Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Yesterday I went back and read a lot of the things I've written pertaining to my car crash.

These days I try not to talk about the accident a whole lot or dwell on it. But I have a meeting scheduled with my lawyer next month and I wanted to go back and see how I felt then. Versus how I feel now.

I'm not talking about how I felt physically. I know how I felt. Like ass. But there wasn't a whole hell of a lot I could do about it except move forward, so I kept an upbeat attitude about the whole thing. There were definitely bad days, but for the most part I kept my chin up and endured with as much grace as I could.

It was easy back then to keep telling myself that it would be over soon enough. "Eventually" didn't seem so very far away.

I remember when we were talking about my second surgery with Dr. F last year and he said he didn't want to do it until I was emotionally able to handle another surgery. I understood where he was coming from, but I also knew that I needed to get it over with. I didn't want to be well and then have to do it all over again. The surgery and the sickness and the pain and the helplessness. I knew I wouldn't fair as well the second time. Best to go ahead and get it over with while I was already sick. So we did, and I continued to put on my brave face. Always enduring, rarely complaining.

I wasn't trying to be a martyr. I was just trying to get through it, one day at a time.

And then October came. Six months after the crash and finally, finally things settled down on the medical front. I still had some procedures ahead of me, but I had time to take a breath and just be. That's when the emotions took over. Everything that I had been suppressing for so long came right up and smacked me in the face. All those feelings that I hadn't let myself feel; the grief and the sadness and the fear. Oh the fear. How do you deal with the fear and the knowledge that you very nearly lost your most precious gift - your life?

Now, fifteen months after the crash, all those emotions are still there along with some new ones. I'm frustrated and I'm angry.

I remember talking to Andy a week after the accident about everything that had happened and everything that still needed to happen. Neither of us thought my recovery would take so long and we both thought by the end of the year we'd be done with it and we'd be able to move on. Six months, we thought, or twelve at the most and that would be the end of it. We could move on.

That hasn't happened. I feel like the day of the accident our life just stopped. We've been in a state of suspended animation ever since. Everything we do or plan is based on some future event - after this doctor's appointment, after that meeting, after, after, after...

What about now? When does now happen?

I'm in a constant state of stress. And that makes me angry.

I don't sleep well a lot of nights and then in the mornings sometimes I would like nothing more than to stay in bed all day. And that makes me angry.

I still have a missing tooth. And that makes me angry.

My lip and chin are still numb. I haven't regained any feeling in them since last September and two weeks ago I drooled on myself at dinner. And that makes me angry.

My right sinus cavity is constantly sore and my nose is still swollen, not to mention crooked. And that makes me angry.

I don't know what physical side effects are going to follow me around forever or present themselves at some inopportune time. Physical side effects that are the result of some one else's bad decision. And that makes me angry.

I don't even know who to be angry with. Accidents happen.

That's what I tell myself, that accidents happen, but that doesn't change a damn thing that happened to me or to my family.

I want my life back.

I am over it. And I am angry.

1 comment:

  1. Joanna,
    I am so sorry you are angry, but I think it important that you are angry. I think it is a healthy response to the accident. In some ways the accident was like a death. Anger is part of grieving. Believe it or not, this anger is good for you. Please remember that Jack and I love you as if you had sprung from our loins.