Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Basically a commercial for Onstar

So, as I discovered when I called JP and texted my family, there's no good way to ease into this: I was in a car accident today. A pretty bad one. I'm home and I'm fine, so I'll just jump in. 

I was supposed to meet my barre-teacher friend for lunch at her fancy country club at 11:00. I was super excited and dressed up in my finest country club couture: a clingy navy blue wrap dress with white stripes, pearls, and pumps. I'd even blown out my hair, a sign of honor for a club with an entry fee more costly than my first year of law school. I left perfectly on time and had just merged onto the highway that runs by my office, the one I take home every day, and was cruising down the right-hand lane, looking to get off at the next exit, just like I take home every day, when I noticed a semi-truck barreling down the highway just behind me. Then he appeared to be getting oddly close to my lane. Then I realized he was IN my lane. I don't really remember what happened next, but the police officer later told me that I first hit the cement wall that runs along the highway. Then I hit the semi. Then I hit the wall again. I'm not sure when I realized I was crashing, but I know I screamed. The scream is what I remember most, actually. The airbags all deployed. They were loud and they smelled.

My car stopped, facing sideways across two lanes of traffic and I realized several things at once: My door was missing. My front tires appeared to be punctured, lying flat on their sides, and looking up at me from underneath my car. The truck had kept on driving. No one was stopping. I was blocking traffic. My car was still in drive, though it was not moving. My windshield wipers were on. My seat belt was really tight. My purse had spilled out all over the front seat. I didn't know where my phone was. My directions and upbeat barre music were still being pumped cheerfully through my sound system, which confused me because I thought my car was off.

I didn't know what I was supposed to do. My leg was bleeding. My little dash computer told me to "shift to P," so I did. I tried to find my phone, but didn't know where it was. I realized if the music was still playing, it must still be connected to the audio input cable, so I pulled on that. My hands were shaking really hard. I finally got the phone, only to drop it, find it again, and drop it. I couldn't get it to unlock because I couldn't type in my passcode because of my shaking. I belatedly remembered you can press "emergency call" from the locked screen. I finally got it unlocked, but then I couldn't get it off the maps. Then I finally got to the phone app and called JP. Then I realized that was not the correct first call and hung up to dial 911. I misdialed twice and finally managed the 9-1-1 and started talking to an operator. It was MANY minutes before I managed to do this, so I was a walking (sitting?) commercial for Onstar.

Sometime in the middle of the phone drops I climbed over into the passenger seat and turned off the car. I tried to stand up and decided that was a bad idea and then just prayed none of the other cars zooming past me hit me as they swerved around. A policeman pulled on while I was still talking to 911. More people came. I hung up. An ambulance arrived. Someone helped me walk over to it and I got some bandaids and blood pressure readings. I explained that super low blood pressure was my norm and once my pulse stabilized they asked if I wanted to go to the hospital. I thought that was more of a "them" question, so I asked if there was anything the hospital could do for me that I couldn't do at home. They said no, as long as my neck and back weren't hurting (they were not), so I asked to please just go home.

I finally called JP and sort of explained the situation. By now I had traffic backed up to Dallas, so he couldn't come get me, so a very nice paramedic said he'd drop me at home. I asked the police officer to get my yoga mat from my wrecked car and watched rather detached while he walked across the highway, periwinkle yoga mat in hand, while the tow truck driver picked up pieces of my car from all over the place to throw in the back of his truck. I called the insurance company, after I got some other cop-type-person to get my insurance card out of the glove box when I realized I didn't even know which insurance company I used.

The insurance call finally ended when the paramedic pulled up in my driveway. I walked inside, hugged JP, and fell to pieces.

Then I felt better. Then I took a lavender epsom salt balt and felt even MORE better (as Claire would say).

So I'm fine. Honestly pretty fantastic given the state of my ruined Highlander. My leg scrapes have healed up some already, the burns on my forearms (from the airbags? I guess?) and across my chest (seat belt) are lighter, and my right hip is swollen (again, from what, I have no idea) but not yet bruised. I think this is my golden in-between period. The scrapes are better but the bruising hasn't yet appeared. Tomorrow, according to my new paramedic friend, is probably going to be a bitch.

I still can't quite believed it happened. I've never been in a serious accident before. My friends have been amazing. One picked up the girls from school for me (JP was at the pool), many offered dinners (I decided to cook, because I knew getting off the couch would be good for me, and it was), and one ordered me two dozen tiff's treats cookies. I'd already planned a date with one of my besties to watch Pitch Perfect 2 at 8:30 tonight, so I'm still on for that. I'm looking forward to sitting in a cozy chair, drinking a glass of wine, and losing myself in the musical stylings of the Barden Bellas.

