The Car Wreck

When you're 19, in college, and working 3 part-time jobs you think you have everything figured out. You are working towards a lot of great things, have lots of friends, and are enjoying the life you're making for yourself. Suddenly, in the matter of minutes, everything you've been working for the last two years is gone.

You feel the impact of another car crashing into yours, you see black and then you see a ditch where your car is headed, you pull hard to the left to avoid the ditch only to discover you're now headed for a deep embankment so you pull hard to the right. At some point your foot hit the breaks, but you don't remember applying pressure to make the car stop. Later you discover you hit the breaks hard because your right hip is jammed and quite painful.

{the drivers side door after impact}
Everything that has just happened hasn't quite registered yet as you start to get out of the drivers side door. When it won't open you start to panic and it takes you a minute to realize you can climb over the middle counsel and out the other door. You get out and walk around to examine the damage to your precious car only to discover the door is broken in half from window to bottom and it's smashed in at least a good six inches if not more from where the other car hit you.

The adrenaline pumping through your blood keeps you from feeling the pain that was just inflicted on your body. As you wait for the highway patrol to arrive the adrenaline wears down. You start to feel extremely dizzy & your body starts to hurt. You sit on the hood of your car and continue to wait and wait, and wait some more.

Finally the highway patrol arrives and you're in so much pain you're having trouble thinking clearly enough to answer questions. They conduct business and get things cleared up, tickets written for the other driver, and then one of the officers says he thinks you need an ambulance transport to the hospital. You have a friend there who says she will drive you as you're good to go.

{a few days after the car wreck}
In the next week you are on so much pain medication that your sentences are mangled and your words are slurred, or so this is what everyone around you thinks. But immediately after you sit up after going to a special chiropractor who uses S.O.N.A.R. to correct your spine and put it back where it belongs you are able to speak clearly and form full sentences without a problem. You are still on the medication (it's been less than 5 minutes since the treatment began to when it ended) and you realize just how badly your spine was out of place. If it had stayed that way you would've ended up with permanent damage to the nerves that were being pinched.

{my physical therapist: Mike}
Physical therapy, cognitive therapy, and balance therapy visits become your life for almost two years. You work hard to over come the tremendous amounts of pain in your body (especially in your back) and over time you start to see progress. The doctors told you that you would never be back to where you were before the wreck, but you still work hard and you improve to a point beyond where you were told you could reach.

{my cognitive therapist: Terri}
Cognitive therapy helps you be able to get back to being more independent: you re-learn how to do simple things like getting up in the morning and making your bed, figuring out a method to help remind you to take your medicines without having your mom bring them to you, and you work on your brains ability to focus on simple things and then eventually more complex things such as putting together an essay (something you did on a weekly basis before the car wreck, but is now a huge struggle for you). Your therapist helps you work toward the goal of being able to take an online college course in the coming summer semester and you reach that goal. But when you get that far you discover awful: college homework which you could handle before is now very overwhelming and stressful for both your brain and your body. The next semester you take two classes and the problems stemming from your brain injury of not being able to remember what you just read and what you need to know when it comes to quiz and test time cause so much stress that you decide to drop out of college all together.

Balance therapy is much needed because you cannot walk in open spaces such as from a car to the grocery store without holding onto someone else's arm. Night is the worst because you cannot see where anything is to know if you're actually walking straight. On several occasions you fall because you have so little balance in the dark. Everything spins, your vision blurs in and out, which makes it hard to focus whether you're walking, standing or sitting. The dizziness makes it hard for you to focus on reading (which was a huge problem for you during the two semesters you attempted at school). With lots of home exercise and patience your balance ever so slowly starts to improve. Now you're at the point where you can walk on your own except for rare occasions where dizzy spells hit and you need assistance, but you still have trouble focusing on lines when you're reading or typing on your computer. Your vision has 'white fuzz' such as anyone else would see on a t.v. screen and this is something you will probably deal with for the rest of your life.

Through everything you have a very supportive family who you avoided most of the time before the car wreck. You learn that there are some things in life you can't plan for, you learn that if you knew then some of the things you know now then you would've done a lot of things differently, but life doesn't give you that option.

{11/12/13: 31 weeks pregnant with the little man}
It's been over three years since the car wreck happened. You've to adjust the way you do a lot of things, but because it's been so long these adjustments seem normal now. You are happily married to a man who loves you and takes care of you on the days when your migraines, fibromyalgia, or back pain are so bad that you have to lay in bed most of the day. You're expecting a little one who will be born in just a few short months. You're living in a house that you were mostly able to pay for with the settlement from the other driver's insurance. You miss some things from your old life, but you are grateful for all the blessings you've received and are happy to be doing so well.

If you're interested in reading more check out these labels:
The WreckCognitive Therapy, Back Pain, Brain Injury, Migraines

Also, you can check out a more detailed version of what happened by reading the post The Car Wreck Story (part 1).


  1. Hello! It's Jaelle from you just commented on one of my posts and I was excited to come check out your blog! I went straight to this post because you see, I had a horrible "event" happen to me on june 27th 2011 and it changed my life..... much the same as yours has changed. I now have fibromyalgia and all of my nerves are damaged in my legs and lower back. Today I learned I have severe arthritis everywhere and it is causing my joints to pop out of place. All because of something that I didn't do... it was done to me and an accident. I really appreciate your positive thoughts and hope that your life is super awesome now!!! :) Following your blog and putting it on my blog list! :) Love, JL~

    1. Oh no! I can totally relate. Fibromyalgia and nerve pain is certinally the worst! And almost nothing really helps it either. Arthritis is not fun either, though I only have a little in my left ankle from a sports injury long before the car wreck. It doesn't seem fair that things can be going so smoothly and then suddenly everything you did before doesn't work quite the same as it used to. My life is doing good right now. :) I am a proud mama of a beautiful Little Man and married to a wonderful guy who helps me through my rough days. Thank you for reading! :)


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