When it rains, it pours.
I’ll tell you what, Austin is really giving me a run for my money. First the job, and now I’m car-less and physically broken.
Thursday night I went on a fantastic second date with a girl who’s been really growing on me. She and I can talk for hours without a break, she’s adorable, and so nice. My two jobs are going well and I’m digging my living situation. Life was really coming back together. And then, Thursday night I decided to go meet a friend at Cheer Ups for some dancing.
On my way there, I was thinking about how happy I was that life was turning around again. I glanced at the radio and when I looked back at the road, I saw headlights coming straight at me. I didn’t know what to do, but I knew it wasn’t going to end well. There wasn’t time to get out of the way, so I just closed my eyes and screamed as a Cadillac plowed into my Fiesta head-on. I spun a few times and like a pinball, hit one wall of the bridge I was on and bounced to the other before finally stopping. I’m not sure how long it was before anyone arrived at the scene, but I can distincly remember the horrible smell of rubber on pavement, the burn of the airbags, the stinging pins and needles in my knees, shooting pain in my left hand and an eerie silence as I attempted to grasp what had just happened.
Eventually there was an ambulance and paramedics helping me crawl out of the car (my door was jammed shut), flashing lights cutting through the dark and smoke as I begged officers tot ell me what had just happened, all the while insisting that I was fine, and begging the paramedics not to make me get in the ambulance since I don’t have medical insurance. A kind paramedic convinced me to get on the stretcher and let them take care of me, explaining that I needed to be in the hospital, that I could worry about making payments once they knew I was ok. I started feeling pain rush over me as I sat there, waiting for them to wheel in the other driver who looked unconscious on the stretcher (as it turns out, he was faking it). The police questioned me, had I been drinking (no) did I know what happened (barely) before the paramedics said it was time to go.
Once I got to the hospital, the shock was starting to wear off and extreme pain began taking its place. I was cold, scared and hurting but of course, I could’t help but crack jokes as they helped me into a room with Fox News on TV. “Oh lord, please guys, I’ve already been in an accident I can’t be stuck here watching Fox News, I’m gay, they hate my people and this is hell” I quipped, to a chuckling audience of paramedics and police officers.When the doctors came in, things started to feel more real, and I couldn’t stop shaking as they cleaned my wounds and told me I was lucky to be alive. After a series of x-rays and CT scans, they told me I had a fractured hand and internal bleeding. I learned that being an ER patient means a whole lot of waiting, wondering what’s going to happen next. The one light spot came when a police officer told me the other driver had been arrested for a DWI. My awesome nurse joined me in angrily cursing ‘that little fucker’ for putting me in this situation while he walked away without a scratch on him.
Since my phone was in my car, the only person I could get ahold of was my mom (the only number I have memorized) and she let my sister and dad know what was going on, while panicking from 800 miles away. Fast forward to a little later in the morning, when a social worker came to let me know I had a visitor, but since I was part of a criminal investigation (the drunk driver) I was unlisted and they weren’t allowed to tell the visitor if I was there or not. I eagerly insisted that they release my name and whatever else they had to do so I wouldn’t be completely alone, wondering which of my friends had showed up. When THE girl walked in, the one who’s had multiple posts dedicated to her on this blog, walked in, I just stared to cry. All of a sudden there was someone there who cared about me, someone I cared about, and I wasn’t completely alone. She kissed my forehead, held my hand and helped me through the increadibly painful process of moving from my ER bed to a regular hospital bed. She washed my lipstick and mascara streaked face, brushed my hair and my teeth and talked to the doctors with me.
After she left, I realized once again how lucky I am as more friends came to visit, bringing flowers, hugs, books and most importantly: hope. The knowledge that it would be ok, no matter what. When everything hurts and you’re terrified, there’s no bigger blessing than a few good friends helping you put neosporin on your cuts and scrapes.
The internal bleeding stopped and after waking up from a deep, delicious drug sleep, I was sent home with my friends, who helped me get my property out of my car, valiantly carried me up the stairs to my apartment and picked up my prescriptions. Since then, I’ve been focusing on recovery, both physically and mentally. Sadly, I had to miss Queerbomb and lots of work hours. The guy is uninsured, so I’ve got a nice long legal battle on my hands as well as my recovery journey, since my medical bills are pilling up fast. Luckily I found some help with the MADD victim advocacy group and those amazing supportive friends of mine. If any of y’all have some experience in this arena, I’d love some advice.
This is the part where I ask, no BEG of my wonderful readers to do everything in their power to prevent accidents like this from happening to other people. Don’t drink and drive, don’t let your friends drink and drive. I am blessed to be alive after an accident like this, but many other people don’t get so lucky.