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Physical Imjuries... What to do to stay sane?

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I'm nearing week 6 of the 6-8 week (supposed) recovery time following a severe car accident.

I am going crazy.

I am sick of laying down.

Sick of being unable to do anything for myself.

Sick of being cooped up.

Sick of being so depandent I may as well be a 4 year old.

I get flashbacks of the accident (complete with physically feeling the accident impact and the smelling the exploded car).

I vid chat with my tdoc 2xs a week but am usually too tired to do a full session.

I am sleeping ib my parents' living room and have no privacy.

I need a lot of help showering (covering up casts, making sure I don't fall, etc.)

i have watched the whole Buffy series 3 times through. And lots of movies and such. Hard to read a book or type 1 handed.

Any ideas on how to deal with the trauma? On how to stay sane (because I feel like screaming most of the time)? While you're at it, what should I do with my life? heh.

pardon the typos and lack of coherence.

basically... how do you deal with something like this?



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I am going to be in a not so intense but similar strait later this week. Almost 2 years ago, I slipped on a wet rock and fell on my right wrist. It has turned out to be more of a PITA than all my other physical complaints combined. This week I'm having my second surgery in less than a year to attempt to repair the damage. Luckily for me, I am left-handed. Otherwise I would be totally fucked.

I have read and watched every story made regarding serial killers and pathology fuck ups. My favorite TV show has become MSNBC's Lock Down. I am in severe need of a life. My family looks at me askance if they look at me at all.

Right now the most pressing concern I have is what color this cast will be, I'm thinking maybe orange...the only plus side, is I get to take opiods and not feel bad about it--at least for a week or two.

Hearing you,


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i think you know i get some of this. the limitations just suck. i have been trying to work through them. I mean, I am in physical therapy now, but the fact remains the same that my left arm is close to useless... it started from breaking my elbow mid-february and now my whole arm (my shoulder to my fingers) is all fucked up. I have constant pain, nothing works right, i can't hold anything, grip anything, type two-handed (even though I try to push myself for short periods and end up spasming).

And i'm always accidentally hurting myself. I am used to having two working arms, even though it has been about 22 weeks or so since my injury. I will accidentally lean on it, try to move something, etc, and be met with severe pain. But I guess that is also the only way to learn what your limitations are.

okay, this became more of a down post than anything else... I don't even know what my point was. I guess what I want to say is that I feel some of what you are saying... hopefully, though, it won't be too much longer that you will be in the casts and you can start moving again. I have to stop... I push the limits of one handed typing....

<3 <3 <3

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Penny, I've broken my wrist, had major surgery, and so I've spent my share of time on the couch. I hope the following suggestions help.

1) Any physical therapy you can do on your own is something to pass the time and get your strength back. If you are allowed to exercise either arm, maybe a little work with small weights? (Or cans of soup--whatever you can grasp). I don't know the extent of your injuries, but I know that whatever you can do from your couch will help you later on.

2) If you're sick of Buffy, and don't have much money, can you borrow movies from the library? Our public libraries have big collections and maybe you could make a list of movies you haven't had time to see. That's assuming that a friend or your mother would go pick them up.

3) Also, the library will have audio books. When I'm immobile, I enjoy listening to someone else read to me. They have them on CDs and tape, and you could listen to a book that you just haven't had time to read. (If you have the cash, you can also rent them. Check RecordedBooks.com, for a great company with a vast list of audiobooks that you can get delivered to you in the mail. It's just like Netflix).

4) I don't know much about PTSD, but I wonder if the tdoc could give you some help with techniques to work through the flashbacks. (I had a person on the windshield of my car once, so this one I can really relate to and I don't know how to help you with it. But there must be a CBT exercise or something that you could do to start healing.)

5) Keep a journal on tape, if you can't write. I bet it would be cathartic to "write" your feelings and frustrations down, and it might give you material for an essay or article later on.

The one-handed crap is a real pain in the butt. I broke my right wrist, so I was really helpless there for a while. Can you walk at all? Could you go for little walks around the neighborhood? Any change of scene is a huge help with the boredom.

Hang in there. You'll get through this. Do your physical therapy faithfully and build those muscles back up.


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Audible lets you download books for instant gratification. If you go that route, I highly recommend Max Brooks World War Z if you are an audiobook novice, ditto Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys. Beautiful productions.

CBC.ca has excellent podcasts galore (I am hooked on the Vinyl Cafe and Quirks and Quarks.) Free. For psychiatry-related podcasts, look at the Maudsley page. Also free.

When I can't type, the dreaded Dragon Naturally Speaking is my savior. The non-Professional version is relatively inexpensive, particularly with the student discount. Depending on how long you'll be typing-impaired, this might be a good thing anyway.

