Sunday, August 05, 2007

my summer

Well looking at the date of my last post, it's been awhile. I posted that one 10 days before I was in an automobile accident that has pretty much occupied me this summer.

Where to start?

Well I was driving my minister's (yes, my minister's) van home from Indianapolis where she was taking a flight from for 3 weeks of vacation. I had taken her down the afternoon before and we had both stayed over at her friend's. I had a good sleep, some lovely green tea with my breakfast, and we said our goodbyes. It was about 9:15am on a bright sunny, lovely day. Roads were clear and dry. I had both hands on the wheel, was not talking on my phone or even listening to the radio or my ipod, going the speed limit. The GPS said drive straight for the next 90 or so miles. It was a rather uneventful driving moment really. I needed gas, and thought I might look for a Starbucks too. I was dressed nicely because I was on my way to a funeral. My friend had died in a roll over car accident and I had timed my departure time to get me to the visitation and service in plenty of time.

I found out later that 2 cars ahead of me was a police detective who witnessed everything and arrived fairly quickly at the scene afterwards. Right ''the scene'' - how did I go from pondering coffee and my friend's funeral to "the scene". Again, it's rather uninteresting. I had steered off to the right shoulder, this quite surprised me and here's where I did something stupid - I overcompensated (worried about EL's van perhaps) and then went back, hit some lovely loose stones (this the detective told me later) I was confused why I kept skidding. The stones and the ditched dropped off, and unfortunately so did I. I remember being aware the van had started flipping over, and I remember telling myself the best way to minimize injury was to relax my body - so I went limp and was this 'rag doll' flipping over and over. At some point I blacked out, perhaps the air bag knocked me out (my very purple face seemed to indicate as much) and I'm fairly certain my left arm is what broke the driver's side window. The next thing I was aware of was a woman screaming from the shoulder on the other side of the highway (4 lanes plus median, she must have had some voice) for me to "GET OUT!" of the van (later I was told it rolled about 4x and caught fire - so I can understand why she would be screaming at me). I was still in my seat (yes, seatbelts do save lives - bruise the hell out of you, and do some fantastic muscle twisting - but mine kept me alive) looking around the upside down windowless van with the deflated air bags in front of me. My head was fairly close to the roof, so there wasn't a fall when I unbuckled myself (the fire went out on it's own - good thing I was low on gas). I crawled out through the passenger's window through much debris, rocks and glass. Once outside some unsuspecting fool at handed me my cell phone (which had been on the passenger's seat and flying loose during the flipping and still works fine).

Shock is a marvelous thing. I took my phone, (being somewhat annoyed at the blood that kept pouring onto it) and made 3 phone calls. Two messages and one very coherent conversation (I was told later, I was so calm and so coherent sounding in the messages that people didn't think the accident was anything major or that I was hurt - I have a very very vague memory of this).

Then I did what every rational accident victim does - I tried to tidy up. (it was quite a mess you see) I had bled on the detective's shoe, so I crawled over to the roll of paper towels, tore two off and while apologizing profusely about his shoe, handed them to him. He, kept saying he thought I should lie down - kind man.

I will write more soon - this is the largest bit of writing I've done since the accident and I'm a little overwhelmed. I promise to add the rest of the "Exciting Adventure" soon.....

(I am alive, and healing, don't worry about that.)