I mentioned on yesterday’s post how I bought lottery ticket. So did the rest of the world. But it turns out yesterday I wasn’t thinking about a winning jackpot at all. I was wishing for everything to go back to the way it was when I wrote that blog…
It was one of those phone calls. The kind you see on melodramas and insurance commercials. The kind where the phone rings, and you automatically know something is wrong. My cell phone went off with my husbands ringtone next to my computer at work, and I silenced it because I was in the middle of finding something for my boss. But then I looked at it again, and for some reason answered.
He immediately started relaying details of the accident. He didn’t skip to “I’ve been in an accident and I’m fine/not fine/the car’s totaled/I’m at the hospital.” But I couldn’t get myself to interrupt him. So I just pictured the whole thing, the worst version of it that you could probably take from the story he was telling. And I waited. My chest was tight, my pulse was pounding… I don’t know how parents get those calls about their children. Because this was bad enough. I think if it was my kid I might have fallen out of my rolling chair. And he was talking, so it was already not as bad as it could have been.
He said he was ok and he had to talk to the cops. Then he called back, sounding less ok. By the time I got to see him, he could barely walk. His head was down, because he said it hurt to much to lift it up. That’s when I knew it wasn’t just a little bump.
So we waited, and waited, and then finally saw a doctor, who told us that he could very well have a break in his spine, or compressed vertebrates, and we needed to run tests. So we waited, and they took X-rays and we waited some more. Thankfully, his spinal column is fine. It was all soft tissue damage. Which doesn’t make the pain go away but it could be worse. He’ll probably need some physical therapy. Golf might be out of the question for a while (this was by far the hardest part… the look on his face was pure devastation).
If I could catch the idiot who ran the red light, causing the accident, who never stopped, he’d be afraid of me. All of the stress and nerves and emotion of those first few hours would come flying out of me with whatever innate protectiveness women have to their families anyway… I’d be crazed. But we probably never will.
My husband slammed on his breaks not to hit the guy running the light. He stopped just in time to avoid a head on collision. But the woman behind him didn’t get the memo. I don’t have the same rage towards her. I know how fast these things happen. Legally she’s at fault and she has insurance. We have insurance. If those things work out like they’re supposed to, that would be really helpful. We spent hours on the phone with insurance, getting claim numbers started and adjustors names…
I’m a law student. In 48 days I’m going to have my J.D. and once I pass a test, I’m an attorney. I’m going to be the person that people call in these emergencies to ask what to do. And what do I do? I call my mom. Yup… Apparently years of studying torts law and studying personal injury cases has nothing to do with it. You still just want your mom to tell you what to do.
After I got my husband home, medicated and to sleep in bed, I just sat for a while with my head spinning. It could have been worse. He was lucky. The car will get fixed. Insurance will take care of it. I was supposed to e-mail the paralegals. I was supposed to finish that paper. It’s all ok. It’s going to be worse tomorrow. We have no groceries for tomorrow. Should I leave him alone on that much medication? What else do I need to cancel for the weekend? What if he hadn’t stopped when he did?
Before I went to bed my mom reminded me: Did you win? I had forgotten completely about the lottery ticket. (And no, only one number matched on all three tickets.) But this morning my husband was in bed next to me when I woke up. And he’s moving, slowly. So I’m not even disappointed. I have everything I need.