It seemed like an innocent-enough trip. We were on our way to Jake’s Steakhouse to enjoy a nice meal out. It doesn’t happen enough anymore. We had decided to let my friend drive. I didn’t want to have to clean off my front seat, and he didn’t mind. We were discussing a certain music video by the Black Eyed Peas, and he was telling me that our favourite Jakes waitress was gone now. But that’s ok.. they had hired a few more…
I think that there was just enough time to swear loudly before the second !BANG! as we collided with the car infront of us. It all happened so fast (doesn’t it always?) and we didn’t really know what had happened for a few seconds. I turned around to look behind us, honestly expecting to see a dumptruck or tractor trailer against our bumper. I know now that this was a minor collision, but it certainly didn’t feel like it at the time. The car ahead of us had stopped because someone was turning. We had stopped. The pickup truck behind us hadn’t. It hit us hard, and slammed us into the car in front.
Thankfully no one appeared hurt, but the two cars involved weren’t so lucky. Ironically, the pickup truck that caused the chain reaction looked as though it had recently rolled off the assembly line. (Note to self: Buy something BIGGER next time) I did what any self-respecting man with a cellphone would start doing in a time like this… I started texting my friends and family! (Sadly, it was also a reminder that there was someone who I very much wanted to include in the updates, but that would have caused more problems for everyone.) I wish I had an iPod. I’m sure that there’s an app for that (There’s an App for that!) “Look Mom! I was just in an accident. This is where I am, and here’s a picture of the car. Nice, eh?”
The police came to the scene, and got us to move the vehicles off the road. Turns out that a Ford Focus has a kill-switch if it’s rear-ended, so we had to push it. It didn’t take long for the tow truck to show up and cart our poor Focus away. Ironically, we were standing near a spot where 3 vehicles were for sale by owner. That $1500 Spectra was looking pretty tempting as the rain started to come down harder! Thankfully I had a couple of offers of rescue from my initial text, and one of my friends came to pick us up (with towels and dry shirts! Who would have thought of that?) After the police report it was off to the emergency room for what was hoped to be a quick look-over. Ha!
If you’re in the local area and haven’t been to the Regional hospital in awhile, the first thing you need to realize is that the main entrance is no longer the main entrance. Oh no. Try going around to the side, where you’ve probably never been in your life, and THAT’S the new main entrance. But the fun doesn’t stop there. You need to go through those doors and look for some indication that you need to be UP one floor. Had my friend who drove us not mentioned that we needed to go up, I’m sure that they would still be looking for us somewhere in the basement level. Once you get onto Level 1, you’re fine. Everything else looks the same as it always did, including the grumpy security guard. I’ll skip the boring triage and wait, wait, wait, wait part. Needless to say, neither of us were bleeding, coughing up lungs, or on the verge of passing out, so I’m pretty sure that we were at the very bottom of the list, if we were even on it to begin with. If my buddy wasn’t there, I’m sure that I would have just left. Same for him. But the two of us were able to keep each other going, although I did say to him that everytime the nurses saw one of us laugh, they probably pushed us even further off the list than before we got there.
When I finally got through all that waiting, the doctor came to see me. He looked more like Doogie Howser than Gregory House. There’s something about getting older that I don’t like (well, more than a few things). I don’t like being older than the doctors treating me. I want an old fart like House, even if he takes a strip off me for being a moron. Age = Wisdom and I don’t get that warm fuzzy feeling from one of these young doctors who look like they’re just wearing the white coat for fun. But I let him play his little game. He checked my eyes and ears, tested my reflexes, poked me in the belly, and made me touch my nose and his finger repeatedly. (OK, NOW he’s toying with me!) Then he sent me for chest x-rays, just in case. Lo and behold, I’m fit as a fiddle. Well, maybe not. But the “crash” (as I heard a nurse refer to it… “Patient 13 was involved in a crash”) didn’t appear to cause any longterm problems. But he was also kind enough to warn me that “Tomorrow, you’ll feel worse. And worse again the next day” Hmm… maybe this was House after all? Perhaps he’ll write me a prescription for vicodin.
“You can take Advil 600mg 4 times/day.”
Advil? Isn’t that the candy-coated pill? This guy really WAS Doogie Howser.
At 12:30am, nearly 4 hours since it all began, we were calling a cab back to my friend’s place. We never did get those steaks… but we had a story to tell and laugh about until the next time.
On an interesting side-note, I pointed out to my friend as we were in the back of the cab “Here we are, coming from the hospital, after having been pancaked between a truck and a car only a few hours ago, and neither of us are wearing seatbelts. What is it about sitting in a cab that makes people believe that they’re instantly invulnerable?”
Time to go pop some more Advil.