13' 9"

The distance of a free throw, the proximity of living and dying. That's the distance my vehicle was from being pinned underneath a quint axle dump truck loaded with formidably named, crush and run. I was on my way to Americus to pick up Boomer for his orthodontist appointment, when proverbial lightning struck. I was navigating my way around the quint axle dump in the passing lane of a three lane highway, windows down...no a/c... enjoying the serenity of a nice country drive. Suddenly, an explosion and boom, impact. My car was spun around by the sheer force and I was forced to watch as the dump truck came barrelling toward me. The left steering tire of the truck had blown and forced the truck into the side of my vehicle. Somehow, the soft shoulder and a few pines lifted both my car and the truck, leaving both deposited on the driver's side. The distance in the title, all that separated me from sure calamity. Call it the luck of the Irish, or some Greater plan, but I never lost consciousness and escaped with only a few bruised ribs, a bummed-up shoulder and a few aches in places I had long since forgotten existed.

Need brings out the best of people. The disorientation and anxiety was eased by a foursome of caring, considerate strangers, who kept me company as I awaited emergency services. The fab foursome? Two were gentleman who had been in my front yard a few days ealier, part of a crew trimming limbs and trees for the power company. One was a female paramedic from my home county, a take charge individual who quickly assessed my condition and was readily available with the any assurances I may have needed. The fourth individual gave up his shirt as greatly appreciated shade from the afternoon sun. They kept the banter light, another way of assuring me all was going to be fine. I can remember the line crew foreman saying,"Boss Man, if you wanted to cut down some pines, you could of just called us." A good chuckle put a quick reminder of my aching side. The lady, concerned with my comfort, asked around for something to place under my head. The other lineman, uncouth at best, said,"Let him lay in your lap, best I can remember, it was pretty soft." Unphased, she shot back,"I don't remember that, I MUST have been drunk." Fervent laughter and more searing pain. I had to beg them to stop.

I'm sure the wreckage had to of looked worse than it actually was. All anyone could say was how lucky I was and that Someone must be looking out for me. Of course, not knowing the tragic look of the wreckage, bound in a neck brace and strapped to a back board, I felt anything but. The paramedics at the scene, lending a deaf ear to my protests of "I can get out!"...their job, I know..., called for the extraction team. I'm sure it was a bit comical to the casual onlooker, me being constantly reprimanded for trying to help by the EMTs and the appreciative firemen struggling to haul 6'2" 285 lbs of twisted steel and sex appeal out of the wreckage and into the awaiting ambulance.

I wouldn't let anyone be contacted at the accident scene or while I was strapped to the precautionary back board, not wanting to cause any undue worry or stress to my loved ones. A good decision on my part. Mom arrived in a huff and became emotionally distraught just seeing my lying on a gurney with an IV. I shutter to think how she would have reacted watching them carry me from the scene or even arriving at the hospital. She went back and got Boomer...one and a half hours late... and so began their vigil outside the X-Ray department.

Sadism must be a required course for radiologists. Every x-ray session I have ever endured left me in considerably more pain than when I entered. Example? Shoulder. Function: to lift the arm...bum shoulder means painful arm lifting experience... X-Ray technician,"I'm gonna need you to lift your arm." Rib cage. Function: protect internal organs, heart, lungs. lungs being the operative word here...bruised possibly cracked ribs mean pain when breathing and contorting torso...X-Ray technician, "Now turn your body this way...a feat I would have had trouble with even without injuries..." and at every picture,"Now take a deep breath...you gotta be kidding me, right?..., hold it, now you may breath...like I could catch my breath with the pain pulsing through my rib cage...

Happy to report no permanent damage, only some lingering aches and considerable stiffness. I think Boomer is enjoying this all entirely too much. He especially appreciated the look on my face as the doctor, upon spurting the good news, decided to massage my bum shoulder. Another plus, it was his car that was totalled. I guess now he figures he'll be able to find something with a working a/c and a cd player. Huh, he keeps smirking and he'll have to figure a little while longer...

"Someday we'll look back on this moment and plow into a parked car."
-- Evan Davis

Posted by: on Sep 16, 2003 - 9:47 pm | Profile


Whoa. Glad you came out relatively unscathed.
Odd how humor can difuse an otherwise stressful situation, eh?

Posted by: Greg on Sep 17, 03 | 6:09 am


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