Archive for August, 2008

Can I Catch a Break?

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

I’m sitting here in the hotel room looking out the window as the rain pours down over the beach. It’s hard not to think about this entire year thus far and reflect on how we’ve seemingly drawn the short stick. From Rob & I losing our jobs at the same time, 6+ months of unemployment for Rob, Rob’s health issues, finding a lump in my breast, getting into an accident the day before vacation, and now abysmal weather to end the week – it feels like we’ve just been shit on time after time. Not only is the weather crappy, but my dad’s cousin’s wife died two days ago. I wasn’t close to this cousin, but my parents were at one time. My parents were here with us on vacation, but left this morning to drive 5 hours across the state to attend the viewing and funeral. The minute they walked out the door, I retreated to my room and cried my eyes out.

I’m trying hard to remember to be grateful. After all, we’ve still been okay financially and despite recent circumstances, our health has been good. We haven’t lost anyone too close to us. We all still have each other and our love. But right now, in this minute, the self-pity is definitely taking over. I thought we “deserved” this vacation after the year we’ve had and it’s turned out to be a big disappointment. The kids and Rob have had a better time because they weren’t relegated to the room/beach with a neck support on while we had terrific weather.

Well, I’m going to try to make the most of the day here. I think we’ll head to the mall. Rob just did laundry and put colors in with whites and turned my white capri pants pink (awesome!), so maybe I’ll get a new pair. I also need a pedicure, so perhaps I can treat myself later today. I just hope they don’t cut off my toe or something. Oh wait, I’m supposed to be thinking positive. Apparently I still need some work on that.

Whiplash Sucks

Monday, August 25th, 2008

AmyNeckBrace Well, we’re here in Virginia Beach after a mostly uneventful ride down in our rented Dodge Caravan. It was actually a pretty comfortable ride all things considered.

My neck and shoulders were in some pretty intense pain by the time we finally arrived, though. I succumbed to tears a few times on the ride down. The pain and visions of a vacation with limited activity really started to get to me. When we went to the grocery store after arriving, my dad showed me a neck support with an enclosed hot/cold gel pack that he thought would be perfect for me. He was right – this thing made such a difference in my comfort level. Since the muscles in my entire neck took a beating, I needed the support in a bad way. I was finally able to lie down on the bed after strapping this puppy on – bliss.

Yesterday the whole family sans me and Connor went down to the beach. Rob, Aric, and my dad had a blast in the water. My mom did her usual sunbathing thing. Around noon I couldn’t take it any more. I threw my bathing suit on and told Connor to accompany me down to the beach. I was able to walk into the ocean up to my ankles, but that was it. I am usually the girl who is in the water the entire day, diving into each wave as it hits. There’s not much more I enjoy in the entire world than frolicking in the ocean. Standing there at the shoreline watching the other people taking my place in the water just about broke my heart.

I didn’t stay at the beach long since it was close to lunch time by the time I made it down there. All six of us made our way back up to the condo for lunch followed by naps for almost the entire crew. Apparently the undertow and rip currents were really strong in the water, and the three guys got really beat up out there.

While everyone napped and Connor Facebooked, Aric and I went for a walk. I was determined to not stay cooped up in the room, pain be damned. We walked for about a half mile and stopped at Starbucks. We hit a couple other stores including the most awesome health food store I’ve ever visited in my life, and then headed back to our place because the pain was starting to become unbearable. We were gone for an hour and I had to do some major icing on my shoulders, back, and neck when we returned.

We decided ahead of time that we were going to eat most of our meals in on this trip to save money. It’s amazing how fast the dining out bills add up when you’re on vacation. So I prepared a menu for the week prior to the trip. Sunday’s planned dinner was baked ziti, garlic bread, and salad for the family. (I had my “abstinent pizza” recipe.) It was fun to all pitch in making our meals. Dad cooked breakfast, I prepared lunch, and Rob made dinner. After dinner, we all went out walking on Atlantic Ave and the boardwalk. I wore my neck brace this time – there was no way I was going to make it very far without it. We saw and heard some great street musicians, as usual, did some light shopping, stopped at Dairy Queen, and rode the Wave back to our condo. Once there, we watched fireworks over the ocean from our balcony.

Right now, Rob, Aric, and my parents are out on the Rudee Rocket boat ride. Connor didn’t want to go and I couldn’t go because of my injuries. I’m not sure what the rest of the day holds.

All in all, not a terrible time – but I’m fighting feelings of depression because of my physical limitations. I’m just not used to being restricted like this. I’m determined to not let it get me down, though, and to enjoy this trip as much as I possibly can.

Pictures of the Accident

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

Rob put up pictures from the accident on his blog. My car doesn’t look too bad in the pictures; it’s hard to see that the damage goes clear back to both front doors on the vehicle. He didn’t post any pictures of the back – but it’s not in too bad of shape back there considering that was the initial impact. Since it’s a newer car (2007), it would have taken around $25K worth of damage to declare it totalled. I’m not sure how much it will cost to replace just about every part on the entire front end, some parts on the back, and fixing the engine damage, but apparently it’s less than $25K.

