On a beautiful sunny September day in 2007, after a long and stressful workday, I took a left turn that forever changed my life. It was a day like most other work days. I was ready to get home, make some dinner, and get settled for the night – but that never happened.
I picked up my cell phone to call a friend, as I did on most days after work. She and I chatted for a few minutes and then ended our conversation. I pulled out of my parking spot, turned right out of the parking lot, then proceeded to the next stop sign. While looking both ways I noticed a white truck in the far distance and proceeded to roll forward and take the left turn. As I turned I was t-boned on the front driver side by the white truck, which turned out to be a Ford F-450 commercial truck. All I remember hearing was the rumbling of crushing metal. Needless to say my beloved car that I had worked so hard for appeared to be totaled.
All of my airbags deployed, my front windshield was smashed in, the driver’s window was broken, my key jammed in the ignition, and I was unconscious. When I came to my first reaction was hysterics. I looked around for a minute, heard voices talking to me, then I felt an unbearable pain in my right hand. As I looked down at my hand I noticed that it appeared to be separated from my wrist. Moments later I heard a gentleman (firefighter) behind me telling me that everything was going to be okay and that he needed me to stay calm, not move my head, and that I was going to hear a lot of loud noise. That driver side door was jammed and the jaws of life had to be used.
It seemed to take forever for the door to break away, but I was finally able to get out and into an ambulance for the ride to the hospital. The reality of the crash seemed to hit me as I arrived at the emergency room, and I was in complete shock. Thankfully my friends called my mom and family to let them know what had happened. I layed in the emergency room for what seemed like countless hours until an on-call doctor could come and set my wrist and hand back into place.
A sling held everything in place for the first two weeks. I was then put into a full arm cast and later moved to a half arm cast. With this challenging experience I learned that I was capable of doing as much with one good hand as I was with two. Learning to drive, eat, bathe, sweep, write, and talk with my left hand were frustrating at times but are now things I am able to do.
Finally, after two and a half months, it was time to get back to work with full strength restored in my right hand. This challenging experience taught me a lot about myself, but especially that I am capable of much more than I previously thought.