Thursday, December 9, 2010

Accident, Thank You, Blogging

I'd like to thank everyone who sent well wishes through facebook, this blog, NLQ, Harris, FJ, and other places. It was nice to listen to Harris read your e-mails and comments while I was in the hospital and recovering.

Today, I'm feeling better. I'm a little out of it because of the pain medication but in the bigger scheme of things, I'm happy to be alive. The details of the accident are fuzzy but bits of things come back at strange times. Harris covered it mostly. A few friends had gathered for a movie night. One of the girls needed a ride to her parents' house about forty minutes out of town so four of us decided to go - to give the driver company on the way home. We dropped our friend off and started back to town. Crossing over the interstate, on a bridge, another driver (was was getting off the interstate) didn't see us coming over the bridge and made a left across our lane. We hit her broadside. I was in the front seat and the biggest memory I have is something punching me in the face. It happened so fast. The next thing I remember is the pain of my leg and warmth running down my face. I'm not sure what cut my face. I don't think it was glass since the glass kind of beaded up into tiny pieces and didn't seem sharp. I think it may have been plastic from the door frame? The other people in the car were hurt also. Our good friend "Margie" has a broken femur and wrist (she was the driver). We two were kind of pinned in the front seat until the Fire Department got us out. The girl in the back was sore and bruised up but she's going to be fine. The person in the car we hit was pretty banged up and I haven't heard about their injuries.

I almost didn't want Harris to say anything on the blog and I considered not saying anything myself. I know this year has been an injury fest. I don't know what to say to those who will post here doubting this. I'm not asking for anything but prayers for Maggie.


  1. O my, I am so glad you all survived! Do you have seatbelt laws in your state? I am really thankful you are all ok.

  2. Wow, totally didn't know anything was going on. Wishing for your speedy recovery, and sending good thoughts to everyone injured!

  3. We have seatbealt laws and we were wearing them.

  4. If it's out in the boonies I think the people coming off don't even think that someone else is on the road at night.

    Did you get hit by the airbag? I am glad you are recovering and doing okay. No more Peppermint for you next year! We need to measure you for a bubble wrap sweat suit kiddo.

    Hanging in there!

  5. Yikes! This is not your year, is it? Good thing it's almost over. I hope you heal up quickly!

  6. Ruth,

    I'm a lurker & we've never communicated except once through the tip jar because I was so moved by your story.

    Although some may call me agnostic, I prefer to think of myself as a pretty spritual person who prefers a 1-1 relationship with God instead of relying on a middleman for interpretation.

    Further to your wishes I am sending out strong prayers for your friend Maggie. I'm also sending some your way. Remember always when it's dark that you're never given more than you can handle. It's a blessing and a testament to your amazing strength - you will get through all of this & be better for it.

    Stay strong & look ahead to the new year ahead for a blessedly clean slate!


  7. Definitely sending healing thoughts and good wishes Margie's way AND yours. I'm giving the benefit of the doubt to the police and assuming the OTHER driver was ticketed (in my state, you just never know).

    In any case, as you already pointed out, you ARE alive, as are the others in the car, which is what matters most. And look at you! Surrounded by people who love and care about you, and who are eager to help you. (Take THAT, Darth Pater!!!)

    There are plenty of writers who've said there are two kinds of families: the family you're given and the family you choose. From my perspective, you've got outstanding taste in family, and I would love nothing more than to give Harris and his parents HUGE hugs. And you, too. ;-)

  8. Glad to hear you're in recovery, and prayers sent for you and everyone else in the accident. Just been one of those years, it seems!

    If this is completely off-base then feel free to ignore it, but I suspect you might hear some mean little voice, either from someone else or in some hidden corner of your own mind, try to tell you this is because of something you did. Either a direct accusation or an insidious whisper may say this is judgment for walking away, or for blogging about your experience, or just for having a life of your own.


    Bad times - yes, even bad years of time - happen. They're a fact of life, just like the good times we wish could go on forever. It's our nature to try to find reasons for the random, and patriarchy/QF is really good at teaching us to lay the blame on ourselves. That blame is false. Worse, it's not even Biblical. Matt 5:45(b) - "For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike."

    If that doesn't still those accusations, keep in mind as well that Job's suffering came not because he did anything wrong, but because he did everything right. And consider that if you were following the script of your old life, doing everything according to the rules, and this still happened, the assumption would be you were under attack from Satan and this was just proof of your righteousness.

    It's not attack or discipline. It's just life. The only fault lies with whoever didn't have the right-of-way on that road.

    Take care of yourself, and best wishes for the holidays!

