- “Every Breath You Take,” written by Sting
On June 23, 1983, I was hit by a car while riding a bicycle. I had just turned 14 and had graduated from 8th grade. I remember laying on the ground, bleeding, crying, hurting. I remember seeing my friend’s mom, who was behind the driver who hit me. She sat with me until the ambulance arrived. She was a nurse, so her presence was very comforting.
When the ambulance arrived, the EMT’s put an air cast on my left leg to hold it together. I remember that being incredibly painful. They loaded me into the ambulance, and we took off, sirens blaring, toward the hospital. The hospital was about five miles away. My mom’s office was right next door to the facility.
As we drove, it seemed as if the sirens we turned off. I remember this vividly – the song “Every Breath You Take,” by the Police - was playing inside the ambulance.
I remember then laying on a gurney, somewhere in a hallway at the hospital. I heard my moms footsteps – the clicking of her heels – and her crying and talking. I don’t remember seeing her. I was then in the operating room, and someone putting the mask over my face.
I woke up sometime later – in a hospital room – with my dad.
After the accident, I was then in a cast for over a year and half. I was in a cast for all of my freshman year of high school, and half of my sophmore year. I had four surgeries to correct the damage to my tibia and fibia. I missed on the Junior Olympics, which I had qualified for as a swimmer. I missed out on a lot. But I also gained a lot.
Nine days ago, I had yet another surgery to fix my tibia, fibia and now my ankle. It’s the gift that keeps giving. (That song, damn it, seems really prophetic.)
I’m writing about it now because I need to. I alternate between being incredibly thankful, hopeful and excited about my fixed leg. And because I’m human, I also feel angry, sad, and alone as I lay in bed and recover. I am struggling to keep up and to feel like I’m really there for my kids right now. I’m trying to keep my eyes on the prize with a sense of humor. (I rented a scooter to take my kids trick-or-treating, that should be really humorous!)
There are many stories to tell about this accident. And this is just the beginning.
**Many thanks to my other mother, Linda Franchi, for sending me this picture. She helped carry me across this beach!