Today marks one year since my car accident. Wow, what a traumatic event. I still can clearly picture the moment of impact and the feelings I felt when I was smashed, in my vehicle that day. And, while I am better, I am still dealing with soreness and tightness in my back and neck and I still am jumpy in the car, either while driving or being a passenger. Plus, I am still dealing with doctor appointments, medications, and insurance adjusters. What an adventure it’s been!
On the way to work November 12, 2016, I was smashed on the driver’s side of my vehicle by another vehicle driven by a guy who stole the car, was being crashed by the owners of the car in their other car. He ran his red light, hit me, causing me to hit a tree head on. He fled the scene, was breaking into a home through the AC unit, was caught by a bystander and has been in jail ever since. My Jeep was totaled. I had a concussion, a huge cut on the back of my head which needed staples, and terrible whiplash.
I did have a concussion for about two months after. Of course, I didn’t know it was that right away and went back to work too quickly. I remember not being able to get sentences out or out quickly. I also was dizzy constantly. And being that I worked in fast-paced environments where I needed to multiple-task a lot, it was hard and aggravating. I have had issues with driving. I am jumpy and still drive too slow sometimes. I’ve had neck issues which have spread to back issues ever since the accident. It’s prevented me from working out which I enjoy. It makes we irritable and ornery sometimes. It makes feel stiff and sore a lot of days which leads to frustration. Although better in general, when I am in a lot of pain, or just constant soreness (I was last night big time so it’s very fresh in my mind/body), I have been frustrated and wonder whether I will ever really feel 100 percent again OR at least not feel that nagging/irritating soreness for the rest of my life.
Here’s some of the stuff I’ve been through…I’ve went to the doctor following the accident to get my staples out of my head. I’ve been in physical therapy. That didn’t work. I went to OMT, whatever that is. That didn’t work. I’ve been on muscle relaxers and anti-inflammorty meds. I finally started massage therapy. That finally started to help. This was all the while getting our taphouse Final Draft Taphouse build out and open. Ha! Plus, I had to get a new Jeep (with payments again, ugh!). I’ve had to deal with insurance whom of which is my own since the dude was uninsured. I had to deal with submitting all the paperwork to the County as I was victim of a crime. (Lots of fun extras there!)
While I have not let this event stop me in pursuing my theme of ‘Going For It” this year, the aftermath has definitely challenged me physically, mentally, and emotionally. As you can imagine, I went through the gamete of emotions immediately following the accident. (Although I don’t totally remember having anger immediately following; that has come later, on and off this past year). I have also event through all the emotions throughout this last year.
Mostly I have been grateful though. It could have been much worse. I could of maybe not had the opportunity to recover and heal and write this blog post. (Uffda, that’s heavy!) So I am grateful. I’m grateful for my Jeep, my seatbelt, and my airbags. So much so, I bought a newer version of my same Jeep, make and model. I am grateful for all the people who helped me along the way and lent me support, understanding, compassion, and moola. I am grateful for the people who were there immediately after the accident. The gentleman who held the blanket against my bleeding head. The woman who got my purse out and called Mike. I’m grateful for the Vancouver Police and local ambulance EMTs. I’m grateful for the PeaceHealth Southwest ER nurses and doctors who helped me right after. I’m grateful for my follow-up doctors, OM therapist, physical therapist and my massage therapist and friend Angie Ringwald. (See below for a video!) I’m grateful for the Roto-Rooter guy who caught the guy who hit me and was fleeing the scene. I’m grateful for the Washington state and Clark County Prosecutor. (The guy who hit me has been in jail ever since and will be until November 2018). I’m grateful for my family, Mike’s parents, and all of my friend’s who were their for me with love, hugs, phone calls, texts and other messages. I’m grateful for Ex Novo Brewing who gave me brunch-sales from the day after it happened and all the people who came out that day to Ex Novo in support. I’m grateful for Mike, my love dude. (I can still picture his face and his tears and his expression when he saw me as he rolled up to the accident scene. I don’t think I will ever get that out of my head!) Mike has dealt with me with patience. I have not been the easiest person to deal with at all times because the soreness and pain I feel and/or my gasps at his driving with my reactions to cars pulling out startle me or when or when I continually ask him to slow down, especially through intersections (on Mill Plain Blvd!). And, I’m grateful to God for listening to me and answering my prayers for strength and courage!
I share all this because it’s been hard. It really does suck to be in pain a lot. And, I completely understand now how hard it is when someone has chronic pain. I also share it because although shit happens to you, life goes on, even though differently than expected, and we all can learn from these experiences. I know I have learned a lot about kindness, vulnerability, how to heal, how to ask for help, how better to listen to my body, and how to handle and recover from a crisis.
(See now I hope that the young man sitting in jail is learning something. I remain conflicted about this guy. I really hope and pray that his consequences are teaching him something. I hope that he changes and realizes how his actions affect others. I hope he is realizing the error of his ways and that drugs and theft are not good. But, I don’t have a whole lot of hope there frankly because of the jail system. And that’s when I get angry, because this dude will probably re-offend and potentially hurt other people. I mean this was his 2nd time in jail for grand theft auto and he was 20 at the time. Ugh. Anyway, I still have more healing in this department, clearly!)
I am on the mend and much better than before. I will continue to work on healing AND I will continue to pursue my dreams and my passions! Even though these events/experiences don’t leave us (mentionably, subconsciously, and even physically), they do test us and shape us! This is now part of my life story and I will continue to choose to stay positive overall and believe in the good!
This is a video I did immediately following my fourth massage therapy appointment with Angie Ringwald. I was in my parked Jeep and needed to get our my real thoughts on the experience! I’m now onto my 10th appointment with 3 more to go!