After two years of crisis and trauma, I’m grateful we’re finally coming out of the intense pressures that have become our standard daily fare. Yesterday morning I had a long talk with my dh and said we need to consciously recognize that life is getting smoother – finally! – and move out of an urgency paradigm; it has to be conscious since urgency has become habitual due to circumstances. That’s what I was planning to write about today.
This afternoon I took ds4 with me to pick up something from a friend; I wanted to take ds6 but he had fallen asleep and couldn’t be woken up. Ds7 was at a friend and Yirmiyahu had fallen asleep. So I uncharacteristically set out with just one child to this particular friend. After getting the item, I headed towards my mom, planning to surprise her with a short visit.
In Israel, drivers are obligated to stop for pedestrians crossing the street. I’ve been very impressed by how good Israeli drivers are about this and as a result (at least where we live) most people will cross in front of a moving vehicle even before it shows signs of slowing, trusting the driver will stop. Being an experienced driver and knowing drivers can be distracted, I’m very cautious and always pause and make sure the driver has slowed and is looking at me before beginning to cross. That’s what I did today.
The driver had come to a stop but I kept my eye on her as I crossed (another cautious habit of mine) and as I did, I was horrified to see her begin to drive straight toward me. My mind for a fraction of a second couldn’t process that she was looking straight at me and had started driving, but more urgent than understanding why she was doing that, was the knowledge that ds4 was between me and the oncoming car.
My heart froze as I began to turn towards ds4…the car was so close and the time to act was so short….
I turned toward him to yank him away and before I could pull him, the car hit me.
As I fell I couldn’t see ds4 and I had a horrible panicked feeling that he was going to be run over. When I frantically looked in his direction I saw him lying on the street. In a split second I jumped up and began banging on the window of the car to get her to stop driving, screaming at the driver, “What did you do?” She still didn’t realize what had happened – the sun was shining in her eyes and she was still driving after having hit us. Ds4 was terrified and crying and crying; I scooped him up and sat hugging him on the curb, trying to calm him (and myself) down.
People came running to help from all directions. I very composed and calm on the outside, but I knew I was in shock; I was frozen inside. I even calmed down the driver and told her I know it was a mistake, mistakes happen, everything is okay. They asked me if they should call an ambulance but after a few minutes, ds calmed down and I said I thought he was okay. I did agree for them to call Hatzala, which I really appreciated so there would be someone except for me to deal with to deal with the situation.
They told me to go to the emergency center or the hospital, but I didn’t have any id or money on me and I knew that I wouldn’t be seen without that. I also knew I was going to get a big bill that wouldn’t be paid by anyone but me unless I got a doctor’s approval and that wouldn’t happen unless I took legal action. It was just too overwhelming to have to go by myself right then and so I told them I’d go the next day to get checked by a doctor. I wanted to think that I wouldn’t need any medical help because I couldn’t think about dealing with being in the hospital again; the shock thing again. All I wanted to do is curl up in bed and have a good long cry.
Finally the driver drove off and I walked slowly to my mother, thankful that we had escaped what could have been a catastrophe but worried about the pain I was already feeling throughout my body. It was scaring me that the pains were moving fast from one area to another, not localized at all. From my mom’s house, I called my husband and asked him to meet me so we could go to the emergency center together. That was an unpleasant experience, because the impatient doctor on duty spent hardly two minutes with me and ds4 combined. I told him what happened. He told me to move my head up and down, right and left, thumped me hard down my spine in four places, then checked ds4 and told me we were very lucky.
When he came back with the written report a few minutes later, I saw there were several significant errors – he wrote that I said I hadn’t been hit and hadn’t been knocked down and when I brought hit to his attention, he began yelling at me that he’s only writing down what I said. He wrote nothing about the pains throughout my neck, back, hips, and all down the right side of my body where I fell (though he noted that I was walking on a marked crosswalk when this happened – funny the details he felt were important to write). He yelled that I can go file a police report but he’s only writing down what I told him.
There are times you feel more like advocating for yourself and times you feel less like it. This was a time I felt less like it. I had been hit by a car two hours before, was feeling very emotionally shaky and traumatized, had pain throughout my body that was getting worse as time went on and I have to fight with the doctor because he made a careless error and his ego wouldn’t allow him to correct it?
After over an hour we finally we got the new report. He changed it to say ‘she says she thinks she was hit by a car’ instead of ‘she says she wasn’t hit by a car’. He left it that I didn’t get knocked over. He wouldn’t put into the original report all the pains I told him about but added in that after an hour I had told him about pain in my neck. (I don’t know why my back, hips and right and arm got left out.) I showed him my torn shirt but he didn’t seem to be interested. I was told I’ll need the medical report for further legal proceedings and the last thing I need is it to be written that nothing happened.
It was a very unpleasant experience on top of a very hard experience.
Now I’m home. My husband is taking off of work tomorrow to be here; I hope I’ll feel better when I wake up in the morning but the people we’ve spoken to have told us to expect it to be worse and he wants to be here to make things as easy as possible for me. I put in a call to our osteopath and though you usually have to wait two months for an appointment, I’m hopeful she’ll find room for me sooner.
Right after this happened, I was walking to my mom’s and focusing on my feelings of gratitude when suddenly I felt almost angry at God. Like, why do You have to give me messages like this? Am I so difficult that You can’t get me to take notice and grow as a person unless you put these kinds of things in front of me? I had this feeling very, very strongly after Yirmiyahu almost died when he was eight months old, which came on the heels of dd18 being in critical condition and close to death less than two weeks before, both of these things coming on top of other significant difficulties. Intellectually I believe that everything that God does is for our good but it’s not always easy to see or feel that in the heat of difficulties.
I can’t yet see the good in this accident. I don’t know why this happened. And I don’t know why anything that looks negative to me has happened. But I’ve been able to see glimmers of good that have emerged from our most traumatic experiences so it makes it easier to trust that this time, good is also going to come from this.