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Celosa got to ride in a fire truck!!!

I'm trying to find the bright side...

Celosa's breeder had invited us to a barbeque at her house today. She does this from time to time to let the puppies play together, and it's always a fun thing to watch. Since we're hoping to get another puppy from her when the next litter is born, we were looking forward to seeing all of the other pulik. Her house is out in Magnolia, and getting there takes a route I've driven a thousand times, because it's in the same direction as the ranch.

Graham and I and Celosa got into the car at maybe 12:30, to head out to the party. We were a little annoyed because the Studemont entrance to I-10 isn't open yet and we had to go around to Shepherd. But it was a relatively uneventful ride. Celosa was sitting on Graham's lap, and I was driving.

Right after we merged from 610 to 290, I got in to the third of four lanes, and we settled in for a ten mile ride to the exit for the breeder.

Three miles after we got onto 290, near Bingle, I saw a car heading my way very quickly in the rear view mirror. I was going about 60-70 miles an hour, and he was going much, much faster than me. And he was in my lane. I may have said "what the fuck?"

Right when I started to worry, I think the guy realized that he wouldn't be able to slow down without hitting me. So he swerved into the left lane, very quickly. Too quickly, it turns out. He hit the side barrier concrete wall, bounced off and started heading in my direction. I said "Jesus." I saw him hit the wall, and I started to get over to the right lane, but it was too late. He hit my left back fender, we felt this massive "bang", and I lost control.

I thought we'd spin out. I thought we'd be hit and fly across the highway. But for whatever reason, probably because my tires were headed right, we started to flip to the right. We kept going over and over and over. I think it was two and a half, maybe three and a half times.

And the whole time, I was screaming "oh my god! oh my god! oh my god!" Graham didn't say anything.

When the car stopped rolling, Graham was already out of the car. He said later that his military training kicked in immediately. I was asking about Celosa, and he kept saying, "She's gone. She's gone." And he kept telling me to get out of the car.

I was dangling from my seat belt, upside down. There was glass everywhere. And every item that had been in my car was scattered around. Instead of going out the driver's side window, I crawled to the back, still looking for Celosa. She wasn't anywhere around.

After we crawled out, we both ended up sitting next to the barricade, and by that point, people were getting out of their cars to help us. One guy was calling 911. Two women were back from a cruise and were nurses with some equipment in their car. Another lady was just there for comfort, and she gave amazing comfort. With our car and the other car, the entirety of 290 was blocked off. People tried to help us, but all we could say was "where's Celosa? Where's our dog?" And someone said, "I saw her, and she's ok." So we started freaking out some more, because we were both absolutely certain that they were lying to us to calm us down.

Our rescuers were trying to see if we were ok. They were asking us if we were hurt, and where, and they were trying to see how bad our head injuries were. My left arm was pretty torn up, and there was a lot of blood. Graham had blood on his head and his knee. We both had obviously hit our heads. But we were freaking out about Celosa, and our rescuers realized that unless someone went to find her, we'd be uncooperative.

At some point, I found my cell phone and started making calls. My brother wasn't answering. My sister wasn't answering. Finally, I found my mother, who is in Austin for the weekend with my dad. Apparently I was pretty incoherent, but I got the gyst of in very bad accident, flipped several times, I can't find Celosa to my mom. I think I forgot to mention that I was ok. Graham was still asking about Celsoa, at one point yelling, "I WANT MY DOG!"

And then, from between a row of a hundred parked cars, came Celosa with two people, pulling at her leash as hard as she could towards us. She jumped into my lap, and Graham and I hugged her and cried in her fur. There wasn't a scratch on her, not a shard of glass in her fur.

After that, we were pretty compliant with any requests. We asked one of our rescuers to take our camera and take pictures of the car. We tried to think about pain. One woman located my ipad down the street, shattered. We tried to call people closer to home, to tell them what was happening. But a good hunk of our friends are in Louisiana for a festival in Lafayette. And my siblings weren't answering.

I saw the other car. At least, I think it was the other car. A man was sitting in the driver's seat, somewhat dazed. Once it was clear that we were ok, I think some of our rescuers went to check in on him. I looked over at him, more with curiosity than anything else. I assumed he was the one that hit us, though I guess it's possible that someone else did and he was part of this crazy thing. He looked to be in shock, and I suppose he looked at us, but I don't know.

At points, I wanted to get up and gather stuff scattered on the freeway. Canvas bags we use for shopping, some rope, parts of a book I was reading. But I never asked because I was sure that people wouldn't let me get up, much less do something so trivial as cleaning up the highway.

