Chronic Pain, PTSD & Opiod Dependency

From Brisbane, Australia

My name is Sarah Dixon, I am 21 years old and I live with Chronic Pain, PTSD, Opioid Dependence and other illnesses. 


Currently I am studying part-time at QUT and working sometimes at an OSHC facility looking after children, however I spend most of my time visiting doctors constantly. My battle began in 2015 when I was 16 after a severe injury in high school where I walked on an inadequately covered stormwater drain, resulting in my leg falling through and a rusty cast iron pole tearing into my right leg. 

Unfortunately, I was involved in a second accident in 2017 at my previous workplace hurting my left knee. I fractured the top of my shin bone, had severe bone bruising on both legs and other complications, all resulting in me losing my job. Both of my legs also suffer from a condition known as necrosis meaning that cells in my legs are dead/dying and it is currently still spreading. In 2018 I broke/fractured my foot in 5 places and at least another 2 places while trying to heal all resulting in rheumatoid arthritis.

Due to all these injuries I now suffer from severe chronic pain. My entire lower body is in agony day and night. I’ve had surgery after surgery, been unable to walk, in hospital for ketamine infusions, bed rest for months on end repeatedly and living on Endone and Morphine patches.


have been a patient at multiple pain clinics around Brisbane and even down the Gold Coast where I spend 2 weeks at a time in hospital. Hospital rooms are my second home.

It was hard coming to terms with my diagnosis and I still struggle to fully accept it. It has become so bad that due to the heavy amounts of pain killers I am on, the doctors have told me that I might go to sleep one night and not wake up, which is a very scary thing to hear. 


I have lost multiple people in my life including my best friends because of my illness. Most of the time I am unable to get out of bed to make myself a coffee in my kitchen let alone going to Uni or seeing my friends. People don’t want to stay around when you have to cancel or not attend events or get-togethers. Nearly everyone I know doesn’t understand how much pain I really am in. 


Not being able to have any resemblance to normal life for a 21 year old is heartbreaking. 

I am still on my journey and I can’t wait to share it in the hope to help and inspire others.