Accidents Happen

Accidents Happen

A Story by selkietales
"

A girl's recovery from her car accident.

"

                No crying.

“Are you alright?”

                I must not cry.

“I’m just going to staple this.”

                Staples? Even if they hurt, no tears.

“Hold it in, I’ll go get the nurse!”

                Hold in the tears? No, I need to throw up.

“I’m going to cut your hair so we can put in the traction, ok?”

    Traction? They told me about that. It’s supposed to fix my neck, right? No tears.

            “Cut it all off, please just get rid of it!”

                If it’s gone, maybe I won’t cry.

            “Here, open your mouth, don’t throw up yet. Okay, go.”

                Relief, I won’t cry.

            All these flashed through her consciousness, she remembered questions asked and her slurred answers, her clearest one being to beg the nurse to just get rid of her hair. She could feel the dirt, some sort of substance clinging to her skin, and the matted hair pressing against the back of her sore scalp. She felt that if it was gone she would feel much better, as though her hair could solve all her problems.

            She also felt an underlying need, interwoven amongst all her thoughts. I must not cry. She didn’t know why this was so important, just that it was necessary. Maybe because she knew that if she cried, her head would hurt more? Maybe because it was the one thing she could control? Or maybe because from a young age she was taught you only cried when you absolutely could not stop yourself. No matter the reason, her bleary brain put forth its best effort to control the natural urge to cry.

            Unlike her success with tears, as hard as she tried to remember, she couldn’t seem to recall the date, where she was headed, or even leaving her house. All she knew was the fact that she was in a car accident and now resided in a hospital. She noted the bed; it wasn’t as comfortable as she had always imagined a hospital bed to be. It did nothing to help the pain in her neck, her hip, her calf, and her ankle.

            Time was an abstract notion to her. She slept for ten minutes, an hour, three hours, it all blurred together and her times awake were filled with her mom, her dad, nurses, members of her church, even her brother a few times.

            She was told about her traction in one of her lucid moments.

            “It’s screwed in to your skull on both sides and is attached to twenty pounds of weight hanging off your bed. That’s why you can’t move your head.”

            Her right hand, clumsy and only half controlled, fell on her face. Knowing a second attempt would have the same result, she let her hand slide over her face towards her right ear. Upon contact with the metal she felt her skull throb and she reacted, hand thrown back to her side. They said the traction was to unhook the two vertebra wings in her neck from each other to prevent surgery, but she wanted the contraption off her head. It was pinning her, she couldn’t sit up or move, she felt helpless, utterly defenseless and it made her want to -- No tears.

            She wondered why having surgery was such a big deal. It seemed safer than letting her spine be twisted on itself and broken at the same time.

            The traction didn’t work.

            Despite her loathing for the metal screwed into her skull, she had secretly hoped it would work. She’d never had surgery before. She hoped they wouldn’t stick her with a needle, yet at the same time she didn’t care. There were already needles in her arm, feeding the drippings of an IV to her blood, so what were a few more?

            After surgery she noticed the presence of the neck brace. It had been near the back of her thoughts, traction foremost, but then she was told it was to be her friend, companion, living so close for so long they needed to come to terms with the arrangements now. It was only there to help her, like a live-in nurse that didn’t even need to be paid.

            When her neck was healed enough for her to sit up, the nurses helped her, one on each side. Maybe it was the blood leaving her head, or the head trauma she suffered, but she felt light headed and found she could barely breathe. Don’t you dare tear up, don’t cry!

            “Is the brace pressed against my neck? I can’t breathe right, this isn’t okay!”

            “It’s all in your head, the brace is in the same position as when you were lying down. Just take some slow, deep breaths. It will be okay.”

            Sure enough, it was okay. She steadied. Over the next few days she started to eat again, being fed and then feeding herself. They brought in a walker to use since crutches were too unsteady, removed the catheter, and brought in the commode.

            She missed the catheter.

            A nurse or Mom or a lady from church was always there to help her to the commode, but rather than wanting the catheter because she was embarrassed, she wanted it for its convenience.

