Monday, February 4, 2008

My car part 2

So here is what happened..... The apparently very long version of it.

It was Friday morning I went out to go to work. When I looked out the window it didn't look to bad. When I got out the door I realized it didn't look bad because it was ice, not snow that was coating everything. So I got my scraper out and cleaned up the car, it wasn't too bad cleaning it up and started to head to work. The worst part is usually driving up my street. With the big hill going up and the cars on both sides making the street pretty narrow, it is pretty tight but I didn't have any issues there so I was doing pretty good. I didn't even have issues stopping at the traffic light at the bottom of the hill by Sheetz. Then there's the 'highway' section where it's 2 lanes that is the rest of my drive to work. I was doing OK but there was a lot of sleet and stuff coming down so I was taking it pretty slow. I know I was because my commute is normally 6 to 8 minutes and it took me 9 to get to the Sheetz, which is less than half way.

So I am on the highway now, about a mile from work with all this sleet and stuff coming down. I was driving slower than dirt, the truck that had been in front of me at the light was long gone but I have horrible traction so that's how it goes. I went around the curve and came to the part where it straightened out. That's when I hit a patch of ice and lost control.

I remember seeing the end of the guard rail where it starts and I missed it by a couple feet. I kinda noticed but didn't really register what that meant. So the reason there is a guard rail is because there is because there is a pretty steep drop, probably about 70 degrees where 0 is horizontal and 90 is vertical, down to the creek.

I rolled toward the passenger side and then kept going. I think I rolled 270 degrees although it's possible I could have done 360 more, I'm not really sure. I guess I hit a few trees too although I don't really remember that either. I do remember thinking oh crap, my glasses are coming off and I think I caught them in mid air and put them back on. Interesting the things that happen instinctually.

The car came to a stop lying on the driver's side. I think I probably laid there for a couple seconds before I thought I don't really feel like being in the car any more. So I turned and got my legs under me and undid my seatbelt. I reached for my cell phone but it wasn't in my pants pocket or my jacket pocket. I thought damnit, I must have left it at home. I didn't know how far down I was, if anyone could see me or if anyone saw me go off so I figured I was on my own to get out. Besides which, I didn't want to be in the car anymore and I wanted to go home.

Since I was lying on the driver's side I first thought the easiest way to get out would be the passenger doors, if they weren't damaged too badly, athough how I was gonna jump out I hadn't really worked out. Well I tried the doors and they wouldn't open so next I tried breaking the windows on those doors. I pulled my sleeve down and gave it a good whack. Not even a crack. Look at that tricep strength. This clearly was not going to work.

I noticed my purse lying in the back and the contents of it everywhere. It had been in the passenger seat. Eh, I had my wallet and my cash in my pocket and my cell phone was at home (or so I thought)so no biggie. I'd deal with my bag and stuff later.

The windshield was right in front of me and I could leverage myself against the seat to get a good kick at it. So that's what I did. Apparently windshields are a lot harder to break than I realized. I was kicking it as hard as I could and I was just barely cracking it. I stopped at one point because I was out of breath, which made me start cracking up. Look at that cardiovascular strength. I kicked some more and finally created my lovely escape hatch seen in my earlier posting. The last few kicks were losing their effect because I was laughing too hard from how hard I was trying to break the windshield. In the movies they just give it a little whack and glass goes everywhere.

As I got my hole almost big enough for me to climb out of, a guy came down the bank. He was yelling and carrying on if I was OK and that got me laughing even harder. I tried to yell back but I was laughing too hard and the car was muffling my voice. I finished opening up the hole and he helped me climb out. That's when I cut my thumb. I can't get a decent picture or I would post it.

By then there were a half a dozen guys around who helped me climb up the bank, not really sure where they came from but it was a pretty steep hill and real slippery so they were pretty helpful. My thumb started bleeding a little from the glass that I got in it getting out of the car. I noticed the blood so I warned one guy that was helping me up so that he wouldn't grab it. He said it was alright. He clearly hasn't gotten any first aid or blood born pathogen training. I kept my thumb away from him anyway. Although I know I don't have anything, it's just curteous, so he wouldn't have to go to the hospital later and get tested.

When I got to the top and looked down I thought 'holy shit'. My car was down about 15 ft. The tree that I stopped on was about 5 ft from the creek. I guess there were other trees I hit but at the time I thought that was the only one. I don't really remember bouncing off or the trees although I guess I don't remember much of the roll itself.

Apparently most of my coworkers drove by it but couldn't see the car down there at all. One of the guys who helped me up let me sit in his car and use his phone. I called in to work to let them know I wouldn't be in. Figured it was too early to call my parents, they'd freak out. I guess my adrenaline was really going because I couldn't just sit in his car so I paced on the side of the road until the police and ambulance came.

