family

His First Car Crash

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Wednesday morning my phone rang ten minutes after Michael left for school. When I picked it up and saw his number, I knew. He’d been in an accident on his way to school. It must have been a flash of mother’s intuition because, with almost 200,000 miles on his car, the logical assumption would have been that his car had broken down.

I could tell from his voice that he was shaken up and not quite sure what to do but I could also tell that he wasn’t seriously injured. He said that the cars in front of him had slammed on their brakes so he did too and the guy behind him had rear-ended him and pushed his car into the one in front of him.

I jumped in my car and flew down the road to where he was. Or, tried to. Traffic was backed up because of the accident. I felt pretty panicky, imagining that one of the other drivers involved was yelling at him, blaming him for the accident, but once I saw the lights from the police cars and fire trucks, I calmed down knowing they would take care of him.

I finally got to the scene, parked at a nearby school and played Frogger in the heavy morning traffic to get out to the center lane where the four cars and drivers involved and police officers were. One of the police officers came right over and told me that Michael wasn’t at fault and wouldn’t be getting a ticket. Phew! That was a big relief for me. Michael is the kind of kid that would feel so, so bad if he had been at fault and I cringe to think of what an accident would do to his insurance rates.

Having established that Michael and everyone else involved was okay, I took a look at the car. It was immediately obvious, even to my auto-body-uneducated eye, that it was totaled and not even drive-able enough to get it the two miles back to the house. 😦

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I’m so grateful that Michael wasn’t seriously injured but I’m still worried about him. His neck and back started hurting right away and now his ankle, shoulders and wrists are hurting. He said he had trouble sleeping last night because his back hurt so much. Don took the car apart yesterday (he does auto body) and he said he’s surprised Michael wasn’t hurt worse because the hit to the back was so hard. I took Michael to the doctor the first day. X-rays showed no fractures so the worry is about whiplash-type injuries to the tendons and ligaments. I will worry until Michael is 100% better. I began my battle with chronic pain after a horseback riding accident when I was 19-years-old and I don’t want to see Michael go through that. Unfortunately, he is my child that doesn’t like to be touched so he doesn’t want massage or to deal with any of my alternative treatments. It takes some coaxing just to get him to take Advil. This kind of stubbornness in male patients is so frustrating!

And the car. I know it can be replaced but it still makes me sad to see one of our cars hauled off to the wrecking yard. It was such a pretty car and it was Michael’s first car. It was supposed to be Daniel’s first car too.

Still, my overwhelming emotion is one of gratitude. Michael is hurting but he is alive. Thank you, thank you, thank you to the universe for that!

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29 thoughts on “His First Car Crash

  1. I’m glad he was alright, though I’m sorry the car was not. That really sucks. This is a huge fear of mine since I’ve owned my car for almost 15 years now, and the 10 years I haven’t had to make a car payment (Plus the 7 years I’ve been able to drop full insurance coverage) have been a huge blessing on my financial situation. Having to get a new car would be a major strain on my budget…

    1. Driving paid-for cars until they die is the way to go! I’ve had my car for eight years and I’m hoping to get at least that many more out of it. A wreck could definitely mess up that plan though. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that a fixable wrecked car comes into Don’s shop so he can buy it and fix it for Michael. I don’t want Michael, or us, to have to take on a car payment to replace his car. Here’s to keeping our cars on the road for many more years to come!

  2. Glad his is okay. I will never forget that feeling as I was 19 hrs away when I got the call from my daughter that someone had hit her. She called 911 then me. She was in pain and was going to get out of her car. she couldn’t the car was totalled. Many years later she still has pain but is alive and we are thankful every day. Scariest drive home ever. I had one sister drive 9 hrs with me and then another took over to drive 9 it was non stop.

    1. How terrible to be so far away! I’m glad you had your sisters with you to make that drive. Sorry to hear your daughter is still in pain. It’s so hard to know our kids are in pain and not be able to do anything about it. I know I wish I could take Michael’s pain.

