Hello, My name is Cass I am a 23 (1998) year old lady who in February my entire life changed with a fall out of bed.
I was working 60 hours a week in the recovery & wellness field. I worked directly with the homeless… My job was connecting people struggling with housing insecurity with resources and aiding them in obtain benefits. I had my own office meeting people one on one, and was on the local homeless correlation. I genuinely was in inlove with public service.
My job was my life, I’m almost through with my degree in human services as well. My passion for people has driven everything I’ve ever done.
On the 15th I woke up like any other morning, but I rolled out of bed and landed in my purse. I immediately could not feel my right foot.. I went to the emergency room and they told me I had Sciatica and sent me home, with nothing more than a “you’re fine follow up with your doctor”. They gave me no exam other than an X-ray, I couldn’t think straight from the level of pain I was in, I also could not feel my right leg at this point. I was terrified and didn’t know what was going on.
Over the next few weeks, every one I met with or spoke to did not have an answer for me- due to my age they didn’t believe something like this could happen from a simple roll out of bed. One said “in my 20 years of being a Spinal Surgeon I have never seen someone do the things you’re describing from a fall from bed” – at once point it’s hard tj not think “am I crazy?” But I knew I wasn’t!!!
I had to resign from my job at The advocacy service I coordinated a recovery grant at, and also the homeless shelter I moonlighted at… I’ve never felt so defeated because I couldn’t give them any answers other r than I fell, and cannot walk anymore..
After 3 months, I finally found a doctor to take me seriously, ordered an MRI and it turned out I had 2 ruptured discs in my spine. They exploded and shards had served nerves (my Vegas Nerve, and Nerve responsible for the movement of my right foot) I was diagnosed with severe Lumbar Spinal stenosis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Lumbar Spondylitis, Drop foot, peripheral neuropathy in my right leg, and a sloo of things which blindsided me. The team who took care of me got my MRI results and apologized profusely for the comments by other medical professionals- and scheduled me for surgery that week. Ever since my fall I have not been able to walk independently and have to use a wheelchair, walker and cane. (Attachment is photo of my spine from MRI)
I had the surgery in April which removed the disc and shards my from back and started physical therapy 3x a week but so far the use of my right foot has not come back and I am still using assistance devices. The nerve damage makes it nearly impossible to do anything I once enjoyed.. None the less I am fight day in and day out for normalcy. I also have an issue toileting independently now due to the severance of the Vegas nerve.
It’s like I literally woke up one day and everything flipped upside down.
Things have been extremely scary finically as well, for some reason Unemployment has fought my claim (since Feb no one calls, they always escalate claim when I call)
Since this, I lost my entire income from both jobs due and my savings dwindled faster than I could blink. As of this moment, my phone has been cut off, possibly losing my car, and my home and feel so helpless… I don’t know what to do.. I worked so hard through the years to get to an independent life, for me to wake up one day and it all vanish, it’s been very rough mentally.. Especially because I currently live in a 2nd floor apartment which is not wheelchair accessible at all! I have left my house only a hand full of times since. My injury, mainly to appointments. Now that I cannot drive, walk or toilet independently now I went for being an independent, hardworking woman to someone who has to rely on everyone.. it’s been a very hard adjustment.
I’m not sure what is to come, and am scared. I don’t know what my recovery outlook is and I don’t know if I will be able to return to work anytime soon, I just know my road to recovery is going to be a long road.