When you’re thrown into jail on no charges at all, roughed up by Moline police and psychologically assaulted by jailers who put poison in your food, other traumas can get lost in the shuffle.
I mean, let’s not forget about the rape in 2007. Or the assault in 2014 in my basement that nearly left me for dead.
Or the years of fighting amongst my parents. Mom’s death at age 53 (I was 24).
The truth is, I have had dozens of automobile accidents. None, however, more severe than my 2002 crash with dad as my passenger.
I had just visited the allergist an hour or so before. I was taking dad home from running him on a quick errand, and everything seemed fine, last I remembered before the accident. I remember driving past Whitey’s.
Next, I’m in a ravine, and dad is screaming, “Talk to the kid, David!” A paramedic’s nose is stuck in my face. It’s Chris Kent, an old friend of my brother’s.
This photo bears striking resemblance to what the car (and the scene) actually looked like, although this is a Pixabay image. My car was a 1995 Honda Accord, but exactly the same color as the one pictured with this story.
Roomies with dad in UnityPoint Trinity
Dad and I ended up being roommates for a week at UnityPoint Trinity. I was discharged after being given a battery of tests and a clean bill of health (no brain damage!) and dad spent a whopping two months in Rosewood.
But as I look back on that accident, I realize I likely have a condition called TOS, or Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. I say this not only because of the severe 2002 accident with my dad, but because I have had MANY bad automobile accidents through the years.
Thoracic outlet syndrome, simply put, is when a whole bunch of your nerves and arteries get smashed into too small a cavity between your armpit and your first rib. The symptoms include shoulder pain and numbness in the fingers, both of which I experienced rather severely today before I was able to get my medical cannabis (Bio Jesus strain).
The condition also can cause you to lose your grip on things, which is something else I experience. In times of severe stress and trauma (I have a co-occuring CPTSD condition) these TOS symptoms are greatly aggravated.
What causes TOS?
Trauma, such as car accidents, can cause TOS. However, repetitive injury (typing in an ergonomically incorrect work environment, for example) also can result in TOS.
There are different types of TOS. Some types involve more vascular arteries, while another, more common type affects neurological function.
The condition commonly is found in people with fibromyalgia and MS.
Poor posture, obesity, and pregnancy also can result in TOS. I am very mindful of my posture these days. It used to be terrible and now I know I am always standing tall. I also have lost a lot of extra weight in the past few years, at one time pushing 300 pounds.
Still, particularly times of great duress, I experience the pain of TOS. I find relief almost instantly when I inhale certain strains of cannabis. My back pops audibly simply by my taking a breath.
A quick review of message boards about health online will tell you this is a common symptom of TOS, too. However, when I’m able to crack my back like that, I find relief and move on. I’m not too worried about TOS at this point.
Sometimes, however, surgery may become necessary.
Until next time.