I Never Told You About The Time I Was Hit By A Car?

It was the summer between fifth and sixth grade. I was eleven.

My cousin, who is exactly six months older than I am, and her mom, my Aunt, were staying with us while my parents were on vacation.

Together with my friend Erin, we decided to go down to 7-11 for a slurpee or some such thing.

I had my rollerblades on, Erin had on roller skates, and J, my cousin, was walking.

We made it not even half way there when it happened.

We were waiting on a median, half way across a four-lane two-way street, which had a greenbelt in the middle and a separate left hand turn lane for each direction. The median we were waiting on was between the left hand turn lane going north, and the two lanes headed south.

The light for the cars going south had turned green. For some strange reason, a woman decided to run the red light going east about a minute late.

She hit the tail end of the first car headed south, a Jeep Wrangler. The Jeep spun out of control and straight towards us.

The last thing I remember is seeing the Jeep doing 360's towards me and my friends. I awoke to the faint sound of a man asking, "are you okay?" Over and over, louder and louder, until I came out of my haze.

My face was all smashed up. The bicyclist next to me had broken both of his legs. I think he took the brunt of the impact since I was standing behind a three foot metal pole which had the button to push for the walk signal on it. It wasn't until the next day that I saw the bruises, and felt the pain, on my ribs. I probably cracked one or two on the left side, but I'll never know for sure.

Erin and J were relatively unhurt. Erin didn't even go to the hospital with us. I was thankful for the cute EMT who questioned me in search of a concussion and helped to place me on the stiff wooden board to get me into the ambulance.

The doctor in the ER was very sweet, and oddly enough, he would three years later become my General Practitioner, after the woman doctor I had been seeing went on indefinite maternity leave.

My Aunt made her way to the ER, of course extremely upset. I can only imagine how she felt as a parent and as the one entrusted with her sister's four kids.

The woman who hit us came by our room to profusely apologize. She told us that she had jumped out of her car, extremely upset that she could see that she was headed toward children. J and I told her that we knew it wasn't her fault -- that it was that bitch who ran the red light (ok, we probably didn't say bitch since we were only eleven, but she definitely was one!).

This all happened the day before my parents were to return from a tropical vacation, more than eight hours away from us. My Aunt had the heavy duty of calling them with the news. There was no way for them to come back earlier -- they were on the first flight back anyway.

Now as a parent myself, I can see this incident in a whole new light. I can imagine the feelings of my Aunt, my Mom and my Dad. Especially my Mom, since she is a bit of a worrier, and an accused over-protector (mostly by my Dad).

That sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. The realization that one of the worst things, barring death, that could happen to your child, has happened to your child. The stuff that parental nightmares are made of.

I see Little Man and his fearlessness, and it scares me. He is afraid of no dog, when he should be. He is afraid of no baby, when he probably should be. I can only imagine how this will manifest itself in the future: dirt bikes? Clandestine meetings with undesirables? Midnight phone calls from the Police, or worse, the hospital?

Right now, I can only focus on the moment that he's in, and hope that I can raise him with a lot of common sense. I hope to protect him from the things I easily can, without stifling his life experience and personal growth. I hope to unleash the inner Little Man without letting my personal fears and reservations get in the way.

I'm glad I made it through a life altering experience with few serious consequences. I still have a small scar on the left side of my face, next to my eye, which reminds me of The Day I Was Hit By A Car. I'm glad I lived to tell the tale. It always gets quite the reaction.

Oh, and you wanna know what happened to that bitch? She got a ticket for running the red light and had to pay us three thousand dollars for medical bills and such. I think she got off WAY too easy.

Today at my Mom's Group we were discussing (quite morbidly at times, I might add) some of the worst experiences you could have as a parent. What has sent shivers up your spine? Emergency trips to the hospital? Blood and gore? Share in the comments. We live for this stuff. (Misery loves company, right?)


InTheFastLane said...

Oh man...I try not to think of stuff like that. Then I might never let my kids out of the house. I still count the minutes it takes Dash to come back from riding his bike around the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

I just posted about the baby choking. That was the worst, recently. Otherwise, just normal cuts and scrapes. There was the time my girl fell on her head, off the bed, on the hard word floor. That sucked - BIG TIME - because we thought she had a concussion.

Parenting is scary (your story proves that).

ImpostorMom said...

I think about this kind of stuff all the time and I try not to work myself up into a paralyzing frenzy.

In fact last night I had a terrible dream that something awful had to Boogie. I can't even talk about it.

This parenting stuff is so scary. I mean the whole time you are pregnant you worry about something happening to the baby, not really realizing that once they are out it gets even worse.

It's amazing how becoming a parent can make you see things from your own life differently. I've had that same experience as well.

Cathy said...

