Here we are, at the end of this chapter in my life, the post accident and recovery phase…
Now with the so-called lawyer situation behind me, this was the time to right the wrongs. Even though the legal side of my accident was now in fantastic hands, things didn’t get any easier. I was officially out of my savings, nowhere near being cleared for work, and now stuck having to find better doctors, since I was making no actual progress under the care of the ones I was sent to earlier on. After almost a month of searching, and seemingly endless phone calls to medical offices around Manhattan, I managed to find a very good orthopaedic surgeon who took my case, and that’s when I discovered the real extent of the medical neglect I had been subjected to for months. I was told I needed repair surgeries for my shoulders which explained the loss of mobility, strength, and agility I was experiencing, as well as the constant involuntary twitches around my shoulder blades. I also needed injections to reduce what I was told was severe inflammation on my feet which prevented me from walking without chronic pain on a daily basis, and of course there was the need to develop a physical therapy routine to regain some of my mobility, along with pain management treatments for my back, right leg, and neck.
After learning all of this, I didn’t want to waste any time. On June of 2017 my Orthopaedic surgeon and I scheduled both my surgeries, two weeks apart from each other. As if things weren’t tough enough I started to have issues with my landlady, who somehow decided she didn’t like the fact that I was home recovering and not at work, is as if she thought I wouldn’t pay the rent if I was home, even though I never missed a payment. Things were starting to become impossible to tolerate, not only was my landlady constantly bringing strangers to stay in, but she wasn’t getting things in the apartment fixed, then there was the matter of her husband who had taken it upon himself to give me commands, and when confronted decided to kick me out. It was clear to me that all of the previous issues were purposely perpetrated to chase me out because they had intended to give my place to a friend of theirs. I felt into a deep depression, no work, no studies, profiled and scammed by a crooked lawyer and hospital employees, and battling a crazed landlady in the middle of my recovery. Something had to give, and by the end of summer I was done with the drama. I asked my partner if he was okay with me staying with him until I could get my things in order, but I made it very clear that it would be fine if he didn’t want to because I was sick of needing anyone. I just didn’t want to sit around waiting for an answer, one way or another I was going to get out of this. After making sure that my son was going to be cared for and not miss any school while I handled all this madness, my new goal became to make sure I had a stable living situation before 2017 was over. I found a storage place and within two days I had all my belongings in there, I made one bag of clothes and that is what I decided to take with me, because I was determined to make this a short term solution.
After relocating to New Jersey I started to plan out all of my care with more detail, and tried my best to keep myself motivated by talking to my son every day, and making use of my Twitter presence as a type of coping mechanism, this evolved into me trying to bring awareness to domestic and sexual abuse, the faults in academia, and pretty much any other horrific thing I had any experience with (See blog “How It All Began” for more details). Then one day, while in Manhattan walking across Central Park to meet my surgeon for a follow-up, I received a call from Jay (my lawyer) to let me know that he had settled my case. I stopped and stared into empty space for what seemed like an eternity, I didn’t know if I wanted to laugh or cry. After $33,000 in lawyer’s fees, $15,000 in expenses, an entire year of work and school lost, and an empty savings account, it was over. I felt a strange sense of freedom coupled with deep sadness, because all I could think about is just how much catching up I needed to do.
It has been quite an exhausting ordeal, one that reminded me that no matter who you are… life happens. Now after somewhat establishing myself as a freelance science communicator, restoring some of my savings while providing End-Of-Life care for the elderly, relocated with my child, and with my study plans once again at my reach, I look forward to the future with open arms and a hopeful mind.