I assume my car is beyond repair, but will know when the adjuster goes out to the tow lot tomorrow. I'm not sure what we'd get if we need a new one- I loved the highlander and it pretty much saved my life, so we may just get another one of those, but I'm open to other options. We just need 3 seats to fit across the back. After realizing how powerless you can be in a situation like that, my kids aren't graduating from their car seats until they're 15.

Right now I'm going to enjoy this window before the bruises set in, and be tremendously grateful for seat belts, air bags, first responders, and the fact that the kids weren't in the car. Oh good god am I glad the kids weren't in the car.

Off to enjoy my girl crush on Anna Kendrick and my love for all movies involving singing and/or dancing!

36 comments:

  1. Glad your ok, please take it easy, you will feel as if you were actually hit by the truck tomorrow, so please, please take it easy. We were just in a car accident this winter with one of my kids it was not a bad accident, but we were sore and it was a royal pain in the neck. I think your focus is excellent, you are here, you got to come home and be with your family, that is all that counts!

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  2. Oh my gosh, my heart was in my throat while reading this. I'm so glad you are okay and so very glad the kids weren't with you. Take care of yourself, you will feel horrible tomorrow. It's so odd that you're basically a complete stranger to me, even though I've been reading your blog since Landon was a baby, but I feel such relief that you walked away with just cuts and bruises. The power of a blog, who knew?! Enjoy Pitch Perfect 2, and really enjoy that wine!

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  3. Well, I have to confess I cried reading this. I've been reading you since Landon was born and I just got so teary with gratitude for you being okay and also with empathy horror for you. I'm so sorry. I can't believe the truck drove (kept driving) away… I don't understand that! This sounds so silly, too, but I kept thinking of all the contents of your purse all over that seat and how annoying that must have been. Be gentle with yourself. I'm so, so glad you are okay.

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  4. I'm so glad that you're okay!!!

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  5. I am so glad you are okay. What on terrifying experience. Whenever you get to thinking about a new car I think there are actually more options than you might think so long as you get the right seats. We have three car seats across the back in both our prius and our Camry. Take care and heal up.

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  7. Oh my goodness! That sounds terrible! I hope you feel okay tomorrow. We have a Traverse. Comes standard with OnStar (and will still make emergency calls without the subscription.)

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  8. I am so glad you are ok! I totaled my car about 12 years ago in a very similar manner (subtract the semi, add in an opossum. don't ask). My doctor suggested I get a massage during my accident checkup, and it was the very best thing I did for myself post-accident. Here's to quick healing!

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  9. You should have gone to the hospital! But I understand why you didn't. But go to the doctor tomorrow, no matter what! Glad you are safe, sounds like you handled this better than anyone should ever be expected to, give yourself a giant break from anything the next few days!

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  10. How terrifying! So glad that you're okay and thank goodness for such a great car.

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  11. So glad you're okay!!

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  12. Delurking to say that I'm glad you made it out with only cuts and bruises! I hope you feel better soon.

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  13. Been reading your blog since the beginning! So glad you are okay!

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  14. I'm glad you are okay! My hubby's car has OS and it came in handy one evening when he got sandwiched in between two cars on the freeway. He said they came on the line asking if he needed assistance before the car stopped moving. I was also very glad that the kids weren't with him. Feel better soon!

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  15. Oh good lord, that must have been terrifying!! My heart was in my mouth just reading it. I'm so very glad you are ok. As the others say, go really easy the next week or so because soft tissue injuries can take a while to manifest themselves and you could make them worse if you over exert yourself. Lots of warm baths and rest! Has there been any update with the truck driver, did the police catch up with him?

    I'm not sure what type of car seat Cora is in but if you're interested, you should google "extended rear facing seats" They are becoming very common in Europe and are up to 5 times safer in a front impact crash.

    Oh and I just love that you described your outfit in priority to describing your accident. That's why I love your blog ;-)

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  16. Another Laura5/28/15, 4:04 AM

    Terrifying, so glad you're okay and kids weren't with you. This is an excellent reminder to always buckle up and buckle kids up as though this could happen with any drive. I'm also a longtime reader and read with my heart in my throat. Virtual hugs. (And I also appreciate that you described your outfit first. Love it.)

