My journey to a healthier me

Tales of my life

Mission: Offer Support

on May 3, 2014

Originally, when I started writing this post, I was going to talk about how I offer support to those around me.  Whether it be sending them a quick note on facebook, sending them a card, offering to buy us coffee, or just letting them know I’m around if they ever need anything.  I had planned on giving several examples of things I’ve done recently.

But then things changed.

I found myself in need of support.

And my friends rallied.

It was amazing.

I had planned to go away this weekend to visit friends in Arizona.  I was scheduled to fly out Thursday afternoon, May 1st.   My husband is an accountant, and they always have May 1st off, so that’s why I scheduled my flight that day.  It had been raining on and off for a couple of days, but the weather looked pretty good for that afternoon.

We headed to Toronto (the closest airport) in the morning, stopping for coffee and gas along the way.  It had been sprinkling a little when we stopped.  After we got back on the road, it started raining harder.  A few minutes after getting back on the road, my husband lost control of the car.  We began fishtailing.  He tried to regain control, but couldn’t.  We headed into the ditch and rolled.  I took the brunt of the impact because we landed on my side first.  I remember my window shattering.  I had been looking towards my husband, so I did not get hit in the face with the glass.  I had been bracing myself with my hands, so that’s where I got cut.  When we came to a stop, the car was resting on the driver’s side.  Thankfully we were both wearing our seat belts.  I remember my husband screaming through the entire crash.  Once we stopped, I did my best to calm him down.  It happened so quick, yet it felt almost like slow motion.  My cell phone was in my left pocket.  I had my husband grab it so we could call for help.  He was in a shock, I think, and couldn’t figure out how to call out on it. (We have different types of phones — I have an iPhone, he has a Blackberry).  He handed it to me and I called 911.   The lady who answered was really nice.  Her name was Rachel.  I explained what happened and where we were.  She asked a couple of questions as she sent for help for us.  She stayed on the phone with me until they arrived.  We were in between towns, so help came from both.  The police arrived first, followed very quickly by the paramedics and the fire department.

They talked to us through my broken window.  They were trying to figure out how to get us out safely.  Eventually, one of the paramedics opened the back of the car (it’s a Hyundai Tuscon), and crawled in.  They had removed all the stuff from the back, cut the seat belts to get them out of the way, and laid the backseat down.  They were going to try to get my husband out first, but no one could reach the lever to lay his seat back.  So we decided to try to get me out first.  They laid my seat back, cut my seat belt so I could move.  I very carefully moved my legs out and stepped down near my husband.  I carefully stepped over him towards the back.  At that point, he was able to get out of his seat.  After a couple of minutes, I was able to walk out the back of the car, followed shortly by my husband.  Once I stepped out, 2 paramedics grabbed a hold of me to walk me to the ambulance.  I had remained pretty calm the whole time, but once I was out of the car, I lost it.  I’m pretty sure if I had not had those paramedics holding on to me, I would have fallen into the mud.  I walked to the ambulance and climbed in under my own power.  I never looked back at the car.  They started asking me questions, like my name and birth date, and taking my vital signs.  After what seemed like forever, we headed to the hospital.  My husband was in a different ambulance.  I found out later that he too, walked out of the car and to the ambulance under his own power.

Once at the hospital, we were seen quickly by the people in triage and registration.  One of my first thoughts was to call my friend who I was going to see.  I was shaking terribly from the accident.  I called Jeff and after saying that it was me calling, the next thing I said to him was “Don’t Panic!”  I explained we had been in car accident on the way to the airport.  We were at the hospital, but okay.  I said I would call him later when I had more information.

We were at the hospital for a couple of hours.  I had to get a tetanus shot.  My right shoulder and hand were really hurting, so they did x-rays to be safe.   I was covered in mud.  My husband was covered in mud and coffee.  But we were okay.  We walked away from it.  Relatively speaking, it was a minor accident.  We have minor cuts and bruises, me moreso than him.  But we walked away.

We also spoke with the police while we were there.  No other cars were involved, which was good.  We found out that back tires were nearly bald, which is probably why we lost control.  Or at least partly why.  They gave us a copy of the police report.

My husband’s office is only a couple of blocks from the hospital we were at, so after they said we could go, we walked down to his office.  He called the insurance company; I called my travel agent and travel insurance company.  I also messaged my friend to let him know what was going on.  I had thought still trying to make my trip, but in the end, we agreed it was probably best to cancel and rebook for a later date.

After being there for a couple of hours, we called my husband’s best friend.  He explained about the accident, and his best friend left work early to come pick us up.  He was very concerned, but happy to hear we were both okay.

After we got home, I posted on my Facebook that we were okay, but that we had been in an accident.  I gave only a few details.  Almost immediately, I got messages back, expressing concern, asking if were okay, asking if we needed anything.  Some people asked what had happened.  All day messages came in.  Some who had not seen the initial posting, but heard about it later, posted messages on my wall.  One friend offered to stop by the next day with some coffee and to see if I was okay.  The outpouring of love and support from our friends and family was awesome.  Messages and phone calls are still coming in.

That day started with such promise.

Then the unexpected happened.

And then the most wonderful things happened.  Our friends and family may not realize the effect their simple words had, but I’ll never forget.  They took the time to offer their support in our time of need, and I will always be grateful for that.  When we needed them, they were there.  Even from far away, they were there.

I have always tried to be there for my friends whenever they have needed me.  Letting them know I will always be there, no matter what.

And when my husband and I needed them, they were there.  Without question.  With great concern for us.  They were there.

When we needed the support of the police, paramedics, and fire department, they were there within minutes.

When we needed the support of the staff at the hospital, they were there.

My point is this:   We all need support at one time or another.  Always do your best to offer support to others because you never know when you’ll need that support back.

It doesn’t have to be big.  Just a kind word.  Ask how they are.  Offer to stop by for a short visit.  Invite them out for coffee or even just a walk around the neighbourhood.  Let them know you are there for them.

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2 responses to “Mission: Offer Support

  1. leannenalani says:

    Wow. That accident didn’t sound minor at all. It’s good to know you both made it out ok.

    • jenncoleman says:

      Yeah, I know, but they call it minor because we walked away from it. My husband seems fine now. You’d probably never guess he was in an accident. I’ll probably be hurting for a while yet.

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