i name this blog entry after the song by Aerosmith. many years ago, it was that song and other music of Aeromsith that kept me going thru some pretty hard times.
in december of 2000 i was at the top of my game, it seemed, i was closing in on finishing my masters degree and was also working for a company in just the right kind of job for my goals and my education. i was on a win win streak, and nothing could break my high.
nothing could break it, that is, until february of 2001 when i wound up as one of the walking wounded in a 35 car pile up. that is what the newspaper called us who were in the crash. a huge, dense fogbank encased the highway i drove each day into work, rolling up off the colorado river. who started the pile up, no one really knew, and it was thought that possibly the first few cars of the accident suffered very little damage and drove off. i was at the tail end of the accident. there was an electric highway sign forwarning of the fog, but it was so far away from where the fog actually was, that one figured it had cleared off. all of a sudden it hit, and i was slowing down from 55 miles an hour, when i saw the tail lights of a car directly in front of me. i slammed on the brakes but still collided with the car with the blinking lights. the next thing i remember is feeling very cold, and have a tremendous amount of pain centered in my shins. however, everything was black and i struggled to open my eyes. finally they opened. i was very shaken; discombobulated; covered in glass, and couldn’t see. in shock. where my glasses were i had no idea, and without them i’m pretty much blind for the most part. i got out of the car, and someone in the car in front of me, got out. i was freezing and my hands were killing me from the cold. the man, who was helping me, came from what actually was a truck not a car in front of me. another person wondered up. this one was a woman with a southern accent. apparently i was bleeding from my temple, and the woman went back to her car for a first aid kit, and bandaged my temple, along with my eye because there was glass in it. they placed me in the man’s truck and covered me with blankets to keep me warm. meanwhile, we all waited for the ambulances to arrive.
the paper reported that for the most part, only one person was seriously wounded while the rest were walking wounded. a lady had gotten out of her car, and unfortunately, wound up having another vehicle roll (from being hit) over her. she was pinned beneath the exhaust system and was badly burned on her face, head, and other areas. they airlifted her to the burn unit in grand junction.
at the ER, it was determined that i should have an x-ray done of my head since i had probably hit it somehow, and had blacked out. the x-ray showed no major concerns, and i was able to answer all the questions they asked to check and see if the bump had impacted me worse than what the xray showed. the drs then removed glass from my face and eye, bandaged and stitched up what was needing, and released me from the ER with instructions that i probably had a mild concussion and shouldn’t be alone for the weekend. I called one of my bestest friends in the world-there are 3, Mesha, Mary and Jill. Mesha arrived awhile later at the hospital to pick me up. her and her family decided to take me to their home for the weekend, but first shuttled me home to pack up some supplies and my dogs who would be going to her house with us (no small task since she lived all the way at the other end of the county-around 50 miles from my door to hers) i was a mess, and clearly suffering from a mild concussion. i spent pretty much all of the weekend at Mesha’s in my pajamas and sleeping alot. they fed me and my dogs, and pretty much left me to rest up; checking on me occassionally to make sure i was still conscious.
when the weekend ended, Mesha returned me to my abode along with my pups. I cried when she left; obiously still shaken up by the accident.
3 days later, another friend took me back to the ER. i could only stay awake for half hour periods, after sleeping for about 3 hours, intermittently. this time, the drs decided to do an MRI. results showed that when i hit my head it didn’t leave me with a concussion but a brain contusion; or traumatic brain injury.
after about 9 days, i returned to work. they sent me to a neuroligist who diagnosed me with post concusive syndrome, and said i should be back to my old self in about 6 weeks. 6 weeks became 8 weeks and nothing had really changed. it was then determined that i had some permanent deficits and would need to meet with a therapist to work on “retraining” portions of my brain.
the next five years of my life, was a slow gradual process on a long road of recovery. it felt like a very long, dark tunnel, and it wasn’t until about 3 years into it, that i finally felt like i was starting to see light at the end. during that time, i would later discover that when the neurologist first saw me, he never thought i’d be able to go back and finish my masters degree. ( i did go back tho and finished spring of ’06). I would also be challenged with another car accident almost a exactly a year later to the day. my dogs were with me in that one, and we all walked away injury free thank god. i would be faced with numorous challenges from the employer i worked for at the time of the accident running out of patience with how long it was taking me to recover and firing me, to other employers who would get fed up and let me go as well. somehow, thru it all, i managed to keep my house and keep a roof over me and my pets.
and when things got really bad, i would turn on the song “Amazing” by Aerosmith, and make it thru another hard day.
this is another one of those times when i feel really challenged and that song helps me keep myperspective and keep on going. i’ve already seen, in just the last day or so, the goodness of other people who are there to help. my friend who owns a restaurant locally and gave me lunch for free. people who are offering to come and help pack, and most notably, an old friend recently discovered last year on FB who is able to give me a temporary loan to get the RV as soon as possible rather than having to wait for some funds i’ve rolled out from a 401K (which takes FOREVER btw sheesh!) which probably won’t get here til around when the house actually forclosure. and yes, this person is also a fan of PK and I THANK MY LUCKY STARS EVERYDAY THAT THEY CAME BACK INTO MY LIFE!!
what they are doing is not only a big help to me, but assurance of housing for my critters as well, and for that i will forever be greatful!
so i’m forced with having to face getting thru another long dark tunnel. however, this time i can already see the light at the end thanks to the help of some wonderful people!! and this includes all of you who read and support Planet Kitty! i look forward to the adventure that lays ahead for me and my furry family and sharing it with you! and when times get tuff we will perservere and remember ‘”sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel, may be you!” =D