February 3, 2015
DEAR FAMILY & FRIENDS:
I am writing this in WORD so that I can tell this story in one fell swoop. I did send fragments of the story to a few people from my I-phone–January 15–my son Steve, my brother Jim, my sister Susie, a few close friends. My ability to send typed messages on the I-phone is a little limited—I have to use a stylus to type on it. OK, I had an appointment January 15 at 9 am with a doctor in Palmdale next to the Palmdale Regional hospital—had discussed it with Kelly the night before & he said take the freeway to Palmdale blvd like you are going to
Joshua Medical—the hospital is about a block farther.
I was up early, took care of the dogs & cat, got ready to go—put my tote bag and purse in the front passenger seat & backed out of the driveway, turned right on L8 at the stop sign—and was asking myself do I want to go straight down L8 to 30th to avoid lights—or turn left on L8 and take that straight to the freeway. I was going slowly – there is a light at 50th and for cars on L8 its always red when you come up to it.
This truck came out of nowhere—I tried to brake (*I know this because my foot remained on the brake until someone said “You can put the car in park and turn it off”) – when I first went to take my foot off the brake the car rolled a bit. Both airbags deployed & I had a red nose with some scratches on it.
A woman came up to me and said she had seen the accident and was a witness. Out of nowhere came some CHP (California highway patrol) officers and someone from the local sheriff’s office (I would learn later that the CHP officer, a Mr. Torres, had been called to another accident just a few blocks away on Avenue M—and the Sheriff’s office is just a few blocks away on 50th.)
The driver of the truck came up to the window and asked if I was ok. Someone asked if I wanted to go to the hospital and I said yes, I think so. I didn’t know if I was OK or not but I said yes – next thing I heard someone say the driver of the truck was drunk and I saw him in the back seat of a police car when I was finally told to get out of the car and lay down on a stretcher. (I did not learn a lot of the details until I went to the CHP office on Avenue I and paid $10 for a copy of the police report)
I THINK I first texted Kelly when I was still in the car – short and to the point “car totaled. Come home.” – so he had no idea what had happened; he thought something had happened at my house. When he got here he took pictures of my car and then went to the AV hospital. I texted Keara from the ambulance that my car had been totaled by a drunk driver and to come to the hospital. She took off immediately – she and Kelly and Keara’s sister Sara (who works at AV hospital) were there when I got there. (Kelly doesn’t like hospitals – he went back to work) – Keara stayed with me all day. I was admitted and then had xrays of my neck—I could tell my neck was going to give me trouble—my entire left arm was stiff for several weeks but I think my guardian angel was looking out for me—when you see my car – whole front end crushed and even my windshield was cracked in several places—and I was able to get out of the car on my own steam.
I heard someone say this was the other driver’s second DUI in a very short period of time so they must have had a record on him. (turned out it was the driver’s 4th DUI.)
Well, I went to the hospital in an ambulance and texted both Keara & Kelly to tell them I was enroute to AV hospital (Initially I asked them to take me to Palmdale Regional & the driver talked me out of it, said AV was a lot closer and they have a good trauma center for accidents—so I texted them both again & told them where I was heading. I was admitted and seen briefly by a doctor who ordered xrays of my neck—so I told them in advance you won’t find one of the disks in my neck—two are fused—from an accident years ago. So they knew to expect that. Then we were told to wait in the waiting room. UNBELIEVABLE – the room was packed with men, women, children and babies, all waiting to see a doctor. Turns out there is one doctor to read xrays for the entire hospital – so it took hours for them to get the results – THEN the doctor on call wasn’t satisfied with the xrays and ordered a ct scan of my neck. Back to the waiting room to wait to be called and afterwards, more waiting. Meantime calls began to come in on my I-phone – I gave the calls to Keara to take and she wrote everything down. Had calls from my car insurance and discovered I have insurance for a car rental, up to $50 a day for 30 days. Someone from Enterprise called—Kelly and Ethan went with me on Saturday to get a car—what they gave me was a 2014 black Lincoln SUV; Ethan came back home with me and pointed out things on the dashboard that I quickly forgot. I have gotten pretty used to the car as of today, February 3, 2015—it isn’t what I would choose for myself but nice to have for now.
I saw Dr K about a week after the accident and have a prescription to go back to the Wellness center for some neck and back physical therapy—I didn’t call them right away because I didn’t know how long I would have the car from Enterprise and be able to buy another car of my own.
