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8 04 2014

20. Have you ever spent a night in the hospital?

I’ve spent most of the night several times visiting and caring for someone I love.

When I was 20 (or 21?) I spent nine nights in the hospital following a terrible car accident. The accident wasn’t my fault, but was the result of a car passing me on a two-lane road, in a curve, and forcing an ongoing truck to swerve to the shoulder to avoid the passing car.

The driver of the truck lost control in the gravel on the shoulder of the road, and plowed right into me. The truck hit me so hard that it knocked my car out the road and into a dirt bank. As a result, my car was damaged on the driver’s side, the front, and the rear, and the windshield collapsed in so far that it cut my head. Also, because of my hands on the wheel trying to steer, the glass hit my hands. Mom said the tops of both me hands looked like “rats had been gnawing on them”. Fortunately I was wearing my seatbelt and survived, but it was still close. It was four days before the team of physicians working with me told my parents that it looked like I might live, but at that point they couldn’t say whether I would be a vegetable. Once I started to pull out of the “deathwatch” stage, I began to recover steadily. After I went home I spent a few months recovering, healing inside and out, and regaining some weight and strength.

As an adult, I’ve spent one overnight in the hospital as a precaution following the discovery of blood clots that had gone to my lungs, and was released the next day.