(warning, may be a bit graphic for some)
It was a lovely morning. The sun was shining and it had finally cooled down a bit.
I started the morning with a meeting at the hospital. We had a presentation to work on for our end of life committee. We were able to put most of the presentation together. Check that one off of my list...
Then Erika and I went to look at the place where she wants to get married . The two lovebird have decided to get married at the Muckenthaler mansion. It is a beautiful old mansion that has been turned in to an art / community center. Erika loves the 'old fashioned' feel to the place since she is going for a vintage type theme for her wedding. We walked around the grounds, met with the coordinator and paid our deposit. It was so simple and now that we have a date solidified it will make the rest of our planning that much easier. We are looking forward to next April :)
Erika had plans to meet a couple of friends for lunch and I had an on-line exam to finish. She wanted to go share wedding ideas with her friends and see their new apartment. I was stocked to have the afternoon free and knew that I could get my exam done with plenty of time to spare. Then maybe even take an afternoon nap before school. It was turning in to a good day.
Erika left a little before noon. I started on my exam.
At 1210 my phone rang - it was Erika..."Mom, I've been in a really bad accident and I think I have totaled the car." She said it very calmly but I could hear the fear in her voice.
My heart sank to my gut and I had a fleeting of feeling of wanting to throw up. Crazy, since I am normally pretty composed in an emergent situation...but this was my child.
I asked if she was hurt. She didn't really think so. The accident had just happened. I asked if she thought any thing was broken and where she was. She said no and told me that she was on the freeway and said something about the paper towels on her windshield.
I thought paper towels??? What does that have to do with anything? Is there blood on the windshield and people are trying to clean it? Has she hit her head?
I tell her stay in her car, (didn't want her getting out on the freeway only to be hit by someone) and reassured her that I was on my way.
I closed my computer, thinking "screw this exam, I have an injured daughter to get to." I tried to call a couple of friends to get the instructors phone number since I didn't take the time to call her before I left the house. I needed to let her know that I may not get the exam done. But I didn't really care. My daughter is much more important that some dumb ole test! None of my friends answered. I called my parents to ask them to pray. Told them that Erika had been in an accident on the freeway and it sounded bad. They were working at a church food bank so everyone there stopped and prayed.
I called Erika to tell her I was close. She did not answer.
I entered the freeway the entrance before where she told me that she was. Traffic was bumper to bumper. "Oh come on...I need to get through!!" I saw an ambulance behind me, moving in to the emergency lane. I knew that they were going to transport Erika. I decided to follow them in the emergency lane. I turned on my flashers and got behind them. Who cares if they ticket me?? You'd do the same thing if it was your child. We were going slow and safe. I called my parents again to tell them that I was behind the ambulance and almost on the scene.
When I got to the scene I saw 4 paramedics surrounding Erika's smashed up car. "Oh God, please let her be ok. Let her be ok!"
The highway patrol men would not let me go to the car. Three lanes of traffic were blocked. They reassured me that she was ok and that the paramedics were just being sure before they tried to get her out of the car. I told them I was a nurse and that I needed to see her no matter what her injuries were. They again said that she was ok and that I needed to wait. UGH!!!
Finally Erika got out of the car and they escorted her to my car (she had told them that I was a nurse so they decided that I could actually transport her to the hospital). To see her walking was the best thing even though I knew there could be injuries that weren't evident yet. They worked on her a little at my car, dressing her hand while I talked with the highway patrol and got information on where they were going to tow the car.
I called the ER to tell them that we were on our way. Erika explained what had happened and she said she was sorry and would pay for the car. I told her not to worry about it, that is why we have insurance. I just wanted to be sure that she was ok. She went on to tell me what happened. Apparently another car or truck had lost a load of paper towels so loose towels and rolls of towels were flying around on the freeway and momentarily blocked her windshield. (so that is what she was talking about when she mentioned paper towels). It was only seconds, but by the time they blew off of her windshield, traffic was stopping. Erika slammed on the brakes but she said she knew she'd never stop before she slammed in to the other car. She said she tried to relax her body as much as possible and prepared to hit.
And hit she did...but amazingly enough she has very few injuries! Praise God!
We were at the hospital for hours. She was diagnosed with a corneal laceration from a tiny piece of windshield glass in her eye. The eye was flushed and they did a CT scan to be sure the orbit was intact and that there was no more glass fragments left in her eye.
She has a back strain, neck strain and a small contusion to her right hip. Oh and a fat lip. But she is alive and relatively intact. I can hardly believe it. I have never been so relieved in my whole life. She was discharged home and was told to watch for any blood in her urine or abdominal pain. She was given pain meds and antibiotics for her eye. But she was going to be able to sleep in her own bed.
I know she is one lucky girl. She could have had injuries that were much more severe. Her airbag did what it was supposed to do. It saved her life. That and her seat belt.
I never want to get a phone call like that ever again. I never want to feel that sense of dread and nausea. I never want to wonder if my child is going to be all right. I am so thankful she is home. So thankful that she is going to recover.
It was a long and stressful day. One that started out so lovely. But it sure didn't end up that way.
Praising God for his protection and praying for healing.
Love you my baby girl!!