The Accident – part five – finale

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Part one is here, part two is here, part three is here, and part four is here

Aside from the surgery coming up, the next few months were spent with a lot of waiting and nothing happening.

Dean’s eye surgery was scheduled for the beginning of the new year at a hospital in DC. The surgery took longer than anticipated because once the doctor got in there, he discovered even more scar tissue than he anticipated. Ultimately he had to cut a few nerves to remove it all. The implant went in just fine and was instantly effective in moving the eyeball forward. The waiting time from surgical wait to Dean actually getting into a room was ridiculously long. It should have been an hour or two at the most because this was scheduled 2 months in advance and had gone through insurance already. A room should have been ready. Was it? NOPE. 6 hours after his surgery, he was stuck waiting for important eye cream to stop infection and trapped in waiting while I was stuck in the waiting area with my mother-in-law and her brother. We were worried and wondering what was going on, but getting zero information. Meanwhile Dean was miserable and trapped and they wouldn’t let me visit him in the post-surgical room. Odd since usually that’s okay for spouses.

They finally got him into a room and Dean was angry as a hornet. He was hungry, his eye was dry, and he thought we’d been avoiding him so we became the target of the anger. Thankfully I had some snacks in my purse so I gave him those while we waited for the damn eye cream. Having been through years and years of hell with doctors and waiting things out and having a nurse for a friend, I know a lot about the process. I know it’s rarely if ever the nurse’s fault when things go wrong. However, when I know there is an important eye cream needed after an eye surgery and after a few hours it’s still not there, I know we have a problem. Being utterly exhausted at this point, I let my mom take over and get angry with the staff. She’s pretty effective because we FINALLY got the fucking eye cream at this point, then went to get Dean dinner since he’d missed dinner service. Way to fucking go, hospital! He was supposed to stay overnight so I eventually went home and got the first peaceful night’s sleep in months.

The next morning I brought him fresh clothes and took him home. Recovery was fun. I can’t even begin to describe the stitch situation we had without feeling sick to my stomach. Let’s just say he was able to open and close his eye and there was a dental floss looking situation keeping his eye from opening further. It was gross and he had a week off of work. Oh goodie! More unpaid time off!!!! Dean recovered nicely and was finally able to wear his CPAP mask at night again so normal sleep finally started to happen for me again.

Flash forward another month. Nothing really happened until February when, after looking online out of sheer frustration, Dean discovered that not only had the other driver’s court date come and gone, but it was DISMISSED. After making a few phone calls we were told that either the cop who filed the report hadn’t shown up OR it was because the other driver was a minor and it was in the wrong court. Either way, we were pretty furious with our lawyer for not knowing this information or informing us of the court date and I was ready to fire him. A fuck ton of nothing had happened in months and now this? Not to mention some of the bills they supposedly paid were now being sent to me for non-payment. After a pretty angry phone call from Dean, a lot things got taken care of pretty fast, but it shouldn’t have come down to that. I was not even a little bit happy at this point, but very very VERY happy that I’d been proactive from the beginning and paid for shit that we “didn’t have to pay” because look where we were now?! Waiting waiting waiting.

A few phone calls and some lawyer involvement later, we found out that the cop supposedly did show up and was going to be filing an appeal of the dismissal. Oh good, someone DOES give a shit! We were supposed to get a call back a week later, but it never happened. The officer’s superior officer happens to be a customer of Dean’s shop so when we had heard nothing, we had an ounce of leverage. We got a phone call a few days later and were told it was in process and we should see a subpoena in the mail in a few days. It was more like a few weeks when it finally showed up and Dean was called in to appear on behalf of the state to testify against the other driver. Finally some fucking movement!!!! The court date was set and we just had to wait it out. More. Fucking. Waiting.

The court date finally came and Dean was there with one of the lawyers from the firm (not even our lawyer so you can imagine how happy I was with that!!!). The judge took one look at the case, didn’t call anyone up, and said “this has already been dismissed. I’m not hearing it again. Dismissed.” And just like that, our hopes vanished. The only thing going for us at this point was that we did not have a not guilty ruling so we could still fight the kid and his family despite his outright lying about being at fault. Now the one thing we had going for us was gone. It was over. The lawyer representative was panicked and went back to the firm. Our lawyer called back later and said they’d never seen that happen before and were shocked and weren’t sure what to do next, but would call soon.

At this point it was decided that the only way to get anything done or get our money back was to sue the kid. Our case was then turned over to a trial lawyer within the firm (apparently ours was only personal injury) and we had a new meeting with him. Keep in mind that it’s now June. Fertility treatments are now on the horizon and I’ve had it with the whole thing. Dean talked to the new lawyer, the lawsuit was filed, and then we waited for the court system to schedule a hearing date.

Fast forward to September. We’ve been through two failed rounds of IUIs with the clinic and round 3 has just begun. We get a letter in the mail from the other driver’s insurance. They’re offering a settlement of the kids entire policy limit (which is the state minimum for Maryland and is liability only) and immediately call the lawyer. We set a meeting, set an appointment with their hired eye doctor for a final review of the damage, go see the lawyer, and it’s all doom and gloom. Come to find out that this settlement is OUT of our hands. We have no say in accepting it or not because our insurance took over the case back in October. It’s entirely up to them now. Lawyer explains to us the grand total of all costs after settlements and what is legally allowed to be paid back to our health insurance (which covered a huge chunk of the medical and legally they have to reduce it by 1/3 to cover the legal fees), what the lawyer takes (1/3 – ouch, but there’s that 1/3 the medical reduced it by!), and the potential of what we’ll get (whatever is left). I also found out I have a policy maximum that’s a little more than 3 times what the kids insurance is so we’re entitled to up to that amount based on the policy. Word the wise: GET UNDER INSURED AND UNISURED MOTORIST COVERAGE!!!!

