Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Wreck & Roll!

As it was happening I could think of nothing but the moment. I didn't see my life flashing before my eyes all I saw was the world in front of me spinning.

Yesterday, I was driving back to the funeral home after a service in a "funeralized" utility van that we use to carry flowers and other miscellaneous things to homes and to funerals. The funeral had been way out in the middle of the country at a small church cemetery and the road I was on was a link between civilization and the church. There was basically nothing on this 12 mile stretch of road with the exception of, well nothing. Not a mail box, not a cut-out in the woods that could have led to a house, zilch. Just me and the forest on either side. It was really a pretty ride until I realized I was going too fast for the left curve I had just encountered. I started out by driving onto the right shoulder, attempted to correct that and was now on the left shoulder, corrected again, hit the right shoulder and this is where it started. I had gotten the van straight enough that when it got close to the ditch both right tires met it at once and the van flipped. From that point on all I remember happening was seeing the sky, the ground, the woods, hearing glass shatter, and knowing that I wasn't going to just pull away from this one.

The van wound up facing the opposite direction I was travelling sitting on all tires. I was stunned to say the least and immediately was grateful that my seat belt was where it always is; on me. The first thing I noticed was that I was moving forward so I put the van in park. I then tried to see what had happened to me. I remember my side window shattering but never felt any pain yet I noticed blood on the front of my white shirt. Somehow my left shirt sleeve had been nearly ripped off and again there was more blood. I felt my head and there was more blood along with little squares of glass although it was everywhere. I tried using my cell phone and couldn't even see the contact I was looking for and just kept scrolling for what now seems like at least a couple of minutes over and over. I was smelling something funny and figured I had better get out of this thing and climbed out of the passenger side of the van. Once out, I turned and could only think of the shape the van was in. Needless to say it was a mess, even messier than me. Trying my cell again, I now discovered that I had no service. Great.

Some real nice guy eventually came by, his cell worked, 911 was called and my partner who was still at the cemetery was called. The second on the scene was an empty hearse! I knew I'd be okay now because I had a ride...front seat please! EMS showed up, 2 ambulances, a fire truck and state troopers. The Emergency people were wonderful. They wouldn't let me move and started asking questions that I had heard other EMS people ask before; name, day, date, year, age, medications, pains, phone numbers, wallet etc. I was then in a neck brace, on a backboard, on a stretcher heading to the hospital but all I wanted to do was go home. While in the ambulance I could hear them on the radio with the hospital giving them my stats. The next thing I knew I was getting oxygen and an IV had been started. Once I got to the hospital there had to be 5 people around me all asking questions at once. I heard one mention to another to alert surgery. This was getting out of hand, I wanted to see a mirror but of course didn't ask. What did they see that I didn't know about?

I was finally taken out of the neck brace and the backboard was removed and was advised that in the type of wreck I was in (roll) they had to be absolute of any kind of neck, spine or injury to internal organs. Numerous X-Rays were taken, a CT scan was done, blood was drawn and all results were negative. I was given some medication for pain as well as some for inflammation, told not to try to treat any pain with heat and was sent on my way about 5 hours after it started.

Today I feel like someone took a baseball bat to me, especially my neck and back. I'm black and blue in spots I can't explain and I have lots of cuts and scrapes but I'm here. This probably wasn't as bad as I make it to be but I've seen so many wrecks end differently and the person appeared not to have a scratch on them that I can't explain how thankful I am.


Steve said...

Oh my! I do wish you prompt recovery of your injuries - and maybe especially those unseen.

Have you driven again? If not, get on it as soon as you are fit enough to drive! Trust me on this one. (Nothwithstanding impairment from the meds of course.)

DeathSweep said...

Thanks Steve, Today I went to see my reg doc and he seems to think all looks well. I plan on going back to work tomorrow so we'll see how the driving goes. The meds make me a bit dizzy so I figure I'll take them once I get there. Should be ok...Thanks again!

MedStudentWife said...

OH NO !!!

I'm glad you are alright !!!

After an accident like this, you are going to be really sore and stiff for a long time, like weeks - soft tissue injuries take forever to heal. Don't get discouraged.

I would suggest that you get into to see physio or even a massotherapist. They'll be good to help reduce inflamamtion and any range of motion issues you may have.

If you are stiff , ie neck, shoulders and so on, fight the urge to baby it - gotta keep flexible. If you baby it, it will only get stiffer and harder to work-out. But don't over do it.

But, again, you are alright :)

DeathSweep said...

Thanks for the encouragement! Not entiely great news but I figured I needed to get moving again; that's why I went back to work this AM even though my back, neck and now shoulders, my right side and left knee told me not to!