You know how one minute you are stopped on the interstate in heavy morning traffic and the next minute you hear a loud BOOM followed by a crunching sound and you feel your car being pushed out of your lane into another innocent vehicle?
Well, consider yourself very fortunate because that happened to me yesterday and it was ZERO fun.
My first thought was, OH SHIT…am I OK? and the answer was yes, I think I am. Seatbelt on, air bag undeployed, my left leg was a little hurty but no blood had been shed. The next thought was, “OH SHIT, this just ruined my day.”
After that, the thoughts kind of become a bit spinny.
I pulled my car to the shoulder. I called my husband. I wanted to call work, but I didn’t know my new boss’ extension. The word “shit” kept coming in and out of my thought process.
I got out of my car. My leg was a little more hurty. I pulled up my pant leg and saw a bruise. Bad sign since I am really slooooooow to bruise. I looked back and saw three other vehicles that were more smashed than mine — including the truck at the back of the line that started this chain reaction — and the lady driver behind me whose leg was bleeding. The dude behind her couldn’t open his car door.
Surreal. Blurry. Weird. Left leg was inching its way up on the achy scale.
Cops were on the scene super fast. They got the trapped dude out of his car. EMTs tended to the lady’s leg. They asked about me and I said I was bruised but otherwise OK that I was aware of.
One of the cops told me to get back in my car — glad to oblige — as I started dialing the main number for my new employer and kept getting the voicemail. Boss’ number not in the directory. Co-workers? Not in the directory. SHIT.
As I mentioned, the slang term for fecal material was a recurring theme.
Police asked me for my licence, registration and insurance. Handed over all of it. Another cop told me to call Triple A if I had coverage. I did, so I called. While I was on the phone with AAA, the cop told me to tell the dispatcher that the most disabled car had to get towed first. Wait, what? Um, OK. I told the AAA agent and she paused and said, “Um, OK” in a way that bonded us in our confusion at that order.
I finally found the HR director from my new job in the phone directory got her voicemail and though I was tempted to say, “SHIT, someone wrecked my car this morning and I won’t be in and can you tell my boss, please” I think I said something similar but more professional and polite. I think.
People were snapping photos of the wreck as they drove by. What the what? Who does that?
In my spinny, blurry thought process, it didn’t occur to me to take photos of the damage to both ends of my car. My beloved Ford C-Max Hybrid (BTW, Ford, your marketing SUCKS since no one has ever heard of this make of car, including Triple A and the tow driver) was seriously damaged. Inside things were outside. Things were dangling. Things were shattered.
A cop told me to get back in my car. I got told that often. Sometimes I just needed air. Sometimes I liked the comfort of my car. Once I remember thinking this may be the last time I sit in this car that I was so thrilled to buy just a year ago.
All the while, the pain in my leg was increasing. A noticeable bulge was now protruding through my pants (and not in the way that would make a pervy dude proud.) I winced and whined a bit. I tried not to cry and for once, I succeeded. HOLD IT TOGETHER GIRL.
Cop in charge gave me back my registration with a report number and his name and badge number on it. He told me when my tow truck arrived I could go. I called my husband again, who was already in the area because he’s kind of a hero that way, and asked him to meet me at the closest body shop.
By the time the tow truck came, it was difficult to put weight on my left leg. Pain came in waves, wincing turned to breathtaking, stabby kind of twinges. The driver helped me up into the tow truck. By then, I’m considering self-amputating my leg with my house key.
As the truck pulled away, a piece of my bumper fell off on the interstate. It apparently self-amputated, too.
Husband was waiting for me at the body shop. He handled everything while I sat in his Explorer to search my purse for something sharper than a house key. An emery board would never work.
He took me to an urgent care near our home. I slid off my pants and I had a purplish-blueish-whiteish baseball-size bump on my lower left leg, which from the knee down was roughly 50 percent bigger than the right leg. Insert crass synonym for CRAP here. The skinny-legged pants were not going back on.
Tylenol talked me down from my amputation plan.
Besides a prescription for Lortab, I was told to follow the RICE protocol (rest, ice, compression, elevation) for the the next few days. Advice I am happy to follow. I waddled out of the urgent car on crutches, pants stuffed in my purse, wearing a hospital gown with my backside exposed.
Can I get an amen for black granny panties that fit like tankini bottoms?
Did I mention Lortab? God’s gift to the sore and achy and hurty people of the world.
Someone on social media suggested I wash my chemical romance down with a some wine. Hey, I love a good glass of wine as much as the next girl, but I’m not a fan of comas or death (looking at your Whitney Houston, Heath Ledger and Amy Winehouse) so I’ll just pair water and/or cranberry juice (hold the vodka) with my dose of narcotics, thankyouverymuch.
Yeah, I’m sad about my car. But no one was seriously hurt (that I know of, anyway) and that’s what’s most important. And I have enjoyed two days of binge-watching HGTV, Food Network and Bravo between making endless phone calls to insurance companies.
Moral of the story:
- Always pay attention in heavy rush hour traffic.
- Always wear your seatbelt.
- Always do what the cop says, even if it’s weird.
- Always follow doctor’s orders.
- Always remember that cars can be fixed and replaced — people cannot.
- Always take Lortab with food and no booze.
- Always be thankful that long summer dresses can hide hematomas and swollen legs.