  9. Glad you are okay, Ruth. Skeery stuff and Im glad you and the other passengers are okay.

  10. Yeha, sh** happens. To all of us. And good friends, laughter, sunshine, good will, love and other forms of happiness can happen to all of us too. Here's hoping that the good in your life always overshadows the stress of the sh**!

    Sending loving thoughts your way and prayers on your behalf heavenward, SS

  11. ::applauds Lodrelhai::

    More wishes for a speedy recovery from down here in Darkest America.

    @ Jacquie - Not to detract from your well-wishes, but may I take exception to the "God never sends us more than we can handle" cliche? I understand how you meant it, but it's simply not true, and... well... it bugs me whenever I hear it.

    Sorry, I'll get off my soapbox now.

  12. I don't know if you have considered this or not, especially since you were so badly injured as were others.... but you may want to contact an attorney to represent you to go after the insurance company of the guy who hit you. You have a lot of "damages" and expenses - which you obviously can't afford, and at least this would help you out a bit financially. I actually work for a defense lawyer (for the insurance companies) for "slip and falls" at drug stores and grocery stores, so I know how a lot of this stuff works...and a lot of the folks suing our companies/insurance companies, etc. are faking it and it comes up through other medical records, etc. - but in your case, it seems as though you just might have a case.

  13. Oh Ruth, I will pray for you and your friend Maggie's recovery! How scary! I suppose it could have been much worse, but that is just awful. I pray that 2011 will be an injury-free year for you.

    P, the insurance company for the driver of the car SHOULD be handling everything, regardless of whose insurance policy the money comes from. Ruth, you should not be left with any bills from this as long as the insurance coverage was sufficient.

  14. So sorry that this has happened to you on top of everything else this year. I'm praying for a speedy recovery. Glad that Harris is there for you at this time in your life. Blessings, Kay

  15. It's so good to hear from you, Ruth, and know you are recovering. Thank you for taking the time to update us. You continue to be in my prayers and I will pray for Maggie as well.

    I'm sorry that some people may be doubtful about your string of misfortunes. Don't give them a second thought. Most of us who have been around very long at all have had a year (or more) like that. Just remember things will get better. May you have a string of goodfortunes soon. :)

  16. @Michael I appreciate your thoughts, but I don't type it as a cliche.

    I type it from a 4 year period in my life where 3 immediate family members were diagnosed cancer including my 18 month old neice, a devastating car accident that led to several months of physical therapy and degenerative disc disease that leaves me unable to walk more than 100ft, a home intrusion, the death of my father to cancer just 12 weeks after his diagnosis, brain surgery for my mother, attending to her as her primary caregiver and her ultimate passing from cancer.

    There were many, many other challenges throughout this period that just seem small now in comparison.

    After I lost my father (at age 23) I literally lost my faith. 4 years later as my mother lapsed in and out of a coma and I gave her injections when she had seizures, I saw a completely different side. I found my faith again in watching the process of her passing. Her connecting with the spiritual world. I realized my strength again, too. I didn't think I'd be able to handle 1/2 of what I did in taking care of her.

    In all of it, I realize that this too shall pass.

    It's not a platitude. It's not something I pass along delicately like an hors d'ouevres. At the time it's all happening it certainly may feel like more than we can take and we certainly may question it, but we get through it, we move on and we hope we're better for it.

    Passing the soapbox back to Ruth where it belongs! :)

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  18. I just wanted to say that I hope your estranged family do not take this as an opportunity to blame this on leaving their "authority". Accidents happen.

  19. Ruth, you should get a lawyer. It is not often necessary to sue in a situation like this, but just being represented by an attorney will get you fairer and faster treatment from the insurance companies involved. It is standard for an ethical, honest attorney in a case like this to represent you for 1/3 of all post-medical recovery. (Example: You have $10,000 in medical bills. An attorney gets you $25,000. Their fee is $5,000 -- 1/3 of the $15,000 above and beyond the medicals.) It is not being low or scummy or anything else to immediately get an attorney -- it's looking out for yourself. You are a wise steward of money, and any damages you get above and beyond the medical will go a long way towards paying for your schooling.

  20. Ruth, I am very glad that you are feeling better. I hope that you and Maggie both recover quickly. Take care, try to get enough rest, and don't worry about the little things.

  21. What Lodrelhai said! Because I have been thinking and worrying about YOU thinking the EXACT SAME THING, so Someone in the universe wants you to hear the message.

    I don't know why life is so screwed up like that, and why no one tells us, but there will be parts where you are trying your darndest and doing all the right things just like you are supposed to, and the punches STILL come, one after the other after the other.

