|My 1997 Volkswagon Cabriolet Post Accident|
|2 Days Post Accident at UC Davis Medical Center ICU - After being "life flighted" from the accident scene, to Modesto County Hospital & stabilized, then "life flighted to UC Davis Medical Center for treatment"|
|I was placed in a drug induced coma for a week|
*** The following is taken from my journal, as written on 6/24/2003, approximently 5 weeks post accident ***
Today I went to the oral surgeon. The accident happened on May 18th, 2003 at about 4:30p.m. I feel, mentally and physically like a different person. My jaw, when I wash my face feels large and swollen. Foreign. I can't swallow and that really bothers me because I miss eating and I am sick of spitting my salvia out - I can't even swallow my own spit! When I try to swallow, I don't know if it is going down my airway or my esophagus. My trache is plugged/capped that feels more natural at least. Before I had to suction and I hated it because it hurt to cough becaue of the stitches in my stomach, four of them - I have a stomach tube which I get fed nutrients 5 times a day - 6am, 10am, 2pm, 6pm, 10pm. I've lost too much weight. Before the accident I weighted a beautiful 122. Now, I am at 109 - too skinny.
|Photo taken weeks prior to my accident|
Today I cried, yesterday too. I just get so frustrated. Nothing seems to be fast enough. I'm learning about pacience - and the good that comes from it. It's funny actually, much has changed in my life since the accident. Well, the biggest struggle I'm having right now besides not being able to eat and breath on my own is talking. My voice is a whisper because of the accident.
May 18th, 2003. I left Jill Anenberg's house around 11:30, called my parents to let them know I was leaving L.A. Jill's my Best Friend from college who lives in West Covina, California. I was about 4 hours away from home, when I stopped and had lunch with a friend, Brett Cummings [Brett is my Husband now]. Brett and I dated our Freshman year of High School for 11 months and have remained good friends since we graduated high school in 2000. Later, after lunch, I stopped for gas about an hour and a half away from home. I then got back on the highway 5 but off again to go the to bathroom at Jack in the box. I was going to get something to eat but I got impatient so I left. I got back in my Volkswagon Cabrio and got back onto I-5 heading North. I switched lanes about 30 seconds after being on the highway. About 10-15 seconds later, traffic started to slow. I braked so I wouldn't hit the car infront of me. Then about 20 seconds later all of a sudden my car was hit from behind extremely hard. The highway I was on had two lanes. My car veered over the slow lane and then I remember it calming down, then a big impact. I guess my car flew up into the air and nose dived and then I just remember the car rolling 5 or 6 maybe even 7 times. The glass on the window shattered and my face and neck continually hit in between the ground and the car. Then I was ejected out of the window. I was laying on the ground, hay was in my face. I remember standing up to walk to my car to call my Mom and Dad to let them know what happened. Then I realized I was bleeding. I yelled for help but nothing came out. Some one way yelling at me to lay down. I was flailing my arms and legs once I laid down. When I laid down he told me to lay on my left side because so much blood was coming from my neck, I was chocking on it. I was asked my name and I replied, and then they asked me if I was alone in the car and I told them yes.
I remember laying there thinking I was going to die. I prayed to God and let him take over from there. I could hear people around me, one person said her jaw is broken, another said or asked where the bleeding was coming from. They cut all my clothes off of me. I was holding a ladies hand, pretending she was my Mother. I also remember thinking to myself, "This is it, I am only 20 and this is/was my life." I just wanted to make it home. I wanted so badly to eat dinner and see my parents.
Someone tied a shirt around my neck and another shirt covered my face. I felt helpless, laying there all of these people laying there, standing there but I felt like no one was helping me. Everyone was though, that is why I am alive today. Steve helped me. I don't know much about Steve, but I will soon when he comes to visit. I'm sure he will tell me the parts of the story I don't know, and polish up what I do. I was so shocked more shocked than I ever have been in my entire life.
I regained consciousness in Modesto hospital, I was in the top corner of the room. I could see my Mom to the left of me, myself in the hospital bed, my brother at my feet and my dad at my left, crying hysterically. Two doctors stood, directly below me, down at the end of the room. I wonder to this day if I died and came back or if I was on a lot of drugs. Harder than I was hit while in my car, an energy forcefully pushed me back into my body and my eyes were forced wide open.