So the real doom and gloom came when he said that for our insurance to accept the other agency’s settlement, they’d have to waive their rights against them, waive the right to collect on this kid later on or sue him, and waive some of something. Laywer says “of course this is all pending [our insurance]’s decision and in all my years of doing this, they are the number one most difficult insurance company to get money out of. I doubt they’ll waive subrogation and settle in less than 6 months” Awww, thanks Dr. Doom! So we left feeling pretty hopeless. I also thought we’d end up with MAYBE $3,000. Not even enough to recoup our fertility fund. That same week I found out our third IUI had failed. I was devastated and feeling hopeless.

2 weeks later we got a call from the lawyer… with good news!

It didn’t take 6 months, they didn’t do what the laywer thought they would, and the end was so close! Our insurance company decided to waive their rights, collect the settlement from the other agency, pay out on our policy, and provided a new settlement offer… a settlement that blew my mind. Our lawyer, having just gotten the last results of the final final final eye exam made a counter offer. Our insurance agreed and said “yes, final offer”. We agreed and the lawyer drew up the final paperwork that Dean went and signed a week or so later, then they mailed out the check. It took almost 2 weeks to clear our account fully and once it did, I finally felt free. The money was ours. The lawsuit was dismissed. The accident was FINALLY over.

I can’t begin to describe how freeing it was to know this burden was finally off our backs. This elephant in the room for the last year was finally going back into the wild and leaving us alone. And not a moment too soon because around this time we also found out that we were heading down the road of IVF and since my insurance doesn’t cover fertility costs, this would be 100% out of pocket. Turns out that this accident that initially derailed our baby plans and wiped out our savings for it, ultimately delayed it for the right reasons and will ultimately pay for the new treatment we are facing.

At long last, the accident that nearly ended my husbands life was over. O-V-E-R over!

The Accident – part four

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Part one is here, part two is here, and part three is here

When we last left our heroes, we were fucking devstated that the other driver was being a dick and denying fault. Well, nothing further to be done at this point with that little fuckhead other than to wait out his eventual court date with the state of Maryland. He was a minor too so there was very little information we could obtain. The State of Maryland likes to take it’s sweet time issuing court dates too. The State of Virginia (where we live) is the opposite. Your court date is issued on your ticket the minute you get it. I should know – it happened to me. They don’t fuck around. We had no idea when the court date was and left it in our lawyer’s hands to stay on top of the court system.

We had other things to deal with anyway. Dean eventually had a follow up with the non-surgeon eye doctor and was cleared to drive in a few days. A full MONTH after the accident, he was FINALLY able to return to work. Good thing too, because I was running out of money. I knew we’d have to buy a new car and was hoping the car settlement check would arrive soon so I could put that money towards the new car. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

I ended up paying a huge chunk of our bills with credit cards that month because I just couldn’t make it work otherwise and I didn’t want to put our car down payment on a credit card whenever we had to do that. This is the moment I suddenly regretted our trip to New York and all the money we spent. After being talked off the ledge by my mom, I stopped being angry with myself and just said fuck it. There’s only so much to be done and it’s easier to pay off smaller debts on numerous cards than a big one so I made the right choice. I knew the fertility money would be gone shortly, but on some level I’d already resigned myself to accept that treatments would be delayed anyway so I just did what needed to be done. And what needed to be done next was to buy a car.

Due to our commutes, it makes infinitely more sense for Dean to have a new car with a good warranty and for me to always go used. Case in point: I’ve put less mileage on my Explorer in 6 years than Dean has put on his new cars in 4 years. And the irony is that we take my beast for the long road trips! Reality is that Dean’s commute is hell. It’s along drive around the Beltway every day and the wear and tear would destroy a used car much faster than a new car. A new car also has different warranties that used ones usually do not. So instead of even bothering to look at used, we went straight for new. We had waited to buy a new car until Dean could safely test drive it, but now we couldn’t wait any longer.

Dean had been researching cars and dealerships while he was home and had 3 picked. Once we got the clearance to return to work, we went to the nearest dealership. Turns out that was the golden one because within 2.5 hours we had a brand spanking new car. I was the one who did the test drive and I was a very happy woman after that test. I drained the last of our fertility savings to put a substantial down payment on the new car so we could keep our monthly car payments the same as the old car. We got a hell of a warranty and a REALLY good interest rate on the new car so I felt better about forking over that chunk of money. Of course we couldn’t drive it home yet because Dean wasn’t legally cleared to drive. They were going to make a few modifications anyway though so it worked out. They told us we could pick it up Monday morning. That actually worked out perfectly.

Oh, but this couldn’t be that easy, because why should anything be easy at this point?!

3 days after we take the car home, we get a call that our loan application didn’t go through and the paperwork we had was void. Ummmm… what? I’m gonna save the headache of the back and forth we went through for the next 24 hours where we worried the car would be repossessed and we wondered if we’d have to sue them. Long story short, they ended up re-running it with a new lender and made ME the primary lender with Dean as the secondary (the first time they made Dean the prime alone without me and his credit isn’t as great as mine) and now we had a new loan so please come sign the papers. Great, now I have another chunk of liability on my credit and oh look, I now own two cars. I’m a fuckin’ baller now! Well the upside of this kerfuffle is that we ended up with even lower interest because of adding me to the loan and we were able to lower the monthly payments. The other shining moment is that we also got the insurance check for the totaled car and it was enough to cover half of the down payment I’d just put down.

Dean eventually had a follow up appointment with the surgeon and now that all the swelling was down, a proper evaluation would take place. It was decided that surgery was required to restore his vision as much as possible. He needed an implant to push his eyeball forward and replace some of the fractured/shattered bone. There was a lot of scar tissue that needed to be removed as well. Unfortunately the surgeon was new to the area so securing his place at a hospital was taking some effort. We couldn’t get a surgery scheduled until January. At this point the damage was done so waiting any further would not cause any more problems. Dean was restricted from night time driving and was told to rest his eyes as much as possible.