    It's because no matter what WE are doing right, so much of life is completely beyond our control. Like ice storms and negligent custodial people and holes while hiking and distracted drivers. And sometimes, just by sheer probability, a lot of stuff will hit all at once.

    Anyway... rest. Relax. Listen to what others say about the insurance. When I was in an accident, I found out the state I was in had some kind of regulation for medical expenses where if you don't sue, the other insurance company paid all your medical expenses, plus a cash settlement to you at 3 times that amount to compensate your "pain and suffering." Automatically. I didn't have to do anything, no lawyers involved, and the medical offices submitted the bills for me (they like to know they're getting paid!). So do a little digging on that... my chiropractor was the first person to clue me in.

    Prayihg for all of you!

  22. My goodness Ruth!!!!!! (((hugs))) Praying for you and for Maggie.

  23. Oh, Ruth, I'm so sorry. I know this has been such a terrible year as far as that goes but we're all rooting for you. I'm glad you have Harris by your side and I hope you have a speedy recovery.

  24. My husband was able to get a settlement without a lawyer, so he kept it all. However, you have to wait awhile to make sure no injuries come up or get worse. Which means you wait for medical payments as well. I'd wait a bit to decide. My husband had a chronic back injury.

  25. Ruth, I'm so glad you're ok! Don't let the doubters and haters get you down. They're not worth your time...

  26. Ruth,

    I'm thankful that you and the other girls weren't more seriously injured. I'll be sending good thoughts to both you and Maggie. I'm glad you were wearing your seat belt. I had a very similar accident years ago (returning friends to campus after a movie night at my apartment) and I was t boned on campus.

    I was only in the hospital a night but I should have gotten an attorney
    for all the things I paid out of pocket. I hope you get some help with getting money for your expenses.

    I also hope you have a great Christmas. I think you deserve a great holiday for the end of a very stressful year. Cheers to Harris and his family for looking out for you.


  27. Ruth,
    I am so sorry that you have been injured and so grateful that you are recovering and surrounded by good people.

  28. I had no idea. Did you mean that Harris posted about this accident on this blog? I didn't see any news of it til now. I am so sorry - it sounds traumatic. Glad you are healing. I am asking God to give you fast and thorough healing, and that He will lay his healing hand on your friend Maggie as well. thank you for sharing this. I can't imagine anyone would suggest you have ulterior motives, though I'm sure there are people out there who are quick to think the worst. Never mind them. I do appreciate your sharing your life. Be well soon.

  29. so glad you are okay! Many prayers for speedy recovery! God bless!

  30. Hope you get better Ruth. (((HUGS))), well wishes, speedy recovery and happy holidays.

  31. I'm sorry to hear about your injuries, but I'm so glad to hear you all survived and will recover. Prayers for Maggie too.

  32. Best wishes for a full recovery. You are a strong woman and can endure a lot. Remember a new year is just around the corner.

  33. AS someone who was in a car accident 5 years ago and is still waiting to see settlement money, I am telling you that you should get a good lawyer right away and do everything that the lawyer tells you to do. I waited a month, and a lot of proof was missed because I didn't have legal counsel guiding me. You DEFINITELY have a case against the other driver.

    I'm not talking revenge, here, by the way. It's not revenge to require someone who has caused injury to pay you to fix the injury. It's just and equitable. It's not like you asked this person to crash into you. And that is what drivers carry insurance for. (You probably already know this, but considering some of the comments _I've_ gotten over the past five years, I just wanted to throw it out there.)

  34. @ agirlnamedjake - Fair enough (and well said). I freely admit that my issue with that phrase is mostly just me.

  35. I have to concur with you on this one Michael. It is an overused, misunderstood phrase that has become a "pat" response to people who need anything but. At some point in our lives we all have more than we can handle. It is at these times that followers of Jesus are supposed to show what grace is all about; step up to the plate and take some of the load from a hurting brother/sister in Christ who is overwhelmed and in need. I sometimes think we are given more than we can handle not for our own sakes, but for those who surround us to be a true testament of what God's love, grace and mercy are all about. How sad when we fail miserably at this (I know I have in the past).

    What a time of year to remember and act for those who do have too much on their plates.

    And who am I to say this? Good question. I have followed Christ since childhood and pretty much stayed the straight and narrow my whole life. I am very blessed with a wonderful 26 year marriage to the love of my life and...a child with multiple handicaps that has cost us every penny and every ounce of strength. I also have an auto immune disease that is under control, but in the beginning it was very disabling and still requires some very "icky" meds. I can think of many times in the past when I have had "too much to handle" and others have come along and taken that yoke when I thought I was at my wits end. Now, I try with God's grace to do the same as often as I can for others. It is our duty. I hope others are "standing in the gap" for you Ruth! You have been such a blessing to others with your journey and your candidness. I do not say this lightly: I am praying for you!


