Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Crash, boom, bang

It was suggested to me that the following story would make a great blog post, so I'm taking her idea and sharing this with you.

Last Friday, my Mom and I were in an accident.  It wasn't serious - it could have been a whole lot worse.  This particular car "wreck" (in quotes because no cars were wrecked beyond repair) shows the ineptitude of some people.  There was a car in the right of two lanes; we were in the left lane (my Mom was driving).  The right lane ends; I figured this was why a little teal-colored sedan cut in front of us... as if he just then realized it.

Of course it couldn't be that simple.  Noooo, this guy wanted to turn left.  Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but don't you hang out in the left lane if you know you have to turn left?  I mean, if he was unfamiliar with the area, he should have been in the left lane from the get-go.  Well, he zapped in front of us and wasn't able to turn due to a school bus coming the other direction.  This meant he had to slam on his brakes.  Of course, to avoid hitting him, Mom had to slam on hers, as did the guy behind us.  Well, Mr. Teal Car made his turn while the big pick-up truck behind us didn't stop in time and rammed into my Mom's SUV.  It was loud - there is NO way the guy didn't hear the accident!  No, though, he evidently had more important things to do.

We get out of the car and the truck is driven by a kid with a junior license who has four friends with him.  There was talk of PA adding a clause to the junior license that there can only be 'x' number of passengers in the car (I want to say it was only one, but that is just a guess from someone with a bad memory); this kid had one in the front seat and three (!) in the back.

Damage: Mom's rear window - gone... instant and constant a/c (great for the end of October in PA); Mom's rear door suffered a fatal wound and can no longer be opened; the truck's hood is bent up, not to mention there is glass all over it from Mom's back windshield; me.  Yep, my neck hurt immediately after we were hit and my back started hurting - badly - shortly thereafter... the neck pain disappeared.

My Mom called 911 and then my Father.  I called Keith.  He didn't pick up at first, so I immediately dialed a second time figuring that he'd know it was important if I did that.  Well, he didn't hear the phone (I later learned), so I texted him.  The only words I got typed were "been in accident" before the paramedics arrived (since I had back pain).  I told the paramedics and as soon as I'd given all necessary information, I was able to let him know the rest - that I was fine, at least in the grand sense of the word.

Like I said first on the scene were two very nice paramedics.  One was even a Disney fan and had just gotten back from WDW, staying at the Wilderness Lodge, our favorite.  The two local hospitals here are ones I wouldn't take my worst enemy to but they were all I had to choose from; the good hospital is too far unless it's a more serious injury (or serious at all, for that matter).  So, I gave a statement to the police officer and off I went - by flipping ambulance.  I know, I know, it's procedure, but it's embarrassing.  It's also nauseating - riding backwards, looking out the window?  Not good.  I'm getting old if these things bother me.  Also, that first step in to an ambulance is a doozy!  Try carrying a bunch of extra weight and heaving yourself up in to the ambulance.  It was NOT a pretty sight and I sure hope the teens didn't video it with their cell phones.  Who knows... my butt may become an internet sensation!  I'd say my butt would go viral, but that sounds like I'd need another trip to the ER.

I arrive at the hospital with Mom showing up shortly thereafter.  Keith arrived as soon as he could.  Of course he was in Princeton (one of his furthest clients) that day.  My first human contact was with one very cranky woman.  She came to take all of my medical information, which meant that we had to interact for quite some time because it's extensive.  I was seen by a PA who ordered x-rays and told me what I already knew - there were no fractures.  The med assistant gave me Advil.... on an empty stomach - who does that????  If I wasn't still nauseous from the backwards trip to the joint, I was now!  My discharge instructions: take some pain reliever (OTC) and muscle relaxer and follow up with my GP on Monday.  She didn't even order me to have an apple every day.  How disappointing!

Before I knew it, Monday was here and the phone rings.  It's a nurse from the GP's office.  It seems that the x-rays showed some dense collection of cells, a 15mm mass, probably in my gall bladder.  This is perfect, just perfect.  I've been having abdominal pain for years, but not on the side of the gall bladder, not to mention that I already had testing done in '09 which showed the stupid stones.  The surgeon then said that there was no need to remove my gall bladder if I'm not in pain.  Anyway, I'm having surgery in January (a post for another day) and didn't want to go under the knife again.  Fortunately since I'm not experiencing any pain, they are leaving well enough alone.  While I was waiting in the doc's office, one of the nurses came into the waiting room and told me that she was in the middle of dialing my phone number when she looked out and saw me.  She wanted to follow-up on the ER visit.  I know I've been seeing them for 14 years, but is it bad that they know me by name?  This is not Cheers!  "JEN!"  Yeah, I think not!

Here's the kicker (and the main reason this whole experience is rather comical): I was on my way home from an appt with a pain specialist when we were hit.  Ironic much?

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