Friday, January 15, 2010

In Which We Keep a Child, but Lose a Cat

It's been a challenging couple of weeks around here. First we had the magical exploding girlfriend with the blood pressure of 210/110 and then Katie tried to put her head through her windshield.

Thankfully, both of these potential disasters have turned out okay...Lori got on blood pressure meds and has brought her b.p. down to a sedate 125/70 and Katie's Rubinas Head of Steel turned the windshield to mush and not the other way around.

So here's the story:

Katie's been having her own trying week. She was in Tucson visiting friends over the winter break and one of them was in a fatal car accident. She stayed over for the funeral, then arrived here on Wednesday to pick up her cat and a spare...we're generous that way.

We left her here Wednesday afternoon while we went to Lori's doctor appointment. She finished eating, gathered her stuff and her cats, and headed north for her apartment in Carbondale.

We were sitting in the waiting room at the rural health clinic when I got a call from Katie, telling me she'd been in an accident and she was being taken by ambulance to Union County hospital. I asked her if she was okay and she said there was blood on her face and her head hurt.

She was pretty upset and I could hear the EMTs in the background, so I told her I'd meet her at the hospital. She said, "Mom...I've got the cats." Crap. I told her I'd still meet her at the hospital, then head back and pick up the cats from the truck.

The clinic is next door to the hospital, at the bottom of a steep hill. So I left Lori and ran up the hill. I went to the E.R. and was filling out the paperwork for Katie when a teenage girl came into the waiting room and said, "Uh, we were just at an accident by Pizza Hut and we have these cats...?"

I raised my hand. "That would be me. She's my daughter." The girl and her mother had been in the intersection when Katie had her accident and had jumped out of their car to help. Katie's driver side door had come to rest up against the truck she'd hit and the passenger door was caved in and couldn't open. The mother made soothing mother noises at Katie, then ripped the passenger door off it's hinges like a big-haired Jaws of Life. She said, " have cats. Don't worry, honey...we'll take care of them."

And they did. They brought the cats to me. I transferred Apa to my car just fine, but underestimated Porch's hysteria and let her claw her way out of my arms. We hunted around for her for a while, but she was gone. I still feel crappy about that.

I ran back up the hill to meet Katie's ambulance. They'd just arrived, and the receptionist said, "She's being triaged. Take a seat and they'll call you in a few minutes." I was thinking, Oh, don't want to make me go all Mommy on you. You'd better open the damn door, but just then they called me in. I hurried into Katie's room. She was conscious, but shaky. I petted her head and held her arm and looked her over for signs of overt damage.

She actually looked better than I expected. Her face and the front of her head were caked with dried blood and she was strapped to a backboard, but there were no bones sticking out anywhere and she still had both eyes, one nose, and a mouthful of teeth. The rest of her was wrapped in blankets, but the nurse assured me that they were all there too. She told me she'd hit her head on the windshield and broken a bottom tooth, but no other damage was apparent.

We talked while the nurse cleaned up her head wound, and finally we were both calm enough to joke a little and blow off some of the fear. She told me what had happened. She'd been driving northbound and was going through an intersection with a green light and a truck pulling a horse trailer that was travelling southbound had turned left in front of her. She was worried about whether any horses had been injured. The EMT told her that there was a cow in the trailer, not horse, and the cow was unhurt and not even particularly concerned.

By this time Lori was there. We hung around for a couple of hours while she was cleaned and x-ray and shot full of drugs, and then finally we were able to take her home. She'll be spending a couple of days with us to rest and heal and have someone change her bandages and make jokes with. We're extremely grateful and relieved that she's going to be okay. I credit her rock-like Rubinas head.

Yesterday I spoke with the other driver's insurance agent and she said he'd been ticketed and they weren't going to dispute the claim. There would be an adjuster at the wrecking yard on Friday to assess the damage and they'd cut Katie a check within a week. We went to clean out the truck yesterday afternoon and marvelled at the damage. The front end was shoved a foot back, and the windshield was shattered and bowed out at the point where her forehead had made contact with it. Yikes. It could have been so, so much worse.


Kwach said...

And yes, she was wearing her seatbelt. It grabbed hold of her just after her head hit the windshield.

Sharon said...

Oh my gosh, ya'll! I'm so glad she is okay. Scary stuff...

Pat said...

So sorry to hear this! Very glad her damage was minimal.Hugs to all of you!