My mental illness that left me in a wheelchair and paralysed

Hey

Sooo I decided to make a blog , Im new to this and do not really know how it all works.. but here we go!

smiley rach

Ive decided to make a blog to raise awareness of mental health. I am going to share some of my experiences with Bi polar , Pain and my spinal injury, as if it can educate, help or interest even just one person then it will be a success! So I am planning on posting the struggles, funny situations that I find my self in and educating anyone that wants to hear about my journey to recovery. And talking about situations that others may relate to and feel comfort from me talking about. I hope by sharing my story it can open people’s eyes to how serious living with a mental health illness can be. 

So back in November 2009 I became ill with Bi polar effective disorder. I became so ill that I believed I could fly and jumped 50ft off a fourth floor balcony. Before this event I did not even know I had bi polar. I stayed conscious throughout my accident , although my memory is very hazey of the whole event. So I was laying 50ft below and people in the flats heard me screaming, ambulance was called . my mum was there in a shot , she had been a lifeguard in previous years so knew to hold my head straight and not to move me , so this could of saved the level of paralysis I now suffer. I was screaming “I dont want to die” and “I cant feel my legs”.

rachel hospital
Got taken to an A and E department In London, where I laid in a bed for a few days on my back before a surgeon from another hospital picked me off the list and said I needed operating on straight away. (this whole time I had no idea what was going on as was so delusional with the bi polar and medication they had dosed me up with ).
I got transferred and had my first operation on my spine that night. I had crushed one of my vertebrae L3 so the surgeon had to build like a scaffold in my back using metal rods and part of my hip. Both operations involved huge risks but they were both successful ! I remember waking up from one of my operations singing “the moment I wake up ” – this was mostly the bi polar illness but probably the added effect of the medication, because I would never sing that the instance I wake up from a major operation if I wasnt ill !!
I cant explain how weird it is to be in the midst of a psychotic episode ,  everything seems great and you feel invinsible – hence why i thought I could fly! I will write another blog about the bi polar some other time .


So yes my accident Is not what a lot of people assume. I have heard it all! High on drugs , drunk, A Skiing accident , got pushed off a balcony , car accident, fell down stairs at train station , beat up by my boyfriend …So yes if anyone reads this that has heard otherwise , I didn’t intend to hurt myself atall ! I was not with it at the time at all I was very unwell  and none of it was my fault I was unlucky to get ill and have this accident but on the other hand I am very lucky to have survived. So many people with bi polar have had similar feelings of being invincible and have had awful accidents and have not survived , so I do know how lucky I am and how much worse off I could of been.

I landed on my right foot when i first fell and then onto my back , so my heel was broken too but this literally must of saved my life ! As it took most of the impact. I was later transferred to another hospital to have this fixed , and I was very very ill still with bi polar during this whole time. It’s  literally so embarrassing when I think back to things I Would say to people and things I would do laying on my back in the hospital bed ! Like singing really loud because I thought I could heal other patients with my singing. Majorally embarrassing when looking back.

me kez zill

For a few weeks I had to lay flat on my back , I was fed by nurses and drank through a straw , it took four people to roll me over when I had to have a wash, Im not even big but they had to make sure that my head was in line exactly with my body to not disturb the spine. After a while they increased the amount I could sit up , I can remember thinking one day when I went for a scan that they secretly wanted me to sit up when they went out the room (bi polar) so I attempted to sit up , it felt so weird to sit up , think I was lucky there with not injuring myself even more!


There is literally so much I could write about every day in the hospital and every thought I had when I was ill. But I will do it in different blogs as this blog post is getting rather long ! So yes I broke my back in a freak accident but I am still here to tell the tale , my life from the fatefull night of 17th November 2009 would never be the same again! I spent 5 months in hopsital, I was so used to the food I could order food without the menu and I knew all the nurses names , I met so many characters and had so many visits from family and friends. Doctors and physios told me I would never walk again. I had a long way to go and I have had the biggest journey , bigger than when i travelled round Europe i feel !

Hope I have not written to much that you couldnt be botherd to read it all but I am learning about this . Hope you come back to read more, there is so much more to say. I have so much to write about Bi polar, My recovery mentally and physically, Living with chronic pain and random things like going Clubbing in a wheelchair etc!

