In case I forget.

Yeah, But SHE Drives A Tank!
September 14, 2006, 10:08 pm
Filed under: Miata

I was at a plant nursery today when a woman drove up and parked next to me in a Hummer.

She smiled as we each got out of our cars and she asked me about my zippy little rag-top: “Do you race it?”

I looked at her like she was as crazy as Rick Perry, then I looked at her Hummer. “Who needs to race a car when driving on the West Loop is a death defying act all by itself???”


Quality you can see and feel
August 29, 2006, 9:15 pm
Filed under: Dr. Neuro B, Fear, Husband, Miata, Neuro

Today was MRI day. Because I got a copy of the script I was able to come home and google why I had to have another MRI. When I was meeting with Dr. Neuro B and I asked him, he told me that their machine is super duper powerful (not a direct quote) which I didn’t understand because the MRI I had in February was on a 3 Tesla and the MRI he ordered would also be on a 3 Tesla.

What I learned today is that what is different is the test itself. This was an “Epilepsy Protocol” MRI which shoots different/additional angles and also has a tighter tolerance for gaps in the slices. So all that makes sense. I wish Dr. Neuro B had explained that to me at the time because I’ve been wondering. BUT he doesn’t know me so he doesn’t know what I need from him. I’ll bring this up when we talk next and see if he and I can get a good communication pipeline.

As for the quality. Houston has a gazillion hospitals. Most of them are part of a chain. Memorial Hermann Healthcare System is a big local chain. It has consolidated and eaten hospitals all across the region. At its heart is Hermann Hospital. They’re the folks who saved me and my legs and hand and everything else after the accident. They’re top of the line. If you work for MHHS and you work at Hermann? You’re the cream of the crop. This was proven again today.

From the (ok maybe a little too PERKY that early in the morning) admissions guy to the patient MRI guy who, when I went from fine and laying on the MRI table to crying and scared, was kind. And the nurse? The one who came in to help me go into that machine? Wow.

First she asked if I wanted drugs and I said yes and told her I had already taken a Xanex to help me not freak out but that it obviously wasn’t helping a lot.

She said ok, and then she talked to me. She quietly and calmly talked me into that machine. We talked about why I was scared, and I told her that I’m pretty sure that being stuffed inside a big metal machine that makes loud crashing and banging sound which I can’t get myself out of has sort of being a touchy thing for me the last couple of years and I told her why.

She was patient and understanding. She talked about how I was NOT in that Miata, that I was safe. We talked about how I knew I was safe especially at Hermann because of my past experience with the great people there. When she asked me where my “happy place” was we all had to laugh because I said “In my new Miata, driving!”

We settled on a safe rather than happy place and talked a lot about being curled up in bed with my husband and my dog. She got me into that machine and she was so good that by the time I was ready I had forgotten all about wanting drugs. That’s quality you can see and feel. 

Driveway Moment
August 27, 2006, 12:10 am
Filed under: Brain Bits, Mental Health, Miata

I got home from work Friday and pulled into the garage. I killed the engine, but stayed sitting in the car, listening to the end of a story on NPR. After the story, I took out my keys and sat for another moment. I was very relaxed, and glad for the weekend.

I was thinking about the accident, as I often do when I’m driving. Not obsessing on it, but it’s always a little stream of thought in the back of my head on some level. Especially at intersections. Ha.

So sitting there in my Miata, I thought about my many broken bones. I found myself pressing my legs out, toward the edges of the foot-well. Where they touched the car, on each side, is exactly where they were hurt in the wreck. I leaned a little to the left and felt how my shoulder had been broken and torn. I looked down at my hand resting on the middle console, my fingers lightly curved around the shifter boot. Where it normally rests when I’m driving. I imagined how the impact of the stick shift had snapped my wrist and crushed my hand so it folded in on itself, like a book. I felt the door against my side and could see how my hip broke there. Then I leaned a little more to the left, and felt the exact place where my head hit the frame of the rag-top

There is this hinge up there. It has two attachment points. The rear one is perfectly situated to slap into your skull on your left temple if you get hit so hard your car is shoved across four lanes of traffic while executing a 135 degree spin, all with a pickup truck turned over on top of it.

So I guess the moral of this story is that it’s true what they’ve said all along. It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. The accident was on a humid day, and that’s why I had the lid closed. If it had just been hot, I would have dropped it and tried out my brand new sunglasses. It was overcast, so I would have dropped it. So it’s the humidity that truly screwed me up. Without the brain injury, I’d be fine today, two years later.

Or…with nothing for my head to impact, maybe my head would have snapped back from the impact so violently it would have broken my neck. Or…if I had dropped the lid, maybe I would have heard the truck coming and been able to get out of the way. Or…if I had dropped the lid I would have without question had a wider field of vision, been able to see him out of the corner of my eye, and gotten out of the way.

I HATE multiple choice questions.

Keep Passing the Open Windows
August 4, 2006, 8:11 am
Filed under: Fear, Miata

You’re driving a 2004 Miata on the Katy Freeway, westbound.

There is an 18-wheeler four feet to your left.

There is a concrete highway barrier two feet to your right.

The rate of speed is 65mph.

If you keep driving straight, you eventually end up at home with your husband and your dog.

If you unclip your seatbelt and turn your steering wheel 1/4 turn to the left, well, you don’t eventually end up at home with your husband and your dog.

Some days come with harder choices than others.

For the purient, or the forgetful.
July 13, 2006, 1:16 am
Filed under: Memory, Miata, Pictures

I’ve added a “What does it look like” page. There is a link there to photos that relate to the things I am here to talk about. The first set shows the only fatalities of the accident. Specifically, my first Miata.