40 Years of chronic pain since an accident that I was lucky to survive

Last year I had that dream in which I was told that I would become pain free “probably by the end of the summer”. Unfortunately, that has not happened yet. In fact, it seemed as if the various ‘dodgy areas’ took pleasure in becoming particularly delicate.

But fortunately, the pains change in terms of places and intensity, also depending on how much walking I do of course.

However, regular Bikram sessions keep improving all the bits and pieces: knees, arms, shoulders and, above all, the hip joint.

I cannot but think over these 40 years as a strange kind of waking up:

  • I thought that my then employer CERN had my interest at heart
  • I thought that doctors knew what they were talking about
  • I thought that being self-employed is as straight forward an option as being employed.

Instead, I have come to appreciate huge differences not only between employment and self-employment, but also between ‘being taken care of’ by doctors and looking after one’s own health.

In fact, moving from Geneva, Switzerland, to UK London taught me the notion that the State looks after you ‘from the cradle to the grave’.

Well, it clearly ain’t so:

  1. the State claimed our men to fight wars
  2. then it claimed our women to rebuild what was left
  3. now they are claiming our children for sex, money or both.

So why should I bother to heal myself in the face of these much more terrible destinies that so many people have suffered and are enduring?

Well, we only live once and in our totally unique way. I chose to deal with problems when they came up. The accident came up and I had to deal with it: over and over again. Day and night. In Geneva and in London.

The most painful aspect is that pain can’t be made visible. So we are supposedly pretending, or it’s ‘psychological’, they say: whether it’s women in prison who are criminalised after their children were stolen by the State or whether it’s me who was the passenger when on duty trip and the driver fell asleep.

Nobody looked after me and my interests. I should have employed a lawyer. But you don’t do that to your nice employer, do you!?… You just get on with your life.

Now I’m helping other victims of white collar crimes. Now I am not surprised when I discover that a lawyer in CERN’s Legal Services sits also on the board of an insurance company… That’s presumably why the doctor at the time said I wouldn’t suffer from the accident when I’m older.

My Yoga teacher had said ‘accidents are for life’. Doctors who work for insurance companies are obviously paid to diagnose and to report differently…

But money is NOT the yardstick that measures quality of life. That is measured by pains and joys. The more the merrier!… The challenge is not to suffer – despite physical pains…

Onward to the next 40 years!


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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Have found the most caring and kind people in life are those that have or are suffering. They don’t take life for granted. The reason you are helping others is because of what you are going through. It is a unique quality. Regarding your pain. This may seem odd but have you tried Himalayan Salt to ease pain? Processed salt is bad for you but natural salt has all the nutriments the body needs. A little pinch of Himalayan salt on the tip of the tong every day can work wonders. If you google “Dr Rath (he is German)” or “Dr Joel Wallach (he is American)” they speak a lot about what the body requires. Sometimes pain is increased because the body is deficient of certain nutriments.. Hope it may be of help. The pain you suffer is awful, I sincerely hope it eases.

    • You’re really kind, Chris!

      THANK YOU!!!

      And yes, I’ve taken baths in Himalayan salts last. Didn’t know about taking it every morning though. Sounds MOST convincing. Will get myself a new supply tomorrow.


      It’s really interesting this ‘pain thing’. In a way it is meant to make you become physically aware and to feel alive, I suppose.

      • Thanks Sabine. Another angle, regarding pain, is epigenetics. It is a relatively new science. If a parent or grandparent suffers severe shock, the trauma can transfer to their offspring or jump a generation and go into the children’s children. During WWII my father suffered severe shell shock. He was one of only two in his unit to survive a twenty four hour bombardment. The other man went delirious but Dad survived as he lost conscientiousness due to an unexploded shell pinning his legs together. Later rescuers managed to gently pull the live shell clear, they initially thought Dad was dead. I have always been a very sensitive person and have battled with nerves for as long as I can remember. As a child, if someone clapped their hands behind me, it would startle. Having looked into epigenetics it would appear my Dad’s post traumatic stress disorder has transferred into me. I think it was Edinburgh University that looked into women that were involved in September 11th and were pregnant at the time they suffered shock. Overwhelmingly their children are suffering a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I have spoken to many children of war veterans that suffer with nervous problems or problems relating to pain. One man had two brothers that were born before the war, they were OK. He was born after the war and it affected him. His father was in a tank regiment and had a traumatic time, suffering severe shell shock. I spoke to another person, a lady, that had spent most of her adult life on tranquilizers to steady her nerves. I asked her about her parents that were in WWII. Her father was a gunner in the airforce but didn’t suffer any nervous problems but her mother was Polish and was in the Warsaw uprising – she suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. There are many more examples but what I’m wondering is if the pain you are suffering could be intensified by what your parents may have gone through during WWII? I think Bristol University is also carrying out studies, the name Dr Marcus Pembry springs to mind. Although I can’t speak German, Dad and I purchased a satellite dish from Lidl supermarket in 1999. There were some fascinating programmes, even though I can’t understand the language and before Dad died we saw one that appeared to be a programme about the subject of epigenetics. There was one man that was shaking like a leaf and had a stutter, it turned out his father suffered shell shock. There were many other cases. The more I discover about this subject, the more it adds up.

