I have an accident to prove, that, yeah, I probably shouldn’t be driving

A minor one.

But an accident, nonetheless. As I’ve said many times, I am mostly housebound due to chronic, debilitating weakness. Fatigue is a word too many people can claim as their own, everyone having experienced it to some degree. I loathe the word, as it’s clear most people have no clue what I’m dealing with when they try to sympathize and tell me how they, too, suffer from fatigue.

This is not to dismiss people’s well-intentioned attempts at commiseration as I, too, have suffered from varying degrees of fatigue since I can remember. It’s all worthy of being bummed out about, but for 2 decades of my experience of fatigue I maintained a life, that from the outside, looked normal. I can no longer do that. I hobble around the house like a 90 year old and I, apparently, drive like one now too.

I hit a parked car. Yup. A parked car in a parking lot. I was turning in to pull up along side of it and I miscalculated the distance. I was not going faster than 2 miles per hour and likely even more slowly. I put a nice scrape down the side of the car I hit. It was a superficial scrape in that there was no denting, but it was a big one.

My car on the other hand did not make it out so lucky. The bumper is partially disconnected and cracked.

I left a note on the car and went into the store and purchased my journal. Yup, I was getting a journal to better document my down and not so downs. I don’t really have any ups at the moment. I think of my brother dying of cancer often, as I feel that what I experience can’t be terribly different except that hopefully my debilitation will pass without my dying.

I have a name for what I’m experiencing now. CHEMICAL INJURY.

Once I made my purchase, it struck me that I might need to call the police rather than leave the scene, even with a note attached to the car. I had forgotten my cell phone so I asked the people in the store if I could use their phone. Sure enough the police said that I could not leave without risking being accused of hit and run, even with the note.

So I went out to the car, hoping desperately that I would hold it together until they got there. My state of well-being fluctuates and sometimes I can barely speak, let alone drive, and the cops were now involved. This was scary.

As I sat in my car, next to the car I’d hit, I also started fantasizing who the owner might be. I hoped that it would not be some belligerent huge man who would start screaming at me. It was pretty uncomfortable waiting there.

After about ten minutes a couple of women, who turned out to be an adult daughter and mother had opened the trunk and were putting their shopping in it. I exited my car and stammered the reason for my being there.

They were, gratefully, very nice. They sympathized with the greater damage on my car and thanked me for not leaving. They actually showed some disbelief that I had acted so responsibly, saying most people would have left, most likely without even a note.

We called the police and they said we could go our separate ways. We exchanged insurance information and said goodbye.

I came home and called the insurance company and all is well the bumper will be repaired the injured party, too, will have their car repaired.

Except now I probably really am housebound 100% of the time rather than 80%. I was very lucky that this accident was so minor and inconsequential. Driving home was very scary. I was shaking and very weak after being out so long.

About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters

19 Responses

  1. Pat

    I’m sorry to read this, and I wouldn’t be surprised if all that stress sets you back at least a bit. Yes, we have suffered chemical injury, but it isn’t permanent, and in many aspects waxes and wanes. Try not to let it keep you housebound completely though. I’ve had similar accidents when I WASN’T chemically injured. Anyone can have an accident on any given day. Hugs!


  2. Roman

    I’m glad you’re okay. Don’t let a fender bender keep you from exploring possibilities outside the walls of your home. You will regain yourself. You have proven that you are improving, so when you reclaim yourself, it’s important to not have a preset idea that you shouldn’t be driving. Pat is right that accidents do happen.

    When children fall off their bikes, they don’t resign themselves to the idea that they should not ride a bike. They get back on again, and again. I’m sorry you are having a difficult time. I have fought through debilitating depression this year. I honestly thought that I wouldn’t live to this point this year. I hope you find the strength to persevere. I only wish I had a spouse, and a loving support system to help me find my way. It’s a miracle I’ve made it this far without.

    Hang in there.


  3. I’m glad you’re ok Gianna, and that the car stuff can be taken care of easily. Having gone through a couple of bouts of not being able to drive because of the prednisone, I can so relate to frustration about not being able to get out on your own at all. I really can’t imagine it just going on and on. I’m so sorry you’re having such a hard time.


