How I surprised everyone and didn’t die.
Serious accidents happen, I knew that, but they always happen to other people, people on the news. Not real people, not me certainly.
It started as a normal evening, I left work, got on my old 50 cc moped, and started the 5 mile trip home. I was about 1 mile from home when it happened to me.
It seemed so unfair, I wasn’t doing anything dangerous, just 30mph in a straight line on a main road. I was keeping in the line of traffic just as you should. I even saw the oncoming car, waiting to turn right, and then starting to move as I approached the junction, and it was too late to do anything then.
I didn’t see my life flash before me, or anything like that. There was just a great thud that seemed to fill the whole universe. Then I was lying on the ground, feeling winded, and wondering why my legs didn’t seem to work when I tried to sit up.
I must have fainted for some of the next few minutes, but I can remember a lot of it. There was a voice that said, “I couldn’t avoid him, he just came out of nowhere.” I wanted to say, “No I didn’t you fool, I came along the A6, in a straight line down a major road.”, but I couldn’t because I was still winded, and it was getting worse not better.
I realised that it wasn’t just winded, when my vision started to go again, but I did manage to see the flashing blue light, and hear the siren. Funny things go through your mind at that sort of time. I can remember looking at the blue light, and thinking, “Well at least I’m going to go out in style.” It seemed quite funny at the time. I wasn’t afraid for myself, I’d sorted myself out with God well before that, but I thought of my wife, and our two young children, and I felt desperately sorry for them.
At the hospital I couldn’t see much, but I heard a voice asking “have we got anyone to sign the consent form?”
I felt angry then, “I’m dying here, and they’re worried about a stupid form!” So I waved my hand in the air as if I was writing and the voice said, “Well go on nurse, give him the pen.”
I don’t remember much after that, I was too busy coping with the pain. I remember my wife coming, and how I felt proud of the way she behaved, but that was the last clear memory for a week.
It wasn’t a blank though. I worked out afterwards what I think happened. They pumped me full of painkillers, morphine, the lot. The trouble is they don’t stop the pain, they just distort it. In my case they distorted the intensive care ward into a Nazi concentration camp, (situated for some crazy reason just South of Alderley Edge). Everything that happened to me was reflected in the nightmare, but distorted. When they gave me mouthwash, and made me spit it out, they were torturing me by depriving me of anything to drink; when they cleaned out my lungs, they were carrying out fiendish medical experiments on me.
The worst of it is, you know at least some of the time that it is a drug induced hallucination, but that doesn’t help, because it still feels real. Even when I did come round it was a long time before I sorted out which was fantasy and which was real.
They gave me more painkillers later on, when the pain got worse during the two years before I was able to walk again. I tried one and sat there all evening with a stupid smile on my face. Inside I was scared stiff. I couldn’t control myself, or my behaviour.
I’ve never touched them since. perhaps I reacted badly, or perhaps they have better painkillers now. I don’t really care.
I can cope with the pain. The worst that pain can do is make me bad-tempered and grumpy, and then I only have to apologise to my family afterwards. I don’t think I could cope with painkillers.
The man who hit me settled out of court. I got the price of a second hand car out of it. Not a very good bargain. I’d much sooner have two good legs, and I still flinch when I see motor bike crashes on TV.
After the settlement I tore up all the papers with his name. Bitterness isn’t one of the Christian virtues, and if ever I had knowingly met him face to face, I honestly don’t know what I would have done. I can still hear his words though, “He just came out of nowhere.”
No I didn’t you fool, you just didn’t look.