Four Years A Bride: How I Almost Died

Part 1      Part 2

After dating Alex about a month, we had already told each other the dreaded L word.  I was sleeping over at his place every day, and nights that I wasn’t at his house, we were texting each other all night because we couldn’t sleep without the other one.  When I worked on base, he would walk to my work, pick up my car, fill it up and go grocery shopping to make sure I ate my veggies.

If there was a rare occasion that we both had a day off, we spent it in his dorm room watching movies and cuddling.  I had been in love once before, but never like this.  It was intoxicating.  When we were together, I felt complete and at peace, when we were apart, I ached for him in a way I never knew a person could ache for someone.

Once a year I would fly home to Minnesota to visit my family, always on my mom’s dollar because I was poor.  She would fly me home, I’d see the dentist and any other medical check ups I needed, mom would take me clothes shopping, my friends would throw a party and we’d either get drunk or just hang out, and so on.  This trip, I remember a very distinct conversation with my mom about my relationship with Alex.

I told her that I was going to marry Alex.  I just knew that I was going to marry him.  Alex and I started joking about it after two weeks of dating, saying “if we get married.”  When the one month mark hit, we were saying “When we get married” and neither of us corrected the other.

My mom told me that I needed to wait at least six months so I could get to know him.  She said that I needed to be careful because he could be someone who is abusive, and to be fair, she made a lot of really good points.  The points she made, honestly, are points I make to people when they mention marriage after knowing someone for a year.

But I was 20 years old, I thought I knew everything.  I told her that we were going to get married probably in June, and while he hadn’t proposed yet, I knew he was thinking of doing it, he had told me as much.

But not this romantic

But not this romantic

My mom tried to talk me out of it and she said she wanted to meet him before I considered marrying him and that we should plan a trip to visit all of our families before getting married, but we lived in Alaska and he was newly enlisted, he was just as broke as I was.    But as always, my mom knew best, and her advice was really solid advice.  But I just didn’t want to listen.

I got my wisdom teeth taken out two days before I flew back to Minnesota, and the day after I was so high on pain meds that I didn’t remember my brother sitting with me on the couch singing Rocky Horror Picture Show.  Nor do I remember my step dad talking to me, or anything.  I do remember yelling at my mom that I wanted a hamburger smoothie and that I had to have Greek yogurt, to which she laughed and told me to shut the hell up.

The day I flew back to Alaska, Alex was going to meet me at the airport.  He had my car, after all.  When I landed in Fairbanks, I was still a little out of it from the meds, but I saw him at the baggage claim, standing there with a worried look on his face.  When he saw me, he opened his arms and I ran to him, refusing to let go of him.  There were a few people there cooing and awing, but we had only been apart a week, and to us, it felt like an eternity.

We got my suitcase and went back to his dorm.  We fell asleep holding hands.

The next morning I had to go back to Fairbanks to find out when I was supposed to work at the deli, and I knew that I had to work that night at the bowling alley, but I was still kind of out of it.  I had to take a Vicodin the night before and I don’t think it was completely out of my system.  I was also jet lagged.  That day, it was mid-January and it was -44 outside with drifting snow.

I was a fearless driver, never afraid of speeding and never afraid of anything happening to me because come on, nothing bad ever happens to me.  I was naïve.

I fell asleep behind the wheel for an instant, going 65 on the highway with drifting snow.  When I woke up, I saw I was going head first into a snow bank, I overturned, spun out of control, and my car flipped and landed in the ditch.

It all happened so fast that I didn’t even realize what was happening.  The car was spinning then suddenly I was upside down, the roof of my car had caved in and was nearly touching my head, the engine turned off, stuff was everywhere, and I was staring at a St Christopher medal that was on my visor.  I saw cars driving by, I saw the snow falling, and the seatbelt was causing me pain for restraining me in my chair.

I actually never saved the picture of my flipped car, but it looked pretty much like this.

I actually never saved the picture of my flipped car, but it looked pretty much like this.

I remembered I started screaming, but it seemed so far away.  I didn’t feel like I was in my body because I was so scared.  I remember seeing a woman a few feet away from my window, looking in to the window.  I started to pound on the window, screaming for help and she ran away.  I was trapped upside down, unable to move, my body paralyzed with fear.  I found my phone somehow and dialed the last number I had called.

