I fractured 4 vertebrae in my mid-back and herniated 9 disks in total during a lift assist for an 800-pound bariatric patient. This happened about not to long ago as I’m writing this. I was working my second job at a transport company when it happened. The company itself did nothing to help and all they wanted was an incident report as to what happened.
Since then I have continued to work my primary job. I literally went back to work no more than 24 hours after it happened. I did so due to the fact that I was the primary provider for my household. I honestly didn’t think much of the injury and that I’d be good in a few weeks. But since the accident, I have been under heavy medications due to the fact that the pain is unbearable and the tremors are uncontrollable.
Yet I am still working to keep the roof over my family’s head there and to put food on the table. My wife knows just a small amount of my pain from what I tell her and what she sees. But she doesn’t know the true pain that I feel inside.
The pain that I feel I am a failure to my wife and child because I can’t provide as much as I want. The shame in having to ask my wife to find work to help cover the bills. The embarrassment from my weekly visits to the local pharmacy where the employees know me by name and start preparing my prescription before dropping off the slip. The the feeling of being a pill-popping junkie. The guilt and shame that when I don’t force myself to work I sit at home alone for days on end while my wife works and my child is being cared for by my mother-in-law because I physically can’t keep up with my child.
Depression has kicked in and always being taken into overdrive. This along with fighting my sobriety is becoming too overwhelming to fight. And now I face a strong possibility that I will need to have surgery and that kills me more. More pills, more rest, more being at home alone, more time away from my wife and child, more depression, more cravings, and most of all more shame. It kills me every day and it wants to drive me to make choices that will ruin my beloved career that I fought so hard to achieve. That has to be a solution to my madness and I just can’t find the answer.
– Story written by an anonymous first responder.