The car that hit me was a 1995 Maxima. I’m not sure what value it holds, but I think there’s a good chance that car might be totalled from the looks of it.

I’m extremely sore today. It’s hard to move my neck from side to side and there’s just general achiness throughout my neck, shoulders, and upper back area. :-( I hope I’m not too uncomfortable for the car ride down to Virginia Beach. I’ll be stocked with my medicine and ice packs, that’s for sure!

Accident Details

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

I’ve got a minute to write a bit more about what happened this morning. Man, what a day.

This morning Rob and I were on our way (in separate cars) to the car dealership to get my car serviced. We wanted to make sure it was in top shape for our trip to Virginia Beach. Oh, the irony. So I was stopped at a red light minding my business when all of the sudden – BOOM!! I was hit from behind by a car going a pretty high rate of speed, judging from the force of the impact. I yelled out, “WHAT THE FUCK?” and then my car was hit again. Both times caused me to hit a Dodge 2500 4×4 truck that was also stopped at the light in front of me. I’m not exactly sure how the second hit happened – possibly the car behind me hit and bounced back and then hit again. It’s funny to me that my first reaction was definitely anger. I was shocked and pissed. I kept saying, “Are you kidding me? What the hell?” and generally sat there in stunned disbelief for about 30 seconds.

It dawned on me that my CD player was still playing the Bob Newhart audio book I was listening to (shut up – he’s funny!), so I turned that off and began to check out my surroundings as I pulled my cell phone out to call Rob (he took another way) and 911. The driver from the car in front of me was the first out of his vehicle. He walked to the car behind me and then stopped at my car. I rolled down my window and he asked if I was okay. By this time the top of my neck and base of my skull was in pain and throbbing. I told him I was okay, but that my neck was really hurting. He told me the other driver said her brakes failed. I think my head hit the head rest and bounced a couple times, but I don’t have a clear recollection of that happening. Everything happened so fast and it was completely unexpected. I wasn’t looking in my rear view mirror, so I had no idea I was about to get hit.

Shortly after the first driver approached my car, the driver from behind came up to my car and asked if I was okay. She apologized and reiterated what the first driver said about her brakes failing. During this time, I was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher and she told me they would send an ambulance since I was in pain. I wasn’t sure I needed all that, but she said they should do it as a precautionary measure. We also noticed that the car behind me was smoking, so the driver of the truck moved up so I could do the same in case the car in the rear caught on fire. When I started my car, my engine made all sorts of protesting grinding noises. It was then that I realized the damage to my car was pretty extensive.

Rob and the cops showed up at the same time. By this time I was openly crying – both from pain and from the emotions of it all. I was pretty shaken up. I also noticed that my left shoulder was in a great deal of pain, too. The cops were very fast to take over the scene. One cop cradled the back of my head, not allowing me to move it. Rob took my purse and sunglasses for me over to his car. The next thing I knew, EMT workers were surrounding me, encasing my head in a neck brace and then moving me out of my car on a stretcher. It was all highly dramatic. I didn’t think I needed the intense level of treatment, but knew that my protestations at that point would not have mattered. They carried me onto the stretcher and wheeled me into the ambulance, almost going into traffic to do so. Someone asked the guy pushing me if he should stop traffic so we wouldn’t get hit. He answered that he had his vest on, so he was safe. Uh, hello? Not funny.

The ride to the hospital in the ambulance was surreal and dizzying. I don’t do well lying flat on my back normally – it can cause my head to spin pretty fast – and today was no exception. The EMT guy was able to prop me up slightly and that helped. Once at the hospital, I was taken to a private room and placed on a bed. They told me I needed to get undressed and into a hospital gown. I was like, “Are you kidding me?”, but was actually just relieved to not be taped and strapped down to the gurney any longer. Rob arrived just as I was getting changed, and I was so relieved to see him.

A host of hospital employees came in to take my information and vitals and the doctor ordered x-rays after doing a physical exam. The x-rays showed that my issue was muscular and I was free to go with orders to keep ice on both areas and with a prescription for 800 mg Motrin.

There’s other stuff, too, but this has taken me about 15 minutes to type up and I need to get going to pick up a rental car. I’ll try to come back later to write out the rest of the details – mostly so I’ll have a written record of everything.

Right now we don’t know the status of my car. I’m hoping they declare it totalled because there is so much they will need to repair. I’d also like to get a car that gets better gas mileage, so it would be sweet if this unfortunate incident afforded me that opportunity. We just need to wait and see for right now.

More later.

ETA: The lady who said her brakes failed? Yeah, not so much. The auto body shop where both of our cars were towed to said they tested her car and there was nothing wrong with the brakes at all. Oh well – it doesn’t matter to me so much because she’s at fault either way. Her insurance is already lined up to pay for my car repair and rental. (The car is not totalled.)

Another Accident

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

I got rear ended this morning. My car is in really bad shape. I was taken out of the car on a stretcher in a neck brace because my neck got whipped around good when I got hit. X-rays say that I’m okay – I’ll just be sore for a little while. What a freakin’ mess!!! More info later, have to continue making calls now.