The reason I titled this post "Following the tradition of my Father" is because, right before my dad left on his mission, he got into a bad car accident. He wasn't wearing his seatbelt, but miraculously escaped without injuries.
Well, last Sunday, exactly one month before I'm to enter the MTC, at 8:45 in the morning at the Center Street and I-15 intersection in Provo, I too got in a car accident. And it was no fender bender.
Story: I was going to visit my old singles ward in Provo because I was running out of Sunday's to see people before I leave. I was planning on going by myself because I hadn't heard from my Bishop's wife that she was going. At 7:45 that morning, she texted me saying she was going to go, and did I want to come. Perfect, of course! I was already up getting ready, but that way I didn't have to drive =] She had never been to my house before, but I live right next to Costco, so she just had me meet her at Costco because we didn't have a lot of time to have her figure out exactly where I lived. No problem. I meet her at Costco at 8:30 AM and off we go! We are driving down the freeway, no problem, till we get to the University exit in Orem, and right as we are about to pass it, she is like, is that where I want to get off. I say, well, you can, but you can just get off at Provo Center Street, I can get you there. The reason she was confused at the exit was because they moved it up a few hundred feet, and there aren't a lot of signs saying, this is the exit. So we continue on to Provo Center Street exit. This exit is all new and reconfigured, so what you do now to go eastbound is, exit the freeway, go straight through the light, and then stay to the left and go up and over the train tracks. So I look ahead at the light to decide when to tell her to get in the left lane, I see it is green, so I tell her to go ahead and get in the left lane. She does so, and right before we get to the intersection, I see this car coming from our left, and it isn't stopping. I yelled something (either her name, or stop or car, I don't remember what) she says "Oh no" or something like that, and the next thing I know, we are hitting the car. I close my eyes and wait for us to stop moving (we spun, I'm not sure if we did a 360 and then a little more, or if we just did about 45 degrees...). (For the record, we were in a gold Mitsubishi Montero).
Here is a diagram of the intersection. The dotted arrows represent our intended path. The solid arrow represents the other car's path. The solid lines labeled "us" and "them" represent where we were when we saw them, and where they were when we saw them. The big X represents the crash. The reason we couldn't see them earlier was because of the WALL. Wish I had crash scene photos.
Once I opened my eyes again, the car was filled with smoke, and after determining everyone was alive and relatively ok, I said, we need to get out of the car. It was at that point that I saw the airbags and realized, oh, its just the smoke stuff from the airbags, ok, we can sit tight for a bit. Someone from outside the car was yelling at us to call 911. I had already decided I would call, and was trying to find my phone (somehow, my bag didn't go flying...I think I was holding onto it during the crash). The lady kept yelling at us to call 911, and I finally yelled back "I am trying to find my phone, give me a minute!" Geez, I was just in an accident for crying out loud; why don't you call 911. So I called 911, told them where we were, what happened, and they then wanted to know what type of injuries there were. My bishop's wife was pretty sure her left arm was broken, her daughter said she was fine, but her abdomen hurt a little from her seatbelt, and I was pretty sure I had a broken collar bone. I then said there was another car, but I wasn't sure if they were hurt or not. I got out of the car I was in and walked over to the other car. We had hit their passenger door head on, and there was a lady sitting in the passenger seat. I told the dispatcher this, and told her that her door was caved in and she'd need to be extracted from the car. The lady was conscious and talking, but her face was bleeding. The driver of the car seemed to be ok. It was at this point that the first police officer arrived (maybe 5 minutes after the accident) and shortly after that the first paramedics, then the firetruck and some more police officers, and then another ambulance. I finally hung up with the dispatcher and went back to sit in the car.
Janae and Abbie were still sitting in their seats, and the paramedics had come to talk to them. My bishop had already been called, so I figured I should probably call my parents and let them know. I had told my mom that I was going to church by myself that morning, and hadn't told her that I was going with my bishop's wife. So when I called her I said, "So mom, I ended up going with my bishop's wife to church this morning and we were in a car accident about 10 minutes ago. We t-boned another car and I think I have a broken collar bone, and Janae has a broken arm. I don't know where they are going to take us but I will call you back in a little bit when I know more." Later on my mom said I was so calm on the phone and that it didn't even seem like I had just been in a car accident. And turns out, she had thought the whole time that I was going with my bishop's wife.