I figured I'd go to the hospital to get checked out just in case. You know if I hadn't I would've had something horribly wrong and I wouldn't have known until it was too late. So they told me to get in the ambulance and they'd drive me over. I sat in the ambulance while I guess they were surveying the scene or something. The ambulance was kinda cool, I'd never seen the inside of one before. It has more stuff and it looks less sparse than I had imagined. It was also pretty warm even though the door was open, not sure how they work that.

The EMTs came on and told me they had to put me on the bodyboard and neck brace. It was standard protocol for this type or accident or something. I kinda chuckled but figured I'd go along with it.

There were probably 15 tie downs to hold me to the board and then to the stretcher underneath. The lady was strapping me in and almost put them across my arms. Then she was like oh we aren't like restraining you, you can have your arms out. See! They weren't preparing me for the straight jacket!

Lying flat on your back with the neck brace holding your head perfectly straight is the weirdest thing. All you can see are ceiling tiles. I guess the pads they had on each side of my head blocked out my peripheral vision. I kept trying to turn my head to look around but I guess they don't like that. It's weird when they are talking to you and you can't turn toward them.

They asked what hospital I wanted to go to Pottsville Hospital or Good Sam. I kinda looked at them and went ummmm..... when the lady said Good Sam is a catholic hospital but they take people who aren't Catholics too. I thought well I don't like catholics so take me to Pottsville. Apparently Good Sam is the better hospital but I wasn't that worried anyway.

They wheeled me around, all I saw was ceiling tiles and more ceiling tiles. They did a few X-rays and before they concluded my neck was not broken and they could take the neck brace off and I could get off the board. Yay! I was starting to get stiff from it. When they let me up my neck and back were stiff but I couldn't really say from what.

Then I got to put on one of those lovely hospital gowns with the crack down the back. I don't know why someone doesn't design a gown that has a bit more cloth between the ends of the drawstrings rather than putting the drawstrings at the very end of the fabric. It would make it so much more pleasant when they take you down the hall in it.

At one point while they had me waiting in the room they have me a phone and said I could call anyone I needed. I figured I'd call my parents since they'd be upset if I didn't tell them. Well I called my father because he took our old house number and I don't remember anyone else's. I only had a few minutes from when I caled him and when the doctor came in so I told him I was OK but I was at the hospital. Well he called my brother and my mother and there was all sorts of panicking. They both called the hospital repeatedly and while the doctor was checking me out they kept bringing me messages or the phone with them.

The bed in the ER was actually pretty comfortable. It had something like a Tempurpedic mattress on it. It was only like 4 inches thick but it was actually pretty comfortable, especially compared to the body board. My mother laughed at me when I told her that.

Since I told the doctor my back hurt he decided to take some more X-rays and do a piss test I guess for internal bleeding or something. Yay for walking down the hall where I didn't know where I was going in a hospital gown.

Friday February 1st 2008. The Pottsville Hospital. W. As in George W Bush. They must have asked me the day, date, year, where I was and who was president 10 times during the hour and a half from the time I got in the ambulance till the time they said I was good to go.

In the end he determined I had no major injuries. I'd probably have a few bruises and be a bit sore but nothing deadly. He gave me a doctors note until Monday and a prescription for painkillers and told me I could leave.

Only problem was I still had the blood pressure and pulse thing strapped to my arm and I was still in the hospital gown. I sat there for a few minutes before I decided to flag someone down so I could get the stuff removed and get dressed. After I got dressed I walked out of the door of the room I as in and stood there. They said I could go but didn't tell me where. I wandered around for a bit before I realized I didn't know where I was going or how I was getting there. I ended up asking a janitor for the phone so I could call someone from work to get a ride. Then I asked again so I could get out of the hospital. I am the epitome of brilliance. In my defense, all I saw was ceiling tiles when I came in so it was hard to tell which way I came.

So I called the office and got someone to pick me up. I had him drop me off at home since I figured I could go home and call the insurance company and such. Well I got up to my apartment and realized my phone wasn't there. So I was at home with no phone and no car. Great. I started knocking on doors and borrowed my neighbor's phone to get someone to pick me up and take me in to work so that I could use the phone there. It's like the office is my personal taxi service. Also, I didn't know where my car was. The police officer told me before they took me away but I couldn't remember. All I knew was it began with a T in Minersville.

So I get in to the office and of course everyone had heard about it/seen my car. The tale developed to my going in the creek and getting carried down the creek. I guess I must have swum out of the car or something in this tale, I don't know the details.

