On Friday night, I got into a car accident. I know, I know. My first blog post in five months and that’s how I start it out. Gosh Sarah you’re so dramatic.
It was around 11:30 PM. I work at 4 AM every morning so I had been up for twenty hours at that point, and had worked over nine hours that day. I don’t remember falling asleep, or how many times I had nodded off up to that point. What I do remember is waking up to the feeling of going off road. I was heading right for a pole. My Oldsmobile hit the pole head on, and I felt the car roll multiple times. The more I try to remember exactly what happened in those moments, the more it slips away from me, like a dream.
The car stopped moving. The radio was still blaring.
It could have passed for a scene in a movie. The camera slowly zooms in on the car. Everything is dead quiet save for the radio, which plays a muffled “Air bag” by Radiohead. All the while an ominous smoke pours out of the engine, disappearing into the still night. A wolf howls.
Now back to your scheduled programming.
The air bags had gone off. I felt a cold liquid running down my legs. I’m bleeding, was my first thought.
Later I figured out that it wasn’t anything that dramatic, just day old Bigby coffee.
Disoriented, I looked around. I was on my side. Above my head was a door. I unbuckled and tried to stand up on the window below me. My debit card was under my foot, also covered in coffee. I couldn’t get the door open, it was too heavy.
This isn’t happening, I said out loud to myself.
Suddenly there was a flashlight in my face. A guy in an orange vest was asking if I was hurt. An adrenaline filled me said no. Another guy showed up beside him. One of them held the door open for me to climb out of and the other guy helped me down.
I remember that the whole time this scene was going on, the windshield wipers were going at full speed. Before I climbed out of the car I tried to turn them off. Funny how our brains prioritize things in those situations.
After I climbed out of the car, I saw that it had landed on it’s side, driver side to the ground. A live wire danced in the street every time someone drove by.
They asked if I had anybody I could call. My phone was lost in the car somewhere and I couldn’t remember any numbers, so no. The non-vest guy said I could wait in his car. I got up out of the dirt, my bare feet cold against the pavement. My shoes had fallen off in the car.
The vest guy called an ambulance and the other guy gave me his coat and his wife gave me her phone to use. I couldn’t remember any numbers, I said again. So millennial of me.
I was able to get ahold of my boyfriend through Facebook and told him to get ahold of my mom.
The wrecker showed up before the police or the ambulance.
When the ambulance did get there they asked me a bunch of questions and examined me. At that point my jaw was hurting quite a bit and I could feel my face swell up. It hurt to open it too far and I could only close it half-way.
I repeated the same information at least six times. To the cop, to the people who stopped to help me, to the examiner, to each of the emergency-responders who put me in a neck brace and helped me onto a gurney.
On the way to the hospital the guy who was in the back with me tried to make conversation. He was really nice. He lived in Dorr, had two sons who lived in a condo together that one of them built, they were happy. I responded to his comments and questions, but the same thoughts kept running through my mind.
How am I going to pay for this. My insurance is going to go up. I need a car to get to work. This ambulance ride is probably costing me one whole paycheck. What if I have to pay for the pole I knocked over.
That’s all I was thinking about. I wasn’t worried about the state of my body or how I could have died. I was worried about how much this was all going to cost.
Once I got to the hospital they told me that my dad was already there. As they were hooking me up to an IV, I repeated my story again and answered all of the same questions. I couldn’t move my head much because of the neck brace but I saw my brother and dad approaching my bed to my left and my boyfriend on my right.
Apparently Ricky had called my mom, and my dad had woken up to my brother calling different hospitals, asking if they had admitted anyone by the name of Sarah Dies. They had arrived at the hospital before I had.
My brother had already texted my manager and let him know that I wouldn’t be coming into work the next day, and told me not to worry, that I could use his spare car until I figured things out. The next hour was filled with CT scans and x-rays and being moved from one table to another whilst wrapped like a burrito. They gave me morphine for the pain, which didn’t make me nearly as loopy as everyone was hoping.
After a couple of hours at the hospital we got the results back. I hadn’t broken anything. I had facial contusions and muscle spasms in my neck, bruising all down my right shoulder and arm, probable sprained right wrist and right ankle. Considering how hard I hit the pole and how many times the car rolled, everyone was amazed that I wasn’t more seriously injured.
They told me that I could go home. I had been prescribed muscle relaxers and motrin, and they told me that I would probably feel increasingly sore within the next few days.
So yeah. That happened.
It still feels really surreal, like it didn’t actually happen to me. That’s the kind of thing that happens to other people, you think to yourself.
My life-long habit of burning the candle at both ends finally caught up to me. The week before I had been telling everyone that I had been having a hard time sleeping lately. Three to four hours was the average amount of shut-eye I would get. Had I just prioritized sleep, this accident could have been avoided. That’s what really frustrates me. This was a completely avoidable thing.
Some of you might have stopped reading already, which is understandable. It’s just a thousand words of me explaining my car accident. But I think I wrote this as much for myself as I wrote it for others. Writing helps me process things. So this was necessary.
You know how many times within the past five months I’ve started writing a blog post only to lose all motivation less than halfway through a complete thought? Five times. Once every month. If traumatic life events are what it takes to get me to blog then so be it. Bring on the tornadoes and spider-infestations.
I’m just really grateful to be here, blogging about what could have been my last car ride. But it wasn’t. And I’m here. So I have to make the most of that. I have no idea where my car is and my license and phone and debit card and glasses are all still in it so I have to deal with that tomorrow.
I have all my limbs though, and some cool new facial injuries, so who’s the real winner here?
I’m really tired and it probably shows in my writing. I feel like I’m using a whole lot of ‘ands’ and run on sentences. So I’m going to try and sleep now.
A huge thanks to everyone who’s helped me the past couple of days, and if by some stroke of luck the people who stopped to help me read this, thank you thank you thank you.
This is Sarah Dies signing off.
Yeah the tiredness definitely shows.