It was Alex.

He picked up on the second ring, a little bit of fun in his voice.  “Did you butt dial me?” he said with a chuckle.

“OH MY GOD ALEX I JUST FLIPPED MY CAR AND I’M TRAPPED AND I’M SCARED AND I’M UPSIDE DOWN AND I JUST PAID OFF THIS CAR AND CUT THE INSURANCE LAST WEEK OH MY GOD I’M GOING TO DIE!”

Let me tell you, not the best way to go about this kind of situation.  I could only scream.  I remember him trying to calm me down and say it without screaming and I continued to be hysterical, screaming that I was probably going to die because it was -44 outside that day and I was in the ditch somewhere between North Pole and Fairbanks.   Oh, and because I was trapped upside down.  Can’t forget that bit.  The blood was going to my head.

He said he was going to hang up and have the dispatcher call me.  I cried that I didn’t want him to hang up and he did.  A few minutes later a dispatcher called me and told me to stay calm.  In the few minutes where I was waiting for my phone to ring, I pushed myself up into my seat and unclasped the seatbelt and slid to the roof of my car, laying on the ceiling, no longer upside down.  The dispatcher asked me if I was okay, and I told her no because I had just paid off the car and cut the insurance.  She asked me if I was physically injured and I told her no.

However, when you have that much adrenaline, you don’t feel anything.  The fire department, an ambulance, and the state troopers arrived and they asked me if I could crawl to the back seat and climb out the back window.

I had so much shit in my car that I couldn’t leave the front seat.  They asked me if I had a blanket to cover my face and I pulled it over and covered my face while they used a sledge hammer to break the window.  The pulled the blanket away from me and placed it over the broken glass while I crawled out the window.

Since this day was a horrible day, my ass got stuck in the window.  Since I was still hysterical from flipping my car and being totally fucking broke, I started screaming because my ass was trapped in that fucking car.  I think the responders were trying not to laugh at my yelling, “OH MY GOD MY ASS IS STUCK! I’M GOING TO DIE!”

I got into the ambulance and they gave me a once over, making sure I still had feeling in my legs and arms, checking my blood pressure, which was 180 over 120.  Apparently that’s really fucking high.

My eyes were fully dilated, I was shaking, I was cold, but I was alive.  They told me if I hadn’t of worn my seatbelt, I’d be dead.  If it had been summer and there was no snow to cushion the fall, the car would have compressed more and I would have died, if the glass had shattered in the right way, it would have blinded me.  All the conditions were perfect for me to come out injury free for the most part.

As they were telling me this, I realized my hand feel really warm.  I looked down and saw that it was covered in warm blood.  Since my adrenaline was still ridiculously high, I screamed “OH MY GOD I’M BLEEDING TO DEATH!”

A small piece of glass was taken out of my hand and they put a band aid on it, cleaning the blood off.  The cut didn’t even need stitches, but my blood pressure was so high that it was flying out of me.

They asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital, but I didn’t have health insurance so I couldn’t afford it.  They called a tow truck and I waited in the troopers car.  I got my phone and called Alex, telling him I was fine and I was broke and had no idea what to do.  I called my mom and got her voicemail, telling her to call me when she promised to not get mad.  I called my roommate to tell her that I got into an accident and I was okay.  I called my managers at each job and told them that I couldn’t work that day because I had no transportation because I totaled my car.

When my mom called me, she said she wouldn’t get mad.  She promised.  And I told her I flipped and totaled my car. She asked me if I was hurt, I said no.  Then she started to scream at the top of her lungs.  I almost dropped the phone.

The tow truck driver yelled at me because the key was missing from the ignition, but I had no idea where it had fallen.  I thought it was in the engine.  To this day, I have no idea where that key went.  They towed the car to the house I was staying at, and I did the one thing that I had wanted to do since the car started spinning out of control.

I really had to shit.

That whole, “Always wear clean underwear when you get into a car accident,” is no lie.  My god, since the moment the car went upside down, it was painful to hold in.  It was so fucking insane, I was so relieved to see a toilet.  There is no greater happiness than seeing a toilet after you total your car.

Hello beautiful... I am going to destroy you

Hello beautiful… I am going to destroy you

My coworker at the bowling alley offered to pick me up and take me to the Air Force Base to see Alex, and I really needed to work.  I went into work, letting Alex know I was on base, and told my manager that I wanted to work my shift after all.