Thanks for reading

Rach

For all my blogs – rachelholly90.wordpress.com

rachel wheelchair

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80 thoughts on “My mental illness that left me in a wheelchair and paralysed

      1. Rach I’ve just seen the feature on you in today’s EDP so logged straight onto your blog which is incredible!
        I suffered with what the Doctors called depression for 15 years constantly being given different antidepressants until I had a major melt down and was finally seen by a Psychiatrist at Hellesdon Hospital who diagnosed me as bipolar.
        I am now pretty stable and taking a combination of mood stabilisers and antidepressants.
        Like you my highs made me feel invincible and I suffered a bad car crash ending up upside down in a field with broken ribs and cut all over. I also ended up in the cells on several occasions as I drank too much and did stupid things.
        Anyway I now run a photographic modelling company in Norwich called Moon Orchids, have a look on Facebook if you get a chance. I’d really love to do a shoot with you and with your input, that may then develop into a project.
        Please let me know if you’d be interested, my email is richfashion2005@yahoo.co.uk
        Rich

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I was directed to your blog by a mutual friend Rachel. It’s absolutely fantastic that you are reaching out to others after you’ve been through so much. Not sure I have the ‘right’ to be proud, but I am! Keep smiling Rachel. Lots of love and best wishes, Mrs M x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello Mrs Mathews !! I don’t know if you will get this message but it i can’t explain how great it feels to have you comment on my blog . You’ve always been such a big inspiration to me , I’m glad I make you proud ! I feel like I have so much to offer others with my experiences that it would a shame not to Share my story , the response I have had so far has been amazing ! Hope you are well ! Great to hear from you πŸ™‚ love Rachel xx

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Such an inspiring journey you have been through to read. To have seen and been with you throughout these years I feel so very proud of how far you have come, it amazes me how you fought through such difficult times and you NEVER gave up! I am sure many that are going through similar situations/illnesses that read this would feel not alone. Looking forward to reading more blogs! Xxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve said since the beginning thay you’re my inspiration to keep going & smiling when life get tough. I think other people who read this will start to feel the same so you’re helping a lot of people.
    I’m also so proud of you for feeling you can tell everyone your story now.
    Love you, cheese πŸ™‚ xxxx

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      1. I will do!.. I’m not patronising you but I’m always here if you ever need to talk !.. I have worked with many people with mental illnesses and I do get it as I’ve always been a bit mental myself!.. Lol!.. Just saying as a friend I’m here!.. Probably could have said it better tho! X

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  3. Arwwww bless you rach, like I said erlier you’ve been an inspiration to me for many years when Iv wanted to give up on life. Mental health issues runs in our family unfortunately and I know the struggles you’ve had to go thru on a dayly basis. So proud of you lil sis and always here if you need a chat xxx

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  4. Rachy you’re absolutely amazing, the strongest and most wonderful person I’ve ever met! You are inspiring and I am in awe of you every single day. Big love xxxxxxxx

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  5. I was lucky enough to be in Stanmore hospital at some of the same time as you! Wow you’ve come so far! I too broke my back L1/L2 and it too was due to mental illness. We never discussed how we ended up in what turned out to be similar situations although looking back now- I so wish we had! Well done I know from my own experience that it takes guts to battle mental illness as it’s still frowned apron by many. Wishing you love and luck Rachel! (Sorry it was a tad long! Eeek!)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Having known you for so many years, and always since Isle of white trip at primary I looked up to you and wanted to be your friend and then when high school began we soon became friends in year 8. When everything happend I was glad to be one of the many close friends you had by your side and so many times I cried just thinking about you and how much you didn’t deserve this to happen. You have come such a long long way and you’ve reached every goal and mile stone possible!! As soon as you were able to be abit more mobile you starting swimming as often as you could, your just amazing you really are! Just never given up!! I hope that your blog is very succesful and I’m so so proud that you you for now sharing your story with others! You should be so proud of your self!!! Love you mate!!!! Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw Jenny that message made me so happy πŸ™‚ I know how deeply you were upset about my accident , I could see it in your eyes an face the first time you visited me . I always remember the letter I wrote you with Nate Ferrari on it !! Lol and I do remember you saying you used to stop on side of road on way back from work and have a little cry , no one deserves it to happen but I feel ive overcome so much and learnt so much that I can now help people which is mainly why I posted this , also to put it out there in the open for people to finally know the truth ! Love you lots too , my friends and family are my world xxx

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  7. I was ht by a drunk driver on dec. 24. 2009. For me thats what started a serious snowball effect of unfortunate events. The fact that you live another day to tell your story is beautiful.

