Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Figuring out the damage

Why MRI was so important for me? I had to do it to get the image of everything inside my leg, including muscles, ligaments, tissue, etc, and not just the bone, which you normally get form the X-ray. I must say here that it was already a frustration to get the appointment to do MRI as I had to do a lot of calling and begging, and going to hospital to get to this doctor and that specialist, and an incredible amount of waiting time. In addition, it was very painful to get it done as they had to squeeze my swollen leg. And being a claustrophobic person didn’t help at all.

The challenge here was that my bone wasn’t broken and because of that people thought that my problem wasn’t that serious. They thought I was just faking it and being a wimpy whiner. So it was tough to get through all the obstacles to get an appointment for the MRI, but I did it. And to everybody’s surprise, it was an extremely severe case of two lacerated ligaments and a damaged femur.

I must admit I enjoyed seeing the faces of my orthopedic surgeon and my physiotherapist as they saw the MRI result. Literally their jaws dropped in disbelief! It was hard to believe even for myself that I got this injury just because my ski binder didn’t release my boots during the fall, which caused all my injuries.

Trapped in yourself...

Sometimes I get really frustrated when I get stuck up on something, whether it’s an idea or a way of doing things. I noticed a lot of people do too, and it’s so unfortunate that in this situation we are not aware of our own state of mind. We just don’t want to accept and acknowledge anything that goes against what we believe. It’s just too difficult to admit that we can be wrong! Sometimes people can go so far with this, that it can even ruin relationship…
The other day a friend of mine asked me for my help to resolve an easy computer problem. So I went to their house, which was ten minutes drive from my place. By the time I got there the person was already frustrated and discouraged and while I was trying to solve the problem she just wouldn’t stop interrupting me and telling me how to do things. When I tried to do something to help her, she would say ``No, I have already tried this thousand times and it did not work!!``
I just find it fascinating that when we have a problem our brain gets stuck and we cannot get any further. It is like there is a wall that goes up and we cannot move on. We are literally spending our energy going in circles and accomplishing nothing. We become slaves of our thoughts and we don’t let any other suggestions/advises in. Why do we feel this way? Is it being insecure about being wrong or is it just the desire to oppose anything and everything we are told to do?

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Embracing change

The other day, I went for an interview for Sales and Marketing Manager. It was a conservative multi-national company and I thought that due to my age and experience that I was a well suited position for me. Well… I was wrong. They wanted someone not to create marketing plans, but to simply follow and execute their own obsolete plans. To my disbelief, I realized that the company was set in their own way; they simply do not want to be disturbed. Although, they knew their marketing campaign was not working but they fail to acknowledge or reevaluate the effectiveness of it. They refused to adapt to the situation and the new way of doing business; instead, they chose mediocrity and conformism over creativity and innovation. Their reasoning was “I want to keep my job and we have been doing it this way and it is going to stay that way”. There will be no transformation even if nothing is working. In this global economy we have to understand we are in a constant change and if you do not adapt you will simply not be viable. It is challenging for the aging manager to understand how we have been programmed not to be disturbed, obey your teacher and your parent, do not rock the boat. This is the way we were raised: obey the law and your superior. We have been taught to conform to the establishment and we have been doing that. Consequently, this is why it is so difficult to embrace changes; the status quo is our way of being in our society. Attention people we are soothing ourselves and falling as sleep while others are becoming increasingly awake and in tune with the constant stirring world. Wake up people, embrace the change! Break out!

Friday, 24 June 2011

1st week after accident – getting to MD

The most difficult thing during that week was to get my appointment with my orthopedic surgeon. It was also shockingly tough to deal with my day-to-day life. We take for granted so many things… Thinking of that time… I was facing the problem of getting the food, and not in terms of earning it, but bringing it to my house. Basically, you feel paralyzed and isolated from the rest of the world.  It’s almost as the world that you knew didn’t exist anymore. Every single activity was a struggle… and these are the basic activities that we do on a daily basis. Even brushing my teeth was a challenge as my shoulder was hurt from the accident! I was deprived from my essential chores, i.e. I couldn’t pick up or drop my daughter to school. Besides that I was looking for the employment at that period of time and it was my second interview that was scheduled the following Monday. Obviously I couldn’t attend it and the company didn’t want to hire me as I was a handicap. I was truly physically unable to work.
On top of that I had to go to the hospital (I am not even mentioning here how long waiting time is there) and the doctor I saw didn’t even help me. He refused to send me for MRI and told me to come back in two weeks. The next day after that I had to go to collect the results of my blood test (from the annual check-up) at my family doctor, and when he saw me barely moving he got totally outraged. He took upon himself responsibly to send me for the MRI and that’s how I got it the following week. He saved me 6 month as when I called myself for the MRI they wanted to put me on a half-year waiting list. And that’s when I cannot even move an inch of my leg!
I don’t want to point fingers at the health system here, but I think the conclusion is asking for itself…