From an accident standpoint, everything calmed down while we waited out the surgery appointment. Just in time for me to have a massive meltdown that lead to a few massive fights with Dean that nearly destroyed our marriage. The stress of it all – the loss of money, the not sleeping at night, the hormonal imbalance from the infertility doing its damage, the delay in the baby, the CONSTANT care of Dean… it all took it’s toll on me and I collapsed in anger and tears. We spent our anniversary camping in the woods on the cusp of a hurricane. After a rocky start, it ended with a lot of love and promises to make our marriage better. Sunday morning we woke up to rain pouring on our campsite, packed up our shit, and bolted at 4:30am. The hurricane was just starting to hit and wouldn’t get worse until Monday.

Monday was October 29th, exactly one month since the accident. How fucking appropriate that we were riding out a hurricane just after our one year anniversary.

To be continued…

The Accident – part three

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Part one is here and part two is here.

I skipped this in the last entry, but we still had our car to deal with. The towing yard could only hold our mangled car for so long so after a few days, when we still hadn’t heard anything, we had to have it moved and ultimately our insurance authorized it to be moved to a junkyard for evaluation and damage estimate. They said “it’s better for us to evaluate it anyway because we’ll value it higher than they would.” so yay – one positive thing in all of that mess. They took possession of the car and I had one less thing to worry about.

After the initial week of hemorrhaging money (our savings which was set for fertility treatments, mind you) and going towards numerous doctors and hospitals and to cover the lost paychecks from Dean being out of work, we still had zero word from the other insurance company. We made the decision to talk to a lawyer. Dean made the appointment for the following week and unfortunately I could not get the time off because I had a big meeting to attend, plus we were going away for the weekend and I couldn’t take another day off that week. My mom ended up taking him to this appointment. At this point it’s now been about two weeks since the accident and still no word from the other insurance company. We’d kept in constant contact with our claims representative though and stayed on top of it.

I am NOT someone who likes to get lawyers involved. I often feel that people exploit the system for money and use lawyers to make that happen. I feel like there are a lot of unnecessary lawsuits that could be avoided in this country if they just spoke to each other and avoided lawyers. The point of this is that I was VERY hesitant to get a lawyer involved, but after our money started vanishing to pay for various appointments (because I’ll be damned if I’m gonna ruin our credit that I’ve worked so hard to build over stupid fucking hospital bills!) it became clear to me that we needed to protect ourselves. I had a laundry list of questions ready for mom and Dean to ask the lawyer because of my fears. After the appointment they called me and I did feel better, but I still wasn’t too gung-ho about having a lawyer involved. I just wanted this to resolve on it’s own, but it was clear it wasn’t going to happen. We then had to inform our insurance company we’d lawyered up because from here on out, everything had to go through the lawyer. I’m the policy holder on the insurance so I had to authorize it.

The next day, we had a mini-vacation scheduled to go to ComicCon in New York with my best friend and her boyfriend. Dean had finally gotten strong enough to withstand walking around for extended periods of time so we were excited about having some fun there. We also decided to take a small chunk out of savings we’d earmarked for this trip to spend like wild up there. Since the lawyer now had our back, our savings would be restored soon and our fertility fund would re-build so we didn’t feel guilty about spending that money instead of putting it in the fertility fund. This was the big gift we’d given to ourselves for our one year wedding anniversary (which was 2 weeks away at that point) and we were really excited about it. It ended up being one of the best little vacations we’ve ever taken and we had an absolute BLAST! We still talk about it and are planning on doing many more of these over our lifetime. We have had a lot of fun framing and hanging and displaying all of our swag from that trip too. ComicCon was a small glimpse of sunshine in an otherwise dreary month.

On the drive home we got news from our insurance that they’d finished evaluating the car and not only was there going to be enough money to pay off the remainder of our car loan, but there was going to be a little chunk left over. Things were starting to look up for the moment! (Word to the wise: Honda’s REALLY retain their value!)

And then it all went downhill a few days later. Our lawyer reported that the other insurance had finally heard from their client, but it was the wrong one. His MOTHER had called in to report it, but until they talked to the driver, they would not pursue. She was also very concerned with Dean’s injuries and was asking about them. Thankfully they wouldn’t tell her much because they didn’t know anything – only OUR insurance knew and they wouldn’t say shit until things were resolved. I should have seen this as a red flag right then and there, but I took the high road and thought this woman had a heart and actually gave a shit. Boy was I wrong.

Dean had a follow up appointment with the eye doctor somewhere in the middle of all this and unless I consult my accident binder, I can’t remember where it actually occurred. What I know is that and he was still not cleared to drive which meant even more time off work. On top of that, now the doctor was acting like nothing was wrong. It was like a completely different doctor was in the room than the one we’d seen initially. We then pursued a second opinion and found another eye doctor. This one was AMAZING. He saw problems right away, reviewed the CT scan and x-rays we’d gotten from the first hospital, and immediately referred Dean out to an eye surgeon. We made an appointment with that surgeon who also had immediate diagnosis. He said he wished we’d gotten to him sooner because he was certain there would be a lot of scar tissue. He couldn’t believe someone could look at the scans and dismiss us the way the first two doctors had “it’s obvious from the scans that you need surgery” and at that point we concluded that neither doctor had ever reviewed the scans.

Around this time we finally got word that the other driver had FINALLY reported the accident and talked to his insurance company about it. Unfortunately he was denying fault, claimed that Dean was the one who ran the red light, and that he was going to file a claim against us!!!!!!!! This would be the moment my head exploded. I don’t think I’ve ever wished someone as much harm as I wished this kid and his fucking mother. At this point, my hesitation over having a lawyer was obliterated and I wanted blood.

The only upside to this is that from that exact moment onward, our insurance took over 100%, started paying bills (some of which we’d already paid) and told us they would be filing a claim based on the accident report because despite the kid denying fault, the accident report is unchangeable. We were still devastated though. The lacking morality of the other driver alone was enough to break our hearts. How do you hurt another human being like that and then not only wait almost a month to report it, but then deny that you even did it????

