A Funny Thing Happened To Me On The Way To The Office

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The title of this blog is actually the start of the text message that I sent to my friends and family from the back of an ambulance on Christmas Eve.

I was reminded of the scene in the movie Chicken Run where Babs, one of the chickens, in a quirky English accent, declared, ‘Ooh, me life flashed before me eyes! It were really boring.’

And my immediate response after having been involved in a head on collision with a solid rock face on the side of the road was, ‘I saw my life flash before my very eyes, and it was really exciting.’

So truth be known, a ‘not so funny’ thing happened to me on the way to the office that morning.

I crashed the car and had a ride in an ambulance.

I saw my life flash before my very eyes, and it was really exciting…

On West Burleigh Rd, heading north east from where I live, the vehicle that I was driving at the time hit some oil, slid into the left hand side guard rail, missed a car narrowly that was coming in the other direction and then slid directly across the other side of the road smashing front end into a solid rock face. The car then proceeded to spin back around and landed backside in the gutter pointing in the opposite direction to where I had originally been traveling before hitting the oil on the wet road.

And there I stayed for some time blocking any vehicles that were planning to drive on my unfortunate side of the road.

It was only 5.30 in the morning as I had intended to finish early that day, but once the car was at a standstill my first response was to check myself for any broken bones or bleeding. Fortunately I was only numb and recognised that I was suffering from shock.

As I looked down to my left side I noticed that the whole middle console had been dislodged and yet my airbags had not been activated. I knew for a fact that the force of the impact should have released them, but nothing had happened.

So it was then that I reached over to get my iPhone…

So it was then that I reached over to get my iPhone and I called 000(911) for the request of both the police and an ambulance.

People drove past me and continued to ask me if I was okay, but I was in a state of shock, and even had to ask a passing taxi driver where I actually was, so that I could convey that to the emergency number I had just rung.

I also rang my wife and started with the opener, ‘I’m alright…’ and then proceeded to take a photo with my iPhone of where I had just slid from (and that’s the photo, with the rock-face I hit head-on to the left of the photo, you can see in this blog).

I then turned on my hazard lights and noticed that my lights were still on. It was quite a while though before I realized that I had not turned off the ignition. But the engine was not running, so even though I turned off the ignition, there didn’t seem to be anything to be turned off because the engine was dead.

I hobbled across the road to safety…

It seemed like ages that I stayed in the car, but when a couple of cars slid in the same spot that I had (not as spectacularly as I did – but still worrying), I decided to leave the car in case of further collision.

It was then that I forced the driver’s door open, and walked, or rather hobbled across the road, because until I put weight on my left leg I hadn’t realized that there was pain in my calf muscle, and with my belongings in my hands I was able to clamber over the safety rail on to the other side of the road.

One man actually stopped and hopped out of his car to inquire as to my well-being, and was kind enough to point across the road at a telegraph pole, not more than a few meters behind where my car now rested – and on that pole was the photo of a young man who had been killed in the same spot. The irony of that was added to by the fact that the pole also had Merry Christmas plastered across it.

Finally help arrived…

Finally, help arrived in the form of an ambulance, a fire engine and its crew and a tow truck.

No police ever arrived before I was whisked off in an ambulance to my local hospital, while having my blood pressure monitored and being checked for any other injuries.

On arrival, I was once again diagnosed, placed in a wheel chair, as my leg was still giving me a little trouble, but before any doctor could do any further examination, I felt well enough to discharge myself and went home to begin talking to my insurance company.

But what did I learn from this experience?

  1. Even as I was sliding from one side of the road to the other there was no fear.
  2. I found myself praying – as is my habit, as I was sliding directly towards a solid rock wall – not out of fear, but rather from a standpoint of total peace.
  3. I knew because I knew that it was not time for me to die. It never crossed my mind.
  4. I learnt that rock walls and car bodies don’t mix well.
  5. I discovered that you can’t always trust an airbag.
  6. I appreciated the job that ambulance men and women do to settle and care for a patient – and of the value of humor in those situations.
  7. I value every moment that I breathe.
  8. I realized that I have so many exciting things that I plan to do this year and beyond.
  9. I am grateful for seat belts – and have the bruises to prove it.
  10. I love life, and I love my family and friends.

What exciting things are you looking forward to doing in the next 12 months?

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