So the paramedic takes a look at my shoulder (right one of course) touches it ever so slightly and says, yup, it's broken. Wonderful. So the three of us go in the ambulance to the hospital (after sitting in it for 20 minutes while they take our vitals and start us on an IV and give us a shot of morphine). I had my bishop's daughter, Abbie, call my mom, since I had to keep the arm with the IV straight, and there was no way I could move my other arm, and told her I was going to Utah Valley, but that they didn't need to come yet, and I'd text her with more info. Apparently this is also like my Dad =] Once at the hospital, they get me in a gown, and I was still in a lot of pain, so they gave me some more morphine (that is weird feeling stuff...). They took me for x-rays, and about 5 minutes after I get back to my room, my bishop shows up =] It surprised me, but not really, since his wife and daughter were in the accident as well. We talk for a bit and then my parents showed up. I hadn't told them to come yet, but they decided, well, she may never tell us to come, so we'd better just go =] The doctor came in about 15 minutes later and said, yes, my collar bone is broken, and the two pieces are separated by about an inch...yeah it was a pretty bad break. He said I would need to go see an orthopedic surgeon. My mom says, we are supposed to be leaving on Thursday to go snowmobiling. The doctor kind of laughs and says, she won't be snowmobiling =[ That was the first time I started to tear up. So he writes me a prescription, they put me in a sling and say see ya later. We stopped by Janae's room and see her x-ray of her arm, which is clearly broken pretty badly. The whole ordeal lasts about 3 hours. Accident was around 8:45 AM and I was home again by noon. Not to bad if I must say.
In the ER
Leaving the ER
I got home and discovered I must have hit my head because I had a bleeding scab on it.
Yeah, that isn't supposed to be sticking up like that.
Waking up from surgery. I did give my mom permission to take this picture =]
After surgery. Not sure why the picture won't rotate the right way (should be rotated to the left).
My two hospital wristbands. Red was ER, Blue was Surgery.
The next day was great. I wasn't in too much pain, my cousin brought me treats and a movie, the kids I nanny for came to see me and brought me treats, and my bishop's wife and her sister came to visit as well. It was so funny, both of us in our slings (she ended up having surgery on her arm as well, 1 plate and 5 screws). I couldn't have picked a better person to be in an accident with though =]
Then, 2 days later, we drove 8 hours up to West Yellowstone, where I said I wanted to go snowmobiling with them on the second day, into the park. They said, we'll see. So I hang out in the hotel the first day, and that night my dad took me on a short ride. I did totally fine (and that wasn't even on pain meds). So they said I could go the next day. I took two pain meds in the morning, and we bundled me up (though not enough, I was cold). I had a great day, wasn't in any pain, and I'm so glad I went!
So, that was my very long recount of what happened (its easier to type than to write, so this is also my journal entry about what happened).
All in all, I ended up with a broken collar bone that was fixed with 1 plate and 6 screws, 12 bruises (4 from trying to get IV's into me), a sore back and an extremely sore sternum (it's still sore, and really hard to cough or sniffle).
Bruise #1: I felt this one immediately. I was wearing knee-high boots. I don't know what would have become of my legs if I hadn't.
Bruise #2: I realized this one while snowmobiling, because the top of my boot was right over it, and it hurt .
Bruise #3: In my arm from ER IV and blood draw. It doesn't look to bad now, it was worse.
Bruise #4: This was where my nurse first tried to get an IV in.
Bruise #5: This was where the second nurse first tried to get an IV in, and this hurt. You can't really see it, but it was worse, and big.
Bruise #6 & 7: Both of these are on my hand, from where they tried and finally succeeded in getting an IV.
I also have three bruises on my abdomen from the seat belt, and a huge yellow bruise under my bandage and on my chest from the seat belt. I think that's all of them =]
This is pretty much what I look like these days. You can see my huge bandage (I'm not sure how large my incision is...) and my arm is kept in a sling. The sling strap hurts, so I have a Christmas pillowcase on it as padding and to keep the metal piece from hurting.
I wish I had pictures of the accident. It crossed my mind, but I wasn't sure if that was proper =]
Satan isn't going to prevent me from going on a mission!