Wrong place, but car wreck please help

  1. Im in a bad place right now, I dont belong here, Im not a nurse, but its midnight right now and Im alone in my pain and suffering and needed to reach out.

    Right at the beginning of this month (9th january) I was in a car accident and my friend who was driving didnt make it. Its really hard to write this email right now, but i think its for the best. Im not looking for a sympathy vote, I just wanted to clear some things up in my head and on your feedback please

    My friend didnt even make it to the hospital and he was only 22, how could this possibly happen, im so angry. This is one of my first concerns, that the paramedics spent too much time focusing on me, trying to get me out of the car to help, rather than helping him ...I feel such guilt about this right now.

    AS for myself i was unconscious for 3 days due to hitting my head, and in the ICU, I also suffered broken ribs and a puncture lung.

    When i woke up I was still on life support, ad was like that for a while before they let me come off the breathing tube, I dont really remember being too uncomfortable, i was pretyt much out of it.

    im worried they spent too much time trying to save me rather than my friend

    please help
    Last edit by rn/writer on Jan 29, '07
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  2. 31 Comments

  3. by   Vap23
    Also still suffering from dizzyness, seeing the dr next week,
  4. by   JBudd
    Ah, hon. If there are two people that are saveable, they work REALLY hard at saving both. Its not an either/or.

    You need to talk to someone live about this trauma in your life. Ask your doctor, your county health, your pastor, your friends for recommendations.

    Keep your doctors appointment, tell him/her everything thats going on.
  5. by   gonzo1
    call directory assistance and get the number for the crisis line and call them right away. They can help you. I know they helped me. You have lived through a terrible ordeal and need to talk about this with people trained to help. I would not be here if it were not for the crisis line. They can usually set up same day counseling at no charge for you too. We will pray for you and wish you the best.
  6. by   Vap23
    i will, ty for your replies, what would i do right now without the internet

    i know this sound stupid, becuase there is more to wrry about right now, but at this moment im really concerned about my throat,
  7. by   rn/writer
    I'm so very sorry this happened to you. What a tough situation to endure. Here are a few thoughts that I hope will help you as you work to heal.

    I have been a nurse for almost thirteen years and I have seventeen years experience as an EMT. When EMS personnel roll up on a scene, they immediately size up the situation--the number of patients, the severity of their injuries, the level of difficulty involved in extricating them from the vehicle, etc. If it appears that the call is multi-trauma with complications, extra manpower will usually be summoned, and that can include flight transport.

    It isn't likely that your friend was neglected. What is a more realistic scenario is that he had already expired by the time help arrived, or that according to triage principles, he was deemed to have unsurvivable injuries. Then the focus would have shifted to you as someone who still had a chance.

    The fact that he did not make it to the hospital alive seems to support the premise that his injuries were beyond helping.

    If your friend had already passed away, this is not something you would have been made aware of at the scene. In fact, it is highly likely that your rescuers would have tried to shield you from such upsetting news. They may have gone through the motions to spare you from further emotional trauma so that you would not become hysterical and combative with grief or go into psychogenic shock, any of which could have compromised YOUR status.

    Their goal at that point would have been to extricate you and get you safely on your way to a trauma center or ED.

    I want to also remind you that you most likely were in some degree of shock. If not physical, then emotional. Accident survivors often have fragmented memories influenced by pain, adrenalin, altered levels of consciousness, exposure to the elements, emotional defense mechanisms, chemical reactions within the body, any meds they may have been given, and a host of other variables. It is not at all uncommon for an account which seems very real to patient to be contradicted by impartial evidence or explained as the product of distorted thinking caused by the factors I mention above. For example, a patient can believe that there were gunshots fired and later find out that the sharp noises were the explosive snapping sounds of a car's roof posts being snapped by a Hurst tool so rescuers could get to a trapped person inside. The mind does strange things when it's in overload.

    You have no reason to feel guilty. Survivors often do, though. It goes with the territory. We want to make sense of the senseless and reality doesn't always cooperate. Unfortunately, that doesn't stop us from trying.

