Tuesday, March 2, 2010

10 Years Later: The Accident

March 2, 2000. Renee came to pick me up from Mixer's. I had requested to get off a little early to go hang out with my crush, Stevie B. Renee pulled up out front, I took off my hot pink apron, grabbed our smoothies to go and said goodnight to my co-workers. I got in the car, turned around to say hello to Katrin and Matt and that is the last thing I remember.

Let me start off by telling you that I always wear my seat belt. My father would not leave the driveway until I was all buckled in. I have no idea why on this particular night, I did not click it.

Here is how the story goes, as it has been told to me since my memory never came back of what happened. And isn't that so interesting? How our minds protect ourselves from remembering traumatic events? We were at the intersection of Smoke Ranch and Tenaya, right by our high school, Cimarron. We were in Renee's '87 Ford Escort, heading straight through a yellow light when a Ford Expedition failed to yield the right of way to us and that's when the collision happened. My face collided with the windshield, Renee's with the steering wheel and Katrin and Matt were slammed up against the front seats from the back. Needless to say, after that kind of impact, Renee's little Escort was totaled.

When 3 of the 4 of us came to, Renee says that she looked over to find me trying to clean the blood and glass from my face with my Independent sweatshirt and when the ambulance arrived, I just kept repeating my home address over and over again to the paramedics. It's fascinating to me the things that we do in a semi-conscience state. I'm just glad I wasn't singing the lyrics to 'Dirty Pop' over and over again.

They took me to UMC and then began trying to call my mother. Pep was out shopping though so she didn't get the message until a few hours after the fact. I think she still feels guilty about that to this day. I didn't actually wake up until THE MIDDLE OF MY CAT SCAN. Yeah, can you imagine?? I have no recollection of the accident and I wake up inside a giant DOME. But I'm pretty sure I just went back to sleep after that. The next thing I remember is waking up to my mom while I was getting the stitches put in my eyelid. She was holding it together pretty well. They suggested I not look in the mirror.

I got home and showered and tried my best to avoid the mirror but I was 16 so my vanity got the best of me. Sure enough, probably should have avoided. I was 16 and the left side of my face was practically gone and what was left was glued together. My eyebrow has been shaved off and I couldn't really open my left eye. I didn't think that I would ever look the same. The doctors hadn't been too clear on the prognosis but told me that more than likely, I would need reconstructive surgery. I cried a lot. And then I ate Ben-n-Jerry's ice cream that Lauren brought over. Again, that is why she is And More.

They excused me from school for the next two days but I had to go back on Monday. You know how cruel kids can be so I wasn't exactly jumping at the opportunity to walk through the halls of CMHS. I remember people starring but the only comment I remember is from Fallon Arnez, who TO THIS DAY, is an awful, awful human being and horrible bitch, making a comment about how she would 'never come to school looking like Quasimodo'. The lucky thing for me is my face healed, her cold dark heart never has.

I did end up needing reconstructive surgery underneath my nose. Mederma was my best friend and I highly recommend it for any scars...worked wonders on my face. If I don't have make-up on, you can see the scar that runs down my left cheek, the scarring under my nose and on my forehead. Picking shards of glass out of my forehead as it resurfaced was a regular occasion for the first year. I would constantly run my fingers over the surface of my forehead and whenever I would feel something sharp, off to the surgeon we would go and she would pick glass out for (what seemed like) hours. The actual last piece of glass I had removed was 3 years after the accident.

Post accident, I had a lot of trouble with yellow lights. Even though I don't remember the actual collision...or a majority of that night even, something inside of me does because my heart would skip a beat and I would get an awful feeling in my stomach every time I would see a light turn yellow. We are all very lucky that the damage was not worse. And yes, I got a settlement of $10,000. My mother was smart enough to make me invest 1/2 of it and the other portions went to my lawyer and got blown on plane tickets from Reno to Las Vegas (Have I mentioned that I was an idiot when I was 18?).

Moral of the story? Buckle Up. Always. You don't want your face to ever look like this.

6 comments:

My name is Tiffanie said...

Oh my goodness!! Poor poor baby!! I am so glad you are okay. I have never notice any scars. That Fallon girl has got major issues. She is super ugly on the inside for sure!

X said...

Holy freakin' crap, woman. That is such a scary, crazy story. So, everyone was OK in the end, right?

Man, you must have SUPER skin cuz I can't tell you've had any kind of trauma whatsoever.

I love that you posted Fallon's name. Now when she Googles herself ...

Oh, hi Fallon!

VegasBD said...

So is Fallon Arnez a chick? Is she hot? Tell her I said how YOU doin. If shes intersted in me, her karma will be a comin... heheheh

katiek said...

Thanks, ladies. Everyone was OK, I was the worst of it. And yes, I knew exactly what I was doing when I posted her name. Brian, I will certainly send her your way. You are looking for Restraining Order #2, right??

Renee said...

Well, we all survived and learned some lessons in the process! I can't believe it has been TEN YEARS! Also, my first memory of that entire night was waking up in the CAT scan machine with a red light blinking above my head and I was shivering because I was so cold! Oh, memories.......

jen said...

OMG KATIE K! Holy sh+t. I totally remember that Renee got in a car accident years ago, but I did not know you were also with her! I am so glad that you're all okay! I never noticed any scars or anything, seriously. I had no idea.

Also, I think Fallon's name is spelled wrong. That's okay tho. =P I hope she doesn't ever see what I write here. What a horrible thing for her to say. High school girls are such bitches. Funnily enough, she stole my Sadie's date away from me even tho she knew he already said yes to me.

I am however, friends with her older sister who's a really lovely person! Her sister actually scolded her about Sadies, so she let him go with me. HAHA, but I didn't want him back after that. =P
All 3 of us didn't end up going!

Love,
Jen Vegas