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  17. Ahhhh, I'm so glad you're okay! This is terrifying. A few years ago, I was involved in two separate car accidents three weeks apart, and it was truly awful. It all happens so fast, and you really are powerless in the moment.

    Take care of yourself. It will get worse before it gets better, but it WILL get better.

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  18. I thought to myself it was odd you had another post so soon after the last one. Take care of yourself! Very glad that your car had the safety features it had.

    Arnica can be helpful in moving bruises along - I take the tablets from the homeopathic pharmacy, along with conventional painkillers and anti inflammatories like ibuprofen.

    You may find that a foot massage/reflexology (assuming your feet aren't bruised and you like such things) or foot spa helps you unwind - but Pitch Perfect is pretty fantastic too. And if you have a delayed reaction (you may, or you may not) that will pass too.

    Am looking forward to the posts about Clare accessorising your bruises? She likes yellow and purple and green?

    BTW you know there's a UK chain called Claire's Accessories?

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  19. Oh, this was so scary! I'm glad you're okay and that the kids weren't with you. Hope you're not hurting too badly today. I'm so mad at that truck drive. SO MAD.

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  20. Oh Sweet Mercy! I'm so glad you are okay and that the kids weren't in the back seat. And yes, today and tomorrow will likely be the worst of the aches and pains. Stay mobile, stretch gently. All will be well.

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  21. So glad you are okay and that the kids are in the car!

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  22. I can't believe that no one stopped. Fort Worth is supposed to be friendly, damn it.

    I am glad that no one was seriously hurt (other than Mr. Car).

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  23. I'm so glad you are okay! I was in a fairly serious accident a few months ago, and I rememeber the shaking. You did better than me though, I was crying for like an hour and the poor cops had to deal with me. The next day is definitely sore, so get some extra wine. Many many healing thoughts to you!

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  24. OMG, I'm so glad you're okay! And that the kids weren't in the car with you. We always use the Escape, not the Civic, to transport the kids (figuring the larger vehicle is safer in a crash) and sometimes I think I'm being paranoid but then I hear a story like this!!!

    I second the PP who mentioned the extended rear-facing car seat. We use the Evenflo Symphony for both kids, and I didn't have to turn H front-facing until he was almost 3.5 years old (even then, it was the height limit that got us, not the weight). He didn't seem to mind having to sit with folded legs, and I was much more optimistic about accidents.

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  25. So glad you are okay, what a scary experience! I agree with another commenter, treat yourself and go get a massage.

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  26. My husband and I were in a serious accident with several semis this winter and I could not believe it when one of them took off! It's completely inexcusable and yet not uncommon? It angers me greatly.

    Glad to hear that you're doing well all things considered. Hate to tell you this, but day three was actually the worst for me. I hope you feel better soon!

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  27. A big hug to you. That was a majorly frightful event. Hugs, hugs. Thank all of the gods for the Highlander.

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  28. No one stopped. But I'm sure someone phoned it in to the police. I'm glad you're ok sweetie.
    --Desimom

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  29. I am so glad to hear you are ok!! What a terrifying experience.

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  30. Good grief..glad you're not worse than you are, I'd say you escaped fairly lucky considering how crazy the accident seemed. I can't believe the truck driver didn't stop, but then again I bet that happens more than you imagine.

    Feel better and here's to a quick recovery!!

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  31. LL, I am so tired thankful that you are fine. Huge hug, MJS

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  32. How scary! SO glad you weren't seriously hurt.

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  33. So glad you are ok!

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  34. How terrifying! I'm so glad to hear you are okay. I've been following your lovely little blog since Landon was a baby, but unless you're talking about books, I don't really make comments. :) I hope the post traumatic stress you may encounter getting behind the wheel again will not last long. I'm appalled that no one on the road stopped to help you! And the s.o.b. in the truck is completely gutless for not stopping. No words for that. Anyway, take care of yourself and many positive vibes for a speedy recovery!

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  35. Wow, I can't believe that the truck didn't stop. Very glad that you are ok!

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  36. So very glad you are okay. You should go to your primary care doctor just as a precautionary measure in case of what if, down the road. You never know, someone may have called in about the truck and then the company insurance would cover any expenses. Highly recommend a massage in a week or so once the aftershock sets in and Ibuprofen every four hours for a few days. I learned all this last summer when I was involved in a drunk driving accident. Our new car is a Hyundai Santa Fe with the third row seat. Luggage space is limited for a family of five but we got a roof rack for traveling.

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