I haven't used the Mac equivalent yet - I run DNS inside the Mac inside the virtual PC that lives there.

It's very entertaining to watch it transcribe my foul language as I become frustrated with it.

Just so I sound like a skipping CD (sheesh, that's as bad as a broken record for out-of-dateness): Structure is vital. Up every day at the same time. Make up a routine, no matter how small and trivial the items in it.

If you have an ambulatory pet in the house, start clicker-training him or her to do something. Anything.

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I've had several surgeries that left one eye stitched and bandaged for about a week. I listened to a lot of audiobooks. Some friend of my mom's gave me a couple dozen Louis L'amour tapes and they more or less kept me sane.

Get Nixonland as an audiobook if you can find it. I just started reading it and it's really good.

I think you can get audiobooks from itunes now, FWIW.

Dragon Naturally speaking is in the "computer stuff" section of the crazystore, btw.

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When I can't type, the dreaded Dragon Naturally Speaking is my savior. The non-Professional version is relatively inexpensive, particularly with the student discount. Depending on how long you'll be typing-impaired, this might be a good thing anyway.

Dragon Naturally speaking is in the "computer stuff" section of the crazystore, btw.

wow. i mean, i have been typing onehanded for almost 5 months now, but.... yeah... that would have been pretty useful in the beginning and to help me, like, uh, finish college. that was a trip with one arm and all those papers, let me tell you!

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PC, I don't know what your uni policy is, but my facility bookstore gives a huge student discount on DNS, and then, if it's "adaptive technology," the remainder is 90% covered by the school (and they'll waive the 10% if you truly don't have the money.) I had a student 2y ago who broke her right arm, and they stepped up and covered DNS and the microphone for her with a 'reasonable accommodation' note from her NP. Just a thought.

Ophelia: Dang, how did you do it? Type with your nose and one hand? I'm impressed.

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replying to everyone in one vauge post:

have and love audible. thanks for recommendations on new books. will totally look into those.

will look into mac text-to-speach if my collar bone doesn't heal by fall, thanks for reminding me silver. i've been using jott to send text messages. love jott, can't believe its free.

no physical therapy assigned beyond minimal work on my one uninjured limb.

am not mobile at all so walks are a sad no-go. (well, i totter to the bathroom with help... more than that and i start to pass out from pain and puke.)

am quite looking forward to physical therapy. all that hard work in pilates is jelly.

have a routine (somewhat dictated by med schedule and when i can and can not eat (coumadin makes me vomit)), though it is minimal as my motion is severely limited.

tdoc is a ptsd specalist (started with her before the accident and am lucky she does vid chat, much better than phone sessions), she says my emotions, etc. are natural and that i should focus on physical recovery and distract myself, for now, when i go somewhere bad in my head. though i have cried, which is good. it was a multiple fatality accident and it has been hard to process,

i dunno. hard to find meaning in things. hard being helpless and useless.

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what about different scents - like mint, cinnamon, or lavender? (idk how sensitive you are to scents). im thinking a "different" scent might be a distraction. although at 4 am im having a hard time thinking about the best way to expose oneself to these scents (other than from food). the "reed" things work - but not the cheapies. and its safer than having a candle lit while you sleep.

as for your viewing pleasure - the "24" series, specifically the first 3 seasons. and watch them all together in order (with breaks for sleeping, etc) after season 3 it gets kind of silly. for those that dont know - the main character jack bauer at one time works for the government but it becomes so convulted as the series continues. my "pretend" example: he is a spy for the US but has to pretend to be a member of a gang who is a spy for XYZ govt. and the US has another spy in the same gang but that spy really works for the HIJ government and jack must determine who is who all the while confusing everyone else about who he really is (this is made up by me...but the show does have that similar formula).

"arrested development" is hilarious. and that is one that should be watched in order, too. that way you get all the jokes. its 3 seasons.

and then there is always working on world peace.

much love!!!


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If you want mindless entertainment, and can get someone to go to the library for you, my library in VA was beginning to carry some of the anime series. Try and see if yours is as well. ;) Most anime is 26 episodes long, and it's great for filling time - very soap opera-ish. :) You may enjoy it.

Anyway, I thought I'd throw in my favorite time killer.

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hehe. i love you guys, you're suggesting all the things i am doing. which is great and making me laugh. i just returned disk 3 of season 1 of 24 and disks 4 and 5 are supposedly coming in the mail today. wanted to do the scent thing in yummy shower gel and lotion form, but there was a snafu at my bank (that my bank failed to tell me about) and yeah, it's a messy situation.

sadly pointing and clicking is harder than tying. mousepad accuracy with my left hand sucks.

tineas told me about surf the channel and there's hulu.

still, feeling quite useless. which i am. sigh.

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