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09 June 2010 @ 07:27 pm
This is one of those posts that starts out with, "I'm okay, really."  
After an eight-year hiatus, I was involved in a car accident this afternoon. I do not appear to be seriously injured, but I know about soft tissue damage and will be self-observant just in case something shows up in the next couple of days.

Good points:
  1. I am not seriously injured.
  2. I was driving a rental car, so my car was not totaled. My car is still in the shop having maintenance done, thanks be to whichever imp of the perverse was off duty. Actually, now that I think about it, thanks to Dale getting pissy when I told him I wasn't going to have the gas gauge fixed because it was $400. If he'd been okay with that, I'd have picked up my car yesterday evening and it would have been my car that was totaled.
  3. I bought the damage waiver when I rented the car. I almost never do that, but there was this voice in the back of my head saying, "If you get the insurance, you won't need it." Mind you, if I track down the imp that was responsible for phrasing it that way, I may strangle the damn thing.

Bad points:
  1. Damage waiver notwithstanding, I'm probably going to have to dick around with insurance companies.
  2. I left my parking hangtag (which is expensive to replace) and the red dot "park anywhere" pass (which is irreplaceable until August) in the rental car, and I'm not sure where the car was towed. I'll call Enterprise back tomorrow and see if they've found it.
  3. I'm a hurty puppy, and I know from experience I'm going to be a hurtier puppy tomorrow.

At least this time I didn't lose consciousness, which means I'm not going to spend the next eight years obsessing over whether I said anything inappropriate to anyone before the censors came back online. I did apologize to the firefighter I cussed at (he asked, "Where do you want the car towed?" and I burst into tears and said, "I don't know, it's a goddamn rental! I'm sorry, I shouldn't yell at you, but I need to call them and find out what to do.")

What happened: I drove down to the Kingston Pike Building (aka the Metron Building) at lunch to drop off some paperwork. As I was pulling out of the driveway to turn left onto Cumberland -- with a green light -- a pickup truck came sailing through the red light and t-boned me on the driver's side. I know I remember seeing him come through the intersection; I think I remember punching the gas to see if I could get past him, but I'm not positive about that. Both side airbags deployed; the front ones did not. The driver's side door was crunched in, although rather to my surprise the window glass didn't break. The other driver admitted full fault to me; I assume he said the same thing to the police. I never saw him, but the conversation went like this:

Him: Are you okay?

Me: I really don't know; I'm in shock. I don't think I'm bleeding.

Him: Someone's calling 911.

Me: Good.

Him: My brakes, I just slid through the intersection.

Me: Ah.

And then a UT maintenance crew opened the door on the passenger side, and asked if I wanted to get out. I always forget that it's really not a good idea to move; the "need to be out of traffic" thought is always much stronger. Anyway, I got over onto the passenger side, and sat there while someone put my phone back together (it flew across the passenger seat and the battery popped out).

I called my office to say that I wasn't coming back from lunch and why.

I called Dale to tell him I'd been in an accident and would call back after the police were done with me, that I was going to go to the ER, probably to UT Medical Center since it's close and on my insurance. I swore at him, too, when I realized the pickup truck was moving off to the side. I believe my exact words were, "Goddammit, the son-of-a-bitch who hit me is still driveable that's not fair."

I swore at the nice fireman and apologized to him. No, wait, I think that was earlier.

I called Enterprise and told them I'd been in an accident and asked where they wanted the car towed. I have no idea if it actually went there or somewhere else, because I was on a backboard and possibly in the ambulance by the time the tow truck arrived.

Through all of this I was alternating between relatively calm and lucid, and shaking and crying but lucid.

The ambulance and paramedics showed up, and they decided that since I wanted to go to the ER, and since I'd taken "a hell of a lick, there," immobilization was in order. "I understand, and I theoretically approve, but I don't have to like it," I said.

Arrived at ER; they were full up, so we waited. And waited. And waited. And I could feel various muscles getting achy from being strapped down and immobile.

By now I was pretty much exclusively calm and lucid, with occasional trembly moments.

