08 December 2013

14 : Something Old - I Hope....

Post Assault...
Well my brain is working better, and my hands are working better, and as a bonus I can even nearly feel ALL of them!  My how we take for granted those simple things in life: to think, to feel, to function.  Considering my line of work is about helping people, I had never even really considered that I would be assaulted at work and that it would have affected my life as much as it has. 
I am beginning to understand what the term 'king hit' really means; with it touted throughout the media so much recently I feel extremely lucky to have actually got off with my life!  A recent article in 'The Age' stated that ''One-punch'' assaults have claimed 90 Australian lives since 2000, mostly in booze-fuelled bashings.  The victims were killed either by a single blow to the head or when falling and smashing their heads against the hard ground after being knocked unconscious.'
The difference with a 'king hit' single punch is that it often renders the poor victim unconscious, it is that blow to the head or the fall to the ground which then causes the head injury, quadriplegia, paraplegia, coma or death.  The reason one punch can cause such a problem is because the person being assaulted has no idea the hit is coming and is not prepared for a blow of any kind, let alone one to the head.  Although the king hit blow to my head thankfully did not render me unconscious, I remained on my feet - somehow.  However, because I had absolutely no idea it was coming, it turned what may have been simply a bad hit to the head, to one that caused my head to be thrown back so violently it caused a significant whiplash injury.  This, in turn, caused a concussion injury when my brain was suddenly thrown about inside the vault of my skull, bruising it and causing problems with memory and concentration which was to continue to affect me for weeks.  The facial bruising and swelling was really a very minor part of the injury sustained, however, the only one visible to others.
It's amazing how something that was fuelled by alcohol, and perhaps other influences, can cause such a ripple flow on affect to all involved.  It's one of those things that unless it actually happens to you, you really can't anticipate or appreciate it.  My injury has caused time off from work for not only me, but also for my husband, who has needed to take significant time off from work at his own expense to help care for me and our children.  It has also caused me a huge amount of stress and concern about returning to a job that I have been doing for 14 years, threatening our family income if I am unable to return to a job I once loved. 
The whiplash injury is something that I will require ongoing management with as it has caused me numbness/tingling/pain in both arms/hands which has been both a frightening and very worrying side effect.  In addition, the discovery of a new cervical disc bulge to add to the two others that I had sustained from a previous work whiplash injury, where a member of the public rammed into my ambulance, is distressing!  With physio and medication I am physically getting there, psychological issues are something that will take a lot longer to work on.  Unfortunately, for me, this assault has been added on to my previous memories of the many other attempted assaults and other traumatic issues surrounding my line of work.  I hope it is not the straw that breaks the camels back, but time will tell...
As much as I have enjoyed helping many, many other people in my time as a Paramedic, life is just too precious to throw away for a job.  With millimetres being the difference between walking and breathing and even of living, millimetres perhaps is just not enough of a buffer. 
Maybe I need to concentrate on my writing now that my fingers can type better and my brain has remembered how to work again.  Maybe I will just stay indoors and safe from now on...

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