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June 30, 2004

Neck brace and a rodeo.

Sorry if my typing is awful, I can't really look down while wearing a neck brace. I'm just lucky to be able to move, that's all.

Monday night I went out with a friend from high schoolóI hadnít seen Kristy since October, so it was a big deal. We went bowling and mini-golfing, then went to a local Kings restaurant for some ice cream. Peanut butter can be so extremeÖ

It was a nice time, and before we left the parking lot of the Kings Kristy called her parents just to say hello and that we were on our way home. Apparently we were supposed to wake them upÖ

We drove along towards home. Kristy is a good driver, and she always has been. We stopped at a red light; an intersectionónever a good place, really. The light turned green and Kristy began to accelerate, but no sooner than she had hit the gas pedal was she slamming on the brakes.

I screamed. I donít remember hearing that, or the sound of metal on metal, nor do I remember feeling myself fly forward, then backwards into the seat again. I just remember screaming and suddenly not being able to see anything but lights coming towards me.

The car stopped. Kristy asked if I was okay, then got out of the car and urged me to do the same. I couldnít seeómy glasses had fallen off of my face. I was groping around for them, but Kristy started pulling on my door. It wouldnít open. She said to forget my glasses and just get out. I donít remember having super-human strength, but I kicked the door open and heard it crunch at the hinges. It stayed open.

Grabbing my arm to guide me, Kristy ran to the side of the road, crying. She already had her cell phone clutched to her ear when I looked up and squinted to see her face. The boy from the car that hit us came over to us, huddled together, and asked if we were okay. I said I couldnít see, and that my glasses were in the car. He went and got them for me.

I called my parents, and they said they were on their way. Then I, after complaining of cold and refusing the strangerís sweatshirt, went to the car and got Kristyís volleyball hoodie. Pulling the warmth of it over my head, I noticed sharp twinges of pain scattering themselves down my neck and spine. Sudden cold, sudden heat, sudden numb. I made a mental note to not look down again.

The parents of the boy arrived. The police arrived. The ambulance arrived. All asking if we were okay. Sure, folks, of course Iím fine, my body didnít just get yo-yoed around and slammed with force comparable to *gasp* a car wreckÖ I told them that my neck hurt. The EMTs asked me if Iíd like to go to the hospital. I declined at first, but then talk of making one wrong move and being paralyzed changed my mind.

They began to immobilize me. (Im=not; mobilize= mobile; d=> past tense. Immobilized = past tense of not being mobile. I really couldnít move.) The EMT held my neck still while they strapped a hard neck brace on me, and prepared a board stretcher. Lying still, supine, the pain intensified. Kristy began to cry harder, and I squeezed her hand in a feeble effort of comfort.

Rolled into the ambulance, riding to the hospital, my right hip and knee began to tingle with ribbons of pain lacing my upper leg. I told the EMT and he made note of it in my report. We got to the hospital around 1am.

Getting off of the stretcher was extremely painful, but I was grateful to still be feeling pain, rather than not feeling at allÖ a hospital gown replacing my borrowed sweatshirt, I had my insides photocopied on the extra large Xerox machine. Head, neck, vertebrae, hip, and knee all x-rayed. Then we waited. I apparently talked my parentsí ears off because in my blurry vision I saw them look at each other in surprise. I canít help that Iím a chatterbox when Iím nervous. But in all that talk we figured out why my leg hurtóI kicked the door of her Ford Tempo clear off its hinges, said the policeman. I must have hyper-extended my leg.

The doctor came to tell me that I have contusions (soft tissue bruising and scarring) in my neck, and neck strains consistent with whiplash. Wonderful. A diagnosis that sounds like a rodeo. They gave me ibuprofen, a foam neck brace, and permission to leave.

Getting home around 3:30am, I slept until 11:30 when my little brother brought me the phone. It was my grandmother was checking up on me. Rolling over is not an easy task when each inch of flesh aches with the intensity of a hundred Charlie-horses.

I talked with Kristy, and sheís okay. They didnít give her a neck brace, but then again, more of the impact was on my side anyway. She feels very bad about the accident, but it wasnít her fault. The insurance guy said so. Iím learning a lot about insurance, but Iíll just say that the whole incident doesnít exactly make me hungry for my driverís license. The other guy is okay, too. His father called to apologize and make sure I was all right.

Iím okay today, but still very sore. Very, very sore. All the muscles in my back, shoulders, upper arms, abdomen, and lower back are also tender to the touchóisnít it amazing how our bodies fight to keep us safe? Iíve noticed bruises on my legs and arms, but I donít recall how I got them. My neck is awfully tight, too. But I still have feeling, and thatís the main thing. Iím thankful that Kristy didnít hit the gun the gas pedal at that light or we would have been removing splinters of windshield from our bodies instead. God be praised that we all walked away, thank you for that, thank you for thatÖ

Posted by KarissaKilgore at June 30, 2004 11:36 AM


I had no idea, Karissa. I am so happy you are okay. I don't talk to you for a couple of days, and this is what happens in the absence of Chiz Whiz! My gosh.

Ditto on thanking God.

Posted by: Amanda at June 30, 2004 9:19 PM

Karissa, i love you..im glad you are ok..so glad....where would i be without my other roomie......ditto on both yours and amandas comments

Posted by: Lori at July 1, 2004 1:08 AM

Wow, that is an unbelievable story. They say that when people are in peril or feel threatened, that they get super human strength from deep inside of them... okay, so I saw that on the Hulk TV series. But still, kicking a door off its hinges, that rocks!

Glad to hear you are ok, though. Get well soon!

Posted by: Mike Rubino at July 1, 2004 8:17 AM

Karissa, this is going to sound very strange, but yesterday I had an odd feeling that something was wrong with you...

It's a good thing that the crash seems to have happened on a day with high gamma radiation levels. (Sorry, I was a big fan of the original Bixby/Ferrignio (sp?) Hulk series.)

GTG -- my daughter just woke up.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at July 1, 2004 8:50 AM

Thank you all for your well wishes. I'm still in recovery stages. I just called off work for the first time in my life, so this incident is full of firsts.

As for the door being kicked off, yeah, that's what my friend's insurance people declared impossible... I guess I was really supposed to get out of the car when I did. (My leg still hurts from it, though.) :^/

Posted by: Karissa at July 1, 2004 11:37 AM


Thank heaven that is everything is alright. I read the title of your blog entry and I thought you were going to write about a rodeo??? That is why I kind of look passed it up until now when I read on. Please take care of yourself you sweet thing! I love you to death! XOXO :-)


If you need anything... you know how to reach me.

Posted by: Firefighter Chica at July 2, 2004 1:09 AM

I love the changes to your blog. So pretty. You are getting great at HTML and Java and whatever else you have up your sleeve. Maybe I could teach you how to use the VCR and DVD player and you could help me fancy smancy up my blog.

Posted by: Amanda at July 3, 2004 12:10 PM

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