This is a question I would ask myself over and over and over again during the next year.

To be continued…

The Accident – part two

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Part one is here.

The day after the accident was my grandfather’s funeral. I hadn’t slept a wink. Dean could only sleep on his right side or partially leaning on his back so I’d wedged pillows between us to help support his aching body. Dean also has sleep apnea and sleeps with a face mask at night, but because his face and eye were so banged up, he couldn’t wear the mask. All night long I would start to fall asleep and then the minute I did, his breathing would stop so I would move him so he’d breathe again. Sleep apnea is deadly and in his current state of being, I was ten times more worried than usual.

I was a mess when I finally got out of bed. My mom was a mess as well, but for a different reason. Guess who had to do all the driving that day because mom couldn’t drive, stepdad was picking up my stepsister, and my dad and bother were on the other side of town? Oh yay, ME! I hate funerals. I hate them even more when I have to do so much work to prepare for them and then hold other people up during them. It was a fucked up morning of being grateful for my husband being alive (albeit banged up and in a lot of pain) and extremely sad to being saying goodbye to someone I love so dearly. Conflicting feelings doesn’t even begin to cover it. I honestly don’t even remember most of the day or the service for my grandfather. I remember being in a receiving line for a bunch of people I didn’t know, worried out of my mind about Dean who couldn’t even stand and had to sit in a chair for the line of people. From there I recall everyone going back to grandma and grandpa’s house, feeling how empty it was without them there anymore, changing clothes, eating, and then going home.

Dean’s injuries were not all that bad for the most part. He had not broken or fractured any bones. We knew from the first hospital’s report that he had contusions everywhere along his left side (impact side), but no clue what that meant until someone explained it. He did not have any internal bleeding (nothing short of a miracle) and aside from a lot of pain from the contusions, he was pretty much okay. Yes, his arm was torn up from all the glass and stitching up and let me tell you, that was FUN to constantly clean and bandage, but that was small on the scale of things. He had a lot of back pain, which was a little worrisome, but again it was something we could deal with. The big problem was his eye damage. At the time, we had no idea what we were facing.

Airbags save lives but they come out of their casing at the speed of a bullet launching out of a gun and cause injuries of their own. Again, lifesaving, but painful. In this case, because of how he was hit and what pieces of the other vehicle landed in our car, I firmly believe that airbag prevented what would have been a likely decapitation. That is ALL I will say there because it makes me violently ill to think of it any further. So, because that side impact curtain airbag deployed, it literally punched Dean right in the eye when it blew out and did a lot of damage to his eye.

He still had to be evaluated by several doctors to measure the extent of everything so that Monday I took the day off work and spent the day driving all over the DC metro area. We had an appointment with the eye doctor (he had an opening that morning) and with a plastic surgeon (who saw him in the ER and set aside a time slot for us in advance) and both were way out in Maryland so I figured we could also swing by the police station and pick up the accident report since yay, it was ready! (If you know nothing about the police, know that it can take up to 5 days for a report to be ready because they are VERY busy protecting society. For this one to be ready within 48 hours was a miracle.)

Onward to the first eye doctor! We were told that Dean had an orbital blow out fracture and the bone around his eye and into his nose had shattered. His vision was blurry and his eye constantly hurt. It was also filled with blood because when eyeballs are bruised, that’s how it shows. There’s no skin or muscle tissue to change the colors like on the rest of your body. Around his eye it was swollen and every shade of bruise you can imagine. There was also a stitch holding his eyelid together. Doc then said it was too swollen to determine much and eventually told us we’d have to see the plastic surgeon to know know and more than likely we’d just have to wait it out. Ummm… really? Not quite the answer we were looking for. Oh, and the cherry on top? No driving until his vision cleared, so make sure you schedule a follow up. Ummm, yeah. I’m gonna need that in writing because we need this man to keep his job!

Since it was on our way and literally in between the two offices, we made our way to the police station to pick up the report. That was enlightening. The kid who hit Dean ended up with 4 tickets and I finally had his insurance information so I had a leg to stand on. Alas, we had the appointment with the plastic surgeon so we had to move along and couldn’t make any phone calls at that moment.

After waiting an hour in a ridiculously high-end office of a surgeon who clearly caters to the rich, we were finally seen. After a quick look, he seemed irritated and pretty much dismissed us on site and said there was nothing to be done. Seriously dude? You know there’s a shit done of bone damage and his eyeball isn’t setting right in his head and you say there’s nothing to be done? Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck you. I guess because he determined there was no money to be made, he didn’t want to deal with it. The two back to back appointments with these two ass clowns lead to a long search to find a good eye doctor, but more on that later.

We finally had a break after that and called the insurance companies. Our was great and happy we finally had the information. The other driver’s insurance was nothing but shitty with us and refused to be helpful. They even tried to get us to give them information about it since their client still hadn’t reported the accident. WHAT??? 2 days after you total your car, another person’s car, and send that person to the hospital and you still haven’t called your insurance company??? Suffice to say, we were pissed off, but what could be done?

Somewhere along the way home Dean started feeling excruciating pain in his side and my worry was that something had happened to his spleen. After he nearly threw up from pain, we drove straight to the emergency room at the nearest hospital. Diagnosis: no spleen damage, but there is a big kidney stone. Really??? So that stone we already knew about (he had a pre-scheduled lithotripsy set for Wednesday, actually) has suddenly moved north and is causing pain up in his rib? Fucking morons. (We later found out that Dean had a massive contusion around his ribs, the bone was bruised, and two of them were misaligned. Know who told us that? The awesome chiropractor we ended up with! But I’m getting ahead of myself.) We went home with pain meds and reassurance that his spleen was okay. Another sleepless night ensued. This would be the beginning of a month of sleepless nights, by the way.

