I got into a car accident on Friday, September eighth. I was driving my truck alone from Chicago to Cleveland on I-94. I had a seizure at the wheel, sideswiped a semi, came to rest on the median strip, and was in a coma by the time the EMTs arrived. They called my mother and told her I was in critical condition, with unresponsive pupils, and that she should come out as soon as she could. All the technology in the world couldn't get her there before the next day, by which time she was sure I would be dead. She and my sister were reading my web pages to figure out which friends to notify in case I never came to. So far, you may be sympathetic. Sounds awful.
The kicker is: the seizure, and resultant bullshit was my fault. I overdosed. Not on purpose -- who ever does -- but by accident. As a proud recreational drug user, I was very careful with what I took [made it myself] and the levels at which I ingested it. Driving has always been fine at low dosages. Something went wrong, I have some idea what but don't know for certain. I realized this about ten minutes into it, and the last thing I remember is trying to pull over while I could still see, as the dashboard instruments began to blink at me.
The next thing I remember is waking up in the ICU in a cervical collar [unneeded], and a catheter [horrible] and a tube down my throat for the ventilator. It was five hours later. I tried to remove the tube and couldn't because my hands were strapped to the bed. According to the medical reports, I had to be sedated because I was fighting with the medical personnel. Seizures and coma are known side effects of this drug, orneriness is not. That was all me.
The input form describes me as "smelly, unshaven, tattoos, etc." and this rankles me more than any part of the whole event, for no obvious reason. I'm still unshaven and have tattoos to this day. You know how they say you should always wear clean underwear because you might wind up in the hospital? I was wearing no underwear. They thought I was a drifter until they found that there was money in my wallet. I wonder if this affected the quality of my care? All of my clothes were cut off of me and returned to me in shreds in a plastic bag. Any totemic object you have in your life is reduced to crap when it is handed to you, mangled, in a specimen cup.
The first person I spoke to was the chaplain. My mother had said I was Jewish, sort of, but this was the closest thing to a Rabbi they had in Indiana. She said that she had prayed all night long for me to be okay. I thanked her, feeling like an ass, and started to cry. My memory pretty much goes in and out until sometime Saturday. They had me on lorazepam to keep me from fussing. Overall I lost about 12 hours and have to reassemble my life -- including times when I was conscious -- by collating stories other people tell me. It is unfun and very surreal.