Tragedy During Rush Hour

So, I was on my way to work on Wednesday. I heard the freeway was backed up so I decided to take a surface street. There goes a red light and I had to stop. I looked across the street to a commotion and noticed a woman lying in the road and another holding her neck. Several people were standing on the sidewalk just gaping.

I didn't think. I just whipped around the corner, parked my car in a bus stop, jumped out of the car and held up my hand like a New Yorker, screaming at the people whizzing by to stop their cars. Miraculously, they did.

I ran across the street and bent down to the woman, saying, 'I'm a nurse, I'm here to help you.' I attempted to ask the woman her name, but while she tracked my movements with her eyes, she didn't respond. Not knowing what her baseline was, I didn't know if she EVER could share her name, so I moved on. I scanned the area. A mangled bike was laying in the road. Apparently she'd been biking and had been hit by an oversized semi. I later learned that she was riding on the sidewalk, but for some reason had decided to go into what might be considered a bike lane right at that intersection (it could have been due to another bus stop on that side of the road and, with people there, rather than attempt to maneuver around them, she instead went into the street). She apparently hugged the curb but moved out a little too soon, and was clipped by the last axle of the trailer.

She was breathing shallowly, trying not to move. I felt for a pulse. Thready, fast and weak. I looked up at the other woman holding c-spine, so that in case she had a spinal injury she wouldn't paralyze herself by inadvertently moving. I started to get scared for this woman. The other woman said she was a nurse too. I wasn't sure what to do since I didn't have a kit. Someone had called 911. Help was on the way.

I felt for her respirations. I saw a bunch of abrasions on the right side of her body. I felt for broken ribs. It felt like they were all broken. I felt the ribs compress and crackle with each breath. I was more scared. At least one lung was useless. The 'snap-crackle-pop' I knew was subcutaneous air in the space outside her lungs putting pressure on her breathing. Her breathing was agonal. The breathing one gets as they're breathing their last. God, where WAS that damn fire department!

Her eyes stopped tracking my moves. Her vision looked like it was fading. . .


Police and fire showed up at the same time. I stated that I was a nurse. I was given an IV kit, but as I went to start an IV, I noticed her lips turning blue. I yelled at her, 'No no no no no!' She was giving up and I wasn't ready for her to give up! Damn it!

I threw down the IV supplies and grabbed some oxygen, put in an airway (with the help of the other nurse because the woman's jaws were clamping down) and started to breath for her with the mask. Leads were placed. CPR started. Drugs given. Shocks given. She was intubated, IV was started. Shocks and more drugs. PEA. CPR. Didn't matter. Come ON! Come back to us. Helicopter landed. She's gone. We dropped our hands. The code was called. Blanket was placed over her. Helicopter left. A life lost in the street.

I was high on adrenalin for over an over afterward, then I just crashed. I couldn't help it. I just crashed. I could barely keep my eyes open. And when I would close them, I could see her pretty blonde hair, her blue blue eyes, starting at me, scared, confused.

Miraculously, I went to work, put in almost a full day, then drove in rush hour home. I got home and noticed some of the keys were missing from my keychain. They must have fallen off at the scene. How did THAT happen? The next day I called several of the detectives and sergeants before finally getting a hold of the detective in charge who told me that he had my keys locked in evidence and would bring them to me the next day. Wow. I didn't have to come claim them? How amazingly nice of him. He would come to me. So, apparently he'll meet me at work tomorrow. And yet, I still can't get past those eyes, staring at me as life slipped away. . . .


A few months ago, I had decided that I was not going to stay in the house I'd been renting. For one thing, it was way too big for just me and my dog. For another, I rented the house to avoid a lot of the grief I'd dealt with over the past year. I've been a home owner before. I didn't want to deal with home repairs, finding lawn maintenance crew etc. And this out of state owner wanted me to do most of the work myself. Uh, no. Time for me to find a smaller, cuter house. The house may have a kitchen with an island the size of Rhode Island and a spa in the backyard, but these pros didn't outweigh the cons.

I found a house about 3 miles away. It's more of a patio home with one shared wall. Actually that shared wall is part of the kitchen and garage. It's all tile floors except for the bedroom which has new carpet. Lots of planter shelves, and it was less expensive than the other house. Oh yea.

So the day of the move arrived. The movers showed up bright and early. They had everything on the truck within 90 minutes. Oh, well it helped that I was 'one of the most organized people they'd ever seen' (their quote) and had all of my boxes in the garage stacked by room, as well as the smaller pieces of furniture like file cabinets, end tables.

We drove the three miles to the new house, and within another 90 minutes the boxes and furniture was unloaded. I then went back to the other house to finish cleaning, mopping and shampooing the carpets. I'd done the two smaller bedrooms and my mother came down from her house to help me clean and shampoo the rest. After this, we were so wiped. I wanted to take off and eat lunch, but I had to wait for the cable guy. So mom left while I started unpacking. . .and unpacking. . .and unpacking. Over the next three days, I unpacked, organized, cleaned, decorated and set my house in order. I slept a couple hours then got up to do some more.

Sounds normal right? Well, I knew I had to do most of the unpacking on my own. I also knew that I would go crazy waiting for someone else to help me. So, I started doing some things on my own, like hanging my 70 pound mirror, and assembling my u-shaped desk. While putting the desk together, however, I managed to drop a piece, right on my laptop monitor. After swearing, crying and generally acting despondent, I remembered that I'd taken a rider out on this computer and it was fully insured. After being on the phone with the insurance company for 30 minutes, I was told that in 48 hours, I would have the money in my checking account to go buy a new computer.

I used to have an Apple Powerbook G4. I now have a Mac Book Pro. This thing, I think, makes coffee. It has a backlit keyboard, and this super drive that will, in essence, allow me to record my entire iTunes library on one disk. Have I shared how many audio books and songs I have on there? Anyway. . . .

I'm finally moved in. Pictures and curtains are hung. Boxes are empty and broken down. AND I have a new computer. Life could be much worse.