            She was on the road of recovery. Five broken bones and head trauma and she would make it out good as new aside from three scars: an already fading one on her forehead, the one on the back of her head, and the eight or nine inch bright red surgery scar running down from the base of her skull to in between her shoulders.

            Despite knowing that if she left the hospital she would be away from help if anything went wrong and she would no longer have little juice cups at her beck and call, one presence determined her motivation.

            A shot injected into the thin layer of fat on her stomach, fat that had decreased from her time on an IV only, stung when injected and, she had timed this, for ten minutes afterward. Don’t cry. If she could show enough liveliness and recovery and walking with the walker then maybe they would let her go home sooner which meant no more stinging shots. She was released the next day.

            She had stayed a mere ten days in the hospital for head trauma, two broken neck bones, two places in her hip broken, and a fractured ankle. No one hesitated to say what a miraculous recovery she was enduring.

            She felt only sadness to leave behind the cold juice cups and their bendy straws. She reminded herself: No tears.

© 2012 selkietales


Author's Note

selkietales
This is my memory of my stay in the hospital. February 13th to the 23rd. There were some things I left out, like the flood of letters I received, of which I was very grateful. I contemplated using a picture of myself in traction for the story's image, but I looked really bad sooo.. no pic :P Oh, I've been feeling a need to edit this, however I also don't want to because these are my feelings as I felt them and if I changed it then it might not be what happened? I dunno. Any review is a great review!

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Featured Review

OMG Viv! :'( this was so sad. All the stuff you had to go through! I'm so glad you are alive and well!!! :') if I didn't know you went through all of this personally I would simply say you are an amazing writer, but having that experience and putting it into practically someone else's perspective is just wow! As a story standing on it's own it was a good read. As your friend reading this experience, it's nice to have that extra insight on what you went through while at the hospital. Although i must say did you really miss the sippy cups so much you could've cried? :P

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

wow.. this is an incredible story and amazing writing! you are very talented! And im glad that you are here to write about it! (: -s

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

wow...very well written. I didn't want to stop reading. I love the ending line as well. "No tears," so simple, yet leaves an impression on the reader. Great job.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I remember visiting you in the hospital. You look so good for what you've been through, Viv. Your writing style is amazing. If I didn't know about your accident I wouldn't have guessed this was about you until the very end. Good job.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wow, Viv, that was emotional. In the story your telling yourself "no tears, no tears" and I almost had tears. That was very touching. You should let everyone read this. It really shows just what you went through and how tough you are. I remember when I finally got to talk to you after your accident I almost cried. And for me to almost cry is big. Cause I'm tough. Not as tough as you though. I love you so much and I hope we get to see you this summer. Sorry to get sappy in this review but I said what I thought. :)

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Woah! I can't imagine how you went all through this. It's really hard but you did it. And the most amazing thing is the way you expressed your experience in this writing. You are talented. I'm sure WritersCafe can be proud of you! Keep it up =))

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This was amazing, and just like Stuck Thoughts said, it's amazing how you could go through this and then put it in the perspective of someone else. Simply amazing! Also, I'm glad that you made it through that expierience well. If not, Writer'scafe would be missing out on an amazing writer!

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

OMG Viv! :'( this was so sad. All the stuff you had to go through! I'm so glad you are alive and well!!! :') if I didn't know you went through all of this personally I would simply say you are an amazing writer, but having that experience and putting it into practically someone else's perspective is just wow! As a story standing on it's own it was a good read. As your friend reading this experience, it's nice to have that extra insight on what you went through while at the hospital. Although i must say did you really miss the sippy cups so much you could've cried? :P

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on May 18, 2012
Last Updated on June 29, 2012

Author

selkietales
selkietales

IA



About
Hi I'm Vivian Wallace and I'm 17 :) My friend Randi and I plan on becoming published authors, so we are working on our skills and just having fun by writing a silly super hero story together (S.H.O.V... more..

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