  4. Froscha

    I have just sent you a virtual hug.

    When I read you called the cops, I was worried you were going to have to get into a conversation with them about your medication and that it would get more complicated than exchanging basic information for insurance.


  5. Gianna,
    So glad you’re okay! I, too, think the phrase ‘chemical injury’ is a good one. Very descriptive of what’s going on with you right now. Hang in there and know that I’m thinking of you.


  6. Glad it was minor and the other folks were so nice about it. That’s a big plus – and these things happen. We can’t all be 100% on the ball all the time – though admittedly some of us less than most.

    When I was considerably spacier than I am now (that’s saying something) I had a couple of extremely funny accidents that fit into this category. I think everyone who doesn’t drive all that regularly does because so much of it is confidence and awareness and other equally nebulous spatial abilities that fluctuate heavily with time and practice and all such things.

    Anyway, you’re the best judge of what you can and can’t manage on any given day but meanwhile *Hugs* for the freak-out factor involved in the whole thing.


  7. Val

    Urg! Glad that YOU’RE OK, though doubtlessly stressed-out…
    Cars are easy to fix – we organics, sometimes not so much so!
    [You know if I were closer I would be your chauffer on Thurs ;-)]


  8. Bonnie

    I am perpetually awed and humbled by your strength in continuing to share your experiences, emotions, and lessons with others. If I could only figure out a way to collect some of the excess energy and stamina that seems to overflow in some people and send it your direction to be felt in a tangible way, I would make that my intention, THE priority goal for the day. Since I am only able to do this on a spiritual energetic level I will put my effort there, wrapped up in a psychic hug and send it your way. I too, heartily wish I were close enough to chauffeur or somehow aid in relieving some of the home-boundness you’re experience.
    Who sticks around after a fender bender? Not many. But you, you choose to take action, not only because it would be the responsible thing for any of us to, but with the complete awareness of the additional risk of the potentially negative consequence of police involvement, further stressing yourself physically and mentally. Wow.
    I am trusting that one day, the strength of your physical body will come into balance to match the tremendous power of your Heart/Mind/Spirit.
    You are inspiration for my Soul. I am so grateful to have “met” you. Please know I hold you close to my heart.
    Thank-you Gianna!
    Peace, Bonnie


  9. Sloopy Cowbell

    So glad there was no real harm done. Everyone has off days when they really shouldn’t be driving. Loads of things can affect our abilities behind the wheel, not just psychiatric drugs. Sometimes we are dangerous just from feeling yucky because of the weather, or because of a bad life event. Lack of sleep is perhaps the most dangerous factor. I guess it is all about recognising when we are too impaired to drive or operate machinery, whatever the reason. I just had a chainsaw serviced, and was glancing at the safety leaflet that came back with it:

    Do not handle or operate a chain saw when you are fatigued, ill, or upset, or if you have taken alcohol, drugs, or medication. You must be in good physical condition and mentally alert.

    With the state of modern life, that probably means that most people should never use a chainsaw!

    Don’t let a tiny prang deprive you of your mobility. Dust yourself off, hop back in, rev up, and spin away!


  10. Jan


    I am so glad you’re OK, relatively speaking, and that this was just a minor accident. It’s refreshing to hear that the people were so nice about the accident, too. I think the healing process you have been and are going through is revealing a beautiful butterfly emerging from a cocoon, feeling every possible emotion, including the feelings of others. That’s just not possible when we’re drugged up to our eyeballs.

    The term “chemical injury” is so appropriate. This is the term that’s been used with me, and although it’s painful to hear, when you think about all the chemical “crap” that we’ve been fed over the years, it is also a relief to know this.

    I do hope and pray that one day soon an adventure behind the wheel won’t be so scary and you will know you are ready for that adventure.



  11. I’m so glad you’re OK, and I empathize with the fatigue issue … mine isn’t as debilitating as yours, but there are days when going up a flight of stairs is almost more than I can handle, and I have to very carefully budget my energy during the day to make sure I get to the end without collapsing. I know how frustrating and frightening it can be, but I have faith and hope for you that it will get better as you heal from years of stressing your body with drugs it didn’t want and (as I firmly believe) didn’t need.


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