Wednesday, June 11, 2014

then i lost a fight with a guard rail.

so yesterday was an interesting day.

i went to work for six hours and i had two days off, today and tomorrow.

the master plan: after work, eat some dinner, drive three hours to detroit (it's not really detroit but whatever it's outside of it) and spend two and a half days with the long haired man friend.


so i got home from work. put on comfy clothes. snarfed some dinner. packed my bags and my laptop, got some sweet tea and gas, and headed out.

i'm cruising on m60. and my van is shaking. my wonderful sixteen year old ugly minivan.


i pull over. check all four tires. everything is fine. call my dad.

me: the van is shaking! the tires are fine!
my dad: just drive it the rest of the way and call a mechanic when you get there.
me: okeeeeeee

an hour and a half later i'm driving up highway 23.


and then all of a sudden my van starts shaking horribly. really horribly. for about two seconds.

then there's a gigantic explosion.

my thoughts in about .5 seconds: my tire just blew. i'm going to pull over and and call AAA. they'll replace the tire.

.5 seconds later i was not pulling off to the side of the road. i had completely lost control of the vehicle. i screamed and grabbed the steering wheel and tried to correct where my van was headed.

couldn't correct it. i hit the guard rail at seventy miles an hour, did a complete three sixty turn, and stopped literally in the middle of the highway facing the wrong way.


i've never been a real car accident before. i've been nudged at a stand still. i had a kid back into my rear passenger door. that's been it.

i've definitely never crashed into something and spun out at seventy miles an hour on a highway at nine o'clock at night.

the only thing i could think about was the fact that my van was still on, my sunglasses were gone, my neck kind of hurt, and there were cars headed directly toward me going over seventy miles an hour.

i guess my RA training kicked in, because i turned my van off, turned on the hazard lights, and dialed 911 without really thinking about it. my hands were shaking so hard that i could barely punch it into my phone. when the operator answered, i was crying so hard she couldn't understand me.

while i was sobbing on the phone, trying to figure out where i was so i could get help, a dude about my dad's age came to my window. i rolled it down and he said, "put your van in neutral, i'm going to move it out of the middle of the highway."

we got it to the side of the road. when i was done talking with the operator, i managed to put on my shoes, grab my purse, and get out of the van. random helpful guy thought that he could smell gas and we moved away. then i called my dad.

my dad: i can't understand you.
my dad: SLOW DOWN.

i was too upset and shaken up to talk to my dad, so the guy that helped me out of my van, who turned out to be an off duty police officer, talked to my him for me. i stood on the side of the road and sobbed while his wife held my hand.

the cop that was dispatched to me was an older guy with a gut. he was a business type of guy and did not have time for my hysterics. when i was rummaging through my glove compartment, sobbing uncontrollably, he said, "c'mon, i don't have all day here."


when i gave him my insurance, registration, and driver's license, he asked me if anything hurt and i told him my neck and my shoulder hurt. he called an ambulance and then had me sit in the back of his patrol SUV. i called adam and told him i got in an accident and i was south of brighton and i needed him to pick me up. he stopped what he was doing and him and his mom got going. bless them.

so now i'm sitting in the back of the patrol SUV with the cop that yelled at me and i'm still sobbing uncontrollably. i'm starting to hyperventilate and my feet are kind of numb.

me: sobs
cop: are you okay back there?
me: i've never been in an an accident before and i have an anxiety disorder

well what do you know, after i told him that, he was as nice as could be.

about five minutes later the paramedics, a tow truck, and a fire truck came. i didn't see the fire truck, but the cop told me it was there. i told him that there hadn't been this much hoo-ha since i had a seizure my junior year of college and i got taken out of the newberry basement on a gurney.

the paramedics were really nice. i don't remember the paramedic's name, but i'm sure that he told me. he knelt next to me and held my hand and asked me all kinds of questions and calmed me down. when i was calm enough to stop crying, he felt all over my back and asked me about my medical history. i persuaded him not to put me in a neck collar. it was my muscles that hurt, not my spine.

he told me that he wasn't going to take me to the hospital but if i felt worse or anything changed, i had to go straight away. i agreed and then he asked me if there was anything in my van that i needed.

i got out of the cop car and walked unsteadily back to my van and grabbed my two bags. over half of the shredded tire was shoved in the back bench and i cut myself on it. i had never seen a broken off tire tread up close that like before. my shoulder hurt too much for me to grab my backpack with my laptop in it and the paramedic grabbed it for me. he walked me back to the cop car and put it in the back for me.

the tow truck people began to take my van away. the lady in charge asked for my car keys but wanted me to keep my house key. i started to take off the house key and she asked me where i got my manicure from. i told her that i was in a wedding and she smiled and said, "that's fun. i'm glad you're not crying anymore."

when my van was gone and the paramedics cleared me, the cop drove me to a mcdonald's in brighton, where adam and his mom were going to meet me. i sat in the back with my bags, gripping the side handle, irrationally afraid that we were going to spin out and run into another guard rail. i wondered where my sunglasses went.

the cop told me that he already sent in my report and i'd have to call my insurance and call the towing company the next day. i told him that i was an RA and i knew all about incident reports. he asked about adam and i told him that we met in choir and we liked to sing in latin. he told me he liked to sing in the shower but his fiancee didn't like it.

he carried my bags into the mcdonalds, shook my hand, and left. i told him that he was my person of the week, even though he was mean to me before the paramedics got there.

about five minutes later, adam ran into the mcdonalds and hugged me and i started crying again.

does there come a point when you run out of tears? where your tear ducts just dry up and there's nothing left? did i have extra tears because i didn't cry at the fault in our stars?

the world may never know.

adam took me to his house and gave me some extra strength painkillers for my whiplash and i called my dad to let him know that i made it to adam's safely. i was super shaken, but i was okay. and i had adam to give me cuddles.

the real test of my resolve came today, when i spent all day on the phone, pacing around adam's house, trying to figure out where my van was and how badly it was damaged.

i ended up calling the towing company three separate times before they finally took it to a ford dealership. it's sitting there, looking utterly sad, waiting to be looked at.

i don't care if the whole front of it is sagging and dented and sad, i just need it to be drive-able. right now it's not because i ripped the fill line off the gas tank and the electricity doesn't work in the brakes. it's also missing a wheel.


my van has a lot of personal value to myself and my family. we've had it for sixteen years and it's taken me to like... thirty states or something. i've been smushed in the back bench with my brother for seventeen days. SEVENTEEN DAYS, YO.

it's probably worth about 800 dollars. my dad has assured me that we'll put more into it than it's worth.

but since i crashed it into a guard rail, now we're talking about me buying my own car.

i'm totally down with buying my own car. the only problem with that is... that money i have set aside is for graduate school. not a new car.

oh well, you win some, you lose some.

tomorrow i'll get an estimate and my parents are coming to pick me up from adam's. we'll probably stand around the ford dealership and look at it and talk about the cost of fixing it and then we'll decide if it's worth it getting fixed or if i buy a new car.

big things are happening in my life, kids.

all because my tire exploded and i spun into oncoming traffic.

but like i said, other than some hella shitty whiplash, I AM OKAY.

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