So right, that lithotripsy… well what was the point in cancelling that now? Dean was out of work, it was already scheduled, and he was already in a lot of pain. I already had the day scheduled off too, so after a long night in the ER on Monday, I dragged my ass to work for a partial day Tuesday so I wouldn’t fall too far behind. I don’t think I got much done, but it felt good to get away for a few hours. Wednesday was the lithotripsy which was a success. After I got Dean home, I made more calls, scheduled more appointments, got the follow up visits set, and talked to my mom about how she could help us out over the next week or so because I couldn’t take too much more time off of work.

By Thursday, which was 5 days after the accident, we still hadn’t heard anything from the other driver’s insurance company and were starting to worry. We only had so much default temporary coverage from our insurance company and had already spent a fortune on two hospital check ins (the initial trauma center on Saturday after the accident and the ER visit on Monday) and we had a totaled car. Add several doctor’s appointments with doctor’s who either wouldn’t accept the car insurance because we were not at fault or wouldn’t accept it at all, and we were starting to hemorrhage money from our savings account. At that point we decided it was time to talk to a lawyer.

to be continued…

The Accident – part one

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We finally settled in the accident and the money has long since cleared our account.

On his way to work September 29, 2012 my husband Dean was t-boned in an intersection by a teenager who was not only speeding, but also ran a red light. It was a Saturday morning around 7:30am and Dean had just gotten to the very last light before his job. He was literally within sight of the shop when it happened. KABOOM.

Shortly after they got him into the ambulance, a police officer called me and woke me up “Ma’am, are you the spouse of [full legal name]?” I said “I am junior’s wife. Is it him or his father?” The officer said “Junior. Ma’am your husband has been in a car accident. He’s being taken to [hospital]. Do you have a pen? You need to write a few things down.” And then my heart fell into my stomach. He wouldn’t tell me what condition Dean was in, just that he wasn’t dead. There is NOTHING on this earth that prepares you for a phone call like that. It’s been 15 months since that call and it still makes me cry thinking about that morning.

I knew taking a shower would seem stupid to someone else, but I decided I needed to do that because I knew I had a long day ahead of me and starting this off with a clear head was the best idea. I also had a 45 minute drive ahead of me from our house to the hospital and the only way to quell the building panic attack was to get a hot shower.

When I got to the hospital I had no idea what to expect. I was told he was in trauma and I couldn’t go back while he was in there. I spent the next hour on the phone calling the police station for the report information, our insurance company to file a claim right away, the towing company to find out where his car was because there were some important documents in the car I needed, and then I called the moms and dads. I know, I should have called them first, but I had zero information and I was waiting to be called back. Reality is that I just couldn’t handle the calls yet so I was grateful when every single one of them went to voicemail. I left as calm a voicemail as possible for each parent.

After about an hour and a half, they finally transferred Dean from the trauma center to the emergency room so I was finally able to go back. There he was, bandaged up, a collar around his neck, his face bruised and covered in blood, and a surgical tech removing glass chunks from his arm and stitching up the wounds. I did not immediately burst into tears. I stood there over his head and looked down and said “Hi sweetie, I’m here” and he squeezed my hand. When the tech finished, we had a moment alone and the two of us burst into tears. I’ve seen my husband cry maybe 3 times the entire time I’ve known him and this was one of those 3 times. When the tears subsided, I started to pull flecks of glass, chunks of styrofoam, and bits of metal out of his chest hair and off his arm. I took a soapy wet paper towel and slowly cleaned the blood off of him. He was in a LOT of pain and couldn’t move until we got clearance from his scans. We waited another hour and in that time I called the parents again, this time I had information. before we were cleared to go. They had cut his clothes off his body (all but his boxers, thank God) so he had to go home in scrubs. It was the one funny moment of the entire morning because Dean is a VERY large man and disposable scrubs are hard to find in his size. He popped through a set or two before we found the right fit.

On the ride home he was very sad and very sore. Unfortunately I still had to pick up his meds and instead of wanting to go straight home, he said he’d wait in the car while I waited in the pharmacy. The second funny moment of the day came when I was waiting and an ex boyfriend stopped by to talk. This guy dumped me for being too fat and lo and behold, he’d gone and chunked up over the years. Then he saw my rings (which I’d had under my crossed arms) and acted surprised when he asked if I was married. That was a fucked up moment. They finally called my number so I paid for the prescriptions, some bandages, gauze, and antibacterial ointment, and left.

When we got home, Dean wanted a shower. In order to do that, I had to wrap his bandaged arm up (they said not to expose the wounds for another 8 hours and then change the bandages) in plastic and keep it out of the shower stall as much as possible. We had a wee bathroom and a wee shower so I finally said “just open the curtain and I’ll put some beach towels down. Much easier.

I finally got him cleaned up, medicated, and into bed. And then he told me there was a deposit from work in his car. A large one with cash in it. I knew there were other items in the car that shouldn’t be exposed to the world and figured he could sleep while I went off to Bumfuck, MD to get to the car. Of course the car was in a crazy ghetto ass area down a back road and when I got there I thought I was going to be murdered. Instead of waiting for the towing company at the gate, I pulled back out to the main road and waited. Apparently someone else had been calling them all day and when I called they were a little shitty with me so I started crying. Right then and there it all shifted. The guy on the phone apologized profusely, told me where to wait, that the driver was literally 5 minutes away, and then talked to me about Dean. He told me what to expect when I saw the car and to just remember that he was okay and back at home. It was a surreal bonding moment with some random towing company guy and it was a blessing. That man talked me off the ledge when I needed it the most. Then the crazy lady who’d been bugging him all day showed up in a flurry with her entourage. I knew immediately why the other guy had initially snapped at me thinking I was her because this woman was fucking nuts and her teenage son was a douchebag!

