I collided w/ a tree in Camarillo, Ca. on Carmen Street in Dec. 09. They closed down both lanes of traffic for 3 hours because they could not get me out of the car. After awhile they brought the “Jaws of Life” and tore me out from my Nissan Pathfinder. This took three hours. I sometimes daydream how long three hours is. Truly a miracle I am alive… I layed there a bleeded out to 1 unit of blood. If you look at me I have no facial scars but as w/ brain injuries the scars are not seen. They hide in the deep recesses of your head w/ sometimes outwardly signs of dysfunction. I arrived by ambulance for immediate surgery. Opened up like a fish, the incision was from my neck to just three inches below my navel. My lung was collapsed, every rib that composed the cage was broken, my spleen removed and the liver severed.Most all my blood was gone. The three doctors labored for 3-4 hrs. and then closed me up. I was in a coma for 2 weeks before my eyes opened. I could not remember a thing. A very, very frightening event to understand.
Under my armpit they inserted a tube in my lung to assist in my breathing as well as tubes inserted in my nose and mouth . There I lay 3 weeks in a coma and 2-3 more weeks to get better to start rehab.
Today, after 2 years, I am not well. Although, if you looked at me I could fool you, but if you stay w/ me for some time you will know something is wrong. I seem to repeat myself often because I forget what I had said. Very embarassing. I have good days and I have bad days. The doctor says I will develop seizures which I am not looking forward to. I often walk in circles and I have extreme memory loss. I pay bills electronically and often to the wrong payee. It just kills me when that happens. I just have to remember how lucky I am to be alive and able to drive. My Mother is legally blind and counts on me for much. I am glad that I can help her and she understands my injury. Very supportive and lots of love. She provides me good medicine. I am dizzy at times and short breathed but that is OK. I pray each day to thank God that my accident was not more severe and that he got my attention.
I go to Ventura County Brain injury classes twice a month and it saved my life. I know I am not alone and there is love and help there for me. I find it that 90% of the injured people have the same impairment that I do. Memory loss, lost position, not fully aware of one’s daily duties to complete, and the knowing that we are different souls. I am very grateful for what happened to me. I am not bitter because for how would I ever know the other side of the coin. They say, ” God plants you where you are to bloom.” This is true. I am on disability at 60 yrs. old and grateful that the govt. was finally convinced that I needed help. I hope you can understand that from one day to the next we are living in a world of the unknown. That one event can change your life forever. Be careful and stay safe.