Worlds & Time

Friday, October 13, 2006

Satellite Internet & BSG

So, what's happened this week?

I suppose the big thing is that I got an satallite based internet connection. Finally.

I'm sitting at my desk, doing this from my home computer, which is so odd, because for months I've been forced to write during a few stolen minutes at work, or from a public hotspot or from a friend's connection.

The other big thing is that I finally saw the BSG premiere, and I loved it. They twisted everything. It's all about political satire and commentary. This should be required viewing for Poly-Sci people, it's just that good.

There was one more thing that I wanted to mention . . . what was it?

Oh, right, I broke my neck.

Specifically, I fractured my C-2 vertebrae last Saturday while I was driving to work. I was coming up Old Pecos Trail, and a woman in an SUV pulled out in front of me from my left.

I didn't have time to react. I think there may have been a car in the left turn lane that blocked both our views. I didn't have time to turn or slam on my break, or anything.

I think I remember the SUV. I think it was greenish. I'm not entirely sure. I know for sure that somewhere in there I thought about relaxing, trying to keep from being further hurt.

And then I rolled into the stoplight pole.

The driver's side window was completely shattered. I remember the glass was scattered over everything. I also immediately knew that something was wrong with my neck. It hurt, and so did my knee. When I had the Chiuaua accident, I had whiplash, so I immediately thought it was whiplash.

There was a guy standing there, with a cell phone, telling me not to move. There was smoke in the cab of the car. I didn't know it at the time, but it was from the air bag charge. Oh, the airbags had gone off. Had I mentioned that?

He asked if I wanted someone called, and I realized that this would be my first major accident where my mother wasn't right behind me. So I asked him to call her, but we couldn't reach her at the house, and I couldn't remember her cell phone number (We'd been joking about that, only last week).

Finally, the paramedics came. They had a lot of trouble moving me out because all my doors were locked. Finally, I pulled my keys from the ignition and gave them to the paramedic. She looked at them uncomprehendingly, and tossed them on the front seat.

I had to give her one of those looks, where you've been talking about the key to a lock, and someone hands you the key and you say, "What is this?"

"The key for the doors," I managed, and she finally understood, and crawled over me for the keys.

So I got a fun Ambulance ride to St. Vincint's. On the way, I kept replaying what had happened over and over in my head. I couldn't remember if the light had been red or green.

And I cried. I was sobbing, because I didn't know if it was my fault or not.

At St. Vincents a nurse asked me a couple of questions. What my name was. What my birthday was, and how old I was. And then the question I was dreading. "Do you have insurance?"

I didn't. I don't, I mean. I lost it Sept 30, and this was Oct 7. Ouch.

I started to cry again. With a broken neck, crying is very, very painful.

Then the cop came in. He asked me a couple of questions too, but I was pretty vague about everything. But he gave me good news. Very good news. It had been a redlight. For her. She'd been cited. It wasn't my fault.

So, then they left me alone. They'd put me in a box neck brace, and they had me on a hard backboard, and they left me alone.

And that was painful, and it got more painful over time. At first, I thought I could handle it, so I stayed quiet. A few minutes later I was quietly mewing. A few minutes later, I was calling for help, and then I was crying out as loudly as I could. No one came to check.

That was one of the worst moments of my life. I sat there, screaming out with pain, and no one even came in. I couldn't move because I was strapped to the bed, but I was testing the straps. I knew my neck was hurt, but at the time, I was willing to hurt it more, just to get out of the room. Pain is much easier to deal with when you have other people there.

When a doctor finally came in, I was just screaming. I don't think there was much real thought left. I do remember that I couldn't breath the oxygen through my nose because mucus was filling them from the crying.

He moved me around, and things began to get better right away, thankfully. The pain went away, partially, but somewhere in there they told me that I had a broken neck.

I wasn't drugged for the longest time, but what happened at St. Vincent's is still very unclear.

I got my first helicopter ride to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque. I was drugged up quite significantally for that, but apparently I'm still too tall, because they had trouble fitting me into the helicopter.

At UNM Hospital, I was checked into the Trauma ER under the name "TRAUMA-ALERT, PAINT." Later, I found out that that was normal for helicoptered patients. They asign them names ending in "TRAUMA-ALERT" so that they can keep records on them, and they assign a first name that sounds vaguely like "patient" to differentiate them. Apparently one of the popular ones is "petunia." They didn't change my name to my real name until the night that I checked out.

Most of my time at the hopsital was spent waiting for tests or waiting for results. I had maybe four completely different sets of X-rays, two CT scans, and a MRI.

After all of that, they didn't even do any surgery. They just gave me a "Miami J" neck brace, and let me go home. Granted, I'm not all that happy about that. I'm still in considerably large amounts of pain. I took two Hydrocodone two hours ago, and I'm not having fun dreams, and I still have pain.

That's as much as I can remember at the moment. I'll check in when typing isn't quite so painful.

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