What follows here is my account of the impact and recovery experienced from a car accident in October of 2015. It is my genuine hope that myself and others can find healing and answers from this narrative.Light, Love & Consciousness,
Comfortable in my life, working hard in the retail corporate world, taking great vacations, it all had the air of success. Then, in October of 2015, everything shifted. On my way to work, in the dark of early day, I was rear-ended. My Honda CRV had taken taps on the back bumper before, but this one was different. I have heard how people feel a moment like this moves in slow motion. It is true. At a stop in a construction zone, I saw the head lights in my rear view mirror closing in, fast. Realizing I could pop my clutch and escape impact, there was a picture of the person in front of me getting hit. What if they have a child in there? Or its Grandma? Or?!
The lights closing in, the inevitable collision, the unknown. This was no adventure. This was uncertainty. The kind that expands to infinity in a millisecond, then snaps back to reality. I turned my wheels to the right to avoid the car ahead. Releasing my hold on the steering column, I leaned against the headrest and relaxed. With a familiar bang, I was launched forward. Careening off the concrete divider, I flopped down staring through my windshield into the passenger window of the car previously ahead of me. The tire marks on the side wall were higher than the hood of my vehicle.
In the expanse after the crash, I heard the voice of my beloved Grandmother, sitting next to me in the passenger seat. “You’ve got to move your car out of the traffic now, baby,” she said with her very distinct Texas charm. The comfort of that moment would not register until later in my recovery. Her words moved me from harms way. As I inched out of the traffic lane, my world felt different.
In the hours to follow, I went through an emergency room battery of x-rays and scans and questions and something I did not expect; pain meds. For a recovering alcoholic this is red flag of epic proportion. “It’s okay,” said the ER doc, “You were just in a car accident. This is prescribed by your doctor.” That prescription became Valium and Percocet three times a day for several weeks. Fortunately, my story does not tangent into a relapse of non-sobriety here. It does, however, extend for over a year in recovery from a severe concussion.
I do not recall hitting my head. I do not recall anything hitting my head. A closed head injury is a difficult diagnosis. Being the proactive sort, I searched for a lawyer right away. On the following Monday we met with him. Thankfully, he provided a questionnaire for possible symptoms. Of the twenty four, or so, on the sheet, I was certainly experiencing most of them. Mood swings, confusion, migraines, all sorts of changes in my personality. After a visit to my family doctor, it was confirmed. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) has a couple of roads. One leads back to general reality within a week or so. The other is a long haul. And so began a new page, a fresh chapter, a unplanned adventure into the unknown of concussion recovery. This was not the one week variety.