It's been quite a while since my last blog but the latest happenings in my life have called for an update.
Monday, November 18th, I did something I've never done before, I had my wisdom teeth removed. This was a bit of a painful, new experience but I was glad it was going to be over with in a matter of days. I was excited to get it done at the beginning of the week because Hunger Games: Catching Fire came out that Thursday and I was determined to see it opening night. In fact, I had already purchased the tickets for myself, my friend and four of my brothers. That Friday I was going to see Trans Siberian Orchestra with the brothers and some other friends. The following Saturday was going to be a birthday party for me, thrown by me, a Nertz Tournament, all guests were going to bring delicious things to eat and we were going to have a fabulous card party just before my actual birthday the following weeks. This was going to be a fabulous weekend.
So on Thursday the 21st I went to my second check-up with my surgeon at which they instructed me how to clean out my teeth and such. I could start using my jaw a little more so I went to Walmart and bought two little, frozen meals that I thought would be easy to eat, I also went to Walgreens to buy some very special mouth sore stuff that cost $9.00 per tube because I had chewed on my cheeks while they were swollen and that was the worst pain out of the lot. At Walmart I also bought a nightguard to keep from clenching my jaw at night. These would ensure a smoother recovery. Gas was at an all-time low at, I believe $2.93 per gallon! I had just enough money to fill 'er up. I was very pleased with my budgeting at this point and started my drive home happy and looking forward to the movie premier which I would be getting ready for when I got home. At that point it was about 5 o'clock, my brothers would be getting in line already, I still tired a little easily and had to time my pain meds with my meals and to when I went to the movies and also had to time another medication to after I got there so that my brothers could drive me home (it was a night-time muscle relaxant that I had to take around 7-8 and I couldn't be driving after that so I was intending to take it at the theater).
The details were coming together, I drove West as the sun was, I believe, all the way set, if not for a little gray on the horizon. I turned right down a short street that would take me to the so-familiar highway that I drive on multiple times a day. I have to turn left on this highway after crossing some train tracks.
On this particular highway, there is a right-turn lane to turn on my road and then a left-turn lane to turn on my road. The right turn lane (coming from my left) was full of cars with bright lights. To my right there was a truck afar off and another person in the turn lane. I don't remember this part very clearly, I don't remember how long I stopped, how long I waited, what I thought, how safe I thought it was or if I was distracted, I only remember pulling out to make my left turn either thinking I had time or not seeing the car to the left at all, but a car did come from the left so fast my only thought was a jam of thoughts, really, "not safe", "too soon", "no!", "not the car". I tried to drive to the right and step on the gas to avoid the collision but the collision happened. I blacked out.
My mom and brother, Nick, were at home when my mom received a call.
"Are you Andrea's parents?"
"She's been in an accident."
"Where?" My mom practically croaked the word and my brother could hear what was being said, he stood from his seat. They gave her the place of the crash and she said, "I'll be right there," and threw her phone down on the floor, grabbed her boots on, my brother gave her a coat because he had enough sense to know it would be freezing, and they went directly to the car. My crash happened within 5 miles of my house, it only took about 4 minutes to get there. My mom walked up to a person who looked like he was in charge a grabbed the shirt collar and said, "I am the mother, is she alive??"
"Is she conscious??"
"Yes. She's talking."
They told them I had some broken ribs and possibly a broken back.
But they wouldn't let them see me.
I woke to chaos. Firefighters were all around me, I could not remember what day it was or where I was or what had happened. In fact, these instances which I will recount to you will very likely be out of order.
There was one firefighter whose name I will never forget and whose voice and service will always be stamped on my heart, he was the one that spoke with me and stayed by me the entire time. He told me I had been in an accident, my parents were there and that I was going to have a birthday soon. I was confused because I thought it was still the middle of November, possibly the 15th, or so. How could my birthday be so soon?
I noticed that my legs were smashed together and pointed in to the right, I didn't feel much pain.
I was still barely waking up when I heard Mike, the firefighter, ask, "what are you doing?" I realized I had been praying in tongues, "praying!" I said. In fact, I don't remember when I started to pray but it was probably my first thought of action when I realized what was happening.
Mike told me that they were getting the jaws of life to get me out of the car. He continued to ask me questions like what my name was, things I don't remember him asking.
I think I started to hyperventilate at one point because Mike said, "how about you try praying again."
And I did, I prayed in tongues and I felt better as they draped a tarp around me and Mike and cut my car into pieces around me.
Nick called Dad. He didn't want Dad to be driving worried so he toned it down, not telling him all the details. Dad started to come down the same road I had come from thinking I had just been in a little fender-bender. That was, until he saw the three firetrucks around my broken car.
April was in MI, driving home from Bible study in the rain when her husband got a call from my sister. He became very quiet and serious and mentioned April driving. April realized something bad must have happened to me and looked for a place to pull over, as she was exiting the freeway her husband told her that I had been in a car accident with some broken ribs and a possible broken back.
The next part was excruciating.
They had to pull me out onto a flat board. They started by fastening something to me then slowly pulled me out, straight on my back, I screamed in pain and asked for Mike, "I'm right here," he said. Mike had become my closest friend at that point and I didn't want him to leave my side for anything. He told me I might get a cast on something (I think they thought my leg was broken) and said he would come and sign it and I made him promise me that he would. And then I believe I told him he had to come to my birthday party.
The next bit was the most embarrassing moment of my virgin life. Having about six firemen standing around my stretched-out body, they started with the scissors to cut away at my favorite jeans. Is it funny or strange that I was more worried about being naked than my body being broken?
Then they cut through my favorite sweater, the one I posted a picture of on this very blog. The one I wore constantly and loved and was basically an extension of my body. Cut off without a thought because, let's face it, life is more important than cloth.
There I was, naked in front of all these men who didn't think a thing of it, thank God, they were only concerned with saving my life and I am very grateful for that, only I was still prude enough to be mortified about my uncovered state.
They started to move me and my mom pushed through the officials and went straight up to my face and said, "Andrea, we're here."
"Mommy." Was the initial word. Mom kissed my face before they could yank her away. I told her to call April to tell her to pray. They assured me everyone has been called. It eased my mind to know they were there and that everyone was going to be praying for me.
Mike explained that I was going to be life-flighted to our local hospital and that he couldn't go with me. I felt like Pippin being taken away from Merry by Gandalf the White. I was then slid into what felt like a sardine box and flown into the hospital. I started to become unaware of my surroundings as I drifted in and out of consciousness. I remember being wheeled through the hospital and people talking, at one point I heard (or thought I heard) a nurse say "ruptured spleen." I raised my head and looked around me and said, "ruptured spleen???"
They eased me back down and said no one said that but I bet they were lying.
And then lights out.