgage, the bills, fed us etc. On top of this we claimed Employment & Support Allowance – a benefit that is designed for people who cannot work due to an accident/ill health – exactly our position. We were awarded ¬£100 per week.
Obviously the legal side of things has been and gone (remember the ¬£90 fine and 6 points – yes, that legal ‘justice’) so all that is left is my¬†civil case.
So apparently (according my very own solicitor) James should never have taken a sabbatical and forgone his salary as we cannot claim for his full loss of earnings. We should have put the boys into full time nursery (for which we could have claimed the full costs back) and I should have had a carer to look after me (for which we could have claimed the full costs minus 10%).
It would seem that the fact that my daughter witnessed me getting run over, the boys having to come to terms with Mummy not being walk, having a scary cage attached to one leg and being bed bound in the living room for some 7 weeks isn’t relevant. Life should have just continued with the addition of the boys finding themselves in nursery 8am-6pm Monday -Friday (not forgetting the fact that we couldn’t have actually transported them there as James is out of the house 6am-7pm) How silly of us to put the emotional needs of myself and our children first.
The benefit that we claimed will need to be paid back to the government by the defendant and so will be deducted from any money I am to receive (this I do understand as otherwise I will have been compensated twice).
However, the whole this is just leaving me drained, angry, upset, tired …. this list of emotions could go on and on.

I have been fighting for a year and it’s still not over. I may not be worried about the upcoming surgery … but it’s still another thing that I have to do. It’s still not over.

And on top of the physical hurdles to face we are facing not even being compensated financially what we feel we deserve.

We are not greedy people. I am not asking for millions of pounds so we can live a lavish lifestyle.
I do not however think I am selfish for wanting to be compensated (after all, I didn’t receive justice in court) for the trauma,¬†physically¬†and emotionally, that me and my family went through. I may have have the broken bones but I can assure you that I was not the only one affected by this. WHY should we end up in debt after this?? That is the way this is heading.
And do you know what is making me furious to the point of screaming …. she is totally unaware. She is out there living her life with no consequence what so ever.

My daughter is still nervous in car parks.
I have video of Archie screaming in terror when I was learning to walk with my zimmer frame.
I have the memories of my boys not wanting to  approach me, let alone cuddle me when I was bed bound for almost two weeks.

I may be a small fish in a big pond but to me, this was a tsunami and it’s still coming.
I’m all out of breath though so keep myself afloat.

 

 

Niggles and Money

So with nine weeks to go before the anniversary of ‘that day’ a new sense of anxiousness has evolved along with new worries.

My counselling is drawing to a close, I am in the process of being discharged. I have made huge progress, she has has been truly amazing. The session before last took us back to the car park to relive the event and put my few found help techniques to the test. It was quite overwhelming to actually stand there and talk through the events. But I surprised myself with my new found ability to deal with the feelings. I was no longer scared of the images or the memories. I was able to remember then but be able to look at where I am now and not be panicked.
In my session last ¬†week we spoke about the normality of feeling anxious with ‘the year’ fast approaching. I’ll be happy when it’s out the way. I think that I am going to worry so much about worrying that I am going to send myself crazy. I’ve already been getting upset at the thought of reliving the whole thing minute by minute even though I know what I need to do to get through it. ¬†But in reality, how easy is that going to be?

I don’t think it’s helping that I also saw my surgeon last week and the outcome was the need to have the metal plate removed. As we already knew, the bone has completely healed and even though the plate could potentially stay there it seems my leg has other ideas. For want of a better word it still ‘niggles’ me daily. Apparently I could have a bug in there that isn’t enough to cause a full blow infection but enough to annoy me. Because evidently I’m not annoyed enough by the scarring or the persistent ache, I need a niggling plate too! So once again I find myself on a surgical waiting list.

