The Insurance Agent called Friday night. He told me my car was a “Total Loss.” I think I knew that after I saw this picture the first time, but it was still a little hard to hear.
Even though I understand the term “Total Loss” has specific connotations in the insurance world, the terminology wasn’t sitting quite right with me. To me, a “Total Loss” means I didn’t learn anything. It was a waste. I took nothing from it. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
I have taken something away from every experience I have had in my life, especially the very trying ones that seem to be pelting me like hail on a blustery day. Sometimes what I take away is positive, and sometimes – not so much. But I always, always learn something.
1. No matter how long you stop, and no matter how hard you look, and no matter how sure you are that it is safe to go – a speeding car may hit you anyway.
2. If there are no witnesses to an accident – there is no way to “prove” excessive speed. This is the case no mater how many times your car spun around.
3. When you ride in an ambulance its less scary when you take someone you know. And, there are people kind enough to ride in the ambulance with you even though they hardly know you at all. There are real live angels among us!
4. When you are in an Emergency Room of a local hospital – burn your socks after walking on the floor, and don’t look too closely at the walls. Don’t expect the doctors to have any idea – or to really care what Cowden’s Syndrome is, and how it affects your body.
5. There are some really really nice insurance people, and some really obnoxious ones.
6. Many doctors do not accept “no fault” insurance, so finding one to check you out may be a challenge.
7. The pain is worse before it gets better.
8. The pain of being told you are more liable than the guy speeding through the school zone simply because th stop sign is on your side of the intersection may not be physical, but it hurts your pride. Especially when you know you handled it right. It is hard to get over hurt pride, but you can find peace with a clean conscience. So glad I have one.
9. It doesn’t matter much to anyone that the guy who hit you didn’t even try to stop, swerve, honk, or perform any evasive maneuver before plowing through you. It’s all about the stop sign.
10. Whiplash, and muscle spasms are real. Muscle relaxants are useless because they can’t be taken during the day when you have to be a full-time teacher and mom, but they help you sleep a bit at night.
11. When you stop and consider your accident scene, and you realize all the things that could have gone so much worse, you are reassured that the angels really do watch over us. (Thanks Angel Meghan… and all the others)
12. When you have Cowden’s Syndrome, and hamartomas on your spleen, they will send you for an abdominal sonogram right away, and then – like everyone else around here- be totally unsure what to do with the results.
13. Fax any important test results to a doctor you trust. I am grateful the spleen didn’t rupture, but for those of you on my team, cheering for it to stay – cheer louder please. The hamartomas are growing. I will talk to my doctor at NYU this week.
14. When you are really at your lowest point, hurt, aggravated, and discouraged – make a decision to DO something positive. After realizing a child could have been easily injured in this mess, I have established a petition for our local councilman to reevaluate the speed limit on the street where the accident occurred, and to label it a school zone, as well as to consider multiple two-way stops and speed bumps. I have reached out to the local “Improvement Society” who already reached out to DOT on my behalf. I have parents in my school fully supporting me and working to gain signatures on a petition. Their children’s lives are in danger every day. I want some things to change to make the children safer.
15. It is more fun shopping for a new car when you are ready to buy one, but my husband is helping make our current search more pleasant. Always marry someone with a sense of humor.
16. Wear your seat belt! Darn it if Cowden’s Syndrome isn’t going to kill me – a car accident won’t either. So glad I was buckled up.
17. Those silicone implants can take a good hit. Thankfully – nothing popped!
18. I am not going on the teacups at Disney World ever again. I have had enough spinning for a life time!
There… not a “Total Loss” at all…