The driver was helping them out with their car while I walked over to ours. In front of our car was the SUV that had hit Dean. It was royally fucked in the front and the frame had been damaged, but the airbag hadn’t even deployed. That kid was fucking LUCKY. And then I got to our car. If you’ve ever been punched in the stomach and had the wind knocked out of you then you know exactly how I felt when I saw the car. The drivers side front end was smashed. The tires on that side were deflated. All the windows had exploded except the windshield which had clearly been cut by paramedics to reach him. The doors had been cut off of that side and stuffed back into the car – one in the back seat and one shoved through the back window. The seat had a side impact airbag and the frame had a curtain airbag – both were deployed. I suddenly realized the styrofoam I’d seen on Dean’s chest earlier was from the side impact airbag. There was glass EVERYWHERE. I got all sorts of cuts and scrapes from going through the car.

I slowly went through the car while the other people caused a scene. I told the tow truck driver to take his time and I’d be there for a little while cleaning up. Reality was I wanted those assholes to go away while I was searching desperately for the cash deposit and didn’t want anyone to see. I found it in one of the cut off doors and thanked every god and deity I could think of for not letting it fly out while the car was being towed! When the driver finished up with the crazy people he came over to talk to me and help me get everything out of the car. I took pictures and talked to him. Apparently he’d been there at the scene almost immediately because he was around the corner when it happened. He asked about Dean and what had happened. I was blown away by the sincerity and kindness of this company and thanked him profusely as I left the crumpled remains of our car behind.

After a very long drive home, I picked up some dinner. Dean had not slept well while I was gone so the minute I curled up next to him in bed, he zonked out. The next morning was my grandfather’s funeral and I knew we had a long painful night ahead of us. I let him sleep and didn’t leave his side.

to be continued…

3 months later…

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The chaos of the previous post never quite died down until the last week or so.

At my baby brother’s wedding, I broke my toe. I’ve never broken a bone in my life (knock on wood) and then WHAM! 30 seconds after I meet my new sister to be, I step into a pedicure tub and slam the sweet blue fuck out of my toe. I didn’t even realize I’d broken it till the next morning when I had a bruise spreading all the way down my foot and a pretty raspberry-purple colored toe. We’d just completed the first IUI so I couldn’t take anything but Tylenol. Guess what? Tylenol sucks. I have no idea why the broken toe thing is relevant to anything other than the fact that it is cemented into my head that it happened the minute I met my new sister. Go figure.

The wedding was definitely on a budget but it was really lovely and I can tell my brother loves that girl to the core of his being. It was a strange weekend full of mixed feelings though. I had the IUI on my mind, work was stressing me out and I couldn’t let it go, and my dad and brother were sharing a hotel room and rental car and things were just weird there with them. But I got some time alone with my dad that I really needed and there were a lot of inside jokes with us that reminded me of the good moments in my childhood so that was nice. Downside? The night before the wedding our grandma died. We knew it was coming but the timing was so odd that I could barely digest it, and suddenly I’m at the wedding reception talking to my aunt and uncle about funeral dates. Talk about surreal.

Having just spent the last few weeks in total chaos at work with the audit and the move and then a drive up to Michigan (from Virginia – 9 hours!), it was a welcome moment to be able to drive back up north to Ohio for a trip to the farm. I never quite realize just how much it feels like home until I go back there and I absorb the quiet. It happened to be a breathtakingly beautiful weather weekend as well so it just compounded how much I missed my family. Saying goodbye to grandma was harder than I thought it would be. I’d just found out my first IUI had failed and the emotions of that mixed with the emotions of my immediate family sitting in a huge circle in the yard telling grandma stories just hit me like a wave of pain. At one point I had to go find a corner to hide in and cry my eyes out for a few minutes. I pulled it back together though and in the end, as we were lighting and releasing paper lanterns into the air, I thought “this is how it’s supposed to be”.

When we came back home, the next IUI started just before we left for our trip to the beach… and ultimately failed towards the end of the trip when I got my period a day earlier than we would have tested. (I’m not going to detail all of that stuff here. I have a separate blog for all of it so please feel free to jump over there if you want more info.) Suffice to say, that hit me hard, but then we leaped right into the third IUI. I thought the second one was hard to deal with but I was wrong. The third one sent me into a depressive spiral that took a few days to get out of.

Since the third failure, which was only 3 weeks ago, we went back to the clinic for a consultation and it was decided that IVF was the next course of action. (Still wrapping my head around that one.) I have a plan of how to lose weight so IVF can start and I’ve been to my physician as well as renewed my gym membership. In a couple months we’ll start the next baby journey. In the meantime, I have to get my body ready for the hell of IVF. And I have to get through the holidays. *shudder*

We also had a visit with our lawyer over Dean’s accident and received settlement offers. Miracle of miracles, this is NOT going to court – something I’ve waited a YEAR to hear. As soon as the settlements are finalized and a check is in hand, I can FINALLY write about this damn accident and how fucked up the entire thing has been. I know I’ve written bits and pieces here and maybe I’ve written most of it out at this point, but fuck it. It’s all going to be in one entry in chronological order and then I can be DONE with it.

And last but not least, after 20 years together, my mom and stepdad are officially divorcing. I’m still not sure what to say about that whole thing other than it DEFINITELY needs to happen and it’s fucking sad as hell. Mayhaps I should just end it there because I really do not know what to say about it – just that it’s happening.

I don’t know which end is up

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I need to vent this somewhere before I explode.

1.) Fertility treatments have finally begun and so far my moods are the biggest hurdle along with hot flashes and chills.

2.) The humidity this week has been obscene. We’re talking 85-95% humidity all day long. It’s making everyone miserable. Also so much fun to go outside and less than a minute later be drenched in sweat with clothes sticking to your body.

3.) Work is total chaos. I’ve had this mega audit of my entire job done for the project we just finished. It’s complicated but its part of our deal with the owner and tenant of the building so it’s the most tedious audit I’ve ever had to do. It’s been going on for 3 weeks. This adds about 50% more work to my daily routine and its crushing me. I will dance a jig when this fucking audit is done!!!