My case against the woman has left a bitter taste in my mouth too. We wont have a final medical prognosis (physical and mental) for another 12 months or so. Waiting doesn’t bother me as I wont settle early as once you do you cannot go back. At the very least I need to wait until the new surgery is complete. I did however ask my solicitor, in his expert opinion, if I were to recover fully what settlement could we be looking at. The answer was not heart warming. To put it simply it wasn’t even enough to cover the debt we¬†accumulated¬†whilst James was on¬†sabbatical¬†to look after me. Now, I didn’t automatically see pound signs when I had my accident, I’m not like that. However, in reality we have had huge expenses over the past ten months because of the accident and I would expect to be¬†sufficiently compensated for that. And yes, there is another part of me that thinks actually, you know what, I didn’t deserve this, why shouldn’t I get something out it? I sure didn’t get justice from our¬†judicial¬†¬†system.

It’s a horrible feeling and to be honest it feels like a black cloud over me. Not only am I still battling the physical changes to my body and learning daily new limits set silently upon me, I am now worrying about the financial hole this is going to leave us in.

 

This Blog Is For Me ….. if you don’t like it don’t read it

I didn’t start this blog for sympathy or to make out as though I am hard done by. I started it because something traumatic happened to me and I needed a way to deal with it and the emotions that it bought. Before the age of word processing and Internet I would have gone to the shop and bought a pad and pen. But as this is 2012 here I am on my iPad using WordPress. I haven’t asked anybody to read it, I haven’t asked for comments or words of advice. Last year I watched my step father die of Cancer so I am fully aware that there are bigger problems in the world than my broken legs. However that doesn’t take away from what I am going through. This diary is personal to me, I was run over, my legs were broken and I am in pain. I don’t feel sorry for myself in the slightest, I wake up every morning with a strength I didn’t know I had and fight my way through the day. I have a gorgeous family who I am strong for every day. I smile, I laugh and help create happy memories for my children. I use this as my place to let out my anger, pain and fears. I am not ashamed of that.
If you don’t agree with it, or you don’t like it, please, just don’t read it.

Since court last Wednesday there have been ups and downs. I was so immensely angry (and as it would seem so were a large proportion of our family and friends). The support I have been shown has been truly amazing. It’s a relief to know that the anger I felt wasn’t born out of self pity but rather the injustice of the decisions made.
(I made front page of the Oxford Mail for their follow up story, my claim to fame!)
After their article, written in my favour, the CPS responded standing by their desicions stating
‚ÄúThe most important aspect of cases like this for victims is for the defendant to acknowledge responsibility for the injuries caused.”
Yes, is absolutely true. However, I would have expected the fact that she was in control of a motor vehicle and ran someone over without (apparently) realising she’d done it quite disturbing. And then leaving the scene and not even trying to help rather serious. I mean, she just left me there. How can she be found not guilty of that? She did it!
But what is done is done. I will always be angry and carry the feeling of being let down but I need to focus my energy on healing and direct my anger there. I won’t let her take over my life, I need to try and move on from the accident. I start counselling next week, I need to look forward.

We went to my Mum’s this weekend and had a night out with my Aunt for dinner and a family Sunday lunch out at the garden centre. It felt good to go out and do normal things. I was a little nervous before going out for dinner but it vanished as soon as we got there. It was heading to be a good weekend until this afternoon …….

I seem to be entering a second pin site infection. The pain is excruciating and the weariness is brings is almost unbearable. It creates many unwanted tears but that just seems to be the course. James deals with my episodes of continuing sobbing so well. He just opens his arms and scoops me up. It’s a wonderful feeling to know you are loved. I might have been dealt a bad hand but it has made me realise how lucky I am.
Right now I cannot put any weight on my leg without wanting to scream and even resting it hurts. I cannot get comfortable and and am so anxious I am almost shaking. Tonight I know will be a hard one and I won’t be counting on a lot of sleep. If I can just get through it relatively calmly without too many tears I will be happy. I will be calling the Trauma unit first thing and it’ll be another trip to hospital no doubt.