Then a bed opened up, and as they lifted me off the stretcher to the bed, my right calf cramped. HARD. The kind of charley-horse that can throw me from a sound sleep into an upright position with my leg stretched, in, according to Dale, "2.24 seconds, allowing for the Doppler shift."

And I immediately turned into That Patient, the one who whines and whimpers and babbles and begs for something, anything, to make the pain go away. Seriously, I was completely oriented, I knew exactly where I was and what had happened, and I had absolutely no brain space for anything but the pain in my calf. I went from calm, relatively cheerful (all things considered), and speaking in complete, grammatical sentences to "oh ghod oh ghod it hurts it hurts please let me bend my leg and put my foot down, please please it hurts please take the straps off my legs oh please please it hurts so much please. . ."

There was a small part of my brain that was standing off to one side mumbling, "You're really not behaving appropriately here" but it was vastly outshouted by the much larger portion of my brain that was screaming, "It hurts make it stop."

All praise and thanksgiving to Cyann, who stood at the foot of the bed and calmly forced my toes and foot back up toward my shin to stretch the cramp out, and stood there and let me press my foot against her hands for probably five minutes. She had someone find a sheet and looped that around my foot and gave me the ends, and I was able to pull my foot up hard and keep pressure on it until the cramp finally eased off. She's getting a thank-you note.

Anyway, the only thing that really hurt from the accident itself was my left hip where, I think, the door crunched up against me. I went to x-ray, the x-rays are clean, and now I'm home with Dale. I have a scrip for 10 Vicodin capsules, and I assure you that we filled it on the way home and I took one as soon as I walked in the door. I'm going to do my best to stay ahead of the pain curve, here.

I've emailed my managers to tell them I won't be at work tomorrow, I've called my Local president to let him know that I may or may not be up to chairing the meeting on Saturday, and I need to go "possibly un-RSVP" for a party on Friday night. I think that covers all my immediate obligations.
sinboysinboy on June 9th, 2010 11:37 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to hear you're OK, but so sorry you had to go through all that mess. Take care, and heal fast and as painlessly as possible.
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on June 9th, 2010 11:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you kindly.
The Renaissance Manunixronin on June 9th, 2010 11:41 pm (UTC)
The accident sucks, but glad to hear you're OK and don't have to replace a car you just got back from being fixed.
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on June 9th, 2010 11:41 pm (UTC)
Amen to that. Thanks.
Annetxanne on June 9th, 2010 11:45 pm (UTC)
Please stop being embarrassed about swearing at the fireman and falling apart when your calf hurt. You held it together when you needed to. Anything more, and you'd be a cyborg.
Surrendering to the mysteryjenett on June 9th, 2010 11:55 pm (UTC)
What Txanne said. And I am very glad that you are largely all right, as such things go, and well-tended to.
(no subject) - janetmiles on June 10th, 2010 12:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - janetmiles on June 10th, 2010 12:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - txanne on June 10th, 2010 12:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
what doesn't kill me better run: ca: it's good you heal quickcarlyinrome on June 9th, 2010 11:51 pm (UTC)

That's so scary! I am glad you weren't hurt, and I think you behaved pretty admirably given the circumstances. I hope you feel better soon.


Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on June 10th, 2010 12:09 am (UTC)
Thank you kindly. :-)
(Deleted comment)
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on June 10th, 2010 12:10 am (UTC)
Yep. Eight years, two months, and a couple of weeks. I now think highly of Kia Spectras, as well. It did its job.

And thank you.
Beckyladysprite on June 9th, 2010 11:58 pm (UTC)
Oh, my goodness - I'm so sorry this happened, but so glad that it wasn't any worse.

Fingers crossed that your physical and emotional recovery is quick and uneventful, and that this doesn't happen again for a long, long time....
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on June 10th, 2010 12:10 am (UTC)
Thank you kindly. I like all of those hopes! :-)
Bill the bold bosthoonwcg on June 10th, 2010 12:30 am (UTC)
Good to know you're OK. Hope all works out well with insurance and hang tags, etc... Please be watchful for emerging evidence of injury.

Sorry it happened. At least this time you didn't end up upside down.
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on June 10th, 2010 12:47 am (UTC)
At least this time you didn't end up upside down.

