Updated: Nov 4, 2021
I have been asked if I would talk about other aspects of my life, like the difficulty with dyslexia at school, and what it is like living with pain every day.
So I thought I would start with my accident, which was on the 28th June 2007. I was working as a baker at the time after relocating to a new town. It was a freak accident caused by bad weather and dough on the bottom of my shoe while at the top of a metal fire escape. When it happened my right leg shot out in front of me completely straight. I knew then I was going down and it was going to really hurt.
I impacted my coccyx and neck at the same time. It caused a compound wedge fracture, which is a bit like pushing on both ends of a stick at the same time. I had never felt pain like it, it was so overwhelming. 14 years on that pain has never dropped, it’s been consistent ever since, every second of every day.
In terms of my mind and the person I am, my salvation came 4 months after the accident when I met my wife for the first time. We met in a mobile phone chat room online. We had both been to see different physiotherapists in different hospitals that same day. As it happened we were both on to take our minds off the pain. We started talking and it felt so comfortable, something that normally took time for me. We talked for hours and before long she came to see me. I felt something really special being around her, just being in her presence made me feel calm. It was and is something beautiful that came exactly when I needed it.
Because of the impact on my spine, I not only shrunk 3 inches but also had to retrain my brain. My centre of gravity had been altered, that meant that the way I moved, stood, sat, everything put pressure on my spine. I had to learn how to walk in such a way as to make the pain manageable; how to stand, sit down, everything and that took years.
Some days I spend in bed and I don’t tend to travel. The problem is when I travel for about 40 minutes in total I risk passing out with the pain. The last time my family and I went somewhere I had to explain to my daughter what happened. When we got home she said, “Daddy are you ok, I was really worried, you just stopped moving”. She must of seen the moment I blacked out and that was upsetting. I would hate to think what was going through her mind.
I will always be in pain, I can’t change that. I have been bedbound before and one day that will probably be my day to day again, but until then I will do all I can to ensure my daughter and my wife have a collection of happy memories of us together as often as possible. One thing about always being in pain is the small things become so important for so many reasons.
The story of how I met my wife became national press, if you are interested in reading more, please take a look. https://metro.co.uk/2021/03/01/man-says-breaking-his-spine-led-him-to-the-love-of-his-life-14164998/
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All the best
Words – Ross A Fraser
Imagery – Ross A Fraser
Graphic Design App – Canva