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      1. I spend ky days in utter chronic pain. I can no longer bend over, or do simple things like cleaning anymore. Which is horeible cause im a clean freak anxety anyone.? I rotate my c5 nd c6 and my hips I have to keep consistent with chiropratic, trigger point therapy, and acupuncture none of which seems to help but helps me feel better then not doing it. I have restless, and comfortable nights. I’d say that messed me up. I h havent written about it much on my blog… being as though so many things have happened in the last 5 years I havent had a chamce to sort through amd truly heal frm each one. It was like one bad thing right after another. I live in pain on the daily which is no fun. I can only imagin how much you strggle.

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      2. All sounds so hard ! I can understand the pain thing , I have suffered From chronic neuropathic pain over last five years , especially bad these last three , no medications work ive tried them all , nothing eleviates it in the slightest . But I have hope in that of a operation this year , it’s not guaranteed to work but can only try , can’t wait to start a new pain free life if it works ! πŸ™‚ got lots planned . As life atm is hit and miss I just live for the day and see what the pain brings , yes I can also understand the restless nights , that is a killer , when I do actually sleep through the night which isn’t often I love it and appreciate it so much !!! Many nights I’m laying awake the whole night in sharp sharp shooting pains which drive me crazy ! I hope you can find some relief for your pain

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  8. Rach I loved it! Even though we had spoken about you accident and the weeks after I didn’t know half the details you talked about in your blog.. Looking forward to the next one!!! Xx

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  9. Rach your strength is an inspiration to us all your an amazing chick and this a very brave and a very helpful thing you have done here I’m proud of you πŸ™‚ scott g x

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Rachel!
    My name is Troy and I am an online gamer that your old flatmate plays with. He shared your blog on our gaming website to spread your message and gain more support for you. I appreciate that you want to share your story to try to help others. My little brother-in-law was put on the wrong medication which caused him to try to take his life multiple time. It is amazing what chemicals can make you think and do.
    I can’t think of a more awesome way to wake up from surgery than to sing “the moment I wake up”! You might blame bi polar for making you want to sing to people, but it really does help heal. Maybe not ‘at the top of your lungs so everyone in the hospital can hear’ kind of heal, but you get my meaning πŸ˜›
    I can’t wait for your next blog! Good luck in your recovery.

    Troy a.k.a. Misrek

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    1. Hey Troy , I know exactly which friend posted it on his gaming site as I know only one gamer ! πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading and for your comment means a lot. I hope that my experience of mental health and being disabled can help people. Im always really interested to read about mental health and people in similar situations and i know how much it helps to know there are other people in same and similar situations. I really hope your brother in law is well now, the chemicals are very very weird ! Its not nice and not easy as he will know. Thanks again for reading . I hope to post once a week if I can.

      Rach

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  11. Hi Rach. I know we haven’t seen each other for year’s but I think what you are doing is wonderful. Not only for other people but for yourself too. Me and my sister found out about your accident from mutual friends and always assumed it was purely an accident. I too suffer with mental health problems, anxiety, panic attacks and depression. There is still such a stigma attached to it when so many people are affected by it. I found out about your blog via Facebook and I would like to share it with some friends I have made through a mental health page. Keep up the good work and I look forward to reading the next instalment of your story.

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    1. Hey ! Thanks for your comment . Yes there is so much stigma , I have felt horrible the last five years holding this a secret , because didn’t think people would really understand it all and just think I’m weird , sharing it has defiantly helped me already so I’m glad I have shared . I would love other people to find help from it , as like both of us there are so many people suffering in silence and know one even knows ! I hope you are well and yes share my blog with anyone you think will like to read it πŸ™‚ and get them to share it too . Glad you enjoyed reading .,take care Rach x

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  12. Hi Rachel. You don’t know me and I don’t know you. For some reason I was drawn to read your blog (all of it). It was good to read your story – well done for starting it. I have some friends with bi-polar and it would be good to have a better understanding of this condition. So… I’ve signed up to follow your blog and look forward to reading the next one.
    Wishing you luck in your recovery. Love and blessings,

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  13. Hi Rach. I know we haven’t seen each other for year’s but I think what you are doing is wonderful. Not only for other people but for yourself. I found out about your accident from mutual friends and always assumed that it was purely an accident. I too suffer from Mental Health problems and there is still such a stigma attached to it even though so many people are affected by it. I would like to share your blog with some friends I have made through a Mental health awareness page. I hope you don’t mind. Keep up the good work and I look forward to reading the next instalment of your blog. xx

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  14. Well done for talking about it, but you make the mistake of saying “this happened when I was bi polar”. You will always have bi polar, this happened when you was having an acute episode.

