August 24, 2011

Life's Roller Coaster: From the Trip of a Lifetime to Car Wreck and Hospitalization

We returned from the "Trip of a Lifetime" on Saturday night  -- nearly three weeks traveling through the incredibly scenic Pacific Northwest. (See my recent posts below. More to come.)

Monday noon I was driving to my weekly bridge game at the Iona Senior Center. A block away, I approached an intersection with a small truck ahead of me at the STOP sign. I applied the brake and the car accelerated . Shocked, I hit the brake harder, and the car accelerated more.

My car hit the truck. The airbag deployed and the seat belt worked. (Thank God for both.) People quickly arrived anxious to help. Both front doors were jammed. I finally reached back and was able to open one of the rear doors. Several people urged  me not to move until helped arrived.

Someone had called 911 and the DC Fire Department rescue squad showed up seemingly within minutes. I was extricated on a board and then transferred to a stretcher in the ambulance.

Within minutes I was in the George Washington Hospital's emergency room and quickly transferred to the trauma unit. After a series of tests, it was determined that I had (quoting the hospital's report) "a head laceration, sternal fracture and some spinal widening -- all stable injuries. "


That was Monday. I think I could have been discharged from the hospital Tuesday evening, but due to the concern about the "spinal widening" (and an excess of caution hospitals have these tort-suit days) I spent a second night in the hospital and arrived home this (Wednesday) morning.

I'll be wearing a neck brace for the next week. And I have five staples for the head laceration. (|I wish the medical profession could come up with a different term. I didn't appreciate being told that my head wound was going to be stapled.)

I'm not sure if the car -- a 2011 Honda Fit that I bought two months ago to replace my beloved 1996 Honda -- was totaled. My insurance company will appraise it when they tow it from the lot where it was taken. They also have a special investigative unit on sudden car acceleration that may be able to determine whether the crash was due to malfunctioning by the car or the driver.

I'm lucky. It could have been a lot worse.

What stands out most from this experience is how impressive everyone I dealt with was in their kindness and determination to help: the  bystanders who rushed to my aid at the crash scene, the Fire Department rescue squad, and the nurses, doctors and other staffers at GW Hospital.

Words fail me in expressing my gratitude for the loving support I got from my daughter, son and housemate.

19 comments:

John Martin said...

Jeeze John!  So sorry to hear this!!  Get well soon.  

Kashi said...

John, It could have a lot worse as you said. Thanks god! things are under your control now. Get well soon.

Madhav said...

OMG, John so sorry to hear about the crash, but let's look at the positive side, at least you were able to get help quickly and ... now are able to let us know. Praying for your speedy recovery. 

Gedunk4 said...

John, I'm shocked to read about the accident but sounds like you got good care.  Think I read some problem with the honda but don't hold me to it.  Speedy recovery wishes  heading your way.  Patricia

Puru said...

Sorry to hear about car accident. I will pray for your speedy recovery. See you soon.

Puru

Old Person said...

Glad to hear it wasn't the the tree again ! Still have your bike?
The brake is on the left.
Please smile---------------------------------------------------------

Pat Higgs said...

John, I'm so thankful that you came through this as well as you did. Sounds like it had to be a car malfunction. It is so nice to be reminded of the care and concern of strangers in a situation like this. Take care of yourself!    

Nepalijeevan said...

get well soon john!

Nepalijeevan said...

hey john
felt bad about what happened with you but most important is that you are okay regardless of that accident. thank god everything is okay with you. i wish for your speedy recovery.
Devika
Dc

MAHENDRA DHOJ said...

DEAR JOHN,

SHOCKED TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR ACCIDENT. I THANK GOD FOR THE MINIMUM INJURIES. AIR BAG AND SEAT BELT ARE THE GREAT PROTECTORS.

WELL, LIFE IS INDEED A ROLLER COASTER.

I WISH YOU A SPEEDY RECOVERY!!

WITH WARM REGARDS,

MAHENDRA

Jason [Dowler] said...

Dear John - so sorry to hear of your accident but glad that you are home again and in one piece, moreorless. Staples - oh, I remember them well....I had 54 in 2002 [but luckily not in my head]...when the time came to remove them, as I sat up in bed, the only way to get through it was to make up a little rhyme for each one !  Wishing you a full recovery - and a speedy one, yet in your own good time.  Jason

Sghimire25 said...

Dear John, sorry to hear that u had an accident. Praying to god that u recover soon ....

Linda Fernandez said...

You will grow to love those staples! You are one tough codger, John. Keep up the good work:)

Brian Lockett said...

Oh John, I'm so sorry to hear this and that you're relatvely unscathed.

Jackieblan said...

My God, John...and thanks to Him/Her for carrying you through.  Got your e-mail at the same time I saw a heading on the BNA sale...between your accident, BNA and the great DC earthquake of 'Aught 11, my heart is pounding.

Ted Gideon said...

John I'm so sorry to hear about your crash and grateful the you are home...and just in time for this weekend's hurricane.

Ted Gideon said...

Too bad I never learned to type or proof...That should read, "and grateful you are home...and just in time for the BNA hoo-hah and this weekend's predicted hurricane!!!"

Kathy said...

Ay ay ay ... Having just returned from my own wonderful computer-free trip to the Pacific Northwest, I didn't know about your accident until this afternoon. Thankful you weren't more badly injured and hoping you are well on your way to recovery.

Maggie Malone said...

I know it's a bit late, but I feel sorry for what happened to you. Dealing with an accident is really difficult. The good thing was, your car accessories functioned well and were able to lessen the injuries that you might have incur, as well as those people who offered their help. I wish you're doing fine now.

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