Within ten minutes, the ambulance and a fire truck came, and they started checking us out. There was a brief discussion about Celsoa. It was pretty clear that we were both badly shaken up and needed to be checked out at the hospital. Apparently, it's against the law for a dog to be in an ambulance, and they started asking us if there was anyone who could come and get her. Since we were having trouble getting a hold of people, we said no. They started putting neck stabilizers on us. Graham wanted to make sure Celosa was ok, before agreeing to go anywhere, and he made it clear that he was willing to sit on the freeway with his dog instead of going to the hospital. The firemen conferred and agreed that she could go back to the firehouse with them until someone could come to pick her up.

They strapped Graham onto the board first, and then me. At some point, a cop came to ask us questions. I repeated everything as best I could remember, but I'm not sure I was that clear. At the same time, the paramedics were asking me questions about my health, where it hurt, etc. We were wheeled into the ambulance and we could hear Celosa crying. I forgot my keys in the car.

The neck brace and board are ridiculously uncomfortable. And you can't see anything but the roof of the ambulance. It took awhile to get organized enough to move. The cop asked me a few more questions about insurance and who we were and all that. The paramedic asked insurance information and demographics. Graham was on the phone with our friend Mother, arranging for Celosa's pickup. Claudia called back. My parents called back. Graham called his dad. There were a lot of other phone calls.

I think it took about 45 minutes to get to the hospital, and it felt horribly long. I was taken out first, and I was assigned to trauma. A doctor and a nurse took a look at me, and determined that I needed x-rays on my arm and shoulder. Graham was assigned to the next room. My brother and sister showed up, and they split time between the two rooms. They'd stopped by my house first to take videos of Celosa to show us she's ok. I showed them the pictures we had of the car. We all got to know the people in the ward with me fairly well. Our friends Dan and Charlotte came by and got information about the police investigation. Dan is a police officer, and he said he'd look into it more.

A nurse came in and cleaned my arm and wrapped it in bandages. It took awhile for them to take the x-rays, and Graham was discharged after maybe two hours or so. I had to wait for the radiologist to read the x-rays. And my arm started to hurt enough to take the vicodin I'd refused when I first came in. My brother and sister were asked to wait in the waiting room because two life flight helicopters had just come in and they needed a lot of room in the ER.

Graham and I waited some more. At some point, I went to the bathroom and saw my face and arm. The upper part of my left arm must have dragged in the road at some point. I have a bruise over my left eye that will be black soon. I have scrapes all up and down my left arm. My neck hurts, though I don't know if that was from the wreck or from an hour and change in that neck stabilizer. There's a mark on my chest from my seat belt. My x-rays came back negative, and after the several patients that had come in all at once were stabilized, I was discharged.

We got home around seven o'clock. Celosa and Zapata were delighted to see us. We hugged both of them, and Mother, who'd stayed with them. Jose got fajita take-out, and we ate dinner, finally hungry after a day without eating. I talked to Liv and my parents again. Claudia took me to the drug store to get my prescription filled, and everyone took off at around 10:00ish.

I can't believe we went through this and came away relatively unscathed. I mean, we both hurt, and we're both covered in bruises, but we're walking and talking and holy shit we're alive.

A lady who'd rolled her car came in to the ER shortly before we left. She'd rolled down an embankment, I think, and was thrown from her car. But for the throwing, the wreck sounded a lot like ours, and she was life flighted in and was in pretty bad shape. I'm certain we would have, too, if we hadn't crawled out of our wreck.

Seat belts, they work, bitches.

And Celsoa! It's a flat out miracle that she made it. I don't think we could have gone through that crash a million times without her dying or being in severe pain in all but one of them. This was the one. We think that she must have gone out in the first roll, being placed on the concrete and then having the car flip away from her. And the airbag never went off, so she didn't get killed by that. She ran away from the flipping car, and a man saw her running with a leash. He stopped her, picked her up, and put him in his car with him. And he called our cell phone when he read her collar. The people who went to look for her explained that she'd been in the wreck, and that we were looking for her. And she got to go with the firemen in their red shiny truck. Mother said she was outside and having a good time with some of the firemen when he picked her up. She played with Zapata as soon as she came home, probably boasting that she got to ride in a fire truck today.


( 20 comments — Say something )
May. 1st, 2011 05:17 am (UTC)
I just want to hug all three of you. I am so glad that you are all okay. ((HUGS))
May. 1st, 2011 05:21 am (UTC)
Oh. My. God.

