Day 170 of 366: Blog Challenge 2012

Hello all

I follow a blog called ‘400 Days til 40’ and yesterday was a post called ‘Extremely thankful for Second Chances’ which was very interesting had me awake thinking in the middle of the night.

In the post, the blogger (I don’t know her name) talks about being given a second chance after being involved in an accident whilst driving home from work in Northern California. She writes poignantly about how she sustained an injury which affected her. She writes:

My brainstem and my frontal lobe were affected by the accident……. the brain stem injury caused issues with my blood pressure and it would go from 160/100 to 90/60, sometimes in a matter of minutes…… I was exhausted all of the time and literally could not be awake for more than 6 hours at a time…… I would then need to sleep before I was able to function for another 4-5 hours – I slept over 12 hours a day as my brain slowly repaired itself.

It took time for her to recover and she writes: “It took about five years of healing for me to get to the point of functioning close to the levels I had been pre-accident and ten years to make a full recovery.”  Read her full story here:

Now, I did not think too much more about second chances I might have had until the middle of the night. It was strange really. It was as if God and the universe wanted me to acknowledge a rather difficult time in my own life and I was being kept awake until I looked at my own second chance.

Here is my own ‘Second Chance’ story:

It was 1980 and I had just dropped Daniel (4) at Pre-School and I was heading to a casual job I had.  I remember being very happy and driving along the freeway without a care in the world, when I saw a car beginning to cross the highway … on my right.

It was in the days when one could cross the Brisbane freeway, wait in the middle and then take your chances and go across to the other side. Well, this older lady was in the middle and as she said later, she panicked and crossed too soon – RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME . I was  doing 100ks per hour (60 mph).

I saw her coming and tried to break, but it was too late and my car took the full brunt of the end of her car as she tried desperately to make it to the other side.

What I did not realise was that my life was about to change totally after this accident. To begin with, I did not appear to be hurt and was comforted by people nearby, but within days I developed severe headaches. Luckily I had a good chiropractor and went to him immediately and he said I had a bad whiplash. The headaches dissipated.

One day about two weeks later, I was at my mother’s house and I began to shake severely. I was a mess for the next week and could not get out of bed. The Dr. said I had ‘delayed shock’ and would have to rest until it passed. I couldn’t believe what was happening to me!

My chiropractor/naturopath used iridology to see what was wrong and he said to me “Oh dear, you have had a complete collapse of your nervous system, it is going to take you a long time to recover from this!”

These words were hardly reassuring and I did not believe what he’d said, but indeed his words turned out to be prophetic.  I found I was hardly able to function. I couldn’t breath properly and I became exhausted at the least effort. My children were 7 yrs and 4 yrs old.

It turned out to be an incredibly hard time and for the next 12 months I barely managed to function. Like ‘400 Days’  I had to keep resting every now and again to get the energy to keep going. Doctors only wanted to prescribe tranquilizers and I could get no real help from them. And so began a struggle to keep going.

My life for the next five years was difficult but year after year I grew a little stronger. By 1989 I was a lot better but  still not my ‘old self’ and I had lost all confidence in myself and wasn’t sure I could ever work again.

That same year, my mother and father both died suddenly only three days apart and thus began another difficult time in my life as I dealt with this double blow. However,  time does heal and I began to feel better about life and in 1991 decided I had to talk a bold step if I was ever to escape from the incapacity I felt myself caught up in.

One day – quite out of the blue – I decided I would go and study! It was an incredible revelation.  By this time I had a very supportive doctor and he encouraged me.  And so began a wonderful time for me. I was awakened to life once again and I was able to fully recover as I loved learning and being amongst the students that were in the Access to University course I was doing at Tafe.

And yes, I wore blue …

It wasn’t all straight sailing but within five years I graduated with a Degree in Commerce. I finished my study  and within five days I had a job with Social Security (now Centrelink). I had not worked since 1980. Who would have thought it possible?

Yes, I do believe I was very lucky that fateful day in 1980 that I wasn’t killed so today I want to write how blessed I feel that I was given another chance to do all the things I wanted to do. It is never too late for any of us. It is not a time I would want to have over again, but it has made me who I am today and I did learn so much from it.

As ‘400 Days ’til 40′  says: “Thankfully, I seem to learn from each experience life has given me and as I have learned and grown I have found more happiness, more joy, more love, more purpose, and more meaning. “

I can only agree. I am so grateful for my second chance …