        All the best,


      • Thank you sooo much for your most insightful contributions, Chris!!!

        Just one request please: do let your reader breathe occasionally by giving him a break by means of a paragraph…

        My mum told me that I seem to have been “shell shocked” as a baby, i.e. I didn’t cry at all, even though my bottom was the worst that a nurse had ever seen…

        So I guess I was “trained” to experience / feel pain from early on…

        Since 1973, I have obviously changed my awareness of and attitude towards pain in the same way as I’ve changed towards life in general.

        One “ironic” aspect is that I always wanted to make pain visible, given my various experiences.

        And, lo and behold, my way of analysing images has the capacity of doing so!!!… I’m just waiting for the Universe to give me the GO, GIRL, GO signal. Meanwhile, I keep trying, keeping my goal in mind, so that I don’t miss the signal when it shows up!…

        Many many thanks for your somewhat “parallel” experiences (my mum saved me from the bombings in Dresden when she was 22…)!!!

        In the end, it’s only ‘karma’ and ‘reincarnation’ that makes sense and allow for re-balancing what we’re experiencing, methinks…

      • Thanks Sabine,

        My childhood experience regarding emotions was similar (I was born after the war) but instead of not crying I wouldn’t stop! It baffled everyone.

        The reverberations from the war continue to this day and will do so for considerable time in the future. It angers me that people continue to believe the propaganda and not the facts. Some people dismiss the truth as if it’s something they don’t want to know. It’s easier for them to believe the fantasy, especially when it comes from an official source. When people hear recordings of Dad and my talks their bottom jaw almost hits the floor!

        The bombing of Dresden, the psychological effects are felt to this day and the victims will continue to be hidden behind the facade of jingoism. The social manipulators worship Churchill as some form of saint. Almost every war documentary contains Churchill worship. My parents detested him, a lot of people in Britain did and called him an old warmonger. When he walked around London’s East End on a propaganda mission, the locals were very abusive to him. He was NOT liked! I can describe Churchill in one word “Evil.” In 1939 he was in debt to the sum of £19,000, a lot of money in those days. He was due to loose his beloved house “Chartwell.” The city approached him and agreed to write off his debts providing he did what they told him; the rest is history!

        The suffering of the German people at the end of and immediate post war period remains a hidden chapter in history. The victims of war in allied countries also remain hidden, unless they were allied military whereby they can be wheeled out every year for the benevolent war justification industry.

        In much the same way as the suffering of German people is hidden, unjust anomalies in Britain have also been airbrushed from history. The Government Directed Pensions Fraud is one such major injustice, where disabled ex-service people were tortured, yes tortured to dissuade them from claiming their rightful entitlements is yet one of many examples.

        Interpretation of history isn’t necessarily what happened but usually what a ruling minority want you to believe! The hidden horrors of modern wars such a Libya and Syria of which the residue is a mass of untold victims whose pain and suffering will never be heard, unless they can be used for propaganda purposes, are yet further examples of selective history.

        This is where your Victims Unite is of vital importance. Perhaps your mission in life has been directed by the pain you feel. You have a deeper understanding of what it is like to suffer so have a greater feeling for people than most. It is a gift that you are putting to excellent use.

        Many thanks for giving a voice to the hidden masses,

        All the best,


      • THANK YOU SO MUCH for your kindness and your deep understanding, Chris!

        It takes one to know one!!!…

  2. […] he had given a talk at CALTECH; he was going to drop me off in Berkeley, but  that’s how 40 years of chronic pain […]

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  4. […] I am addicted to Bikram Yoga – as the only way that’s worth doing to manage 40 years of chronic pain. […]

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