I'm so glad you were able to write this post!!! And that Celosa was so lucky, too.
May. 1st, 2011 05:29 am (UTC)
Good God, y'all are truly two lucky people and Celsoa is one heck of a lucky, lucky, blessed dog. Just reading about what happened sends shivers down my spine.

Y'all take it easy for the next few days, I suspect that you'll hurt more from the scrapes and any soft tissue issues that they don't necessarily find with x-rays in the hospital.

I am very glad that all three of you walked away. Take care of yourselves.
May. 1st, 2011 05:53 am (UTC)
the universe can get it right. thanks be.
May. 1st, 2011 06:04 am (UTC)
I am so, so, so glad that you all came out only slightly worse for wear. Not that you need to be told so, but give Celosa some extra cuddles from me... and take it easy for a while.
May. 1st, 2011 06:11 am (UTC)
The Universe knew "enough already!" for you, hon. I am so so glad of a happy ending for you!!!

You know, after I commented, I realized...there's a lot of puppygirls and boys who know how much Celsoa means to you, and how much you need her. Dogs have guardian angels, too.

Edited at 2011-05-01 06:28 am (UTC)
May. 1st, 2011 11:23 am (UTC)
So, so glad to hear you're all okay!
May. 1st, 2011 12:58 pm (UTC)
Jill here posting from my phone ...
So glad all three of you came through this relatively ok. I have a visor clip in my car that says "never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly" - sounds like yours (all 3 of them) were right there with you all. Glad Celosa got the special ride to top of her day. *hugs* for all of you.
May. 1st, 2011 03:44 pm (UTC)
Thank God that everyone made it through, and that you had really good people stopping to help you, and who helped you get Celosa back.

You are the second person I've talked to in two days who has rolled their car like that. My friends' roommate Mike flipped his car down a 50 foot embankment at 3:30 in the morning three weeks ago. The car landed on its wheels, and fortunately he was in such a state of shock that he was able to get out and climb back up to the highway. No one would stop for him, but fortunately someone saw it happen and called the police. He had a broken arm and a lascerated spleen, but like you, all he said was -- seat belts save lives.
May. 1st, 2011 04:32 pm (UTC)
Wow I am so glad all of you are ok! How scary!
May. 1st, 2011 07:20 pm (UTC)
{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{'stina}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} i'm so ver veyr grateful that all 3 of you are doing okay. thank goodness for miracles! xoxoxoxo
May. 1st, 2011 08:03 pm (UTC)
Blessed you are! I am so glad to hear everyone is safe and largely unscathed. Sometimes it really does feel like the Universe is watching out for us, and Celosa (and y'all) definitely had that yesterday.
May. 1st, 2011 10:35 pm (UTC)
Holy crap, that is just...crazy. So so very glad you're feeling relatively okay...but I'm not at all happy that you had to go through that. I mean, Jeebus, the car rolled 2 1/2 times? Ugh. That's dreadful and scary. {{{hugs}}}

Also, if I may suggest? Never refuse Vicodin. ;)
May. 2nd, 2011 07:59 am (UTC)
I read about this on FB yesterday, but let me say to you, as well, how glad I am that both of you and Celosa are all OK.
May. 2nd, 2011 02:40 pm (UTC)
Oh my God. I'm so glad you're all OK!
May. 3rd, 2011 04:22 am (UTC)
Sweet Christ! I am so glad to hear that the three of you are alright. Sorry about the car...I know you've had it for a long time but it served you well and did it's job in keeping the three of you relatively safe. I'm just glad I'm reading this and not hearing something worse darlin.
May. 3rd, 2011 07:05 pm (UTC)
you are blessed in so many ways - blessed that both you and graham are still walking and talking and writing and have celosa, the miracle dog.

take care and rest up - sending good thoughts and vibes your way.
May. 3rd, 2011 07:43 pm (UTC)
SO incredibly glad you are all going to be ok.
Peace and healing from Florida!
May. 4th, 2011 12:39 am (UTC)
Your tags, so appropriate...
Oh. My. God.

I have been in tears reading this. OMG. So glad you and Graham are ok. So glad Celosa is ok. OMG. So many angels at work here.

**gives huge gratitude****
May. 4th, 2011 03:51 pm (UTC)
Wow! I'm so glad that you're all ok! This sounds so traumatic!
( 20 comments — Say something )


'stina is, surprisingly enough, a lawyer from Houston, Texas who rambles about quite a number of things.

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