4.) We’re moving on Friday from our old awful trailers to new excellently modified ones across the property. Nothing but drama from day one with this entire thing, but thats not really my issue. My issue is that now a fuckton of last minute shenanigans have to be dealt with and some how I got promoted to be that person. And since my title encompasses “offices manager” I also have to pack more than anyone else. Everyone is working and being productive and I’m hauling boxes and packing everything else up. Don’t forget I have that audit on top of this so now my workload is increased by another 25%. My daily job list is basically shelved until this is done too so I’m losing my mind over shit I can’t finish like invoices. I’m one inch away from snapping. We move tomorrow, thank God.

5.) Because of #3 and #4, I’ve gotten more overtime in 4 weeks than I’ve gotten in my entire 8 years here. This isn’t a big deal to most people until you realize that overtime has rarely been granted to me by past managers. It got to the point where I’d literally drop everything the minute I hit 40 hours and leave. I am supposed to cram my 50 hours worth of work into 40 and get paid for 40. I work very hard all day long and rarely have a slow minute. I like my job and like staying busy from 8-5 so I’ve gotten used to the 50 in 40 thing, but I can’t do this 60+ shit! Well my current manager isn’t like that. I finally feel okay with just working the hours and handing him a timecard with 8-10 hours of OT on it. He is also appreciative of the work I’m doing. However, this is burning me out!

6.) Work started to come home with me in my head. I usually sleep till 7 then leave at 7:40. I have been waking up at 6 or 6:30 with non stop thoughts about shit like invoices to process, laying out my day in my head, what meetings I have to attend, what I have to order for lunch for whatever long meeting needs it, what I have to pack, audit issues I can’t solve, etc. This goes against every rule I have for myself but I can’t stop it. I just need to be done with it all.

7.) My baby brother is getting married next week. Did you catch that part about fertility treatments? Yeah cuz that’s now potentially interfering with my travel plans. Thankfully we are driving there instead of flying but we won’t know what day we’re driving up until we progress with the IUI procedure. That’s all dictated by the shots and how my eggs grow so its not predictable at all. I have talked to my brother and I won’t miss the wedding but its added stress.

8.) Despite all of that chaos, I’m trying very hard to stay positive and focus on developing a baby. I haven’t lost my temper just yet, but oh holy Jesus, I’m close. The chaos plus the hormones are doing a number on my self control. Since pills and booze aren’t an option and my physical work isn’t doing it for me, it might be time to focus on my spirituality to cope with all of this.

not an option anymore

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I’m having one of those moments where I want to selfishly run away and never look back. I’d take my pets with me though because I love them more than any other being some days. Also, fuck humans.

I have these moments more often than I’d ever care to admit. I like being alone and always have. Don’t get me wrong, I had moments of physical pain from the loneliness of not sharing my life with anyone, but I also had long intervals of sheer happiness in being alone.

It goes against everything I feel and believe in, but solitude was always my friend. There are so many days that I miss having my own spot on the earth away from everyone and everything. So many days I miss answering to no one and being my own partner. Days I miss my freedom.

Moments like this make me question if I should ever have a child. You cant feel the desire to escape AND want to be a mother simultaneously. I vacillate between thinking that this is the reason I have fertility troubles and no, I feel this way because of the fertility issues. In essence, I’m currently beating the fuck out of myself.

This always happens when one or more of the following factors happens: a parent falls apart, sibling falls apart, spouse falls apart, work is killing me, or a combination of any or several of those factors. Right now it’s a combination of all of them and I desperately want to run away. Too bad though. I can’t ever be a loner again – it’s no longer a choice for me – and that upsets me.

I can’t ever be alone again because I have an equally strong will and need to help my loved ones. (Actually, I think that need is much stronger than the desire to be alone.) I can’t walk away from mom/dad/brother/husband/extremely close friend because they are part of me. I can cut a stranger, acquaintance, or not close friend off with a snap of a thought. BOOM! You’re dead to me. You no longer exist. I can’t do that with these other people.

Instead I put my needs aside and leap into action. If I don’t help them, who will? My dad isn’t married anymore and I’m the only constant woman in his life. I’m always the one to pick up the pieces. My mom is in a shitty marriage that she can’t quite end and her spouse is an ass anymore leaving me as the only one she is so close to. My brother recently told me that I’m the one he views as mother figure and that I am the highest person in his life – the one he’d die for. (No pressure!) My spouse has no other true friends since marrying me. I changed his view on what friendship and love really means and not long after meeting me, his friendships fell apart because he thought they were too superficial and served him no purpose. He told me I’m his only true friend.

Somehow I’ve become THE ONE PERSON to all of these people. I never asked for this. I don’t want that level of responsibility for their lives. But then one of them (or all of them) needs me and that’s it. This switch in me flips on and I’m selfless. I turn into this person who would do anything for them. I have to help them. I have to be there, without a thought for my own needs, until they are better. I can never turn my back on them. Ever.

I never asked for it but I never said no either. To me there was never a choice. When someone you love is broken you help them heal. You do what it takes to mend the wounds and fix the broken bones. It’s as simple as that.

I may want to run away right now because it’s incredibly difficult to balance the needs of all of them right now and I’m losing parts of myself in the process, but I will never leave. I chose to accept my role in their lives.

I just wish it wasn’t so fucking hard.

I wish I could spend the next week and a half devoted to everything baby as we head to the clinic. I wish my husband could see how fragile I am inside and stop snapping at me for stupid shit. Can’t he see that I’m the one about to break? That I’m the one who needs mending? Can’t anyone ask me how I’m doing with this whole baby thing? Does it ever get to be MY turn to be taken care of? Can’t I just focus on my incredibly busy job right now?

Apparently not. Apparently I’m meant to endure everyone else’s shit while preparing myself for hormones and daily body inspections which is really preparing me to grow a human being. Mothers don’t get to stop. They have to be the strong ones because no one else can handle it. This is all one grand preparation plan for motherhood. Then again, maybe taking care of my loved ones is also motherhood preparation. Maybe my whole life has just been one big grooming tool for my future kids so maybe I won’t fuck them up.