    Here are a few practical suggestions that might help you with your grief:

    First and foremost, get some counseling. Find a support group. Talk with several people you trust. Face the fact that a part of you is still back at the crash scene hoping to save your friend. Your head knows that battle was lost, but your heart keeps insisting on a better outcome. It takes time to really grasp the truth, and it goes a little faster with help.

    If you are so inclined, see if you can get hold of the autopsy report. Certain types of injuries are simply not surviveable. If you want more information about this, PM me and I'll try to help.

    If you can, talk to the EMS people who were there. Don't go in with guns blazing. And do be prepared for the fact that they may have been told not to discuss the call. Not out of fear, but because of HIPAA regulations and other legal concerns. But if the conditions are right, they may be able to help you understand a little better what happened that night.

    Keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings as you work through this tremendously sad and stressful situation. Talk with others who have endured similar trauma. Give yourself a lot of time and space to come to terms with your loss. Try to sleep and eat well, and allow yourself enough downtime to process what is happening to you. Write down dreams. Read the accounts of other people involved in this type of tragedy, including rescuers, and see if your thoughts and feelings resonate with those of other sufferers. Balance the introspection and downtime with exercise and connection with others. Do lighthearted things now and then in the name of restoring your perspective.

    It makes perfect sense to be angry when someone you care about is taken from you. A natural reaction is to try to find a target for that anger and the EMS folks are the most available. The truth is that rescuers often feel guilt over the people they can't save. The younger the person, the worse the feelings. Rescuers go into that line of work because they want to DO something, to make a difference. When they can't, it hurts.

    Again, I'm so sorry that you went through such a horrendous experience and the loss of your friend. Please take good care of yourself and come here for moral support.
  8. by   gonzo1
    my throat was very sore for about 2 weeks after my last surgery. Call your doctor today and let them know about your throat. Your body has been through a lot and will need a substantial time to recover. Be patient with yourself and call your doctor when you have these concerns. And be sure and get help for your emotional self too. You may be suffering from survivors guilt. When something like this happens it takes time to recover mentally and physically. Although you are not a nurse, you are welcome here for support. Just know that we are not able to diagnose, so stay in close contact with your doctor or other health care professional.
  9. by   rn/writer
    Normally, threads involving medical advice are closed. For obvious reasons, it would be good if this one could remain open. Suggestions have been made to the OP (via PM) about how to seek medical care in real life.

    Please, let's concentrate on the other aspects of the original post, so the OP can benefit from the information and support our membership has to offer.

    Thanks.
  10. by   CrufflerJJ
    Quote from rn/writer
    It makes perfect sense to be angry when someone you care about is taken from you. A natural reaction is to try to find a target for that anger and the EMS folks are the most available. The truth is that rescuers often feel guilt over the people they can't save. The younger the person, the worse the feelings. Rescuers go into that line of work because they want to DO something, to make a difference. When they can't, it hurts.
    It's unfortunate to read about the loss of your friend at such an early age, but glad to hear that you made it.

    I've been a paramedic since ~1991 (EMT for a few years before that), and as Miranda wrote above, it's hard to lose a patient. As an EMS provider, you try to build up walls between "us & them", but you still have to allow your feelings out. You want to NOT care so it doesn't hurt, but you still have to let yourself hurt so that you CAN care & give your patients the best treatment possible. Sounds a bit weird, but that's how it works for me.

    I've seen some nasty things over the years, and triage is never pretty. There have been some scenes where I've have to turn my back on a pinned/burning victim to tend to the occupants of the other vehicle. If there's nothing that can be done, EMS personnel are forced to make the hard choices to try & give other victims the best chance of survival.

    With wrecks involving multiple occupants of a vehicle, we try to prioritize treatment based on not only the patient's condition, but how easily they can be extricated from the vehicle. If you were not trapped in the car, yet your friend was, you would have likely been the first one removed to a hospital (even if your friend was more critically injured).

