Friday, April 22, 2011

Spring Snow Car Crash

It was April 19th and the weather was this crazy snow/ice/rain mix.  The roads were just wet on the first half of my drive home, but the further north I traveled the more the roads turned to a slush/icy mix.  While on my drive I was thinking of a picture my Dad sent me the day before.  It was of the view from their patio while vacationing in FL.  I was looking forward to getting home so I could send him a picture of my view out my patio door.  I knew he would get a kick out of it. 


I was just getting into town when up ahead I saw a red pickup truck heading my way but the back end swung out while taking a turn around the bend.  He was trying to correct himself, but the roads were too icy.  I pushed hard on the brakes and they were pumping, but again, too icy and I just slid while the truck slid into my lane.  I closed my eyes just before impact.  I was wearing my glasses that day and the airbag pushed them off my face. 


When I realized what had just happened I looked around, I found my glasses and then found my purse on the floor and opened the door.  When I stepped out of the car my right knee was in a lot of pain.  The other driver opened his door at the same time and said something but I couldn’t figure out what he said.  I started walking away, but I couldn’t find my phone and realized it was in the cup holder.  I went back quickly and got it.  There was a lot of smoke, probably from the airbag, but I wasn’t sure and just wanted to get away from the scene.


A man had stopped and let me sit in his car while I made a phone call.  The first call was to Jamie to tell him that I was in a bad car crash and he needed to pick up Jake from daycare (since that was where I was headed).  I told him where the crash was but that he needed to leave and get Jake.  Then I called 911 and asked for an ambulance.  Then I called Debbie to tell her she needed to come up and help Jamie with Jake so he could come to the hospital.


Looking back at all these calls I realize I am such a Mom trying to get everyone and everything organized. 


I was alone for a while after that and started shaking and crying.  I looked back at the scene a couple times but I never went back to asses the damage.  A volunteer EMT came over and asked me some questions.  My back and neck were hurting which I hadn’t noticed at first because of the pain in my knee.  Then I noticed Jamie drove to the scene.  I was mad that he came.  He parked along the side of the road and came over by me.  He said Jake was locked in the car and I told him to go take him home, the roads were obviously not safe and he needed to get back. 


The ambulance came shortly after and they put me in a neck brace (a horrible contraption) and laid me on a back board.  I remember that it was raining ice or small hail at this time.  I was really cold and they covered me in a blanket and got me in the ambulance.  The EMTs wanted to start an IV and contemplated cutting my coat off, but I insisted I could get my arm out, which I did.


With the neck brace and back board I really couldn’t see much but I remember hearing the other driver in the ambulance.  He wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.  He also had a cut on the bridge of his nose but that he refused any other medical treatment.  Then they took me to the ER.  I remember closing my eyes, I was really tired. 


They put me in a room but all I could see was the ceiling tiles, some monitors and a clock.  They got me off the back board and out of my coat but the neck brace had to stay on.  I had a nurse call Jamie to update him on the situation.  A sheriff came and asked some questions.  He was already 2 hours past his shift and had 5 more accidents to get to.  He was kind and assured me that it wasn’t my fault and that everything would be okay.


Before they could do x-rays and a CT scan they needed to take my bra off because of the metal hooks.   The nurses were trying to figure out who was more skilled in slipping a bra off and one of them was able to un-hook it and then we slipped it out of my sweater.  I thanked them for saving my sweater which I recently got on clearance for $5. 


During the CT scan they injected a dye which they said would make me feel hot, starting at my face and then travel down.  They said when the dye got to my pelvis it would feel like I was peeing my pants and yes it did.  The x-rays took a while but soon I was back in the room and Jamie was waiting. 


Jamie and I talked about the fact we had just put 1K into the car last month hoping it would last another 2 years.  I also just filled up the tank that morning.  I would really like my $60.60 back.  We joked that the towing company probably siphoned out all the gas. 


The neck brace was still on and pushing into the back of my head which was very painful, but finally the nurse was able to take it off.  It was about 9:15 before we were able to leave with crutches and a prescription.


The next day I called the insurance company and then Jamie and I went to see the car.  When we got there the owner said “oh, you mean that little Nissan”?  I was thinking, well, it’s not that little, it’s a mid-size sedan, but when we got to the car I could see it was now a compact car. 


I thought I had hit straight on, but after seeing the damage, the truck slid from my left to right, so the right side of the car wasn’t affected, nor did the airbags go off on that side.

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I didn’t even realize the truck had spun and hit the rear of my car, but I do remember that the truck was behind my car when I walked away. 


Windshield was only cracked a little, not as bad as I thought it would have.

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We emptied out the car.  I found my bingo dabber which I’ve had for at least 10 years.  I always left it in the car so I would have it in case I found myself at Potawatomi :)


That morning I was finally able to take the picture from my patio door.


Even though I never really liked my Nissan, I knew it was a safe car.  I would be in a lot worse shape if not for the airbags and safety features.  I thank God that Jake wasn’t with me.  I thank the driver that stopped and let me sit in his warm car.  I thank the EMTs for being so kind and for the strong firemen that lifted me into the ambulance.  I thank the sheriff that took the extra couple minutes with me even though he had a long night ahead.  I thank the nurses that saved my $5 sweater.  I thank Debbie for coming up to watch Jake so Jamie could get to me.  I thank all my friends and co-workers for their kindness and support. 


Becky said...

Wow, Shelly - I'm near tears after reading this! I'm glad you're okay after all of that!

Anonymous said...

I thank God you're still with us and continuing to find humor. MOM & DAD