Before I explain the picture you see to your left, I have to give credit for my blog title to the awesome tour operator for 18-35 year olds…Contiki.

As some people may know already because I blasted it all over social media…I was in a pretty bad car accident yesterday. I was on my way to work when a guy decided to make an illegal left turn across 3 lanes of traffic and a double yellow line and smashed into me…in an Escalade. My little car was absolutely no match. You always see these things on TV and hear about them but it’s such a surreal experience when it happens to you. I didn’t see my life flash before my eyes, it just happened so fast. As I sat there after the airbags deployed, unable to move from the jolt and whiplash I took deep breaths and tried to absorb what had happened before calling 911.

I spent a good portion of the day in the ER yesterday (major shout out to the staff at the UCI Emergency Room…amazing people) in a neck brace. My dad came from home to be with me while my poor mom was flying back from another state after taking care of her mom for 2 weeks. I hated my poor dad having to see me in the ER with a neck brace on, not knowing how badly I’d been hurt and my mom on a flight wondering the same thing. I know that’s something no parent probably ever wants to see or feel.

It wasn’t until after I was released from the ER and went back to get my stuff out of the car that I fully realized just how bad the accident was, and just how lucky I was that I wasn’t hurt worse. My car didn’t have side airbags so if he had hit me on the passenger window side or on my side, I may not have fared so well. It’s scary anyway to get into any kind of accident but when you have MD, it can be even scarier. My body is automatically impacted more by any trauma it encounters. When the paramedics were trying to get me out of the car it was really hard because I couldn’t move my head from the pain but I couldn’t move my body well in general because of my MD. A lot of people may not know that people with MD run the risk of malignant hyperthermia (which can be fatal) from regular anesthesia too so I told every since person I encountered that day about it.

It sounds totally cliche but now that a day has passed I’ve really been able to reflect on everything and I feel so incredibly lucky. I remember lying on the bed in my room at the ER and thinking “I need to get back to Ireland. I need to travel” and that’s kind of just scraping the surface. Life is really short. I got up that day expecting it to be like any other day. I was gonna take my 15 minute drive to work and then spend my usual 8 hours there, run some errands and come back home. It’s amazing that in an instant, that can all change.

It’s made me so extremely grateful for all of the amazing people in my life. I’ve gotten such an outpouring of love (and two flower deliveries) from so many people, it’s made me cry on more than one occasion. I can’t even put into words how awesome my parents are either. From my dad sitting with me in the ER and cleaning out all the crap I’d accumulated in my car, to my mom coming straight from a plane to my house to stay with me overnight and take care of me today. I’m really just so incredibly lucky.

I hope that if I take anything away from this it’s to treat everyday as a miracle. Never be afraid to do something you want to do. Tell everyone close to you you love them. Leave nothing unsaid. #noregrets



6 thoughts on “#noregrets

  1. Glad to hear from YOU that you’re OK. MD or not we all face the same stupidities of every day life. I hope the other driver was insured. You’ll get your car back as good as new:-) Now you see why parents seem so helpless. We are just their kids doing our best to succeed with what they’ve passed on to us. Here’s to a speedy recovery:-):-):-)

    1. Thanks Ross! The other driver was not insured according to the cop (I have uninsured motorist coverage though) and my car was totaled so I’ll be getting a new one.

  2. Hi Jackie!

    My name is Kristen and I am an Occupational Therapy student from Loma Linda University. First and foremost, I wanted to say how glad I am that you are okay after your accident! How scary that experience must have been for you! Well, I hope you are feeling a lot better now and aren’t too sore after all that happened. On another note, I watched the video that you sent to Sharon a few days ago, so I know a little bit about your background and overall experience with MD. So knowing about you and after reading your recent post about the car accident, I had a few questions that I wanted to ask you.

    – First, what is malignant hyperthermia and how does it affect persons diagnosed with MS?
    – Have you ever experienced malignant hyperthermia and what is the danger of getting it from being under anesthesia?
    – What would have happened if you were unconscious after the accident and nobody knew that you have MD?
    – Do you wear a bracelet or carry an ID with you regarding your medical condition?
    – Have your symptoms become more exacerbated following the accident?

    Thank you for taking the time to read this and answer my questions. I would like to say that I appreciate your positive attitude about life and your encouragement to be thankful for life and never be afraid to do something you want to do. You are truly inspiring! Blessings to you and your family! 🙂

    – Kristen

    1. Hi Kristen. First of all, thank you! To answer your questions:

      -Malignant hyperthermia is basically an allergic reaction to anesthesia where your body temperature skyrockets and all of your muscles contract and/or totally seize up. It’s basically a disorder of it’s own for people that have MD. Not everyone with MD will have it though and they actually have tests for it now where you can see if you would be likely to have it when you had anesthesia. So I don’t know that I actually would have malignant hyperthermia but it’s obviously not a risk I would want to take. When I had my wisdom teeth taken out I had to have it done in a hospital under the supervision of an anesthesiologist in case I did have a reaction.
      -If I had been unconscious after the accident I could have been in a lot of danger. There’s bracelets people with MD can buy that lets paramedics or whoever know that we have it so if we’re ever incapacitated it alerts them that we might we have the risk of malignant hyperthermia.
      -Think my last answer answered this one about the bracelet or ID (I am definitely getting one after being in the accident though!)
      -I’m definitely very sore from the accident and until today, couldn’t even turn my head. Because my muscles are already weak to begin with, any kind of trauma like this sets me back a little more than someone with a normal level of strength. I think the length of time I’m sore for is going to be longer also because it takes my body a little longer to bounce back from injury too because of the MD. I actually just went to the doctor last week because I had been having some back issues because I fall so often and have to twist odd ways to be able to get up from a chair or out of the car, etc so I’m hoping that those won’t be made worse by this accident. Sometimes things like that don’t show up right away but I’m trying to stay positive!

      Thanks for your questions and your kind words. I really appreciate it!

  3. Hi Jackie, Thanks for the clarification. I was wondering the same thing about malignant hyperthermia. It really is extremely serious. I commend you on being so knowledgeable and being your own advocate for your MD. Getting an ID bracelet would be a great way to inform health care professionals about it if you were not able to talk.
    Your story reminds me to appreciate those that are close to me. There is so much I want to do and your story was a great reminder that everyday is different and things may not go as planned, but keep pushing forward!
    I have enjoyed reading your posts, and appreciate your honesty and ability to connect with others. *-* no regrets!

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