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Thoughts on a Car Accident

So it's probably about time I write about this. And as much as I want to get back to life as normal and put this behind me, I still have to acknowledge it happened. And that I now have some limitations, and some new ways to look at life.

I just tried to find any articles on what happened, and failed. I do not remember what happened (probably from all the drugs I was on in the hospital, I cannot recall anything from the night before the accident until a week or so after.) People tell me I am lucky for not remembering it. Probably lucky too that I do not remember much about the subsequent hospital stay, because it sounds like it was a scary time for my friends and family.

It happened on Columbus Day weekend (damn you Columbus), and I was heading to work on Sunday morning because I had signed up for SMA coverage, SMA being our biggest volume test. Basically, this is what I know from what others told me: I pulled over on the northbound side of 395, between exits 4 and 5 in Oxford. We do not know why I pulled over; I must've thought something was wrong with my tire because I got out of my car and was walking toward the back of it. A guy in a pickup hauling an attached trailer put on his blinker and slowed , pulling over to see if I needed help. A woman driving a minivan was behind him, and according to her accident report, instead of braking when she saw the guy slowing, she looked to see if she could get into the other lane. When she looked back, she was hitting his trailer, which came loose and hit me.

They believe that when the trailer hit me, my head snapped forward and smacked into it, causing the brain trauma and the big cut in my face.Surprisingly, other than some nasty bruising, I was otherwise unharmed. But the blow to my head was almost enough to do me in.

Almost but not quite apparently.

I received a call from a paramedic that wanted to nominate another paramedic, an off-duty firefighter, who was the first responder, for the Central Mass Paramedic of the Year award, or something. I am a bit biased, obviously, but I hope he gets it, because his actions at the scene probably saved my life. Also I might get to meet him and go to the award ceremony. More on that when it happens. I am sure I will be an emotional mess!

People have told me that someone must have been watching over me that day. I am not a very religious person, but I can't help but feel that my memere was watching out for me that day.

I was in the ICU for a week or so, and them Fairlawn Rehab until November 8th, where I got back my speech and got some skills back too. For a long time I was in a wheelchair, then a walker, then a cane. Now I am ambling about without those things thankfully. That cane likes to fall over and scare the shit out of everyone when I'm not using it.

My vision is finally getting back to normal, still not perfect but focusing a lot better trust me. For a while my right eye did not want to open, and when it did it was angling off to the side. I had damage to what they call the 3rd nerve, and luckily as the eye doc told me, if it starts healing it heals completely. Sometimes it does not heal at all. So there's another way that I've been lucky.

The coordination in my left arm was lost after the accident but it's coming back pretty good. I've been told it'll be the slowest to come back, so I just need to keep exercising it and be patient. As you can see from all this blabbing, my typing is coming back ok!

So after Fairlawn I lived with my parents in Pembroke, NH. Really, my mother, because my dad was still living in and working at the store (which they finally sold in December!) There I had therapy and continued to get better in lots of ways. Once my vision got good enough i practiced driving. My car, by the way, is back from the body shop and is fine. It made out a lot better than I did! Now I am back home in Oxford, and very happy to once again be in my own space, surrounded by my own things.

I do feel like I survived for a reason, and that I'm meant to do something great, though I'm not sure what yet. That's a self-centered thing to say; as much as my fortune cookie says otherwise, I'm not the lucky chosen one! But I can't help but feel that in some ways I am. I do not know what life has in store for me, but I will do my best not to take anything for granted again. There are a lot of things I want to do, and I do not know where to start. But I am a strong believer in unconventional routes to happiness, and I will find it some day. Now I am happy being surrounded by the awesome people I am lucky to call friends and family.

Comments

vireo_blues
Jan. 26th, 2012 03:56 am (UTC)
I can only imagine how frightening those first few days were. I've heard some of what i did on the hospital, and while some is funny (like when the nurse asked me where I was, I said "HERE") some of it sounds pretty scary. What can I say, other than I'm sorry I put you all through that. Not like I had much choice.

I am thankful to be okay and back home too! The journey's supposed to be more important than the destination when it comes to life, right? And I'm not sure where we are going but I agree, we're having fun getting there!