Now for my rant.
Did anyone happen to catch this article? Four things I learned after being hit by a truck
While i respect that Heather Lende had a hard time of it, she DID have a truck drive over her pelvis, breaking it in 6 places. She got to live most of her life (by my calculations 39 years) without the constant pain she alludes to at the end of the article.
The good news is that six years after the accident, on mornings after a strenuous hike or staying up too late with friends, I can wake up and say, "I feel like I've been hit by a truck," and laugh.
She can still take HIKES. You know what, i'd like to be able to walk 25 FEET without the assistance of a cane or another human being.
But wait, i'm skipping ahead in my anger. Let's start from the beginning shall we?
In the beginning she talks about how, at 45, everyone in life has been hit by the proverbial truck. Divorce, Job Loss, Cancer, etc. Well, yes, life hands you a bunch of shit while you live. It's called life experience, anyone who doesn't have some by 45 needs to come out of the bubble they have been living in and start living. By the time you are 45, which i'm not, i would expect you to have some baggage from life. I'm more than a decade younger than she is and boy-howdy do i have baggage.
Her being hit by a truck. A Chevy three-quarter ton king cab pickup truck's rear wheel ran over her lap. Stop. I would like some more information at this point. Where on earth WAS she if she was in a place for a truck to run over her pelvis? Was she sitting by the side of the road for a parade? Was she lying in the road protesting something? She herself says the driver wasn't drunk or speeding, it was just a mistake. How the fuck do you "mistakenly" drive over someone's lap? I want a diagram here. I'm guessing she words it this way for two reasons: 1)legal settlement has occurred; 2)Later in the article she talks about forgiveness.
Next she says:
It nearly killed me, and I later learned it should have. I look back now and see that I was lucky. My time wasn't up yet. I also now know that there are huge lessons that can only be learned from a terrible, unsolicited and unavoidable crisis. Which is not to say I wish you one, rather, to let you know that it's not all bad.
Yeah, her and my accidents are not that different really. Except she was 39, had a chance to live life, do many things, and received good enough care in the same city i was cared for in that she can go hiking. I, on the other hand, was 18, four and a half months pregnant. I didn't have the chance to do ANYTHING with my life, since as of that day almost 16 years ago i've gotten progressively worse. I would LOVE to have the care immediately following my accident that she says she received, excellent hospital care, rehab, etc. Guess what, those super Seattle doctors i saw, at two different hospitals, put a rod in my leg (my left thigh, no cast, just the rod) and sent me home after 5 days and said "don't walk on it" No rehab, one follow up appointment to take staples and sutures out, and a see ya. I guess my time wasn't up yet either, and neither was my daughters since i was still pregnant and any soft tissue damage done to my lower back (lumbar), pelvic region, and legs was ignored by everyone. So as the pregnancy progressed to full term, my whole midsection basically froze. Oh wait, let's not forget the nerve damage in that area from breaking the seat with my body. I also broke my nose, 4 of my teeth, and crushed a sinus. But, like Heather, it apparently wasn't my time yet either. I didn't get that extra 20 years of normality before my life was taken away from me, like you did. I have never lived in blissful ignorance of my own mortality, nor from others since i also have a case of PTSD i've been dealing with as well.
So now let us look at the 4 things she learned after being hit by a truck.
1)Don't assume bad things only happen to other people. Okay, um, we've already been there. We already talked about the proverbial trucks that hit us during our lifetimes. We already know that bad things happen to us. My 11 year old son knows this since he was diagnosed with an incurable lifelong disease earlier this year. I am NOT going to say that horrid cliche about the word "assume" either. Bad things happen to everyone. You know what though? Good things happen too. I'm going to start assuming that good things only happen to other people. I see enough of the internet acronym FML to conclude that bad things happen to everyone everyday.
2)Forgiveness is freedom. No, it's not. I forgave the fucker who fell asleep at the wheel in, coincidentally, a Chevy three quarter ton pickup truck and attempted to not only kill ME at 18, but my unborn child. (You may yell all you want about teenage pregnancies later, but this is relevant to this rant.) I've forgiven him multiple times. But every day that i wake up and i can barely breathe because my back muscles are so tense i can't draw a full breath, i have to try to forgive him again. There is no freedom from forgiving a little punk who fell asleep at the wheel because he did too much one day and then blamed ME for the accident to all of the people we mutually knew. And please GOD don't tell me that my faith and GOD will help me through this, i tried that, it didn't work. My pain reminds me everyday that GOD wants me here for a reason. That all i'm getting out of GOD. So yes, i'm fucking bitter. I'm bitter because i can't take walks with my kids. I can't go play catch with my son. I can't teach him how to ride his bike. I can't take walks in the evening with my 15 year old daughter, just to connect with her, or take her shopping for more than a short period of time for things like prom dresses and things like that. So, i'm sorry, until your truck takes away your whole life, fuck forgiveness.
3)People are good. Heather, i invite you to spend a day in MY shoes. Because i was hit by a truck, i now have to walk with a cane full time and use a disabled placard. By the luck of genes, i look younger than i am, and therefore i get GLARED at when i use a handicapped spot at every store i go to. Then i get out of my van with my cane, and i see them look away abashedly.
I'm happy that you appreciate all the people who took part in your care. They get paid to do this, and i hope you were thankful to them WHILE they were taking care of you, because they work very thankless jobs, and a random thank you in an article doesn't mean much.
Everyone's experiences are different. Due to the lack of any real aftercare that i received i had to have the humbling experience of having my mother bathe me because i couldn't walk, couldn't feed myself, and was pregnant. I thanked her daily. I thanked my younger brother who would come home from school and make me a sandwich because my hand was also broken and i could barely get around on my walker.
You really don't have to have a major crises to learn that people are good. Look around you, there are good people everywhere. Just as there are bad people everywhere.
4)Be grateful and laughter will follow. This i can almost agree with except the explanation killed it for me:
Finally, there is something oddly empowering about surviving the worst. It has given me a kind of gratitude I never felt so deeply before. The good news is that six years after the accident, on mornings after a strenuous hike or staying up too late with friends, I can wake up and say, "I feel like I've been hit by a truck," and laugh.
I don't feel empowered about surviving the worst. I feel like shit. I feel like some days i want to quit. What power has living through hell given you? Woo Hoo, i'm not dead yet? Fuck you, reaper?
I have gratitude that i can get my body up and moving each day. I have gratitude that my daughter survived the accident without any damage to her gestating little body. I have gratitude that i was able to have another child before my body says "do it again and you'll end up in a wheelchair for life." I may still end up in a wheelchair as it is. I have to use one for any all day outings, like trips to the zoo or anything else i try to do with my family.
Your good news is that, six years after the accident, on mornings after a strenuous hike she can wake up the next morning and and joke about feeling like she got hit by a truck.
My good news is this, laughter can get you through most anything. I spend everyday trying to find something funny about life. I spend everyday trying to make at least one person smile because watching someone else smile makes me smile inside. It's too bad that i don't leave my house much, because a fucking truck hit me.
Heather Lende, if you were trying to write a cheerful article about surviving a crises and coming through it with an upbeat attitude, you failed. This i would actually call an epic fail. You come across as a condescending bitch to those of us who suffer on a daily basis the after effects of being hit by a truck. Physically, financially, and emotionally.
I'm going to throw in one more thing. "Being hit by a truck" is a term that is used by more than just people who have been in car accidents. Ask ONE single person with Fibromyalgia to describe that term, or anyone else with what is known as a "hidden illness." I bet they would give you my proverbial finger too.