Closing ceremony of the Olympics tonight. I’m absolutely gutted that I only got to be part of London 2012 from my sofa ūüė¶ I have felt extremely proud to be British over the last fortnight. Go Team GB!

‘Justice’ Is Done

Today was the day that we had been waiting for. The time had come for her to come up against our legal system, face what she had done and hear what her actions have caused my family and I.
Unfortunately things did not go our way.

Sitting in the waiting area, after a complete sleepless night for us both, James and I were exhausted. We kept ourselves busy with reading, music, iPads and phones.
There was a mixture of nervousness and anticipation.
This was a whole new experience and I had no idea what the outcome would be. I kept expecting to see her appear from somewhere but as the case was called after a two hour wait it became apparent that she was hidden away in a side room.
Seeing her there, in front of me, didn’t bring the reaction in me that I thought it would. I wasn’t scared, angry or upset. I felt totally numb. This was the woman who had turned my life upside down and I felt absolutely nothing. I couldn’t see her face as she was facing the Judges. I could however see the faces of her relatives. Her son looked smug throughout the entire hearing. Occasionally he exchanged words with his partner that resulted in chuckles. What could they have to laugh about? Me sitting there nervously waiting? The fact that my leg was encased in a metal cage? Whatever their reasons it filled me with disgust. Do they have no shame?

The CPS read out their argument first, failing entirely to read my victim impact statement (for which I am going to complain) and then her solicitor had his time.
Apparently, at the time she didn’t realise that it was actually her that had run me over. It has only been since the evidence has been presented to her that she realises that it must have been her. According her solicitor she is ‘deeply sorry and full of regret’. Well, how nice of her. Who exactly is she sorry to because I sure haven’t received any of her apologies.

She pleaded guilty to driving with undue care and attention.
Hearing her say those words bought a blanket of relief. I breathed easy for the fist time sitting there.
My ease was short lived though.
Because of early guilty plea they dropped the charges for failing to stop and failing to report an accident.
She was fined £90 plus costs and given six penalty points.
That’s it. Our legal system has performed ‘justice’.

I don’t want to rant about how the system has let me down. I do believe that we are lucky to have a legal system in which everyone has the right to a proper defence and trial.
However I do feel incredibly let down. Sitting there in court today and listening to what was said, I don’t feel that a true account of what happened on that day was given at all. All they’ve heard is that she ran me over accidentally and is apparently really sorry. They didn’t hear about the true extent of the injuries, the hours of pain I have suffered, the anguish my children have been through as a result.
How is that justice? Someone, please explain it to me as I am totally and utterly lost.

My head cannot process the fact that you can be charged with three offences, and just because you plead guilty to one of them (as though you are being the helpful one) you can just be let off of the others. It doesn’t make you any less guilty of them so why shouldn’t you be punished for them?

On reflection, the CPS solicitor was utter rubbish. He mumbled his way through, wasn’t sure of his facts and acted as though he’d rather be anywhere but there.
Should I have employed my own solicitor? I wasn’t even told if that was an option?
I feel totally and utterly cheated.
Through no fault of my own I was run over, both of my legs broken leaving me and my family distraught and lost. She has received no punishment that will have any affect on her.
How is this fair?
You can run someone over and callously leave them there and all you face is six points and a pathetic fine.
I will be left with this for the rest of my life and the memories will always haunt me. The nightmares, the panic attacks, the pain, the fear ……

I think she sleeps soundly at night.

I am trying really hard not to be angry as I know it will do no good however I am failing. I have never known what true anger is until now. It is running through my bones and I cannot stop it. I am fighting back the tears as I am too scared that they won’t stop.
Until now I didn’t, but right now I actually despise her.
What kind of vile human being is she?

How do I move on from this with the knowledge that she has suffered nothing yet I am still suffering today, almost 13 weeks later and still have a long journey ahead?

I feel so unbearably distraught.