It’s no big secret that the last few weeks have been crappy for me. I mean you saw my last post on how I was hurting. Little did I know that less than 12 hours later I’d be hurting even more, but this time physical pain.
On Saturday, October 9th I was running late to a work event (shocker!). I jumped in my car, ready for a busy fun day and off I went. Less then 5 minutes later, about 4 miles from my house I collided with a guardrail.
Yes, a guardrail.
Not only a guardrail, but a guardrail when my car was going 60mph.
I hit so hard and then tried to correct it (to alleviate more damage), that the next thing I knew I was spinning;
And around my car went.
With every rotation my car hit the guardrail.
Over. And over. and over again.
Time felt like it stopped. I honestly don’t remember how many times I spun, but before I knew it I had stopped and my car was pointed in the same direction I started.
When my car stopped all I could think of was I have to get out of the road.. The road I had my accident on is a curvy 2 lane highway with no shoulder. I KNEW it was only a matter of time before I was hit if I didn’t get out of the road. I drove a half a mile and was able to pull off onto a utility road.
Once parked I finally was able to take a deep breath, say a prayer of thanks that I was okay and then begin to think about my next steps. How I had any ability to function at that time is beyond me. I was so level headed and my thinking was clear. I was in control.
My first call was to my parents. Needless to say this isn’t a call that they wanted to get.
I then texted my best friend.
And then 911.
(I said I was thinking clearly … but may have got the order of calls slightly wrong!)
I had problems with 911 and them finding my location. I remember getting extremely frustrated with the 911 operator trying to explain my locale. The more frustrated I got, the more pain I began to feel.
By the time my parents arrived, I was near tears (still talking with the operator) and shaking uncontrollably. The first thing my mom did was move me to my car (yes, she got a stern talking by the EMTs later for moving me!) and took over duty with phone.
Before I knew it the firetruck and ambulance had arrived and a massive wave of nauseau came across me. Someone climbed into the backseat of my parents car and immediately grabbed my neck so I didn’t move. They then slowly pulled me out and into a standing position. Once out of the car they put a neck brace on me.
I quickly became BFFs with Matt, the firefighter who appeared to be in charge. He talked with me through the next maneuver – moving me from standing, onto a backboard, to the ground and then onto the gurney. I am soooooo thankful he talked to me through the entire thing, because was the scariest part.
In a matter of seconds they had me attached to the backboard and slowly lowered me to the ground. Once on the ground they did a quick assessment before moving me onto the gurney and into the back of the ambulance.
They moved fast. I was out of the car, assessed and on my way to the hospital before the State Trooper even arrived.
While they were speedy getting me on the road, it felt like an eternity to get the hospital.
I felt every bump in the road.
Once again Matt talked to me through the whole thing. I remember him talking, I think I answered?!? After the accident I got horribly nauseated so I was given oxygen on the way to the ER. I was in such a state of shock that I just laid there, stared at the roof and concentrated on my breathing. I was so quiet and calm that I think Matt was worried about me not being okay, because apparently most of their patients are screaming or crying uncontrollably … Not me. He finally asked my mom, “you know her the best, how is she?”
It was a surreal experience. I was laying there aware of what was going on, yet it was almost like I wasn’t there. I heard him ask my mom how she thought I was (and she assured him I was just horribly scared), but I felt completely removed from the trip. (This is actually how I feel about the actual accident. I remember my car hitting the guardrail and spinning, but I have NO recollection of what my body did inside the car.)
After the 20 minute drive we finally arrived at the hospital. Going via ambulance is the way to go – no waiting! The doctor and nurse (oh and a state trooper, too!) met us at the door and began their assessment right away.
I was the whisked off to get x-rays and a CT-scan. At this point my adrenaline kicked in. I was HAPPPPPPY! Cracking jokes, giggling and having a great time (or as great as could be being stuck to hard board unable to move!). I was in such a great mood my mom question the doctor and asked her was my mood normal. The doctor assured her it was and “don’t worry she will crash” (no pun intended).
The longer I laid on the backboard the more my head hurt from the neck brace. It got to the point where I was begging the techs to take it off. I tried bribery even, but sadly even that didn’t work. The doctor wouldn’t take off the neck brace until the results from the tests were back and cleared me from injury. This time took forever…the doctor finally game back in and said it looked like I had fractured a bone near my sternum, but to confirm they needed to do another CT-scan.
Fantastic. So much for getting the neck brace off anytime soon!
Finally, the results from the second scan was in and showed that I hadn’t fractured it after all. In the end I was discharged with the diagnosis of bruised neck and back, plus internal bruising from where my seatbelt laid and locked. (My airbags didn’t deploy because I missed the sensor by just inches.)
Sure enough the doctor was right and on the way home I crashed – both physically and emotionally. I suddenly was scared.
I reenacted the accident over and over in my head. Plus the amazement of the hospital staff that I was so okay, who kept telling me how lucky I was and that I could have easily been t-boned by an oncoming car.
I ended up out of work for an entire week. My co-workers were (and are) amazing and donated their sick days to me so I could still get a weeks paycheck even though I was home (I hadn’t accrued much sick time yet). I went back to work on Monday and each day is a little bit better then the day before. I still come home in pain and exhausted, but am happy to have my life returning to normal.
The insurance company totaled my car and now I’m waiting for the insurance check to arrive so I go buy a new car. It’s supposed to arrive tomorrow and hopefully this weekend I will find a car to purchase. I’m excited to be getting a new car, but not looking forward to car payments again. Oh well I don’t have much of a choice!
In the end I never got a ticket, or at least not yet! My insurance company has been a-mazing covering everything. One thing I did learn is that I have to pay to fix the guardrail! had you heard of that before? I had no idea, luckily my insurance will cover it!
Have you ever been in a car accident??