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  15. Wow Rach, this is amazing!
    I love your blog and I can’t wait to hear more! The feed back you have had is fantastic!
    It is true what everyone says you are such an inspiration to so many people, and no mater how though things get for you, you never stop being positive!
    So many things amaze me about you Rach and I am so honoured to be your friend. You made my time at collage, and it would not have been the same without you! We laughed are way through collage and i defiantly learnt more from you than I did in class! Ha!
    I think you should consider your blog a success, as from what I see you have already helped and inspired so many people!
    I can’t wait for more fun times ahead!!
    Love Soph xx

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Wow Rach, such an amazing blog. You never know in high school what’s gonna happen to people and it’s so brave of you to speak out about your experience. Will be looking out for your next blogs. Best of luck for the future!

    Jeffy B

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  17. So great to read this Rach. Must be a relief to get it out at last! Well done on every possible front, you star. Your blog will be a help to many, many people, not just those who are going through similar things. Looking forward to reading future installments.

    Much love, precious
    Brenda xxxxx

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  18. Hi Rachel,
    First, let me tell you I think you are very brave and that your blog is wondeful. It will help lots people to understand your position and find support.
    The other day Felipe VI, the King of Spain, went to visit the hospital that specialises in spinal injuries in Toledo, and part of his message to the patients was thus:
    “Nobody can really understand what it’s like. Nobody, except you, can know the truth of what it is like to have to change your life so radically, how to live your life so fully. And yet, here you are giving us a daily lesson of how human beings can overcome adversity. It is necessary that the Spanish people look to you and the example you set. We need your help because our country is incomplete without you.”
    Wise words, I thought.
    I’m looking forward to your next installment.
    Keep on truckin’!!
    Kusun Richard in Bilbao

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To Kusan , thankyou very much for your comment , it means a lot !
      Im pleased to say that it is helping people with mental illness and I hope that my next blog I have written will help those with spinal injuries as its about my physical journey.
      No on can understand what its like , everything you know is taken from you in an instance and there is no reversing it , its devastating!!
      i hope you enjoy my next blog πŸ™‚ thansk for reading
      Rachel

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  19. Hi Rachel, Just read about your amazing story and enjoying you wonderful blog! I wondered if I could get in touch about a bbc1 documentary I’m producing. It would be great to make contact by email. If you could drop me a line at rebecca.burrell@matchlight.co.uk I’ll reply and tell you more about the project!
    All best, Rebecca

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  20. Hi Rachel. Have been reading your blog and all about the fantastic work you’ve been doing to raise awareness of mental health. We’d love to feature a guest blog post from you on our youth mental health blog (for Norfolk & Suffolk). Please do get in touch if you’d be interested in contributing a short piece, we’d love to feature your story. Leah@truestorypr.co.uk. Many thanks, Leah

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  21. Hi Rachel, what a lovely girl. I also went thru similar ‘highs’ like you, except I didn’t jump and try to fly ( only cause I bought handcuffs and every time I went back to my 3rd floor flat, I handcuffed myself to the railings?) Can you imagine? Some how I got thru it and got help.
    I’d love to get into ‘peer support’ tho’ – how do you get into that?
    All the best Rachel
    Paul

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  22. Hi Rachel,

    Have just seen a piece in the Daily Mail and am wondering if it was you I met when you were in Hospital. If it was, it was in the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital, I had come in to have my wrist reconstructed after a fall, I think I was in the bed next to you for a few days. We went for a coffee in the coffee shop at one point you were a it of a godsend as everyone else on the ward was 80 years +. If it was you I’ve often wondered how you got on, Having you next to me meant that I knew I couldn’t feel sorry for myself given all you had been through. If it is you would be great to hear from you. my email is rainieb@tiscali.co.uk

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  23. Hi Rachel,
    Seen you on the show on Monday and thought your were great. I’ve been diagnosed for 12 but looking back probably had it 30 years (now 42).Been on lithium for 12 years and many anti depressants. Hope your mania stays under control. Writing this at 3am sleeping tablets taken but not kicking in.

    All the best Gerald

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