Sorry for my absence to everyone who actually reads this thing...Last week I was so busy packing for our trip to Mississippi and now I have been taking full advantage of our vacation!
This morning while chatting over coffee, my mom reminded me: "Nina, today is your two year anniversary of your car accident..."
For those who don't know or have yet to wander through my facebook photo albums, two years ago today was the best worst day of my life. I remember exactly what I was wearing, how my hair was styled, even what song I was listening to when it happened.
July 17, 2009:
10 weeks before I was set to walk down the isle. I had just started the most amazing job that May, Travis and I were on day 43 of our P90x (I was in THE best shape of my life) and life was GOOD! Travis had a tattoo appointment on N. Lamar and I was going with him, after all he was getting my face plastered on his bicep! After an hour of hanging out, I was bored as hell and the people were NOT being friendly. "I'm blowing this Popsicle stand, call me when you are ready for me to come get you." I remember I went Target, randomly bought Milano cookies, a shirt and a cell phone charger and then I headed over to my dads tire shop on N. Lamar that was only minutes from Travis' tattoo shop.
I hung out with "family." Everyone who worked for my dad has worked for him for YEARS. Not 2 or 5 years...more like 10 to 15. They are more family to us than even our actual family is. I ate a taco at a near by taco stand. I waved good-bye to Tiny, Butter Bean and Paco, hopped in my BMW and off I went. Now, what happened next will forever be burnt in my tiny brain. I was attempting to to take a left onto N. Lamar out of my dads shop. It was around 5:30 pm on a Friday and the traffic was extremely congested, everyone was at a "stand still." The car stopped and let me through. The second car stopped....I could not see past the "chicken lane" and was stopped in front of this lane. The tan sedan waved me to proceed to take a left as I could not see in my small car. I remember what he looked like, I remember the aggravated hand gesture he made to "hurry the fuck up".
I was sitting horizontal in the chicken lane waiting for the next car to halt and let me FINALLY take my left. I remember looking to my left and seeing this blue Expedition flying at me. My window shatters, my air bag punches me in the face and I throw my hands up over my face. I was t-boned and the driver was going an estimated 50 mph.
My life took a ten minute intermission. I could hear the chaos around me but could not regain consciousness. The next few minutes were what people call an "outer body experience". I could almost see what was going on from a birds eye view and could hear everyone around me freaking out. I woke up to Tiny on the phone with my dad crying and slapping me on the face. Doug "Butter Bean" ( a five foot nothing, 350 lb. black man) was on his knees bawling his eyes out. "Not miss Nina, not miss Nina". I remember screaming "TINY! TINY!". I was so crammed in my seat. I lifted myself out of what was left of my seat and put myself in my passenger seat, even though everyone was yelling at me not to move. There was blood everywhere. I pulled down the visor to see what damage was done to my face (obviously that was my only concern haha) and asked Tiny if I was missing any teeth. I only had some deep gashes near my eye brown where my face hit the window but it looked like the damage was much worse because the whole left side of my body was covered in blood. Everything after that was a blur until the ambulance got there. I was screaming for someone to call Travis but had no idea the name of his tattoo shop. I also knew his phone was dead.
Tiny rode with me to the hospital, my parents were stuck in the traffic that got me in this place. I was copping a major attitude in the ambulance, asking all sorts of questions. When they wheeled me in the emergency room, they told the receiving nurses "Watch out, this one is a tough cookie." In lack of better words the nurse that helped me was a complete....meany. I finally asked her where she was from and when she said Chicago, I said "figures." My family arrived and I was so thrilled to see them! As God would have it, the very first tattoo parlor they called was the one Travis as at. They rushed me into get x-rays and see what damage was done.
Broken pelvis in 3 places, broken sacrum, broken tailbone, fractured sternum, lacerated liver and a punctured left lung. The only physical injury is the scars from the gashes on my eye brow and shoulder.
To be honest, it sounds much worse than it really was. I actually wasn't in much pain. My heart sank when the police were questioning me in my hospital bed....The driver did not have a drivers license or insurance, was most likely illegal and was pressing charges...ON ME. All witnesses refused to be questioned and he did not receive a ticket even though he was driving without a license. I was PISSED. I knew it would never get anywhere because he was driving illegally yet the accident was still considered my fault since I was in the chicken lane. I think that the driver was driving in the chicken lane trying to avoid the traffic, why else would he be going so fast if he was just turning??
The case never went anywhere.
I healed just fine...crooked but fine :) The doctors suggested I not get pregnant for at least 3 years so I could fully heal. I returned to work 6 weeks later, walked down the isle in 4 in. heels and got pregnant 10 months later. I actually had zero problems regarding my injuries all through out my pregnancy but now have serious pains when I try to exercise or when the weather changes. Some days I feel trapped in an 80 year olds body.
I say this was one of the best things that happened because our family came together like never before. 7 of us crammed in my Bajas house for 5 weeks and God gave me the opportunity to spend so much time with my family, one last time before I got married. Travis and I's love grew so much during this time. My parents were going through a rough time and this made everyone stop and appreciate each other and somehow MY problem made everyone's personal problems fall to the wayside.
Unless you have been in a serious car accident yourself, you will never understand how an event like this haunts you. I can sit at red lights and remember the smells, the screams, the cries. I am a HORRIBLE passenger and I have a phobia of taking left turns or having to rest in the turning lane. Although I was NOT on my phone, I refuse to let anyone text or talk while I am in the car. I truly remember it like it happened yesterday.
I will get off my soapbox...but REMEMBER: It does not matter how good of a driver you are, it is the other drivers on the road you should be worrying about!