  36. Prayers for you and your friends.

  37. Hey Ruth...

    Good to hear your "voice" on the blog. Praying for your quick recovery. I will add my voice to the chorus recommending that you look after yourself financially in this experience. Do not try to navigate these waters without legal counsel. You will be dealing with insurance companies who probably have an army of lawyers covering their arses and you must have someone in your court. Please do not sign any kind of liability waiver or release forms from the other driver's or "Maggie's" insurance company until a)you have had them reviewed by the lawyer who is looking out for your interests and b) you know the extent of your injuries and recovery needs (physical therapy, loss of income, etc.). People can really get screwed in situations like this by either failing to understand what they're signing or by being too quick to settle, especially when the opposing party starts waving cash in their direction. Just make sure you've got competent counsel on your side who knows the laws of your state. Maybe your school counselor can recommend someone?

    One other thing - and this is perhaps down the road a bit. Depending on your injuries and recovery, if you are left with any level of disability, you may qualify for some sort of vocational rehabilitation scholarship. Someone suggested that to my wife following a series of surgeries she had and it turned into about an 80% ride through school. Can't say how things will unfold in your case but file that thought in the back of your mind and do look into that possiblity.


    Jim K.

  38. Hi Ruth, glad you're back. I heard a message at church yesterday that was really encouraging. It wasn't your typical "formulaic Christian living." The preacher actually said "when life's cruel, cold edge hits you." (or something to that effect.) His point was about the other children who were killed when Herod issued his edict and how unfair and hard that was. Rachel refused to be consoled. It just encouraged me to have a sermon about how hard life is. Not one that said "Well, you must have done something bad for God to have done this to you." That's the type of thing that I heard all the time in my super, ultra fundamnentalist background. But you know what? God is good. He didn't do bad things to us. He loves us and he helps us through the hard times. I know He's helping you, and your sharing your hard times is helping us have a reason to pray for you and to minister to you. Blessings to you for a speedy recovery.
    Much admiration,
    Amazed by Grace

  39. I think we should do more than offer prayers and well wishes. Let's give Ruth a Merry Christmas! I've been a long time reader, first time poster because I didn't want a gmail account. But, one thing I do know is that this girl deserves a little happiness. How can we help you, Ruth? DON'T SAY NO TO THIS OFFER. I want to help. I've quite sure that all of us want to help, too. Do you have an amazon wish list for Christmas? Can you make one if you don't? We won't see your address I'm pretty sure. If you don't want that, maybe get a trusted friend to collect the gifts for you so we can help a friend.

  40. Sometimes people just have years where EVERYTHING seems to happen all at once! I'm just glad you're (mostly) okay and safe :)

  41. Sherry, probably the best way to help is to donate to the tip jar.

  42. I tried to figure out how to email you this but couldn't find your email address--hopefully you see this!
    Some friends have started this blog and I was wondering if you could help get the word out. It is definitely worth you and your other readers' time.

    We’re Telling is a new blog whereby anyone can anonymously share their own accounts of attempted or completed sexual assault or rape.

    Too often rape and sexual assault accusations go unbelieved, or the victims are blamed for their own assault. We challenge this status quo by inviting survivors of sexual assault to tell their story and help to demonstrate that rape happens; that it happens often; that it happens everywhere; that every single person knows someone who has been affected by rape or sexual assault, whether they believe they do or not.

  43. This post is super-old, but I just wanted to say one thing, as someone who was also once in a traumatic car accident. You may have nightmares, or flashbacks, or be afraid when you get in the front passenger's seat, or worry that you're about to hit a car in front of you when you know there's no car there to hit, or worry that if you make a turn you'll get hit broadside, or be afraid you'll get "stuck" in pain when you work out your leg or abs or other muscles that were hurt in the accident. It may happen randomly, unpredictably, long after you expect it to, and upset you a lot more than you expect. It's OK. You're not going crazy. You're totally normal, and just because you have that reaction once doesn't mean that you will never be able to do whatever you're doing at the time again--you'll sit in the passenger seat and make left turns, just later. One freak-out in the passenger's seat, one series of right-turns to avoid making a left, does not mean you'll spend your entire life neurotic. Your friends will understand if you freak out over something seemingly small, and they probably want to know if you're bothered by the accident. Take care.


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