I talked to a few people and managed to find out where my car was. Ed took me over to see the car and take pictures. That's when we got most of me junk out of the car too. I noticed my purse wasn't in there. The guy at the tow yard said the police took it and had it at the Branch Township Police station. So we head over there to get it. We get there and there is no one there. The doors are locked, no sign of life. So we head back to the office.

We got back just in time to grab the last few slices of pizza left from lunch the day before. I heated up 2 slices. I managed to eat one while I was on the phone with the insurance company. I ate about half of the second before I started to feel sick.

I talked to Geico and got the claim started. They said they wanted to get my car out of the tow yard that day to minimize the cost of the tow yard where it was sitting. They needed an address to tow it to. The only place I could think of is work so I gave them that address. They reserved a rental car for me with Enterprise and got a confirmation and everything but once again, Enterprise didn't have a car. I got it from EZRentACar in Pottsville again. The lady working there even remembered from the last time I did it.

When I mentioned it to someone at work they said I should tow it to a body shop. Cheryl's sister (I think) works at a body shop and they said they could take it so I called Geico back with the new address. Well I don't fully understand but it's Tuesday and they still haven't moved the car from the tow yard.

So at this point I'm doing pretty well. I know where my car is, I gave them a good place to tow my car, I got my rental car. Only thing I still need is my purse and hopefully my cell phone is with it. I called the Branch Township police and no answer. So I called the nonemergency line and managed to talk to someone. He said the guy would get the message when he came back into the office. I didn't have much of a choice but to wait at my office until he went back to the office and called me.

He called not too much later. I guess it was getting to be about 3:30 or so. He brought my purse over to my office and he had my cell phone too. He said he had tried to call my cell phone because that's the number I had given him but when he heard the ringing in my bag as he called he knew that wasn't good. Well I got everything now. Yay. My phone was even still working.

I went inside and turned off my phone like I always do because there is no reception. I talked to a couple more people and braced myself for the drive home. I get home and turn my cell phone on only to get a message that the battery is not genuine. Ugh. So I drove back in but Cheryl had just left so I thought great. Well Beth has the same model phone as me so I decided to borrow her phone. I put her battery in mine to see if it was the phone or the battery. Well her battery worked in mine so I figured it must have just been the battery. Just for kicks and giggles I put my battery in hers and that seemed to work too. So we swapped so I would have a phone for the weekend. Woohoo. Now I could go home.

My parents decided to come out for the weekend. They didn't get going until 7 that night. At 8 I was about ready to crash so I decided to lie down. I left the doors unlocked and warned them that I may not wake up when they get here. Well they called when they got here and I answered but I never managed to get out of bed. The doors were open so they let themselves in and settled in for the night.

I slept most of the weekend. I would get up for a few hours and then be too tired to stay awake more than 6 hours or so at a shot.

My brother drove out Saturday. He had a class so he came after it. They decided they didn't like the rental car so they left me their new Suzuki SX4 so I could drive to work and such. They also brought me a ton of food. I would rotate the picture but.... well I'm lazy and you can turn your neck. I was the one in the accident. Your neck is fine.

I'm pretty well stocked for the week. They said I should expect to hurt the next day but I really wasn't bad. The Gardasil vaccine was so much worse. I was a bit stiff but really my only issue was I was really tired. Oh and I noticed a bit of tenderness on my head by my scalp. I hadn't thought I'd hit my head, as I had told the doctors but this seemed to indicate that I had. And I couldn't seem to eat much. All I ate friday was that slice and a half of pizza and I still wasn't eating much over the weekend. This actually concerned me more. Since I usually eat so much and I couldn't eat and I was really tired I was afraid that I may have hit my head harder than I realized. But my appetite is back full force and hopefully I'll be able to stay awake through a full day soon.

This is my seatbelt hickey. It showed up on Saturday though I didn't feel it at first.

I also have a cell phone shaped bruise on my thigh. You can see the body of the cell phone and a separate section where the antenna sits. I would post a pic but I couldn't get one that wasn't porn-ish and I only do food porn so that was no good.

They never actually told the appraiser about any of the moves either. He apparently went to my office, couldn't reach me because he only had my cell number, and eventually found out through Geico that it was still at the tow yard.

OK I think this is long enough. That's my story. As you see. Learned my lesson and so did she. Now it's over. And I'm glad. No sign of guilt, no feeling bad, oh.

I almost forgot about the hilarious sign I saw when I was staring at the ceiling tiles. There is a sign at the ER that says maximum 2 patients per bed. It is mounted right by the ceiling so even the people who are strapped down can see it. Maybe to provide some entertainment during your hospital visit?

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