"Something You Always Think 'What If' About"
After everything I have been through, I would have to say my biggest 'what if' goes back to my car accident a little over eight years ago. It compressed my spine, causing it to bend in two places and I will have back problems the rest of my life. It couldn't have come at a worse time either.
I was going through a major life change, on my own and starting to get back into dating after being screwed over one too many times. I met a guy and we had decided to hang out. We were on our way to a former friend's job to meet up when it happened.
The light turned green.
He hesitated a second and then tapped the gas.
I saw the car out of my left eye. It came flying over the hill and wasn't stopping.
I yelled "Oh shit!" as the car slammed into the back end of the car I was in, sending it spinning. We jumped a curb and landed between a dumpster and a light pole. Seriously, if we went even a foot in either direction you would not be reading this. My life flashed before my eyes, all 22 years of it. I felt like someone was pushing on my chest and I couldn't breathe. We landed and for a minute, I was incredibly dizzy. I shook my head and looked around. Yup that had just happened. I took a deep breath and just sat there, dazed.
I could feel tears start to form in my eyes, but for some reason, I couldn't cry. Someone came to my car door and I just stared at her. The flood of questions and yelling around me followed.
"Are you okay?"
"Can you move?"
"What's your name?"
Out in the distance, I could hear people discussing who saw what and who was talking to police.
"Is someone calling 9-1-1?"
"You! You called the ambulance right?"
"Who is staying to speak to the cops?"
The lady came back to my door asked me my name again. "Tina" I whispered quietly, still in a fog. She asked if I could move, then rubbed my shoulder. OW! My seatbelt had bore into my shoulder and it hurt tremendously. Someone was near the driver's side talking to him. He said he was okay but I could tell he was shaken up.
A cop poked his head around my window. "Hi. Can I ask you a few questions?"
"Sure. I'm not going anywhere." Umm exactly how was I supposed to answer that?
The next half an hour was full of police, EMTs and firefighters. The driver's side door had to be sawed off because it wouldn't open. An EMT opened my door, snipped my seatbelt and asked if anything hurt. I said my shoulder definitely but everything else appeared okay. Obviously I was in shock. They braced my neck and lifted me out of the car. They strapped me in a stretcher and rolled me over to the ambulance, an officer trailing behind. When I was in the ambulance, they locked the stretcher in and started feeling for bruises. My left leg hurt really bad. An EMT asked another for a pair of scissors. I immediately freaked out.
"Not my pants! They're new! Can you just slide them off or something? Look I can unbutton them!"
I didn't get laughed at. The guy just took a deep breath and explained they couldn't risk lifting my hips in case I was injured. I felt the cold scissors near my ankle. "Deep breath now." he said and began to cut.
I felt tears streaming down my face. WHAAATTTT?!?! I had just gotten into an accident, could possibly be seriously injured and I'm crying over my pants? That was probably my most girly moment ever. The clipboards came out then and they took down my info. I was calmly talking to them and answered everything. I was happy that I never lost consciousness or blacked out.
It took months to realize all the damage done. The center console of the car had shifted into me, causing the lower part of my spine to shift right. My top half had been thrown by the spin, causing the upper part of my spine to shift to the left. It has set off a host of other problems.
My point in telling all this?
My biggest what if is "What if I had never gotten into that accident?"
When I think about it, a host of other questions come flooding into my mind. Would I have ever started dating my husband? Would I still be with the other guy? How different would my life be right now? Where would I be living? What would I be doing?
Mostly, I try my best not to think about that 'what if' parts of life. I feel that dwelling on the past is pointless. I did get into the accident. I'm still dealing with the physical after-effects. I have a beautiful daughter now that I wouldn't trade for anything. That is pretty okay with me :)
Do you ever think 'what if'?