  3. Oh gosh, Trisha! I’m sooo glad Michael wasn’t seriously injured, and I hope his residual aches and pains dissolve soon! Rachael still doesn’t have her driver’s license (at age 23) because she’s so terrified of driving, and now that we live in the inner city with all the traffic, she’s even more reluctant to drive. She does have her permit though, I made her get that. Sorry to hear that the car is totaled too. 😦

    1. I can totally empathize with Rachel being too terrified to drive in the city. I would feel the same way if we lived in the city. We had to go to Seattle yesterday. Thankfully, Don was able to take off work to drive us around downtown because I’m sure I would have had a nervous breakdown. There’s so much going on in every direction! I do like driving though…on country roads with a speed limit of no more than 35. 🙂

      1. Haha, I wouldn’t want to drive in downtown Seattle either! Neither Rachael nor my Mom drive, so I’m our family’s designated driver, so to speak. And after growing up here, it’s not that big of a deal to me, but it did take some getting used to it after living out in the country for 20 years.

  4. It’s every parent’s nightmare, isn’t it?! And I feel for Michael, as I know from experience even a minor bump can really rattle you, and hurt a lot. Such a relief he’s ok though!!
    We live in the city and my 3 all either cycle or get the bus to and from work and have no inclination to drive a car.
    (((hugs))) to everyone.

    1. If traffic is anything like it is around here, it would be scary to have the kids out cycling too! It’s great they can use public transportation. Our system just isn’t strong enough to be very useful. I’m hoping Michael is young enough to recover pretty quickly from this. I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to move for weeks if I got hit that hard!

      1. I try not to actively think about it, although there are some good cycle paths away from the road, they carry their own dangers at night 😦
        You’re right. We got hit from the side a couple of years ago and it took me a couple of months 😦
        How is Michael doing?

        1. His back and neck are hurting quite a bit and he’s still sore in a few other places. He’s also discovered some popping in one hip and shoulder so I’m going to get him into a chiropractor.

          I wish we had more bike paths around here. I would love to ride my bike places but riding on busy roads is just too scary. And noisy. I can’t think straight when there’s a lot of noise!

  5. I can only imagine how you felt at that initial phone call (and I don’t have children). One instantly fears the worst.

    Having FM, Scheuermann’s Disease (making my spine very unstable) and having had lumbar disc surgery in 2008 makes me very aware of pain & fragility in the spine and neck. Perhaps a supportive collar worn around his neck during the daytime might help rest the neck vertebrae for a while as the trauma heals. Whiplash is highly underrated. It can cause trauma and pain for a long time and if insufficient rest & treatment is used, has even been known to trigger FM (as you would well know Trisha having had an fall/accident yourself).

    I’m sure your doctor would know what’s best, but since the only time I am pain-free is soaking in a hot bath, might I suggest a soak in a hot bath each night before bed would be a great way to relax and calm down Michael’s nervous system and soft tissues. Even better would be with 3-4 drops (only) of pure essential oil of Lavender swirled in the bath water before he gets in. No, he won’t smell like a Lavender bush.

    I don’t know whether you can buy it in your area/state/country, but 2 drops of Bachs Rescue Remedy (homeopathic) on the tongue for shock/nervous tension/nightmares etc…… 4 times a day for the next few weeks/months would help also. This is an English flower essence and like homeopathy, works very subtlety to calm and relieve trauma or nerves….. (for exams and interviews etc too).

    I have used Bach Rescue Remedy Cream on painful areas at times too. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

    Leaning some shoulder & muscle relaxation exercises would also help.

    1. Michael’s doctor also suggested hot baths but Michael has been unwilling to take one. I will try to persuade him tonight. I’m sure it would help. The Rescue Remedy is a great idea as well! I bought some recently to put in my herbal first aid kit for the car but I didn’t even think about it until you mentioned it. I never thought to try it for pain. I have a massage oil for pain that has some flower essences in it but it also has cayenne which irritates my skin. I should try it on Michael though. He might not have a problem with cayenne.

      My mom has had issues with instability in her neck and back and also developed FM. I’m sorry you’ve had to go through a similar journey. It’s just awful how much pain that combination of issues can cause.

      1. I had to smile at your sentence that Michael was unwilling to take a bath. Such a simple old-fashioned thing as a soak in a hot bath is usually the only time I am actually 100% pain free. Even 2 of the extremely strong prescription analgesics are not working for me at the moment and my new apartment only has a shower (just like every other modern apartment around). I suspect that is the one thing I really miss having to leave a 50 yr old apartment 10 days ago.

        1. I don’t soak in the tub nearly as often as I should. My husband is the bath-taker in this house. He takes several a week so the tub is always dirty and cleaning it and then taking a bath always seems like too much work. I should make the effort tonight though. Maybe a good, long soak would help dispel some of the achiness. Is your fibro flaring up because of the move?

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