There's a first time for everything, and I got to find out what it's like to be nailed by a car.
I was walking home from the grocery store and was crossing the street at the crosswalk, with the light, a nice and legal crossing. I passed in front of an SUV that was waiting to make a right turn on red, and I admit didn't follow that old piece of pedestrian advice that says "make eye contact with the driver". Kerpow, they hit the gas and nailed me on the left side and sent me down to the pavement.
I'll admit, before the pain kicked in, I was royally pissed! I couldn't help it, I yelled something to the effect of "WHAT THE FUCK? I HAD THE 'WALK' LIGHT!" Then the ouchie part of getting almost run over hit me and about all I could do was yell in pain.
I'll give total credit where it's due, the woman who hit me handled it perfectly. She jumped out of her SUV, knelt next to me and took my hand, she was crying like it was the end of the world and saying "I'm sorry!" over and over again. She called 911 and stayed there next to me until they arrived and if they hadn't asked her to get back in her car, I'm pretty sure she would have stuck with me. By that time, I honestly was feeling worse for HER than I was for myself. I was patting her on the hand and saying "It was just an accident. I'm okay. It could have happened to anybody."
Anyway, the paramedics got there in a matter of minutes. I'd been hit on the left side, but all the pain was on my right, so it was all from hitting the pavement and little to none from the car itself. They checked me all over, made sure I hadn't lost consciousness, asked me things like "what's your birthday?" "What year is it? (like I could forget)" "What city are we in?" Making sure I was coherent, you know. I had no pain in my neck but they put me in a collar anyway and got me loaded on a stretcher and into an ambulance. The poor woman was still bawling her eyes out and saying "I'm sorry" over and over again. I asked one of the responders to please tell her that I was okay and I knew it was just an accident.
Luckily, I'm only about three minutes away from the hospital, so they took me to the emergency room. I talked to the policewoman who responded and got an incident report from her. I found out the driver IS insured and there was no doubt that it was an avoidable accident, so that's a good thing. They took x-rays and a CAT scan. Funny thing about the CAT scan, the high-contrast dye they shoot you up with causes the weirdest sensations as it goes through your body. For one, it makes you feel like you're wetting your pants, but you're not.
Results are this: Three broken ribs, two compressed vertebrae that may or may not have been from this accident, and my right lung is very slightly collapsed. Everything should heal itself, it's just a matter of pain management until it does. They shot me full of morphine and wanted to keep me overnight, but I was coming home from the grocery store with breakfast for my kitties and I knew they were at home and hungry. So I talked them into letting me go home.
I'll admit that walking home was a challenge. Not only was I still in a lot of pain, but I was TOTALLY paranoid about crossing the street. I was looking at every driver like they were on a wanted poster and saying "don't hit me, please" under my breath.
The good news is that the pain is manageable. It got bad last night and I didn't get much sleep, but they gave me a prescription for Oxycodone and that helps a little. As long as I keep my back straight and don't bend or twist, it doesn't actually hurt that much. Getting up to go to the bathroom sucks though.
My care coordinator helped me get my meds, and she strongly advised me to contact a lawyer. I realize I could probably nail the driver for all kinds of pain and suffering since the accident was completely her fault, but there are a couple of reasons I don't want to do that. First and foremost, she seemed more traumatized over hitting me than I was over being hit. Second, she didn't look before making her right turn on red, which is a mistake I imagine every driver ever has made multiple times, this time I was just in the way. It was an accident that could have happened to anyone, and I don't want to drag someone into court over it. Third, a court case would be a MASSIVE pain in the ass for me, you know? Earlier this year I had to go through the Better Business Bureau to get Charter/Spectrum to quit fucking me up the butt, and that was hard enough. I don't want to deal with lawyers. I've pretty much reached the conclusion that if the driver's insurance company offers me a settlement, I'll accept it, but as long as my medical bills are taken care of, that's all I'm really worried about. The world is full of litigious jerks, but I don't have to be one of them.
So now it's just a matter of healing. I've got a series of appointments for further x-rays so they can monitor the collapsed lung and make sure it's repairing itself. And I'm lucky in that I have the luxury to be able to sit and write and not move much, which is what I was planning on doing this month anyway.
Things could have been a LOT worse for my first time getting hit by a car. I'm counting my blessings.
Peace, love, courage, success, and good things to all of you!