Wednesday, September 12, 2012

getting hit by a car..15 years later

15 years ago today I was hit by a car while walking across the street.  I know, do I know how to cross the road??  Yes I think I do. :)  There were two cars one in front of the cross walk waiting to make a left hand turn and one behind the cross walk waving me and two other people to cross.  Then out of the blue (it always is out of the blue right?) a car come up behind both of them and boom!  My left leg was then squished between the two cars.  It all seemed to happen in slow motion (just like in the movies).  The only thing was it wasn't the movies. Luckily I was the only one that got caught between the two cars.  A nice stranger came over and talked to me and held my hand until the ambulance came.  I had some super great doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center. I split my femur like a banana peel (I guess that is not common b/c all the med students knew me because of the break) and broke my tib/fib plataeu.  I have a knee that looks battered but basically works.  I have had two skin grafts and a muscle from my calf twisted into the side of my knee so the skin graft had something to adhere to.












Pretty right?  I had a lovely external fixator (which I dubbed the erector set) before this picture.  Six pins sticking out of my leg.  I now have a lovely titanium rod in my femur after breaking the same bad leg in a fall at school.  Just call me superman! 

It took a year to get back to work after learning to walk and learning what I could do with a knee that doesn't bend the way it should. 

I truely believe that everything happens for a reason.  I learned a lot from that accident.  I didn't know how strong and tough I could be.  I quickly learned I'm one tough girl.  I changed my profession and went back to school to become an elementary teacher.  Out of bad things, good things can come.  If it wasn't for the accident I would never have gone back to school to become a teacher.  Over the years I've had good days and bad days with my leg.  There have been times when I've felt depressed over the entire thing, but in the end I've had more good days than bad.  I have always thought I'm not going to let this accident get me down.  I think I've made that happen.

How did I start running with a bad leg and knee?  Well one day at school, some teachers started a walk/run club for some students.  I thought I could walk, but I wonder if I could run without looking strange.  I ran a bit and asked my friend Rachel to let me know if I looked weird with my gait.  She said I looked fine and so I ran with some 4th and 5th graders.  It was great because they would run the around the neighborhood near the school and they would stop by most of the crosswalks to wait for the other kids.  So I had some nice rest breaks.  After that I decided I would start to run and I signed up for my first 5K.  After that first race I was hooked. I loved races.  Soon my friend Kristen talked me into running The Cherry Blossom 10 miler. 

The race that I only ran 4 miles before race day..agh..the misery I felt on race day! I vowed never to run that race again and this year I think it was my third year running Cherry Blossom.  I guess never say never!

I may not be the fastest runner out there, but I'm putting one foot in front of the other.  Sometimes I am truely amazed that I have the abilty to run.  There are days that I back off from running because my knee is achy and there are days that I back off of running because I'm just being lazy..but I know that I will continue to run more races.  This year as I became a half fanatic with Megan, I realized that I am lucky to be a runner and 4 years ago I would not have been able to call myself a runner. Since that first run four years ago I have ran 7 half marathons, two 10K's, five 10 milers, one 20K, two 4 milers,  eleven 5k's and tw 8k's.  That's a lot of miles on my bionic leg.




15 comments:

Sam said...

What an amazing story! You go girl!

mindysmarathon said...

YOU are AWESOME. Thank you so much for sharing your story!!

runninrollinrunnin.com said...

You're an amazing runner and friend! So inspiring!

Crystal said...

Great story! I really needed it today too. Today is the first day I can put all my weight on my ankle and I keep wondering if I'll be able to run and race again.

lindsay said...

That is crazy, but I'm glad you made it through ok! And definitely a bonus on top for the lifestyle changes you thought to change because of it

Running Librarian said...

Crystal at times it may feel like you will never run, but take it day by day and you will be running in no time!!

Missy said...

Good for you! You are definitely an inspiration!

Beth (i run like a girl) said...

Wow. What an incredible story and amazing recovery!

Raleigh Crowl said...

You are such a brave woman, Pam. I’m glad that you were able to get back on your feet after that unfortunate event. Getting involved in an accident can cause enormous trauma, physically and emotionally. Most patients have a hard time getting back on track. But you did it! And after more than a decade, you are running again like nothing happened. You truly are an inspiration!

Running Librarian said...

Thank you! It was not easy..there are days I feel sorry for myself. But I really like running and racing. I feel lucky to be able to cross the finish line every time I run. :)

Nannie Leick said...

Way to go, Pam! You story is truly an inspiration, especially to those who experienced tragic and traumatic accidents as well. It goes to show that it is possible to get back on your feet despite what happened. The road to healing may be difficult, but it is possible. Determination and passion can help you stand up again and do the things you love the most. Best of luck to you and your endeavors! :-)

Anonymous said...

Your story is very inspirational, Pam! This only shows that there's no hindrance in obtaining your personal goals in life. Each person has physical setbacks in their life, and you've managed to overcome that. :D Anyway, what happened to the drivers of the two cars? Did you file for a personal injury claim after the accident?

Javier Hoppes said...

“I quickly learned I'm one tough girl.” – Yes, you are! You’re a wonderful person, to sum it all. You just define the word HOPE! Imagine, after a car accident, here you are, busy being a better person while giving inspiration to the world. Anyway, how did the legal matters go?

Guadalupe Puthoff said...

Javier, Pam didn't only define the word hope, she has also defined the words courage and perseverance! I mean, with all of the things she had been through, she's still out there running and giving inspiration to the world. She should be a role model for all those people that were once injured like her.

Amy Baron said...

Reckless drivers! What happened to the driver of the car that hit you? Did they even help you in any way? They should face the consequences of their carelessness. I hope you were compensated properly for the physical and emotional pain that you suffered.

-Amy Baron