I can't roll over in bed without assistance. I can't bathe myself. I can barely sit up long enough to feed myself. Suddenly, I find myself relying on others to assist me with even basic tasks such as going to the bathroom, and dressing myself. Yet, instead of being consumed by depression (which I expected), I am surprised to find myself feeling optimistic and lucky. Yes, you read correctly; Lucky. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me back up a bit and explain.
My name is Kat and on April, 30th I was in a car accident that has left me with numerous broken ribs, broken vertebrae in my neck and back, lacerated liver, slight pneumothorax, a broken ankle (that is now held together with metal plates), and more pain than I can describe with any degree of accuracy.
So, how the heck could I possibly feel lucky? Thats what the old me would ask. I was very pessismistic and had a "Why me?" outlook on life. I shocked myself when I realized that felt optimistic... and yes, even lucky.
First and foremost, I feel lucky to be alive. I had pulled off a two lane highway, onto the shoulder, so that I could slow down and make a u-turn. I don't remember anything after this except for brief images in the ambulance and helicopter. But basically, I was hit by a fast moving Ford Explorer as I pulled back onto the road to turn around. My little Dodge Neon, didn't stand a chance. I haven't actually seen my car since the accident, but my engine is now squished into the right side of my car. The State Trooper said "3 more inches" and I would have been dead. So, I'm definitely feeling very lucky to be alive.
I feel lucky that I'm not paralyzed. Two of the broken vertebrae, the C1 and C2, are located in my neck. For those who don't know, these two bones are the very first bones of the spine. If my spinal cord had been damaged in this location, I very likely would have been paralyzed from the neck down. My pulse races every time I think about how close I came to that possibility. Lucky indeed.
I also feel, just a generalized luckiness regarding my injuries. Naturally, I had some bruising, but nothing major. The only open wound I had was my broken ankle; no cuts, no scrapes, no sores. I had no injuries to my face or hands. I had no real internal bleeding, the lacerated liver, bled very little and not for very long. So, while I am in incredible amounts of pain, I will heal. Doc says there should be no lasting problems except for some arthritis.
I can't help but find all of this a bit overwhelming. Though, I guess that's to be expected. But, to be completely honest, I am most surprised by my reaction to all of this. Pessimism was my home. I felt safe there. Optimism was this new, scary place that I didn't want to visit. But somehow, I have come to feel very good about Optimism. In fact, I like the neighborhood so much, I might settle down and buy some property. =)