Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Will soon feel well enough to continue blogging

I do intend to blog my memories of the accident and its aftermath, accounts of how things are going now and how knitting is helping me on my road to full recovery.

I've just been set back a wee bit; on Sunday, I woke up with that unmistakeable pain that screams "STREP THROAT!!" I thought I could make it through the day so I could go to my doctor on Monday(read: $30 dollar co-pay instead of $150 at the ER, but when my fever got to 103.5 and I hadn't been able to eat all day, Mom felt very strongly that I needed to get to the ER. (Mom and Dad were both here for 2 weeks after the accident to help out, then Dad had to get back. I'm so grateful to have Mom here.) I'm a pretty stubborn gal, and I really didn't want to go to the ER, but I called the doc on call and told him the situation, and he didn't hesitate. He said to get to the ER asap. We got there around 9:00 PM, and waited and waited. They had me come in to check blood pressure, etc, and then a few hours later to do the streb swab and a nasty test for the flu.

Long story short (I'm getting really tired): it was positive for strep, they put me on an IV to pump fluids and get antibiotics in me, got a bit concerned when my fever wasn't coming down (it got up to 103.9), but they gave me motrin and it finally fell below 102 and they let me go at 5:30 AM. I am just starting to feel human again, but it's hard to believe that after IV antibiotics and 3 doses of Augmenten, I still can't swallow w/o pain, and it even hurts to talk. And I'm on major pain meds for my arm . . . I just don't understand it.

I have been thinking that there must be a lesson I need to learn about pain. I am hoping that I can figure it out and learn it sooner rather than later.

I feel like I need to say something knitting-related, so I'll share with you a gift I got with some of my Christmas money: a swift!! I already have a ball winder, so no more admittedly hilarious antics of holding the skein on my arms and winding the ball that way.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Fearless Knitting, Fearless Recovery, Fearless Living

I was in a horrific car accident with my 5-year old son and my beloved canine friend, a beautiful Beagle named Lucy, on the 5th of January. I was on my way home from Christmas vacation spent with family in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, in central Mexico. Ethan and I were singing, playing the alphabet game, really talking to each other and generally having a great trip home. We had played the traditional "Going Home" song (a great Beatles cover sung by Aimee Mann and a singer I was convinced was James Taylor for the longest time).

We were 6.5 hours into the trip (about halfway home) on the outskirts of Monterrey when a small truck pulled out right in front of me, traveling far too slow for highway speeds. I swerved to avoid running into him, and my car overreacted, it seemed. Suddenly, I was no longer in control. I was still thinking that I'd be able to get the car under control and safely continue along when I hit the guardrail, heading toward the median. My eyes shut then, and each bash on my head and the churning of my stomach told me the car was rolling, flipping.

When I opened my eyes, the first thing I saw was my darling son Ethan walking toward Lucy, roughly 100 feet away (more?) and still sitting up and staring at the road. So my boy was okay... I turned my head and saw a man (two men?) trying desperately to get the driver's side door open, prying and yelling. I hear a man yell "Est`a viva!" ("She is alive!"). I turn my head more and see a woman's face. I say "Y mi hijo?" ("And my son?") and she says (in Spanish) that my daughter is just fine, but they need to get me out of the car now. It's on fire. I say that he has long hair, but that he is a boy. (Funny, what seems important at such a moment.)

I see the black smoke billowing past my face. I look down and notice the blood on my khakis. I wonder where it came from. And now I see my arm, and I think to myself, "I always thought bones were white. . ." What I see is my left hand, the hand I have always been so proud to call my dominant hand, turned at an impossibly strange angle. I see bone, dark brown and mahogany, merlot, jutting nearly three inches, maybe four, out of my wrist. I see my right hand reach over and grasp my left, holding my wrist together. There is blood, but no pain, and I'm glad to see the bright red slowly oozing, not flowing, pumping. Without thinking it, I know that I will not die before the ambulance arrives.

I cannot write much at a time, but this will now be a place to record what happened since that truck pulled out in front of me as well as what is happening on my road to recovery. It is to be a blog about how knitting helps me heal (because I already, instinctively, know that this will surely be the case).

I have a long road ahead, but my son is not only alive, but completely physically unscathed, having, within days, recovered from the scrape and bruise above his right eye, the only injury he sustained. Lucy, the angel that she is, waited to see Ethan, raised her head (to say goodbye?) and, as the adored, selfless, loyal dog she was, gave her life so that her humans could live. It might seem odd to attribute such an act to a dog, but I cannot explain it other than to say that we simply know it to be true. If given the choice, she gladly would have taken the place of any of us if we were to die, and we believe that she did so. We miss her terribly.

Me? I'm alive. God is not done with me yet, so I must focus on recovery. I'm alive, so every moment in my life is a blessing, a miracle. Every single moment, every breath, every peal of my son's laughter, every stitch I can manage, every disappointment, even. . . it's all icing.