One year ago today, February 3, 2014 around 6:13 in the morning I was hit by a car. A big red GMC Yukon making a left hand turn at the corner of my block. I never saw it coming. And apparently he never saw me. I’ve read countless essays and studies and lectures that say we never remember things the same way after we tell a story once. The details are always changing. The facts are always changing. I don’t believe that rule applies to me.
This will count as my third time telling this story in whole and the details are as crisp as the day it happened.
I remember looking at my watch when I got to the corner… 6:13am. I was headed to the next corner to wait on the K bus so I could go to work. The next instance I was 40+ feet down the street near the back of my house. I knew exactly what happened and exactly where I was injured. I sat limp in the legs sitting on top of my right side and my left hip slightly pushed forward. I couldn’t feel my left leg. A dark shadow stood over top of me questioning my well being as if I hadn’t just been smacked with his truck. I was scared. Not that I would die but scared that he would pull off and leave me there. I yelled and screamed for help and it finally came. In the form of my gf’s mother. Pulling out of our driveway on her way to work. I remember EMTs tearing at my clothing and pressing on my leg and saying “it’s probably a sprain” to which I replied “these are my favorite socks and pants” and “you’re an idiot.” Fast forward through a bumpy ambulance ride where I called my parents only to hear them break down on the phone to my ER check-in. At this point I remember only seeing my gf once and begging her not to leave me as she agreed and then was told she couldn’t come to the back.
Doctors and nurses quickly introduced themselves and began poking and prodding my arms neck and legs. Diagnosis was that my left femur bone was broke through the the middle and shattered at my hip. I lay on the bed helpless as they numbed my leg from the knee down to implant a rod and screws and then apply 25 lbs of weight to hang. Simply put the device was a “traction” to keep my bone from displacing anymore until my surgery.
Fast forward again to the next day. I’m doped up on hits of morphine coming in every six minutes. It’s surgery day. A failed attempt from a nurse to remove the weights left them dangling from my bone and me screaming for my life. Most of the pain was relieved through my surgery or so I thought. Fast forward to two bags of blood hanging over head for blood transfusions because I had lost so much during surgery.
I requested to leave the hospital. I wanted to suffer at home but the emotional pain and depression would prove to me that I was not as strong as I believed. I had literally lost my mind once I returned home 5 days later.. I didn’t eat, wasn’t sleeping well and I was alone for majority of the time. I cried a lot! I was never in any severe pain unless my dog jumped on my leg but the thought of being confined to my bed and couch hurt my feelings beyond belief. And then PTSD set in.
Panic attacks and anxiety. Fear of showering because it had been raining when I was hit. Fear of cars, driving and passenger riding and last but not least flashbacks. I wasn’t myself and I kept dwelling on the accident. Everything reminded me of it.
I lost tremendous amounts of weight and I went from walker, to cane, to crutches. And the scars mortified me. I could barely look at my body. I didn’t recognize myself. Days where I thought I was happy turned into nights that I knew I was depressed.
I will say that my support system and my faith are what pulled me through. I have pictures in my phone. A file that I haven’t opened until today and honestly I don’t remember these pictures being taken. I was vulnerable. Filled with anger. But I’m better now. I’m thankful. I’m RUNNING. I do have a metal rod and pins in my leg that will remain for my life but I do have my legs. I have my life.
A year ago my world was shaken upside down but today as I write this it’s right side up!