I was in a car accident a little over a month ago. The details aren't important - the who, what, where, when etc. There weren't any alcohol, drugs, distracted driving, texting involved at all. It was a simple left turn at a traffic light when there was a car coming straight towards us. An honest mistake on our driver's end. The oncoming car hit us on the passenger side of the car we were in at full speed and the car we were in was totaled. I was sitting in the front passenger seat so I suffered quite a bit of impact. It was a situation that happens thousand of times every single day. Hundred of thousands of times, probably. The crash could have been so much worse and that's something I remind myself of daily. Yes, daily. If the car that hit us was an SUV, if our air bags didn't go off, if a second car hit us or them right after the initial impact, if the car had hit my passenger door straight on, etc. we would have had a seriously different outcome. The what if list is endless.
Everyone walked away from the crash. There was no blood shed from the 7 people who were involved in the accident. That in and of itself is a miracle. The thing is, I haven't been the same since this happened. I am an now an incredibly cautious driver, almost to a fault, taking upwards of 10+ seconds to make a complete turn. I am an even more skeptical and nervous passenger - I over-think where in the car I should sit and what would happen if I picked the "wrong" seat. At my first doctor's appointment for a check-up, I had a complete breakdown trying to explain to my nurse how the crash happened. Worse than the mental aspect of it, my body is pretty beaten up. I have constant back and neck pain from the whiplash that I suffered. I can't go for a run, can't do a workout longer than 15 minutes (and that is even pushing it). I can't ski. Walking is painful. Sitting is painful. Laying down can even be painful. Whenever we go for a bite to eat or to grab a drink, I have to visualize where we are going and what their seating looks like. Do they have wooden seats? Any cushion on their chairs? Can we get a booth so I can sit on the cushion part of it? I have basically have a heating pad glued to my neck and back. I spend a lot of the day in a state of anxiety. I truly am so sick of thinking about it. I'm so sick of talking about it with friends and family. I want this to be a complete non-issue in my life. But the irony of it all is I get really anxious when I'm talking with people who don't know about the accident. Hello! I'm in a ton of pain over here. Why can't you tell. Why aren't you doing anything to help ease my pain?! It's a complete mind fuck. I have been going to a physical therapist but at my last appointment he finally said "I'm worried that you aren't getting any better." It was actually a relief to hear that from him because I was worried I wasn't getting any better. Hunter was even worried I am not getting any better. My PT's lightest touch on my neck and back would not only have me wincing in pain but would leave me sore for 24+ hours following my appointment.
I had about a week's worth of progress last week. I was feeling really confident and very thankful for some relief from the constant pain. I got cocky and upped my daily activity. I went to the gym for 15 minutes on the elliptical 3 days in a row, two of those days even doing 15 minutes walking on the treadmill and then worked two days on my feet for 4 hours at Elevated Olive (my part time gig) and by Friday afternoon I was in tears from the pain and completely sick to my stomach. This weekend has been challenging because I feel like I took two baby steps forward and a giant leap back. I scheduled another doctor appointment tomorrow afternoon and have booked an appointment at different PT clinic in town so I know I'm doing everything that I should be doing, it's just beyond frustrating. I feel so lazy and sick spending hour after hour on the couch with the heating pad, but truly that is the best thing that I can do for myself right now. Ugh.
I feel so terrible for my friend who was driving the car. She never intended for any of this to happen - we were on our way to a really great brunch when *bam*. This situation defines the word accident; an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damange or injury. Yup - that sums it up. There was one other person in our car who also was injured and seems to be healing, thank goodness. Like I said, it could have been so much worse, but this is still a pretty shitty and completely unexpected situation to be in.
I am forever grateful for Hunter and his patience, his nurturing ways and his extra help around the house lately. My friends have been so helpful with dropping off dinners/coffee to the house and in general keeping my spirits high. One of the lovely women who cleans for me at the b+b recently gave Hunter and I free admission to Strawberry Park Hot Springs and a free ride there and back. I was so humbled by her thoughtfulness knowing at an hour and half soaking in hot springs would be such a great relief for my aches. I have never been good at asking for help so this situation is certainly humbling and has been a learning experience I've also been spending time at our gym downtown Steamboat soaking in their hot springs as well. I am thankful that I have a flexible work schedule right now that allows for me to spend some very needed time in the mornings or afternoons soaking. I never take those trips for granted.
Who knows what the future holds, but I hope, wish and pray for answers and some lasting relief. Only time will tell.
I've said it before but writing things like this out is such a positive outlet for me. I'm sorry if this post seems whiney but I just needed to get all my thoughts out in one place.