I should focus on that, but I just cant right now. At the moment I just want to run away and never look back. Right now I just want to be alone. I want the one thing I can’t have anymore.

ready to burst

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Life is moving forward at an acceptable rate. Since everything got shoved way the fuck back from the accident, my womb remains baby-free, but I will say that massive progress has been made there and money FINALLY came in so we’re just about at the starting point. It’s been more than a year since our first appointment and we’re pretty much starting all over. We go back in a few weeks to find out what else we need to do prior to officially starting. It’s kind of like a year just disappeared between appointments. POOF! In that year though, a lot happened.

– I left our last appointment with a plan and then had a horrible reaction to the birth control and ended up severely depressed. (If you have no idea what depression feels like or can’t understand it, go read part 1 and part 2 by Allie Brosh and then you might get it.) Once the connection was made, I went off birth control. I was lucky that it was purely chemical and was really just a side effect of the pills.
– Literally the day I made the decision to go off, I was informed my grandpa was very ill. Less than 2 months later he died.
– To transition from the death to the funeral (a month roughly) we all went on a vacation as a family.
– My uncle’s wife went apeshit and lost her mind and a very messy divorce began.
– The day before grandpa’s funeral service, Dean was nearly killed in a car accident.
– The funeral.
– My job got crazy and everything flipped upside down. There were a few very tense weeks that left everyone on edge.
– After the accident, despite his banged up body, Dean and I decided not to cancel our anniversary gift to ourselves and went to Comic Con in New York. Best decision we could have made because we had a hell of a great time. It helps that there was very minimal strain on his body, but you’d be surprised how much walking can wear you out when you’re that beat up.
– Things took a turn in the accident situation and our fertility money was suddenly threatened. We kind of regretted spending the money we did in New York.
– A few weeks later we went camping for our one year anniversary. We almost didn’t make it through that trip. All the stress of the previous 2 months hit us all at once and we were just about ready to give up on our marriage. An impending hurricane coming in kind of changed that though and after a long long LONG talk by the fire, we made some important decisions and promises to each other.
– Work continued to be a rough adjustment because of bullshit politics in other areas of the company, but we tried our best to make it work within our team. Suffice to say, it was a challenge.
– The threat to our fertility money came to fruition and KABOOM! It was wiped out. All gone. Bye bye.
– I got a sewing machine as an early Chanukah gift and started making gifts for everyone else. Surprisingly, I’m not terrible at it! Still learning, but I managed to make a quilt and 3 embroidered decorative pillows.
– The holidays came and went without incident. Gifts were well received.
– Surgical follow up from the accident happened and it went well (thank God) and it looked like the end of the accident stress was near.
– We were wrong. At some point I’m going to be able to let loose everything I’ve kept in my head about this accident and how utterly fucked the entire situation has been. At some point I’ll be able to detail the aggravation we’ve had to endure at the hands of someone else’s negligence and outright lies. Right now, I have to keep my mouth shut and it’s infuriating.
– My dad made a big life change and moved down south to pursue a job. I was incredibly encouraging of this at the time thinking this was great for everyone. Then he moved and this sudden hole punched its way through my heart. For the first time in my life I truly missed my dad. He went from always being around the corner or within an hour drive to FUCK! OUT OF STATE! 4 hours away!!!! I didn’t think this would require adjusting but it’s been a struggle.
– Half the work team was transferred out and a new batch of people were brought in. More work challenges.
– My brother started to get more serious with a girlfriend and started making big changes in himself. I met the girlfriend and instantly loved her. I’ve even gone out with her alone – just me and her. This is unheard of. I do NOT hang out with my brother’s girlfriends. But this one? This one I adore. I hope they can keep working on their relationship and grow even more together.
– I’ve always been on top of my health and have my annual check ins, but this year I decided it was time to not just stay on top of it but try and get ahead. Unfortunately my weight was still an issue and it’s been this epic struggle just to lose one fucking pound. Enter my new physician who was a random find that decided it was time to try a pill. Having taken myself off of everything but vitamins and feeling like a new woman, I thought, “Oh no, not another pill!!” but as it turns out this pill is made of magic. Suddenly I was able to turn down food. I wasn’t hungry every minute of every day! Suddenly my energy was back. I was wide awake during the day and not exhausted. I could function!!! Awake, alert, eating smaller portions, and feeling better all over. I hadn’t felt this way in almost 5 years – the way I felt before I stopped birth control and the PCOS took over my body. Within 3 months of starting this pill I lost 22 pounds.
– That 22 pound loss is what has catapulted us back to the fertility clinic. We have 2.5 weeks until we go back and I have that much more time to keep shedding the weight. After we get started officially though, this pill goes away. It was a short term pill to boost my progress and is only prescribed for 3-6 months though so I’m not worried.
– The next project for work was officially green lighted and I am now secure again for another 15 months.
– I told my boss about the progress with the clinic and realized in that conversation that I have an amazing boss who actually gives a shit about me and the rest of the staff here. It’s been a year of adjustment and growing pains, but we’ve really come together as a group. It’s nice to know that we all care about each other. Work is a lot easier now.

So that brings us up to this past weekend. Dean and I were gifted the end of a timeshare week from extended family and headed down to Myrtle Beach for a little break. 2 days before it I got the great news of the weight loss and the reality of baby time FINALLY starting hit us like a ton of happy bricks of joy. Our mini vacation turned into a celebration weekend. While we were there we found a hatchling turtle in the parking lot and after discovering he was not an endangered or threatened species, we decided to keep him. POOF! We’re turtle parents!

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that is making the rounds because it’s incredibly moving and appropriate.

Boston. Fucking horrible.

I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, “Well, I’ve had it with humanity.”

But I was wrong. I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.

But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.

But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”

Beautiful.