First off, let me start by say I’ve never had any serious car accidents where I was hurt. I always felt too young to be impacted by such a commonplace event, as if I were in control of my own destiny. Well, recently my perspective on that changed.
I didn’t take it very seriously…
What happened was I was driving home from work and an elderly lady ran a stop sign and broad sided my car, making it quickly spin then come to a halt. The whole process is harder and harder to recall, but we’ll get to that later.
I got out of my car and looked around, a lot of people had stopped and were on their phones, blocking traffic. I then looked at my car:
Honestly, it looks fine.
All-in-all, things seemed okay. The other drive came running up exclaiming how it was their fault, and I made sure they were okay. Fade to black.
Now I’m in a rental car, shortly after the accident, driving with Emily to see a doctor. But we get there and they tell me in a muffled, distant voice, that I need to go to the Emergency Room. I’m starting to hurt more: Neck, back, and head are all ranging from fuzzy to painful. Somehow the whole body no longer felt like parts, but more like a collective mess, a confusion source. Fade to black.
I’m in the local Emergency Room and they’re doing a CAT scan and I am in pain. Fade to black.
There’s something about whiplash, but my head, why does it still hurt? It’s common I guess. 8/10/2017 ends.
I wake up on 8/11 and don’t remember sleeping. I must have though, because I wasn’t tired. The coffee I make is okay, it’s just coffee, and I’m ready for work. In and out of my own world again. I find myself at work, taking to my Director about my accident and that I’m forgetting things. Darkness.
I’m in the same hospital as the prior night (was it really last night?) and I have a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) along with whiplash. They give me a note saying take 3 days off and then return to work on Monday. Friday. Saturday. Sunday. Monday. Tuesday. Wednesday I’m at work, somehow I’ve worked the previous 2 days, but I don’t remember what I did. Was I even there? Darkness.
I’m standing in a hallway in the main hospital campus, meeting coworkers to do something, and I think I might cry. I don’t know how I got here. I don’t remember anything. All I feel is pain and shame, for having shown up and not knowing why. A flash of light, I’m in the Emergency Room again, but it’s a different one. I have a concussion and memory loss. But I should be good to drive.
I end up at my primary care doctor’s office, and am talking to her, but the voices are distant, and I can’t make out what we’re saying.
I can’t work for 2 weeks and I need to see a neuropsychologist.
Everyday after is in and out, with no real remnants of memory, just a lingering pain in my head. People say I’m happy, and I forgot who or why they say it. I’m not. My mind and body are a cage now.
Today, Thursday (8/31/17) we have three appointments: 2 for Emily and one for Me. My coordination is back, my memory is stronger, but the pains I have are like nothing I’ve ever felt, like an itch I can’t reach that slowly turns to a burn.
I look the same, I act pretty much the same, but I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m so sad knowing a part of my life is missing, the days I never lived, but was there for.