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

First 24 hours after the accident

So after the check up, I had to go back home. I got into the back seat of the car as my legs were fixed straight by Zimmer, so I could sit only with my legs straighten. When we arrived we came out of the car and I found myself in front of my house with Zimmer on and not even knowing how to use crutches... So I come in the house and I understand that my bedroom is on 2nd floor.  After few trials I figured out how I could do this  – I had to sit on the stairs backwards and sit up step by step. After that exercise I needed his help to undress me and on top of that the hospital told me that I had to sleep with my Zimmer on... that was a long night.
The trouble never comes alone and in the middle of the night I had to go to the bathroom. So I had to wake up my friend to bring me there and back. I understood I couldn’t even use my own bathroom as there were no handles to hold on to. So I had to use my daughter`s bathroom where I could hold on to the sink to get myself up.
Waking up the following morning... I felt paint in every single part of my body; it felt like truck ran over me.  And I could not even put my feet down to the ground by myself. I needed someone to help me. And again even this I could not do by myself, so someone had to dress me up that day and for the whole next month as I couldn`t reach my own feet.
The next day I found myself trying to find a way now to come down my stairs. I had to spend 10 minutes to come down 14 steps. After that I realized I could not do an anything to sustain myself: I could not cook, I could not move... the only thing I could do was to sit and watch TV. Going through this I realized that I could not do that alone. I needed people around me helping with basic needs.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Uncomfortable situation at the gym

It’s a month now since I am allowed to go to the gym and exercise. Though I am still very limited in my range of motions as I am struggling with my left leg and also my right shoulder due to my ski accident in January. One day after the work out I went to the change room. Suddenly, I found myself in front of my locker; it was awkward because my locker was right beside this motionless naked woman. She was right in front of my locker and she literally obstructed my way to the locker. I waited for a good 10 minutes, but she was not moving and at one moment I realized she was crying… I did not know what to do, so I asked her: «Do you want to talk? Can I help you with something? » She said: «I do not want to bother you». I told her: “You are not bothering me, I am here for you”. But she just left for the shower area without speaking to me and then I took my personal gear and left. I did not know what to do.. I thought that sometimes the best thing to do is not doing anything … allow the person to be with the pain even if it makes you feel uncomfortable and powerless. Sometime life is difficult and we need to consent to let it be, this too will pass.

And what would you do?

Friday, 17 June 2011

Healing Kiss in the Middle of Vancouver Chaos

This is incredible! Good things happen when least expected...

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

My ski accident

On January 28, 2011 at approximately 2pm at the Mount Cascade ski in Qu├ębec (Canada), I was skiing with my daughter school parent. It was an annual event for the Turnbull School that my daughter goes to since the first grade (they have three scheduled ski day every winter). It was a wonderful day with perfect ski conditions. We were enjoying ourselves and it was one of our last descends. I was around twenty feet from the ski lift, where my ski buddies were already waiting for me to line up to take the ski lift. All was well, the snow was good, and I was not tired. My equipment was fine, and here I was making my last turn and all of a sudden I heard real loud noise on my head going “POP”. That was the last thing I remembered.
When I opened my eyes my friends were already next to me talking to me, telling me “get up”. I told them: ”No, I cannot move”. The two of them picked me up and let me stand up. To what I remember they asked me if I could walk and I thought I could, but to my surprise as soon as I stood up I fell back down. They finally got help from the infirmary and brought me to the stretcher to check me up if there was anything serious.
After examination they brought me to my car. My daughter and her friends got my ski equipment together and one of the school teachers drove me home with my car. And here I was in the car making fun and thinking that I got some attention for a couple of hours and tomorrow I will be better. When we arrived home, my daughter helped me but still I did not realize the seriousness of my injuries. I thought I was just hurt because of the muscle pull and that I would go back to normal the next day. As I was walking down the corridor to get to my kitchen my knee gave up on me. Thankfully my daughter was quick enough to put a chair under me and I landed safely on the chair. It is at that particular moment that I realized I was in trouble and I needed to go to the emergency.
Finally we arrived at the emergency of the Ottawa Civic Hospital. As I expected it took a long time, around two hours, of waiting until my case was finally processed. Thankfully my daughter was with me; even if she was thirteen years old she was my only comfort. They examined me and sent me to x-ray and then I had to wait again another five hours for the doctors to come back and tell me: “Which news do you want first: the bad one or the good one?” I told them: “the bad one”. They said: “You have no broken bone therefore we cannot operate you. If you had a broken bone we could have operated right away and fix everything but because we do not know the extent of your injury we are not going to operate you, so you will have to wait. They made an appointment for me in the plaster room in six day time and then proceeded putting me in a Zimmer, which is an apparatus designed to support somebody who needs help with walking and of course two beautiful crutches.
And here I was… In a matter of few hours I went from being on the top of the world enjoying myself, skiing with my friends to not even being able to make few steps and being absolutely clueless. It made me realize that we must appreciate what we have now, even it`s just the ability to walk, because in a matter of a second you can lose it all.