I thought my knees would be a mess the next day—but they weren’t –some serious bruising appeared on my right knee about 4 or 5 days after the accident. I had a serious bruise from the seat belt, at an angle where it held me back when the truck hit me. We finally got a report from the hospital (discharge instructions) – the personnel we interacted with? Fantastic. The patients in the waiting room – unbelievable and not in a good way. One man was coughing and spitting and began spitting on the floor—they had to have someone come in and clean the floor after he was called into the treatment room—they cleaned off the seats he stretched out on too. That was one nasty man – and this one woman – I think she had family with her – she slid down on the floor and wouldn’t get up – they finally called in a big burly security guard to pull her up and snap her into the wheelchair. She was only about in her 50s, if that, I think. Babies crying, people coughing—when we got called in to see a nurse about my discharge – I saw that the hallways were packed with people too. (I’m not that crazy about hospital waiting rooms! Bah humbug!)
On a lighter note, I heard this woman sitting across from us – mention Pine Mountain – so we began to talk – she and her husband live in Pine Mountain part time – he was the one seeing a doctor – I got their names and the street they live on so I could tell my friend Mary Jaynne about meeting and talking to them – we managed to kill over an hour chatting with that couple.
We finally got the discharge (still on January 15) and Keara dropped me off – then a bit later came back and Kelly went to get chicken from Popeye’s for us to eat…we were both starving. I hadn’t eaten anything because I didn’t know if the new doctor I was being sent to see would want me to have blood work done. Kelly called the doctor’s office and told them what had happened & they said to call when I was up to it and re-book – but I wanted to see the doctor at A V Cardiologists FIRST to find the results of their tests. (*the doctor I was scheduled to see that morning was a referral from A V Cardiology, to see this doctor – who is a hematologist. I need to call them & reschedule my appointment. And when I went back to see the cardiologist, I learned WHY he wanted me to see the hematologist—he doesn’t want to do anything about my varicose veins when I have been ok on my own for 13 years—One of the first things I did when I was referred to A V cardiology was to print up my own medical history which included my learning I had Factor 5 and what it all means.
I hadn’t seen my hematologist since moving up to the Antelope Valley. Well, I digress.
In discussing the accident with family members–I wondered aloud -if I had gone straight down 52nd to Avenue L – I would have missed him – or if I had waited another 15 minutes before leaving the house (which Kelly said to do) – I can think of several ways I could have avoided the accident – but it begs the question – it was right at the time parents are taking their kids to and from school; Joe Walker middle school (where Ethan goes) is down the street in the other direction and the grammar school is just up on 50th – leaving me to wonder – if I had not been where I was, would the drunk have hit a mother taking kids to school or even some kids walking to school?
Where he turned in front of me – there isn’t any place to go except hit a fence. What was he thinking? (we speculated last night that he might have been trying to get up the street where there are two liquor stores at L10). And how did the CHP get there almost instantaneously? Were they chasing him?
I don’t know (And never found out). I have been mourning the loss of my car since it happened – I bought that car brand new in 2001; it only had 66,000 miles on it – Steve was with me when I bought it – I kept it in very good condition and had JUST gotten my tune up and oil change and tires rotated a month ago.
Last Friday, and again today, Tuesday February 3, Keara went with me to the courthouse on Avenue M (a beautiful building) – today the driver of took a plea bargain; I didn’t have to testify and the prosecutor, Eunice Kim, and the CHP officer, Torres, spoke to me as we were leaving. I thanked both of them and shook hands with them. I told Officer Torres I was grateful he was so close by.
I had to send documents and the pink slip for the Chevie to the claims adjuster in Des Moines Idaho who is handling my case. Hopefully, I will have a check pretty soon to go car shopping. I prayed I wouldn’t have to testify and I didn’t. I prayed that it would not be necessary to hire a lawyer and I didn’t.
If I haven’t used up all my good luck maybe I will find a car I can be happy with.
I didn’t post this on my blog at the time it happened because I HAD told the story to family and friends on Verizon and Facebook. This is by way of explaining why I have been neglecting my blog so much—apparently, January is not a very lucky month for me!
Thank you for your patience, everyone. I have LOTS of things to write about – I just haven’t been able to get the work done. It’s a new month; hopefully, I can get some writing done!