Okay – the first time I felt that feeling was the first time Quinn really got hurt. At our first class at the park district. He was walking with the assistance of a plastic chair, got caught on the rug, and fell face first onto the floor. He cut his lip up pretty bad and cried and cried. Of course, since then, he's had soooo many more injuries that it doesn't really phase me anymore. Fingers slammed in drawers, bumps on his head, legs, I can't even think of them all. No stitches or broken bones, so nothing too bad.
But I can easily say the time where I got That feeling in the pit of my stomach was when Liam was 3 weeks old. I took his temperature, because he felt hot, and it was above 100degrees. I took it again and it was 101.4 so I called the doctor. The nurse talked to me and said she'd call me back. Five hours later she called and said we had to go to the ER Right Away. (Which, almost made me laugh, because Right Away would have been five hours ago.) So the feeling started…what could it be? Once we got to the ER his temp went down. The doctor said he was right on the border line for when they run a bunch of tests. So we had to do a bunch of test. The chest x-ray wasn't bad, he wasn't too happy about lying on a cold table, but it wasn't bad. What was awful was them taking blood (out of his arm, with a needle, while he screamed). What was worse was them putting in an IV (in his arm) and then taping his arm to a board to keep it straight. He was not comfortable with all the lights and the nurses doing a bunch of stuff to him. I basically nursed my Poor Baby for four straight hours. Anytime they weren't doing something to him, he had my boob in his mouth. It seemed as though just as he would fall asleep they'd come back in for more tests. There was a time when I felt very at peace being there with him. It was after the doctor told me about all the tests about to happen, but before they actually started anything. I was just lying on the bed with him sleeping on my chest and listening to all the chaos in the ER. It felt so relaxing and right that I was there with him and holding him. I even fell asleep. Then the tech. came to do the chest x-rays – she thought it was funny that I "came to the ER to get some rest." Later, when they did the IV they told me I could leave if I wanted. Um, as much as I don't like needles, how could I leave my Baby by himself to go through that. After all was said and done he was fine, but had a very high bilirubin level – which meant more trips to the doctors for the next few days to have more blood taken. That was four months ago and it still breaks my heart. He was so little.
Sorry this is so long – but you asked!

dawn224 said...

Just any generic losing the baby - when the bridge in MN collapsed I was suffocating thinking of our car hitting the water and strugglung to get Alex from the backseat. Solution, carry a knife... bonus? Hubs thinks it hawt when I clip it to my bra.

Madam Crunchypants said...

I can't even imagine the anguish your parents must have felt when they received that call - I know from my limited experience that I don't trust anyone to assess Punkin's 'level of OK' at all. People can try to reassure me that she is fine, but until I have her in my arms, I don't trust that it's true

Kayris said...

When my son was a newborn, he had such bad reflux that nothing stayed down. The doctors were talking about hospitalizing him. I was a wreck.

When he was 9 months old, he was temporarily labeled Failure To Thrive. I wrote about it here.


Then, a few months ago, that same baby, now three, decided he was too impatient to wait for his father to come in the house, put his shoes on and went outside. We live on a busy city street. Our zip code has an abnormally high number of registered sex offenders. I snatched him back in the house so fast, he practically left his shoes on the sidewalk.

The bridge collapse was hard for me too, it's scary enough to think about plunging to the water in your car, but so much worse when your kids are in the car with you.

Jennifer said...

That is a scary story, amazing you weren't hurt worse. Hope the bitch who ran the red light had a visit from Karma.

I saw a child drown when I was 5. We were at a neighbors house with NO supervision. Did i mention I was 5? I ran to get my dad when the boy fell in the pool. My dad tried to save him, but he died. I'll never forget that and I fear ever letting my children go to someone's house if they have a pool for fear the same will happen to them.

All Things BD said...

Oh man, you just described my fear-having my kids hit by a car. I have weekly dreams about them getting away from me in a parking lot. Shudder. One of the chief reasons I don't want another child-one for each hand.

We've had ER trips with both girls. One little monkey jumped on the bed, fell off onto ceramic tile, and GOT a concussion. I was in Vegas with girlfriends, and wanted to bolt back home immediately. Hubby convinced me she was fine, and my friends kept me there, wisely. Drinks on me! The other daughter suffered from such bad constipation that we ended up an the ER out of town. She just fell asleep on me, hot with fever, and I was afraid she had some kind of intestinal trauma. Several suppositories and tests later, she passed the biggest, greenest, nastiest poo I've ever seen. Thank god.

Anonymous said...

oh, that's awful! i can't imagine how scary that was for you and your family!

i really try not to think about that stuff, although it always creeps into my mind when i see something to do with kids on TV. my mind starts to wander to much, and...well...it's just not healthy for me to think that way!

Toni said...

Oh, that really sucks.

As to my own personal worst nightmare experiences to date. Hmmn, so many to choose from. Just this week, The Conqueror had a horrible, horrible night on Sunday (the end of a bad weekend, week, month) that was filled with pained crying. (I am making this loooooooooooooonnnnnnnnngggggg story short here.) We took him to the ped who looked at him and said there is something terribly wrong. When your doc says that, something changes in you. I knew that there was. My mommy instinct had been telling me for weeks but to hear him say it...Anyway, we spent most of Monday in the hospital while the boy was poked, prodded, barium enema'd, xrayed, ultrasounded to discover that he was severely impacted with stool through his small intestines. Took 2 barium enemas to clean it out. Long day.
When Her Highness was 15 months, she was getting a ride on my father's office chair and fell off. She puked and instantly tried to go to sleep. So, I rush her to the ER where I am blown off with "Mom, kids fall." Yeah, no sh1t. Well, the next day we are back at the hospital getting CT scans, Xrays to check for broken bones and blood clots. She did have a fractured clavicle and a concussion.

Who said being a parent was easy?!

Unknown said...

I can't even imagaine how your parents felt. Especially with not being there. My worst with any of my kids was when my oldest was 6 weeks old and had meningitis. We were in the hospital of 3 days before they determined that it was viral and not bacterial.

Al_Pal said...

Wow. I mean, obviously I know the story, but the level of detail is a bit beyond what I knew, I think.
I'm sure I stayed home with the kids while Aunt went to the hospital.
Cracked ribs, though--oof.

And I had NO idea about the ER doc becoming your GP. Huh.

I guess it's a good thing I was older when I broke my leg? [and that it was my own damn fault, LOL]

Of course, the fracturing my wrist via tripping over a little kid chair is fun. :P

*Love* ♥

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