    With the laws nowadays, it may be difficult to get any info out of the EMS crews that were on the scene. I know for a fact that they WOULD appreciate it if you could stop by the station when the duty crew that worked on you is available. Call ahead to the dept chief, explain that you'd like to meet/thank the folks that helped you. It's always great when you see a former patient (in better circumstances). I'd be inclined to tell them what you remember of the accident, and see if they can fill in any "missing pieces." You may or may not be able to get much info about your friend, but my guess is that they might be willing to fill you in "off the record."
  11. by   burn out
    I am sorry to hear about the loss of your friend but I AM GLAD THAT YOU MADE IT THROUGH and are alive to tell us about what happened. Unfortunately for you that you now must grieve for the loss of your friend. Believe it or not but what you are feeling is quite normal, most people I think that survive a trauma such as yours feel guilt as to why them and not me..you must find the answer within yourself but sometimes that takes help from couselors or close friends..that is why we recommend that you seek help from a crisis center or hotline.

    There is a grieving process that everyone goes through when a close friend or loved one dies, when we go through all the neccessary steps (which may or may not be what we want to do) then we can come out on the otherside and can accept and live with the situation and go on with our own lives. It is when people can not go through the whole process that they have troubles dealing with the situation and can not move on.

    Nurses face death quit often and become quite familiar with the grieving process because to some extent we experience it with each passing of out patients. Most of us go through a ..did I make them comfortable enough, did I do everything I should have, did I do what they wanted etc.. But in the end we have been left becasue there is more work we have to do in out lives and the Lord is not finished with us yet nor is he finished with you.
    Hang in there, there is a tomorrow and life will go on...
  12. by   Roy Fokker
    I feel such guilt about this right now.
    Please understand, I'm by no means being glib nor dismissive.

    There is the long version. And there is the short version.

    The short version is: It's never the right time. It's never the right person. And it never makes any sense.

    My heart goes out to you. Please get support and counselling.

    - Roy
  13. by   zenman
    Quote from rn/writer
    Face the fact that a part of you is still back at the crash scene hoping to save your friend.
    Very good post and the above point is one that a lot of health care people do not realize. As a bodywork therapist, I learned to go over all the details of the accident with clients, even if it occurred 20 years ago and they can't figure out why their neck still hurts. I was surprised at the results. In fact, a lot of trauma, physically and emotionally, is held in the body.

    In shamanism, I learned the same thing, that you can leave your "soul" at the scene. In addition to all the good suggestions others have made, feel free to pm me any time if you wish.
  14. by   Vap23
    Thanks all, to put my mind at some sort of peace.

    I could have seen my friends body, my pastor was going to take me to see him, but I deicded not too. I didnt know whether it would cause more distress, or if it would have helped me.

    There aer alot of missing pieces like you mentioned, and I dont know if what I remember really happened, not sure if I would like to ask,,I felt like there was a demon in my room at the hospital which scared me ALOT, because I couldnt move or talk to tell anyone about it, though I probably think maybe it was the medication they had given me

    There is an inquest..whatever you call it, going on right now,, because it happened to be some teengaers who were drink driving who caused us to swerve off the road.

    The funny thing is, it wasnt like we were going that fast really, so trying to ge my head around it.

    COunselling is in place havnt been yet, but have not been able to talk about this person to person, which is why I came on here, because I dont have any words to say really, at least on here I can think and edit the post before i send it.

    I do have alot of support, from my church and some friends, but I feel right now Im pushing them away, I dont want to hurt them I think I just need some time alone right now.

    Im pretty upset with my mum because she has been trying to get me to take the photos down of me and my friend together, we were frience since age 11.

    have so many things to think about right now. Ive been through some stuff in my life, but this just tops all of them. When I heard the news I felt like my heart had been torn to shreds, I dont usually break down infront of people, or right when I hear some bad news, but this time was different.

    Since it happened .. the demon t hing has not left me alone. I keep waking up at night paralysed and unable to move with the presence of fear all over my room, feeling like Im suffocating, and tyring to scream for help but cant.

    Wont bore you with anymore of the things im experiencing right now, but cant say how much I appreciate the replies.

    Ive been sleeping alot, most the day. Is that normal ? Im just so tired.

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