Amen. Thanks for the good wishes.
drewkittydrewkitty on June 10th, 2010 12:41 am (UTC)
You are walking and breathing after a driver's side T-bone. The Gods and Goddesses were looking out for you. I'm pleased that you are as little hurt as you are, and hope for a smooth and swift recovery.
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on June 10th, 2010 12:48 am (UTC)
The Gods and Goddesses were looking out for you.

Oh yes. And Kia Spectras have been added to Saturns on my list of "this car will protect you in a disaster".

Thanks for the good wishes.
Kats: Nesmith Wavingwildrider on June 10th, 2010 12:42 am (UTC)
So how many is this now? On the whole, seems like a better overall outcome than the first one! Glad you're feeling all right, and keep an eye on those soft-tissue injuries! {hug}
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on June 10th, 2010 12:52 am (UTC)
So how many is this now?

Too damn many, say I.

Let's see. One in Phoenix (my fault, brakes failed). That was the VW bug.

One when I first moved to Tennessee (girl pulled out in front of me, I hit her and was then hit by the car behind me. It was legally her fault because she had a stop sign and I was on a through street, but I never really blamed her because it was a mistake of inexperience, not negligence.). That was the Honda Accord.

One on Alcoa Highway when I was rear-ended. That was the Ford station wagon.

The one in Cleveland, eight years ago. That was the Saturn.

And this one. Kia Spectra.

Thanks for the good wishes, and I most certainly will.

(no subject) - wildrider on June 10th, 2010 01:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
Fat Fred the Otter and Skippy: Nose Jobfatfred on June 10th, 2010 01:48 am (UTC)

Nose Job.

Keep us informed. You fully have the right, after something like that, to vent. If you asked me, your phrasing was such that I wouldn't take that you were upset with any of the people you were talking to, but you were upset over the experience. Big difference there.

You are still with us, and we are glad.
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on June 10th, 2010 03:45 pm (UTC)
I am glad to still be here, and to be as mostly undamaged as I am. Although I can feel the muscles in my back and neck are all seized up. I may look into getting a massage over the weekend or something.
Dendewhitton on June 10th, 2010 02:48 am (UTC)
Argh! Wow! I'm glad you're okay. Cramp owies.
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on June 10th, 2010 03:46 pm (UTC)
Wow, indeed. Thank you most kindly.

Yeah, the cramp hurt WAY worse than the accident injuries, even today when I'm stiffening up.
suzilemsuzilem on June 10th, 2010 02:55 am (UTC)
good thoughts for no soft tissue damage and positively exuberant thoughts for the pain to go away and stay away permanently
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on June 10th, 2010 03:46 pm (UTC)
Thank you most kindly. Yeah, I really don't need any more lingering after-effects here.
starcat_jewel: distressedstarcat_jewel on June 10th, 2010 03:04 am (UTC)
Yikes! Like everyone else, I'm glad it was no worse. GoodThoughts being sent for no problems with the insurance.
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on June 10th, 2010 03:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Now that I'm up again (I woke up around 5 a.m, spent a couple of hours wandering around and went back to bed around 7:30), I should start making phone calls.
redneckgaijinredneckgaijin on June 10th, 2010 03:32 am (UTC)
Hope nothing more than the shock of the bump is wrong. Get better soon!
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on June 10th, 2010 03:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you most kindly!
Trinkertrinker on June 10th, 2010 03:49 am (UTC)
I'm glad you're okay, and that it won't be a financial disaster for you.

On your behalf, I am thanking you for *being* That Patient. Do not, please, ever, ever be the "too nice to ask for necessary medical help" patient. People suffer horrible problems by doing that.

Thank you for taking good care of my dear friend Janet.
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on June 10th, 2010 03:55 pm (UTC)
It wasn't so much the "asking for necessary medical help" as the "semi-coherent stream of babbling and begging" that I felt bad about in the moment.

In retrospect, I'm sure they've heard far worse, and I don't think I even really raised my voice very much, so I most likely wasn't disturbing or upsetting other patients or families.

Thank you muchly for the good wishes. I am continuing to be gentle with myself.