You know that saying "your life can change in an instant"?
I've always heard it said but I never thought much about it.
Then on a Tuesday morning about three weeks ago I was on my way to work. I was cruising down the mountain with Kenny Chesney playing on the radio. I may or may not have been singing. Loudly.
A pretty typical morning for me.
I had just gotten to the bottom, past the "dangerous" part of the drive. A nice flat straightaway. I had come to one of the only two stop lights on my route.
So there I am sitting a a stoplight, on my way to work, listening to the radio when I look in my rear view mirror and see someone coming up behind me. Fast.
Next thing I know
I remember that was the last thought that went through my mind before impact.
"Gosh he's going fast".
Then nothing but pain.
As far as I could tell, he never even braked.
I sat stunned in my car for a few minutes. At least that's what I'm told. That I sat in my car sobbing for about five minutes before pulling over to the side and getting out. The driver of the car that hit me said he had to knock on my window several times before I responded to him.
I remember I was covered in liquid. I didn't know what it was. At first I thought I was bleeding. Then I thought it had come from the air bag. Except the air bag didn't go off. Turns out it was a cup of coffee I had in the cup holder. It literally exploded. It was all over me, the windshield, the roof of the car. Everywhere.
The rest is a complete blur. Waiting for the police. Giving them all of my information. Two hysterical phone calls, one to my boss and the other to my sister. Calling a tow truck. Waiting for joe to come get me to take me to the hospital.
The hospital is a blur too. Waiting(and waiting and waiting) for the doctor. X-rays. They asked me if I would like my pain meds before having the X-rays taken. The X-ray technician was already there to get me, and the doctor still hadn't approved the pain meds and I didn't want to make him wait so I went ahead and got the X-rays before the pain meds.
Here's a little tip. ALWAYS get the pain meds before you have any tests done.
After the pain meds nothing but a haze of people coming and going asking lots of questions.
Joe driving me home and going right to bed and staying there for three days, drowsy from pain meds that made me so sick I opted for the pain over taking them.
All a blur.
Did I mention the pain? X-rays showed nothing broken, just severe whiplash.
Just? Did he say *just* severe whiplash?
There's nothing "just" about the pain I was in. Nor about the pain I've been in ever since.
I'm in pain when I wake up. I'm in pain when I'm at work. Some nights I'm in pain while I sleep.
Thankfully I sit all day at work and they gave me a headset to wear while I'm on the phone.
I never anticipated how much this would impact my life. It has consumed the last three weeks of my life.
Constant throbbing pain.
Emotional distress, as I lay awake at night wondering how I'm going to pay for all of the extra expenses that have come up because of this accident.
My worst nightmare had come true. Being the only wage earner in my home, and unable to work.
I blew through all of my PTO and couldn't afford to take time unpaid. So I went back to work. And it was hard. It has been hard.
More stress as my old car, and currently my only working car broke down on Thursday, leaving us with no car at all.
An even worse nightmare. Having no way to get to work.
I wake every morning praying for the strength to get through the day, the week, until the weekend when I can lay in bed all day on muscle relaxants and heating pads. Because that's all I have done for the last three weekends.
Sleeping. Laying in bed. Muscle relaxants. Heating pads. Tylenol, which helps only minimally, since I can't take anything else due to the kidney disease.
I've had to pull out of the dragon boat practices and race in October. I'm so sad.
I can't ride. Hike. I can't do much of anything physical at all.
I've moved from being sad to just plain pissed off.
My life turned upside down because some kid wasn't paying attention. He says he wasn't texting but I don't believe that for a second. You don't ram into someone else stopped at a stoplight and claim you never saw them unless you are seriously distracted, with your eyes off the road.
I call bullshit on that one.
I've hired an attorney. I don't have the time or energy to deal with this on my own. And I have to be sure all of the expenses I've incurred are reimbursed.
I'm not a sue happy person. In fact, I've never been involved in a lawsuit before. I know it's a long hard road when you go that route rather than settling with the ins company.
I'm ok with that.
I start physical therapy on Monday. I hope it helps relieve some of the pain.
I have a rental car now. I hope my old car doesn't cost too much money to fix. I hope my "new" car is fixed sooner rather than later. It's been above a hundred degrees here and my old escape has no air conditioning.
I'm ready for my life to go back to normal.
Your life really can change in an instant.
I know things could have been so much worse. I'm alive, with minor injuries and my car is fixable. It's just thrown a wrench in my routine. But overall. I know I'm very lucky.