Driving to work Friday morning, minding my own business. Then, WHAM! Glass is flying, metal is crunching, and I feel like I'm suddenly on the mechanical bull at the local cowboy bar. A car I barely saw coming hits the side of my car, throwing it sideways onto the median, hitting a street sign, and ending up back in my lane on the road. Bill Cosby describes that moment as, "First you say it, then you DO it!" Luckily, I didn't DO it, but I did say it!
Then as quickly as it happened, everything stopped moving and it got quiet again. It took me a few moments to fully realize what had just happened.........car accident.........I've just been in a car accident!
I look around and realize that I'm not bleeding anywhere, that I appear to be mostly intact, minus my wits. My next thought was the other driver, so I went to check on her. She was also in about the same shape I was. Someone stopped and called 911. I somehow managed to call my ESM and tell her I'd been in an accident and where I was. Luckily she had not left for work yet and was only about two miles from where it happened.
Now, to be fair, this was certainly not my "first" accident, however it was very definitely the worst I've been in.
I was checked at the scene by EMS, however I still had a fair amount of adrenaline in my system and it took an hour or two before my injuries started to show up. I ended up going to the ER later in the day with a headache, neck and shoulder pain, and scariest of all for me, a profound sense of unsteadiness on my feet and I had to concentrate to get words together in the right order to say them. When I got to the ER and went through triage, they slapped a neck brace on me, refused to let me walk anymore and began carting me around in a wheelchair. After several hours of tests and laying in a hospital bed watching TV (and good pain meds), I was diagnosed with a form of whiplash, and possibly a mild concussion. No fractures, no other problems they could see at that time. I can't tell you how relieved I was.
So, now begins the process of working with insurance companies, adjusters and such in the little dance of "what happens to me and my car now". Claims are filed, information has been given, now I'm waiting to hear the verdict on my car. Thumbs up, or thumbs down...we'll just have to wait and see.
Overall, the accident could have been much worse. A small change in timing here, a small change in the location there, I would probably still be in that hospital bed even now. And someone else might also be there too. We were both very lucky that day.
If you'd like to see the accident photos I took, feel free to follow this link.