Wednesday, May 7, 2008

So where were we? Oh, yes, for some reason, trying to go back to the accident and work my way back to the present.

I left off just as I realized that although my bone(s) were coming out of my arm, I was not bleeding profusely and would not "bleed out" before the ambulance arrived. This is a good thing. It was then that I kept insisting on seeing Ethan. A teenager, the only one in the group who spoke English, was keeping him company and, on her mother's orders, keeping him away from the car. The lady kept saying that my son shouldn't see me like that (with my bones jutting out of my arm), and finally, a man pulled his shirt off, covered my arm with it and his wife immediately said "There. Now he won't see it. Go get him." I tried to follow her with my eyes, but I saw something that distracted me. Yarn. No joke.

There was yarn everywhere, wrapped around the car, dangling from the rear-view mirror. I actually smiled for a second. And then Ethan was beside me.

He was crying, understandably, and after asking him if he was okay, I tried to explain to him that I couldn't hug him because my arm was hurt very badly. I felt terrible that I couldn't do more, but I was also still in shock. Once I saw that he was really okay, I tried to just focus on remaining conscious. Soon someone found my cell phone and I tried to call my Dad's cell number in Mexico. It didn't go through. We were between two mountains. I didn't know it then, but everyone was having a hard time getting a call to go through. That's why it took the ambulance so long to get there.

I was having a hard time explaining to the man helping me how to use my phone, so I tried to give the simplest instructions possible. He read me the first number in my address book, which was my brother and SIL's number here in Austin. I told him to try it. It rang. They're never home, and hardly ever answer the phone, but my brother was there. He did answer. I tried with all my might to sound fine; I didn't want to scare him. I told him that there has been an accident, that Ethan and I were okay, that my arm was broken, that we were waiting for the ambulance and could he please call Mom and Dad at home on the Vonage phone and have them call me. He was like a champ. Made sure we were okay, and asked about Lucy (someone had told me earlier when I asked that she had died. It was the first moment I cried during the entire event.). Dad called a few minutes later and things get blurry at this point, but I think there was more than one call and the shock was wearing off and my arm was really starting to hurt.

Then the ambulance arrived. I know that someone took the phone and told Mom and Dad that we were going to be taken to the Hospital Universitaro. The EMTs checked us both, and the lady taking care of me tried to get me to let go of my wrist. I was terrified. I asked her to be patient with me; she was. I lifted one finger at a time, waiting for the pain, scared to death my arm was just going to fall and dangle there, but it didn't. She gently guided my arm toward her and poured what I thought was alcohol on my arm. Again, I waited for the pain, but it was just water. She was just trying to get some of the contamination clear. The other EMT handed her something dark blue, and I realized that it was to put around my arm to immobilize it. She wrapped it around my arm and the pain finally came. I told her that it hurt, and she was empathetic, explaining that it was necessary to keep the bones from moving in the ambulance. They brought a bed board over and I kind of walked my feet down the length of it, shimmying my way down until I was lying on it. I guess I'm just now realizing that I didn't stand up after the accident until a few days later at the hospital.

They brought over a gurney and strapped me to it. Ethan was next to me and had to be transported on a bed board as well, just in case he had internal injuries. He had seemed fairly okay until then. He freaked out after they put the device on his head to immobilize it. I was trying to explain to him what was happening and why, but he couldn't hear me.

He started screaming when they strapped him down. Not crying, not whimpering. Screaming. In sheer terror. I hope I never hear that sound again.

I was trying desperately to get him to focus on my voice, but he still couldn't hear me. They got him on the gurney and lifted him up and I was able to shout his name and get his attention. I told him that everything was going to be okay and that they were trying to protect him. He started to calm down and asked why they had to do that if he wasn't hurt. I explained it as best I could and though he didn't like it, he seemed to accept it. I told him that we were going to the hospital in the ambulance and assured him that I would be right there with him.

Ethan's gurney went in first and then they came for me. I was just waiting to get in there to continue to reassure Ethan when WHAM! The gurney slammed into the back of the ambulance and I felt shock waves through every nerve in my arm. The EMTs seemed confused and WHAM! Again, and again the screaming pain. They apologized, but all I could do was concentrate on not yelling out in pain, because I didn't want to scare Ethan. They slammed me into the back of the ambulance one more time, then lowered the gurney. The angels who had stopped to help us were still there (most of them; it took so long that some had to get back on the road). Someone joked that I was too heavy for the gurney. I said something like "Hey! I'm not that fat!" and tried to laugh. They raised it back up and wheeled me over to the grass and lowered it again. They took my bed board off of the gurney and laid it on the grass. I could feel the blades poking through the holes in the board.

I could hear my angels yelling at the EMTs, asking how it could be possible to have defective equipment on an ambulance and shouting "Here she is with her bones on the outside and there are germs everywhere and you can't get her to the hospital? That's when I realized what was going on. The gurney couldn't fit in the slots on the ambulance and there was no other way to safely transport me. I called one of the angels, Maria, over and tried to tell her that the EMTs were doing their best to try to help, and that I wanted everyone to stop yelling at them. It wasn't their fault that the equipment wasn't working. She went back over, and the yelling quickly became hushed accusations. I wondered how they were going to get me to the Hospital after all.

I need to take a break.

But on the knitting front: I'm trying to go to my groups again, and it feels wonderful to see old/new friends and share that time, that passion, that whatever it is that makes knitting so much more than one loop pulled through another. I doubt I will finish Baby Isaac's sweater before he will have grown out of it, but I am still knitting away. I need to remember that it takes me much much longer to knit these days and that I can't knit for very long at a stretch. Even if it takes 6 months to knit this thing, maybe I can block the hell out of it and make it fit. Hmmm.

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