I awaken and realize I'm sitting on my ass in the middle of the road. I look to my left and see a tire. I try to look up and see what it's connected to....I see a old maroon coloured minivan. I try to see the driver but can't. The door closest to me is the drivers side door but it doesn't open. Why the hell isn't he getting out? I finally realize I must get off the road. I try to get up on my own and can't. I feel out of touch with my body. It all hurts. I sit and try to think of a way to get up. My brain doesn't work and I can't problem solve. I reach for the tire and get up to kneeling stance. The pain is immeasurable and my brain can't register where it's coming from. I fall back down again.
Finally the drivers door opens. A man emerges "oh my god I didn't see you!"
Fuck you. I look around and see a group of Asian women staring. I beg in my head for them to come help me instead of this monster. They don't; eventually they start to walk.
The monster helps me up. I'm shaking but I don't think I'm crying. All I want to do is get to my car like I intended. I tell the monster "take me to my car...right there".
He's concerned about the broken bottle of wine I just bought "I will buy you new wine, what kind was it" he asks.
Shut the fuck up; stop talking, stop talking, stop talking, I scream in my head. I think he can hear me, but he can't. I suddenly realize I'm limping. Pain isn't registering yet.
I get to my car and sit in the front seat. The monster is still concerned about the wine so I tell him to just go buy whatever. I don't know what to do.
I find my phone and call my dad. I tell him I've been hit by a car and don't know what to do. He says to stay put he is coming.
The firefighters show up, my dad is there. My dad is a source of comfort, I know he'll make sure what needs to be done is done.
They say I need to go to the hospital especially for my knee. I look at my knee and its swollen and blue. I've never hurt my knee in my life but the pain still doesn't hurt like I expect it to.
One month later...
I am afraid of driving, I have almost daily nightmares, I am constantly crying.
The doctor has said I have a concussion...I have no idea what that is. Many years later I find out I have a mild traumatic brain injury. I'm irritable, say things without thinking them through, and can't remember things. I am in a fog.
I try to go back to work at the end of the month on modified duties. It was a disaster; thank god I knew enough not to have client contact.
I'm in physiotherapy for my knee but do not understand the long term potential of harm for my knee. I feel useless especially after not being at work. I feel horrible for leaving my clients hanging without a social worker. Especially one youth who I swore I wouldn't leave without letting him know. I know that will always be on my soul - we had made quite a connection and I know he won't make a connection with a social worker after I left abruptly.
1 year later
I am now a mother to a 8 month old baby. She is my light; she is what keeps me going.
I am still very depressed and isolated. My nightmares have stopped, I can drive again, I am anxious but not nearly as irritable.
I focus all my attention on my daughter. I am a very caring attentive mother. It helps keep me busy.
My knee hurts but I've done physio and can manage most times with day to day life activities.
5 years later
I am now a mother to two daughters, 3 & 4 years old. I am still on long term disability. I am depressed, but not as bad as I once was.
I have services in place, homemakers to help clean and do laundry. I now have severe osteoarthritis in my knee and know I will have to have a total knee replacement in about 10 years.
I have a good lawyer who is handling my icbc case after my first lawyer fired me because he thought I tried to get hit by the car. However he keeps sending me for exams and tests with specialist - most of them in Vancouver. Thank god I have a supportive family who can watch the girls when I go to all those appointments.
I have found out I have PTSD, anxiety, depression, mild traumatic brain injury, severe osteoarthritis, and a bunch of other stuff. Those are the ones that affect my lift the most.
I've tried every treatment, had occupational therapy, had psychological therapy, done lots of spiritual work and done everything I know to do to conquer my barriers.
Still I am a good mother and that makes me proud.
6 years later
It's today, approaching 2013. Still off work but beginning to see hope.
I've taken a certificate in family therapy despite being really scared to do so. I was afraid my memory would fail me or that I didn't have my basic skill set from my previous social work experience. But I do and it's increased my confidence and given me a ton of hope.
I have been doing a bit of my own volunteer work, helping families involved with child protection. Helping them understand the system and their rights. I love this work and will continue doing it for free as long as I am able.
I have some other plans for volunteer work so I can give back to the community in a really useful way.
My icbc has settled and I feel free. I can move on from this trauma although I know it will always be there in some form.
I realize the gifts the accident has given me - my daughters, the ability to move closer to my family, spirituality I didn't have before, gratitude, and the chance to focus on what is really important to me. December 31 is beginning to turn into a day of thanksgiving for me instead a day of bad memories.