Maybe I am crazy

28 03 2009

I’ve never really been a paranoid person, at least I have never seen myself as such. But that all changed Monday the 23rd at 4:12 pm.

I cannot really describe this overwhelming emotion but I am thinking if I get it out of my system and onto paper that it will all be better.

Everyday I pick up Alannah at 4:07.  Everyday we arrive to her sister’s school at 4:13. It never changes.  Monday, Alannah and I were driving down the road to the backside of Kayla’s school and there were cars oncoming, so I stopped.

I know I had my turn signal on because I am one of those people who uses turn signals even in a parking lot or on the dirt roads.  Glenn is forever giving me shit, saying ‘where else are you going to turn but right?’, but I use them anyhow.  It’s important to me to make that fact clear – no matter how irrelevant it is later in this event.

I was traveling north and needed to turn west across one lane of traffic and two cars were coming.  I looked in my rear view and even now as I type I still feel that panic as I see the little white car coming closer and closer and about thirty feet out I notice her head is looking down.  I remember looking to see if I could gun it to speed up and turn or even go straight and in the blink of an eye looking in my rear view again and bracing for the impact.

She hit hard.

I remember looking over at Alannah as her body jerked forward and then back.  I remember pushing the button to lower the window and I remember calling her a fucking idiot.  She wasn’t yet out of her car and I remember yelling to ask what the fuck she was thinking.  And then as she got out of her car I remember calling her a stupid fucking bitch.

Then I felt bad.

She looked as scared as I felt as she walked the length of my car and as she got closer, I apologized.  I don’t know if she heard me or if she even knew what I had said.  But then she said something that made me so mad.

She said she was sorry and said I didn’t have my turn signal on!

The witnesses were coming around my door then and the one lady, she had been the first oncoming car, she said she had seen my signal and the lady behind her commented that it really didn’t matter because my brakes would have been showing.  I then pointed to my turning signal switch was still down and on.

That’s when I noticed my steering column had somehow dropped down during the collision and had my legs pinned in at the knees.  My right knee took the worst of it and was already swelling and purple.

I kept asking Alannah if she was okay and she said her head hurt a little but that she was fine.  Since my purse was at her feet I had her get my cell and she began calling Glenn.

I remember talking to him, but not really.

The witnesses had me turn off my car then as they said the lady’s car was hissing and leaking badly.  I had Alannah get out and cross the street to the school but I couldn’t move my legs still because of the steering wheel.  I got to thinking what if it blew up.

And I really wanted a cigarette.  But I couldn’t find my lighter where I usually kept it. We later found that it had somehow flown to the back seat.  Plus Alannah had my purse with my cigarettes.  And that lingering thought of what if the cars blew up was still there.

I don’t really remember when the fire trucks and paramedics arrived but I just remember them yelling at me, one of them, asking if I wanted to go to the hospital.  He got really pissy when I said I wanted to try to stand up first.  It was about then that I started noticing my back was really in pain.  He somehow got the steering wheel off of my legs and then went to get someone else.

The someone else was an older man in a white polo with blue cursive writing on it.  I don’t remember what it said.  He asked if I needed to go to the hospital and I told him I wanted to try to stand up.

The pissy guy yelled at me again and said it was a simple question, yes or no.  I remember I started crying about then.

They finally tried to help me stand up and I couldn’t.

I couldn’t see Alannah.  She was wearing some goofy concoction of an outfit too but I couldn’t see her.  She had on these jeans that made her butt look rather large, which it isn’t, but they made her look really chunky.  And this goofy white and black shirt.  I kept asking for her and finally they had her come over and she sat in the passenger seat while they affixed some glue thing to my neck.  It was huge and painful and sticky.  The pissy man sat behind me holding my head still while the white polo guy put it on.

Around this time a chubby Hispanic man took over and grasped my arm.  I remember telling him how much I weighed and him saying not to worry and that that was nothing. They held me up by my arms and told me to just relax as they lowered me onto some board.

I don’t remember much else until I was inside the ambulance and I really wanted a cigarette again.

They didn’t know where Alannah was and didn’t know if someone would walk her to her sister’s school.

On the ride over, there was a female with a pony tail who kept talking to me.  She said that they had asked the woman how fast she was going and that the lady said she was going the speed limit, but when they asked her what the speed limit was she said she didn’t know.

I asked again about Alannah and the lady said she was safe.

I asked if I could have a cigarette and she said she would have let me if we weren’t in the ambulance.

She kept asking stupid questions, but I suppose it was to keep me lucid.

At the hospital they put me into a wheelchair and sat me in front of the bathrooms near a courtesy phone for about three hours.  I remember there was an elderly black couple and they kept watching me and tsking about me sitting there.

I was glad I had my watch on or I would have been out of my mind.  I remember I counted seconds in my head and then would check my watch to see if I kept the time well.  Hell, I might have very well been out of my mind doing that.

They finally called my name and I didn’t know how to use the wheel chair – I have only sat in one two other times, both when I had the girls, so it’s been a good twelve years or so.  I tried using my feet to drag it and I remember I yelled out to the nurse to help me, but she just stared at me.  She finally started pushing me after I cleared the fifteen feet between she and I and she got me to a bed in a room with curtained walls.

She had me strip which is when I noticed the pain in my shoulder and neck.

It was ungodly.

I laid there for another thirty minutes when I heard Glenn’s voice.  Kayla started crying when she saw me and all I could think was how badly I wanted a fucking cigarette when Glenn came close to hug me.

The doctor came in – he said his name was Mark, but he looked like the Jewish plastic surgeon with the big nose on House.  I remember pleading with him to let me have a cigarette and while the nurse still had the bitchy look on her face; he said he would approve.  She looked ready to kill me when he sent her to fetch a wheelchair.

I don’t think I have enjoyed a cigarette so much in my life as I did then.

I don’t really remember much else from the hospital except that they took me to get x-rays and said I had no skeletal damage.  They said I had whiplash and contusions and something about my back.  But no fractures or breaks.

They had me take two white oblong pills and I don’t remember a thing else.

That night they released me and after Glenn got me into the car, I felt ill.  My stomach was churning and I just kept looking in the side view mirror and seeing it all over again.

And it hasn’t changed since.

Today we went down to pay the deposit for the wedding and the ring and so forth and every time we slowed down to stop I just felt overwhelmed with tears.  Glenn tried turning the mirrors so I couldn’t see, but that only made it worse.

I just want to go back to before and I don’t know how long that will take.

I like to be in control and I think maybe it is the lack of control that is making me panic, but that never bothered me before so that cannot be it.

I don’t know what it is.

I just know all I can think of is that split second of trying to get the hell out of her way and realizing I can’t and this whole wave of fear overcomes me.

The pain is still here too but that I am sure will get better in time.  But I don’t know how much longer it will take for me to get into a car and not sob like an idiot.  I want to ask a doctor but I think that would require a head doctor and I don’t think I’m crazy.

Maybe I am.

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