Thursday, February 19, 2009

Oh to be alive...God is so good...

Folks, I just want to say that I love each and everyone of you! I felt the need to say that because one, you need to hear it, and two, my life was spared this week. On Monday night on my way to work, I was in an accident...a very bad one! Without going into too much details (if you want them, ask me the next time you see me), a car was left abandoned in the middle of Interstate 75. I changed lanes and did not see this vehicle and I smashed right into the back of it. Just saying "crashed into it" would not do it justice. I SMASHED it! So hard in fact that the car (or small truck) flipped! The airbags were deployed but I did not lose consciousness...amazingly. Several good Samaritans ran to my car and one guy pulled my door open and immediately began talking to me, asking me questions like what is my name, where do I live, is there anybody he could call, etc? From the tone of his voice I knew it had to be bad. I felt a lot of pain in my back but I remember telling myself to wiggle my toes and fingers, which I could. The fire department got there and started to assess the situation and me. They made sure I stayed still and calm. One guy pushed my door all the way back the other direction. The best way I could describe it to you in written form is when Chris Farley backs David Spade's car up in Tommy Boy and the door extends the opposite direction.

The ambulance arrives and they immediately stabilize me. One of them got into my back seat and placed a neck brace on me and held my head tight against the head rest. The other person took my vital signs and made sure I could feel my hands and legs. They slid a board underneath me and lifted me out of my car. They taped my head to the board and immoblized my arms and legs and immediately put me in the back of the ambulance. One of the paramedics, who was great by the way, told me that as soon as he got to my car he was expecting to find me either unconscious or dead. All that I could see was a deflated air bag and a shattered windshield, so I had no idea the extent of the damage. He again checked all of my reflexes and mobility in my arms and legs...everything was good.

To the emergency room we went and once there, I was placed in a room where I laid, strapped to the MOST uncomfortable backboard in the whole wide world for at least an hour and a half. I, of course, chose one of the busiest nights at the emergency room to get in an accident. Luckily, I had some amazing friends there. They were with me the whole time...yes the entire 7 hours! Granted them seeing me strapped to a board immobilized probably wasn't the most soothing of sites. The doctor finally came and evaluated me, palpated my spine and localized an area of concern to the thoracic portion of my spine (funny, cause that was the area that hurt most...). He removed the backboard and body restraints, but left the neck brace on. He asked if I wanted oral pain medications, an injection into my muscle or if I wanted the pain medications to be given through an intravenous catheter. Immediately I said IV. The nurse came and placed an IV catheter and gave me some really, really, really good drugs. Hopefully I didn't say any incriminating things! They then took me to have some x-rays taken of my back and neck. The doctor finally came back into my room and said he sees a fracture of my 5th thoracic vertebra. Being in the medical field, I honestly was scared...actually freaking out but not outwardly. Back fractures have the potential to be very bad, very fast. The doctor ordered a CT scan of my spine/vertebra and when he left, my friends laid hands on me and prayed for healing and that there would be no fracture. So I was carted off for the CT scan and after an hour or so, the doctor came back in and said that he did not see any fractures! Praise the Lord!! I started feeling pain again so the doctor gave me more of that wonderful pain medication...ahhhh! I will say that I had to be helped to the car...I was a little woozy!

I was discharged from the emergency room and the doctor told me to expect to be very very sore the next day. He prescribed me a narcotic and prescription strength Ibuprofen. I was totally expecting to not be able to move the next day. But the Lord is faithful and I was hardly sore at all. There was only a mild amount of discomfort in my back, but that's it! I haven't had to even touch the narcotic yet. I've only taken the Ibuprofen. The Lord is the ultimate Healer!

The next day I got a call from my parents who said they were on their way up from Macon and we were going to go see my car and get my belongings out. Once we got there, the lady at the counter said where my car was located and she said that this is location for cars that are really jacked up! But I didn't expect to see what I saw. We walked up to my car and I immediately started to cry! I should not be walking today. Heck, I shouldn't even be alive right now! My mother of course started crying too as we examined my car. I have attached some pictures below to show you how the Lord saved my life! Sorry if they are a little disturbing.

So it's with a thankful heart and renewed spirit, I say:

Grace and peace.


brad said...

All I can say is thank God you are alright. And thank God for airbags and well-made cars! I am extremely glad you are doing great and thankful for your friendship. Thanks for using this as an opportunity to remind me how fleeting life is! Don't take anything for granted!

jenny said...

I'm so glad you're ok Justin!

steve and randel hambrick said...

all i can say is "wow"