Sunday, January 31, 2010

In the Hands of Others

It seems that life, on occasion, reminds us that much of our well-being is in the hands of others.  I was given just such a reminder this week when a driver rear-ended me. I was stopped at the entrance to a merge lane waiting for a break in the traffic before beginning my merge. I didn't even know what hit me, so to speak, it took awhile before I understood what had happened.

I had hit my head on the steering wheel and bit my tongue. Funny enough, it was my tongue that I felt first.  For several moments I didn't even realize I had hit my head. It was very surreal. Of course after those several moments my head began screaming at me in a major way. I admit, I was crying rather hysterically.

The driver who hit me said it was completely her fault (uh, ya think?) and that she wasn't paying attention.  Then she said she was actually looking over her shoulder, presumably looking for a space to merge into. But there was no space, that's why I was stopped. If she hadn't hit me, she would have t-boned someone else because she was going way too fast to have stopped on time (police estimate from the damage she would have been going 50-60 km/h).

I didn't have any idea what to do. In 15+ years of driving, I've never been in an accident. My only thought was that I wanted my husband there. He commutes to work via bicycle and I knew he would be nearby. But I wasn't having any luck getting through.

I should have called the police because I was injured. But I was injured and confused; I felt like it wasn't bad enough. I got all the information from the other woman. And, even though I kept saying I couldn't drive and hadn't stopped crying, I agreed when she encouraged me not to call the police. I blame the head injury :)

I drove to a parking lot that was just ahead. My cell rang and I managed to tell my husband where I was. Within 10 minutes he biked up, gave me a huge hug, and fed me electrolyte chews, shot blocks, that I keep on hand because I occasionally have hypoglycemic episodes.

From there, he brought me to the emergency room. It felt oddly familiar after my 9 hour wait when I broke my arm last summer! I was much luckier this time, we were in and out in 3 hours.

Aside from a mild concussion, lots of swelling, bruising, and the normal stiffness and aches and pains, I am fine. At least so far. Everyone tells me that it can change a lot over the first week. I choose to be optimistic! I've been very tired and do not have very much stamina but that is not surprising. I am hopeful there won't be any long term issues.

My car is not so lucky, it looks like there is frame damage. I tried to get a picture but only had my cell and I couldn't remember the code to unlock the camera, lol. 

The next morning I went to the police station right away and explained what happened. To make a long story somewhat shorter, it turns out the other driver has a long list of prior accidents. The driver was trying to lie to the police officer and her husband (who happened to have the van that hit me) was yelling and arguing with the officer over the phone. Not really a smart idea when you (or your wife) is being charged. It's not up to me whether to charge her, it is automatic in situations like this, which is nice because I would probably feel bad for giving her a record, even though she deserves it.

We are all in the hands of others. So too, the lives of others are in your hands. Use them softly.


Anonymous said...

So sorry - and please feel better soon!

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

People are such jerks sometimes, especially when they're the cause of the problems to begin with. Hope you feel 100% soon!

HorseOfCourse said...

So true. It doesn't help if you drive ever so carefully yourself.
Many times it is just pure luck that keeps you safe.
I am so sorry RB.
I really hope that you won't get any problems after this. Take care and get well soon!

Once Upon an Equine said...

Sorry to hear about the accident. Sounds like you got quite a bump to the head. That other driver needs to have her license revoked. She is a menace. And even worse, she knows she's a menace and tried to hide it. Hope you don't have any lingering pain from the accident.