I had originally planned to post today about my weekend staffing the Nebraska Writers Guild table and moderating some panels at the annual ConStellation science fiction convention in Lincoln, as well as sharing some tips on how to prepare for such an event. And I will still post that article.
But not today.
Today, I’m writing about something else that happened this weekend. It’s not really writing related, but sometimes that’s okay. To be honest, I originally hadn’t even planned on bringing this up, and who knows, maybe I’ll pull this post at some point. But for us writers, writing about things is often how we deal with them, right?
So here’s the story. I got hit by a car while walking to the convention Saturday morning. Don’t worry; I didn’t suffer any permanent damage. My shoulder got dislocated and my knees, elbows, and wrists got pretty banged up, but the trip to the ER confirmed no broken bones. So I lucked out, I suppose. I’m still alive after all; I’m breathing on my own; I didn’t hit my head, break my back, or lose any limbs. Actually, I’m very lucky. My left side took most of the blow and I was thrown away from the vehicle instead of underneath it.
It’s weird how time really does slow down when something like this happens. I remember seeing the car approach and realizing at that last second that it wasn’t slowing down. I never had that “Oh crap I’m going to die” thought; just thoughts on how to break my fall and minimize damage. And of course, anger. If anyone had been within earshot, they would have heard a string of about 47 profanities. (Also, for the record, I was going through the crosswalk, and totally not in the wrong, as the police report indicated.)
After taking a second to be super-thankful that my kids weren’t out one dad, I forced myself to stand up. That was when I realized I couldn’t move my left arm. The driver called 911 and after that, the rest of the details don’t really matter for this post, other than the fact that I was able to pop my shoulder back into place before the ambulance got there.
I did, of course, miss my panel at the convention. It was “How to NOT Get Published” and I was really looking forward to it. Fortunately, the group of talented writers sharing the panel were more than capable of doing it without me, and pulled in another writer to balance out the panel.
I’m doing sort-of-okay at the moment. My shoulder is still pretty stiff and even the slightest movement shoots pain down my back and arm, and my bruised up knees make walking around a little more difficult for me than for my two-year-old. But hopefully improvements will come quickly.
What I can’t stop thinking about, however, is that if I had left the house one minute earlier, or one minute later, I wouldn’t have been at that intersection at the exact second the driver was making a left turn, the whole accident wouldn’t have happened. It kind of freaks me out to think about how many times we could be a few seconds from disaster and never know it. It’s just a reminder that we need to cherish every second because you never know when you might be in the wrong place at the wrong time like I was and only you might not be able to walk away from it.
I’ve also already discovered that I’ve now got a slight fear of crossing the street, which should hopefully get better over time as well. Either way, I guess we just need to remain vigilant at all times, right?
Anyhow, I guess that’s as good of a way to end this post as any. Thanks for letting me say some of this stuff “out loud” and thanks everyone at ConStellation and the Nebraska Writers Guild for all the positive thoughts.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a look at the other, more positives, aspects of the convention.
Take care of yourselves.