Wednesday morning, 7:05 Am. The kind of day where you wished you stayed in bed. On my way to work. I was far from knowing how the next few minutes would change my life forever. This January had been hell, the last day would finish it with a bang.
As I crossed the first street corner away from my house, once the light turned green, I see a car moving forward my way. Anyone that ever lived in a big city knows how cars engaged in the way in a passive-agressive manner as you strut to the other side of the street. I thought it was one of them. I thought the car would stop. Boy was I wrong. This car didn’t stop.
Everything is in slow motion. My mind tumbles as I fall back. I remind myself to stay soft. I try to make sense of what is happening. Why didn’t it stopped? My knees are the first to collide into the car bumper. Then my head hit the hood, breaking my glasses along the way. I fall in a crouched position. For a few seconds, a searing pain through my right knee renders me immobile. I fear a concussion. I can’t move. All this time, I think to myself this is what dying feels like.
Seconds passes, driver exits the car. Ask me if I’m okay. If I can move. With all my might, I stand up and move to the opposite street corner. There is definitely something wrong with my leg. I still fear a concussion. I am in shocked. The driver move their car to the side and join me. They insist on taking me inside their car to avoid the freezing weather, it is -25c, typical winter weather. I refuse. They offer me to take me to the hospital. HELL NO. I won’t sit in your car from hell, I think to myself.
The driver seems as distress as I am. Tears stream down their cheeks. They say they are sorry. That they never saw me. Because my coat is the same color as the road. Grey.
Setting: Beautiful wednesday morning, cold but sunny, no precipitation. A tall 5’7’’ fat woman cross the street. She also wears a green bag, a yellow hat and a checkered grey white and red scarf.
They never saw me. In broad daylight. A fat tall woman in a grey coat. Because of what I wore. Sounds like victim-blaming doesn’t it. Sounds way too familiar. And it worked. I did feel guilty.
After a few minutes, I am the most cold-headed of the two. Adrenaline must have kicked him. I take my phone out. Call the husband. We live one minute away from the accident site. He is coming. He tells me to call the police. I feel like I needed someone validation to do so. All this time, I tell myself I should have taken her license number but I can’t walk to the back of the car, or even move. Thinking straight is hard. Standing is the most I can do at this point.
911. “Yes, I’d like to report an car accident.” The operator ask me if I am okay. I tell her I think so, they will send an ambulance anyway. Thank you. I called the ambulance for my own accident. Irony.
Ambulance arrives. Relief floods over. I painfully walk toward the truck with all my will. They asked me questions. My brain functions at a lowered capacity. I finally start crying, nerves braking out. I apologized profusely. Maybe I overreacted. Reassurances abound. I did the right thing. They take my vital signs, assess the trauma. He talks to me in a soothing voice.
Police arrives. They take my short statement. He looks at my coat and laugh. “It’s daylight” he says. I feel validated. This lone statement makes all the difference. Everything feel surreals. My first ambulance ride. I don’t see much without my glasses, but I feel safe inside, my husband next to me. It’s over, but this day was far from over.
Waiting in the emergency room is my own definition of purgatory. You know when you came in, you never know when, and if, you will exit. At some point, desperation and anxiety take over, they must have forgotten you.
Parked in the waiting room in a wheelchair, I was replaying the last hour in my head. Poor driver. It will be a bad day for them too. What if I had wore a different coat that morning? What if I didn’t assume they would see me crossing the street? I was feeling guilty, blaming myself, looking for ways this could be avoided. I was tired and in pain. I was blind from lack of glasses. I was hyper aware for any signs of concussion. All I wanted was to lay in bed and sleep forever.
But this day, like any day reached to an end and I was discharged. Diagnosis; broken fibula. Leg needs to be straight and kept this way by a zimmer. I was given crutches I have yet to understand how they work.
Since then, other symptoms have emerged but no concussions or other life threatening consequences. I have to sleep on my back and it is incredibly uncomfortable. My knee hurts most of the time. I need assistance for most thing. Going to the bathroom is an incredibly tough chore and I tip my hat to everyone dealing with reduced mobility and bathroom on a daily basis. I am covered with scary bruises.
This accident could have been much worst. I could have died that morning, on that last day of this cold January. I am ever grateful for all the support and love I have received.
This is a life changing moment for me. There will always have a before and an after the accident. I feel different. I see it as an opportunity to grow, to learn and to be grateful of this life I was given.
For the driver, I doubt I will ever know the rest of their story but I wish them luck. I truly believe it was an accident and this person will also live with some consequences for the rest of their life. I do not resent them. I hope they will also grow and learn from this.
In the meantime, I am taking time to heal my physical and psychological wounds, cursing everyday I don’t have new glasses and drinking my usual quantities of coffee.
I blame all of this on the super full blue blood moon. I am a survivor.
Writing this has been for me a cathartic way to clear my head of the events. I do not seek validation or any other type of attention from this. I do not want people to demonize the driver. It helps me make a bit of sense of what happened in those few chaotic minutes that felt like an eternity. I am ever grateful to be alive and well surrounded. I want to give special thanks to everyone that supported me throughout this ordeal, especially my husband, my parents, my family, my friends and all my beloved twitter community.