Friday, August 03, 2007

Ok. I was driving home from work on Wednesday afternoon, happy as a clam and looking forward to going out for a friend’s birthday that night. I was headed northbound down 84th and came up to Oklahoma, but I had a green light, so I continued on. I saw a man in the left turn lane coming southbound toward me, but I assumed he would stop, because that’s what normal, law-abiding humans do. By the time I realized he wasn’t going to stop, I slammed on the brakes, but he continued with his left turn like I wasn’t even there, and hit me head on. HARD. I slammed my head on the steering wheel and immediately felt blood pouring down my face. I looked in the rearview mirror and it was just gushing from my forehead…I was scared, but I knew I had to stop the bleeding as soon as possible. I grabbed a sweatshirt from my back seat and held it on the wound, and called 911 with my other hand (like there weren’t 1000 people around calling 911!). A few very kind people came up to help, including one man who gave me his phone number and said, “I saw the whole thing”. The older man in the other car never got out or said a word to me, which was weird, but I think he was freaked out and realized that this was clearly his fault. The ambulance came and took me to the hospital, where they gave me an IV, a CT scan to make sure I didn’t have back/neck problems or internal bleeding, and cleaned the gash on my head.

I’m actually bummed that I didn’t get a photo of the pre-stitched wound, because it was huuuge (at least an inch open) and just gaping. My mom and her weak stomach had to leave the room as soon as they revealed it. My dad said I looked like "a cracked watermelon". Nurses were coming in like crazy just to look at it...”and here’s the tissue that connects everything to the skull...” I requested a mirror, so at least I got to see the inside of my own head for a while. I felt crazy and a little disconnected, like "this can't be my head I'm looking at". Really weird. The nurses were young and nice, so we hung out, and they were surprised at how relaxed I was about the whole thing. But what was done was done, and you kind of have to have to make a joke of it at that point.

So the ER doctor came in, and I thought he was going to suture me up, but he said, “You’re 25. You’re an attractive woman. If you were my wife I’d want you to have this done by a plastic surgeon”. Good idea. I don’t mind little ones, but I don’t want to have a huge frankenscar on my head for the rest of my life. The plastic surgeon came about a half hour later, and she was just wonderful. I immediately felt complete trust in her. She was very methodical and precise and it took a while, but that was just fine. She put three levels of stitches in: the muscle, the hypodermis (I think), and the epidermis. Beside shoving a large needle in the wound to numb it up, I didn’t feel a thing. The sutures under the skin will dissolve, but I have the get the outer stitches taken out on Monday. Also, one of the two main nerves running through my forehead was severed, so I have some loss of feeling, but hopefully that will come back over time.

For now I have a row of stitches right under my hairline, and throbbing head. Based on what the open wound looked like, I can't believe it looks as good as it does. It’s been visitors, vicodin, and movies for the past two nights, which is fine, but I'm trying not to get too bummed. Worse case scenario: I’m going to have a scar, and hopefully enough settlement money to pay for grad school. I’m really not looking forward to all the lengthy bureaucratic bullshit that is going to go along with this, but ah well.

I can always cut bangs...