Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Four Years Ago Today

Four years ago today started it all. We think.

Four years ago today, I headed out of work on my way to an eye doctor appointment. I took a different route than usual that would get me more directly to my destination. I was stopped at a stoplight, letting a lady out of her driveway, when all of a sudden...

a loud thunk/crash. I'd just been rear-ended.

It felt weird. I remember being stunned. It took several seconds before I realized what had happened. I was so surprised because I remember glancing in the rearview mirror after I'd stopped to make sure the guy behind me had stopped. The lady had gotten out of her driveway fine, and I was just about to start going myself. Instead, wham.

I was in disbelief and shock. It took a couple minutes {seemingly... although maybe just seconds} before we got out of our vehicles. He was in a big truck. Maybe like an F-150 but maybe not quite that big. It was white. It was covered in the back.

But then, wait, he's walking behind him....

Sure enough, someone else had hit him, causing him to hit me. And really in retrospect, he wasn't all that close to me. Obviously close enough but it's not like he was sitting on my bumper or anything. The second guy was also in a truck, almost the same size as the first. It was green and also covered in the back.

It had snowed the previous day and he claimed he tried to stop and just slid into us. I'd never experienced anything like it. But thankfully both guys were very kind and apologetic. We looked at all 3 vehicles and deemed there was no damage and everyone seemed okay. We decided not to call the police and cause a larger back-up, there was no need. Did we need to exchange information or anything? We all decided that wouldn't be necessary.

And in a sudden moment of clarity, I decided, yes in fact, we do need to exchange information. Just in case. After all, you never know.

So we did just that. I remember the guy in the middle giving me his name, address, phone number, and insurance information. So when the guy in the back gave me just his name, address, and phone number, I went ahead and asked for his insurance information. He said he didn't have it on him, he was just running over to the WalMart over here really quick and his house was nearby so he didn't think he'd need it. I thought that was strange, but I didn't question him, I figured what I had would be enough. Again, they apologized. They were both incredibly nice and protective of me, wanting to be sure I was okay. I said I was and that I couldn't be late for my eye doctor appt. That's just what I kept thinking in my mind, I have to go.

So, we left. I cried and was shaking the whole way to the appt (another 20 minutes of driving). I didn't call hubster until I was in the eye doctor's parking lot. I was really shook up. He tried to help calm me down a little as I ran into my appt. The doc and his asst were both very kind and wanted to make sure I was okay. I left hurriedly afterward and ran to my car and sobbed and sobbed. Called hubster again still shaking. This time he was able to help calm me down, but also questioned why I hadn't called the cops... said he'd take a look at my car later to be sure I hadn't missed any damage.

That happened on a Friday night. Sunday morning after church, Tim remembered to take a look at the car and when he pointed out the damage, I remember nearly falling over.

How did I miss that?

It was a crack in the bumper near the license plate... it wasn't big, but it was very obviously there. And I probably missed it because of my hurry and shock. Stink! I remember that I was really sore both Sat and Sun. I remember being surprised by the pain. I remember the next day staying home from work to continue to give my body time to heal and to have our insurance guy come out and assess the damage. I called both guys involved. First, the guy directly behind me. Secondly, the guy two cars behind me. 

"We're sorry... your call cannot be completed as dialed...."

Wait, WHAT?!

I quickly did an Internet search to see about his address.

It didn't exist.

Then a quick search for his name.

It didn't exist.

Holy moly. I knew I was in trouble. I had the worst feeling in my stomach. I thought I was going to pass out. I was shocked.

And then incredibly angry.

Remember, I grew up in a small town where everyone was kind, honest, and respectful. Nothing like this would have ever happened. I didn't even know there were people out there like this. It was like my little world came crashing down into a shock of reality.

The insurance agent arrived and we spoke at length about what happened, and he looked at my car. He showed me the back of my insurance card and the list of things to do whenever you're in an accident. Whoops, didn't know that was there. The guy in the middle couldn't be held liable since the accident wasn't his fault. I called that guy again, let him know... he was so kind and apologetic again... But obviously there wasn't anything that he could do.

And the damage was assessed at $800. Bleh.

I called hubster. Cried a lot. Freaked out a bit. Had to fill out insurance paperwork. Felt devastated and frustrated. Knew that with our $1,000 deductible, the cost would be on us. It was all my fault for not asking the guy more information, writing down his license plate number, etc. I felt terrible.

And exactly 8 months later, the weird symptoms began that would later be known to me as Fibromyalgia.

I don't understand it in a lot of ways. The accident wasn't that bad. Yes I was hit with the force of two trucks. Yes, it hurt. Yes, it did damage. Yes, I was stressed and tense for weeks afterward. But I wasn't in the hospital. I wasn't immediately injured. I don't understand.

I was in a much worse car accident when I was 16, was transported by ambulance to the ER, wore a neck brace for days after my whiplash, etc. Why didn't this come on then?

There are no real answers. Just a lot of questions. But what I do know is this...

I'm learning a lot. I'm learning to trust, rest, and hope in Christ. I'm learning to be thankful for this gift. I'm learning to wait on God. I'm learning that in my worst brokenness, God is there, suffering with me, feeling my pain, and holding me in the palm of His hand.

I've learned more in the past four years than I ever thought possible.

Four years ago today changed my life forever.


Denise @ Sunflowers, Chocolate and Little Boys said...

That must have been very scary. And I would have been in shock too and overlooked the damage. I have heard that accidents can bring on Fibro, but I dont know for sure. I never had an accident or anything. And Honestly I cant tell if I had fibro or Sjogrens symptoms first....but my rheumy said they go hand in hand.
Lucky us, right? ugh.

rlee8235 said...

Yep Rochelle, I know that it's still controversial (for some reason) that Fibro isn't caused by trauma but I'll never believe that. In 2008 I was rear ended and that changed my life forever. I'd been in car accidents but this one tripped the domino. It is shocking..and you sit there and can't believe it.......and you believe people.......and then........