It wasn't even my fault.

I've been thinking about this post for about a week now, every time I thought about writing it I realised it was not in a fit state mentally to try and relive it.

On the 4th of June I had spent the day on the allotment, finally got the grass cut, my brother rotavated 2 big beds and I was feeling great, things were really starting to look up on there and as I had finished with uni for a few months and we'd had the dreaded Ofsted at work I thought I have a bit of time now to spend on the plot making sure it was in full use.

We left there around 3pm, dropped the stead to put the big petrol mower and strimmer in the back, and headed home. I was roughly 30 seconds away from home when it happened. I van was parked in it's usual spot on the bend so I slowed right down until I could see around the bend. In a split second it was all over.

It started with seeing the car...too fast, far too fast, then skidding and drifting around the bend coming faster and faster towards me, the look of horror and panic on the faces on the 2 lads in there a quick glance at my son next to me who looked equally horrified and then it happend with an almighty bang. I couldn't' breathe, couldn't move, I tried to ask my son if he was okay as he unbuckled his seatbelt and jumped out. Then came the pain, my chest felt like it was on fire, the pain was unbelievable and for someone who has gone through a 24 hour labour with no more than a paracetamol that is some serious pain. My son quickly called for an ambulance and the residents of the houses next to us came out to help.

At this point I have to say I was so massively impressed with the emergency services, within 5 minutes 2 paramedics had arrived, followed by 2 police officers within 10 minutes. I was checked over and it was decided that the pain my chest and the pain breathing had been caused by my seatbelt and the fact that the mower in the back had slammed into the back of my seat as the car slammed into the front. I was only doing 10-15 miles an hour when I saw the car and I must have gone into auto pilot and did an emergency stop. As my hand brake was on when he hit me it was like hitting a brick wall and my car didn't just get shunted back instead we took the full force on it.

I have been driving for 18 years and I've never had an accident, so I had no idea what on earth would happen next. After we had been to the hospital and was back home the last thing I wanted to be doing was talking to insurance companies. Thankfully when I tried to call them it was out of office hours so nobody answered. The following morning when I managed to talk to someone they were very helpful, but what I hadn't counted on was how I would react when they asked me to tell them exactly what happened, as I started to tell the story I could see it all again, I could hear the screeching of their tires the look on their faces, just like I can right now as I'm writing this...I'm hoping this will fade eventually.

Once I had managed to get myself back together and continue to talk through everything they said we will get you a hire car sorted, which threw me again. What?!? you actually expect me to ever drive again?!? No chance!

A bit of back story...I passed my test when I was 19, I hated driving! I did drive a bit in those days but as we only had 1 car between us I didn't always drive and certainly not any further than the couple of miles to work and back. Then we moved and I had the children, again with only one car and my husband needing it for work I walked the mile into town and pretty much never drove. In 2004 when I was only 10 weeks pregnant with my 3rd I had a few seizures so lost my licence for a year, it turned out it was just a weird pregnancy thing as i've not had any issues since, but getting back into a car after that was horrendous. I would have to mentally go through every journey before doing it, and there were only a couple of places I would drive to...eventually. I would have panic attacks if I had to drive anywhere, what is there were road works, or what if someone breaks down...what if I break down!?! so it got to a point where I just didn't drive.

I got a job working in a local school which was close to home, it was a part time position so I had time to take my boys to school and nursery and walk in, then in 2010 I was given a full time contract and soon realised that it just wasn't going to work with me starting at the same time as the boys and finishing the same time as the boys so I got a car. It was my first car...at the age of 31! It was nothing special, a little R reg 3 door 1 liter engine corsa, but it was the start of something that I could never have imagined. To start with I was very nervous and still would only drive into work and back with it. but doing that day after day and with the boys getting older and me having the summers off with them before I knew it I was driving that bit further and further. In 2012 I got myself a new car, another corsa, T reg 1.2 litre but it had only had 1 owner and had only done 40k miles with full service history and every MOT certificate.

This is when things started to really change. I would now go up the dual carriage way and around an island that had always terrified me, I'd jump int he car and nip into town without needing to run through every scenario in my head before going, I still wasn't up to driving to new places and certainly didn't go anywhere near motorways. Things did improve as the years went one and then this year, just last month something happened. I got tickets last year for my eldest and myself to go and see Iron Maiden, I was convinced it was at the NEC and that was kind of okay I could get there, then 2 days before the concert I realised it was actually in the centre of Birmingham....this means I need to use 2 different motorways, and drive into the centre of the city with no idea where I was going...I would need to follow the sat nav and do it or just not go to the concert...and that wasn't going to happen!

So on Sunday 21st May I jumped in my little car and off we went, it took just over half hour and I had done it! without needing to plan it in my head, without thinking about all the things that might happen, without the panic attacks and stress. for the first time in my life I had drove and actually enjoyed it! Coming home at midnight was also a situation that would have normally had me in a panic, it was dark I didn't know where to go, there were 100's of cars all trying to get out of the car park and I even got us lost getting out of the city but didn't panic, I just followed the street signs to get to the motorway. In the couple of weeks from them until the accident I had drove to a few places I'd never been before and I'd done some completely on my own too! This was it I had finally cracked it, I was finally a real driver who could drive anywhere without being a jibbering wreck.

So back to the present day, yup you've guessed it. I can't even drive into town without planning the route in my head...it's pretty much just one road for goodness sake! Well would be just one road if I didn't want to avoid driving past where it happened, I'm back to hating driving again, terrified at the thought of going somewhere I don't know.

So not only am I now in pain, having to have a hour of physio a week, the possibility of major surgery on my spine, the uncertainty of how long I will be suffering the consequences, I'm now back to where I was years ago when it comes to driving.

The worse part...this wasn't even my fault.

Until next time, from a pained Mimi Bo....stay safe x

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