Saturday, December 12, 2009

OK Here's What Happened





Wednesday night after taking someone home from scripture study, I was involved in an automobile accident. I had noticed on the way into the development that some crossroads had stop signs and about every other one did not. So as I was going back out, I was very carefully stopping where I had stop signs and watching for cars at the intersections that did not.
My last memory before the collision is of seeing the last stop sign before the main road where I would turn left. I have NO DOUBT that I stopped, looked both ways, and proceeded carefully into the intersection. However, my next memory is of my car stopping forward motion, a very cold breeze coming in through where there was no longer a driver side window, a major pain in my head and realizing that I had been hit. I turned off the key and picked a piece of glass out of the edge of the door. Some people came up and asked me if I was OK and told me that someone was calling 911. There was a big pointed lump on the back of my head and my glasses were missing. My door would not come open and I just decided to sit still for a while.
I didn't have the cell phone but someone offered me theirs but since I couldn't see, they dialed for me. Lynn wasn't home yet from his bishopric meeting and I didn't know any other phone numbers.
Shortly, someone came bringing me my glasses which had been found in the street by the other driver. He picked them up thinking they were his, then found his in his pocket(He evidently hadn't been wearing them) He came by to check out if I were OK and say how sorry he was.
In a very short time there was a fire engine, several police cars and an ambulance all with lights flashing.
I managed to get up over the console and get out the passenger door. By then, the firemen wanted to check me out and the police were asking questions. I couldn't count the number of times I was asked what day it was, my name, address, and phone # and who is the president. After a while, I just told them, it was some dummy.

At first I refused to go to the hospital because I just had a bump on my head.
I asked the police to try to get in touch with Deputy Rector either through the sheriff's office or at home.

The other driver went off in the ambulance but they called another and the policeman that seemed to be in charge said that if I didn't go voluntarily, he would take it out of my hands and order it. (Can they do that?)
They had finally reached Nathan and told him to meet us at the ER. Actually, we were just a short distance from his house and he showed up at the scene when I was in the ambulance.

The step up into the ambulance is WAY high. I'm glad I wasn't hurt any more than I was; I could never have gotten up those steps. They strapped me onto the gurney with 2-3 straps and put me on oxygen (totally unneeded). I don't know who makes the ambulances they use here but I would like to give them a hint.....SUSPENSION. All the streets we would have used are very nicely paved but I felt like I was riding in a jeep going cross country.
They wanted to take my blood sugar and when I said that the ER would just do it again, they said "But they will ask us why we didn't do it" So I let them. (NOTE TO SELF- if it ever happens again just say, "tell them I refused".)

Lynn and Nathan were at the ER and they went with me through to "Fast Track" so that I could be seen quicker. Nathan knew the doctor; he'd gone to school with him. Can we say Doogie Howser? He poked and prodded but surprisingly didn't check my eyes for pupil dilation. Hello, I had a head injury. The pointed bump on the back of my head had receded and was just a rounded lump now. The headache was gone and at first I didn't have any pain anywhere. As I was leaving the hospital though, I began to notice pains in my ribs and right leg. The instructions were to take Tylenol for pain. Did that; later Aleve; later still ibuprofen (drug of choice for muscle pain).

So I get home and tucked into bed (10:30pm) and the cop from the hospital that gave me all the paperwork (neither of us was charged with anything), called because he had failed to get my driver's license number and could I look at it and give it to him!!!!! This couldn't wait until morning????
I slept about an hour that night; between the pain in the ribs on the left and the right leg, I just couldn't get comfortable.

The next day was filled with calls from the insurance companies and the place that had hauled the car away. Going up and down the stairs was painful so Lynn pretty much took over meal prep and household stuff. I was kind of nauseated anyway but finally got some sleep.

It's Friday now and still haven't heard from State Farm but Lynn says the car is not likely to come back up our driveway again. OK by me. I'm not sure I ever want to drive again. I'm not sure I even want to ride in a car again.

It just occurred to me today that a few nanoseconds difference and this could have been tragic. Another note --- I had been cursing the memory loss (wondering if the head injury caused it). But now I'm not so sure that it's a bad thing. It could be one of those "tender mercies". If I remembered what happened, seeing the oncoming car and the impact, I would have that memory and fear for the rest of my life. As it is, I can just be blessedly ignorant.

The leg still hurts some and I have red marks on my neck and bruising clear across my chest from the seat belt. The left side of my neck is painful to the touch; I must have really wrenched it. Hopefully, better tomorrow.

So that's it. Insurance company is blaming me because I had the stop sign and I can't prove that I stopped and that he was coming like a bat out of ..... around the bend when he hit me. First accident in almost 40 years but what do you want to bet they raise our rates.

Lynn went over to the lot to get stuff out of the car and took some pictures of our car. The other car was there too so he got pix of it too. Both old cars.. ours a 94 Camry and his a 95 Buick. BTW the other driver wasn't hurt much either. His car looks more messed up than ours. His airbag deployed. He told the police he was only going 30 MPH. You be the judge.

2 comments:

Deputy Rector said...

Oh you'll drive again. Theres to much to do in this world to not be able to get around.

Adam said...

Hi Eng,

Just wanted to send my best wishes and hope that you make a speedy recovery.

The police can definitely order that you have to go to the hospital. Once they see you, there is a duty of care that they have to make sure you are well enough to go home and if they are not satisfied at the scene then you need to see a doctor before going home...at least that's how it is done over here.

I am a bit surprised that the doctor did not look in your eyes, but had one of the ED nurses done it already? He may have looked at their notes if they had. One thing that would have happened here is that you would have had a neck brace and gotten a series of x-rays to ensure you had no neck damage before being cleared. The policies may be different over there.

Hopefully things heal up quickly for you. There is no way it was your fault that the accident happened...look where your car was struck. I would be very very surprised if he was only going 30!