The Unexpected Birthday


My birthday weekend did NOT turn out as I had expected.  In any way, shape, or form.  I had big plans this weekend: go junk shopping with a friend, go to the movies with another friend, go to the Deep Ellum Arts Festival, go to the Fort Worth zoo and take pictures (one of the adventures on my freedom list), and lastly take pictures of my friend’s little ones.  Well none of that happened.  And I’m perfectly OK with that.  I’m grateful to be here, and I’m grateful to be alive.  Let me tell you all about it….

My good friend, N’Tash, and I were going to Bunco across town.  N’Tash isn’t in our regular group, but she was subbing for someone else.  So she and her 16-year-old son, Landon, came over to my house.  I was going to drive us to Bunco, and Landon was going to stay at my house and dog-sit.  My dogs simply adore Landon and love to cuddle with him on the couch while watching movies.

We got in my Mini Cooper in the driveway, buckled up, looked both ways, and backed up out of the driveway. That’s all I remember.

The next thing I remember I was laying still on a backboard on a gurney with a neck brace around my neck, not being able to move and not knowing where I was.  I have never been so scared in all my life.  I remember being wheeled down the hallway, with the only things I could see were the ceiling tiles.  I would occasionally see peoples’ heads pop up in my line of vision.  I couldn’t sit up or move my head or anything.  I kept thinking this was a bad dream and that I was going to wake up.  I’m going to open my eyes and this neck brace will be off.  I’ll be OK.  It’s just a bad dream.  And then I remember my Aunt Lana and Uncle David being there, and I knew it was not a dream.  Then my dad and stepmom came into the room.  Then some of my Bunco group came into the group.  My poor Bunco group was so worried about me.  Bunco starts at 7:00pm, and I am never late, so they knew something was up.  A couple of them got in their car and drove to my house, hoping to find the route that I took to get to their house.  They were driving up and down the streets of Irving.  But by that time, all the debris had been moved away.  They decided to call Baylor Irving, the main hospital of Irving.  However, they said I was not there.  So then someone mentioned that if I was really bad, then they would have taken me to Parkland, the main trauma hospital of Dallas.  The person that answered said that I was there, and that I was in an emergency.  So off my Bunco group left in their car to come see me at Parkland.  I loved the fact that they were so worried about me and came up to see me.  You see, I still didn’t know what had happened, and I didn’t know anybody’s numbers since they were all in my phone.  When you have a cell phone, why would you ever need to memorize people’s phone numbers, right?  Well my phone was nowhere to be found – I was hoping it was in my car (we found it in their the next day).

I remember them telling me that they would have to cut my shirt.  Oh well.  I also remember thinking they were taking off my clothes and were going to see my naked.  Amazing what you don’t care about when you know that doctors are just trying to keep you alive.  The doctors and nurses were so patient and soft-spoken.  I remember them asking me questions like what day was it, what month was it, etc….many of them I didn’t know the answer to, and I just guessed.  I was taken in to have a CAT Scan, given a major pain medication, and had all of my vitals checked.  The CAT Scan came back normal, so I got to get that neck brace off.  Yeah – that thing made my neck hurt.  Then they cleaned off my forehead from all the blood and stitched me up.  I got three stitches on my upper right forehead.  I have been thinking about bangs.  Maybe now is a good time to get them.  Surprisingly, I only had to stay in the hospital for three hours before they released me to go home.

So let me fill you in on the accident as it was told to me…..N’Tash and I backed up out of the driveway, and the next thing she remembers is that we were spinning.  Someone had hit my car which caused us to spin and spin on the street, right in front of my house.  Remember that quote that says most accidents happen within 5 miles of your house?  Well, mine happened within 5 feet of my house.  When we stopped spinning, N’Tash looked over at me and freaked out.  I had passed out, with blood all over my forehead, and was gurgling, like I was choking.  She was extremely scared for me.  To give you some background, N’Tash and I have been friends since 6th grade, and my mom would have adopted her she loved her so much.  So we go way back.  She’s been a rock for me in the past and would do anything for me.  I can only imagine the fear that she had when she first saw me.  She immediately got out her phone and called 911. Then she ran into my house to get her son, Landon, who was running out front because he heard the commotion.  My neighbors were also running out to the accident because they heard the commotion as well.  Everyone was willing to help and was very concerned about me.  Two ambulances came, one for me and one for N’Tash.  I was still unconsciousness, so I had no idea what was going on around me.  They put the neck brace around my neck and then tried to get the backboard to me.  They tried getting it to me from the back windshield (most of my back windshield was lying in the street), but that didn’t work.  They finally got it through the passenger side and fixed me up.  I’ve seen scenes like this on Grey’s Anatomy, but to realize that you were the center of it is unfathomable. Simply surreal.

My family and friends have been wonderful.  My stepmom spent the first two nights with me.  She even took me back to the ER (Las Colinas Medical Center ER) because my pain medication was not working, and I couldn’t sleep.  I also had bad nausea and was vomiting.  She was so patient.  The ER doctors said that I had a major concussion, which was causing the major headaches and nausea with the vomiting.  They hooked me up with an IV and got me a new CAT Scan, since they said CAT Scans can often change within the first 24 hours.  They gave me fluids for my dehydration and a new pain medication.  Things improved after that.  I get sleepy very often, but that’s to be expected.

My car is totaled (at least they are pretty sure it is – I don’t see how you could look at the picture and think it’s not totaled), and I have bumps and bruises (one huge purple one), three stitches, and am sore all over my body.  But I am alive.  I am grateful for more days on this earth to live out my adventures.  I am grateful that God has allowed this experience to show me just how loved I really am, from my family and friends, and even from people that I don’t know very well.  Thank you God.  I pray that You use my story for your glory.

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