She said I was fucking crazy.  And she was right.  I should not have worked.

Now one thing, when I flipped the car, I almost died.  I saw my life flash before me, but not like seeing all these things that I had done.  I saw all the things I didn’t do.  All the things I wanted to do in my life.  I saw Alex in a way I never saw him before.  I saw myself growing old with him, I saw him not just as my boyfriend, but as my companion, my husband, my soul mate.  When I was trapped upside down, all I thought through all of that, besides emptying my bowels, was, “If I get out of this alive, I have to tell Alex I love him.”  Alex and I had talked marriage, but I didn’t realize just what that entailed, and after flipping my car and nearly dying, I realized exactly what that meant.  I didn’t want to spend another day without Alex.  I wanted to grow old with him.  I wanted to wake up next to him every day, to fight with him, to buy a house together.  I wanted all that mushy stuff.  I was tired of moving every few months, I was tired of working two full time jobs just to make ends meet.  I was tired of being so lonely.  I was tired of being so damn strong.  I wanted to be able to lean on someone, even if just for an instant.  I wanted Alex to be with me for the rest of my life, and I realized at that moment exactly what that entailed.

As soon as he found out I was at work, he had the troll drive him to the bowling alley.  When he saw me, he went from walking to full blown sprinting. I didn’t even see him enter the building, but my manager did, and she started giggling when she saw him run.  He tackled me, squeezing me so tight I coucouldn’teathe.  He touched my face, he felt to make sure I wasn’t hurt, he kissed me.  He was almost in tears.

To say the least, I found out he felt the same way.

I was only able to work a few hours of my shift.  When the adrenaline calmed down, I was so dizzy that I nearly passed out.  I was trying not to cry.  I was so incredibly exhausted that I didn’t know what was going to happen to me.  My coworker said she’d cover the rest of my shift and my manager said it was okay for me to leave.  I was going to walk to Alex’s dorm, which was about a quarter of a mile away, but my coworker called her husband and had him drive me the short distance.  He offered to walk me to the door, but I said no and walked myself.

When I got to Alex’s dorm, he just sat and held me as I started to cry.  I had no idea what was going to happen.  I couldn’t afford a new car.  I could barely afford my rent.  Alex wasn’t allowed to live off base so we couldn’t get an apartment together unless we got married.  I was afraid of what the coming months had in store for me.

The next day my body was so sore and stiff that I couldn’t even move.  It hurt just to sit up.  So I called into work and my manager had already given my shift away because she knew I’d be sore.  Alex didn’t have a car, and since he’s an asshat in situations like this, he made me walk all over base to get anything I’d need for the next few days.  That was the most painful day of my life.

A week later I was back to working both jobs, taking a taxi to work or having my friend pick me up to go to the base.  My mom gave me a loan of cash to buy a ’97 Buick LeSabre, which I drove for two years.  When I went back to work at Safeway, my manager told me that I was no longer dependable and that I needed to quit or she’d find a way to fire me.

But Alex came to the rescue…

 

Have you ever almost died?  Have you ever been in a situation where you were given an ultimatum?  Did your significant other ever save your life?  Let me know in the comments!

Two Years A Dog: The Desert And The Moon

My last post was extremely heart wrenching.  It actually caused me to cry while writing it.

So, in order to keep my sanity and to make myself realize that I didn’t completely give up on Patch, I shall tell you all a very heartwarming, and somewhat funny story.

I first must admit that this story is about three months premature, however, I figure it’s appropriate.  This is the story of how I found the third love of my life.

As you can imagine, Alex is the first love of my life.  He is my husband, my best friend, my soul mate, and my partner in crime.  He supports me, he is my rock, and if I were Morticia Addams, he is my Gomez.

While we were dating, about four years ago

While we were dating, about four years ago

The second love of my life, obviously, is Luna.  I wrote a post about her in February about how I had had her for two years and how she’s just the perfect dog in every way because, well, she just is.  But she is kind of defective since she doesn’t bark and she hates peanut butter.

Luna is not amused by your shenanigans.... ever

Luna is not amused by your shenanigans…. ever

Also, she’s kind of cat like.

The third love of my life, the one this post is about, is my condensed shepherd, Sahara.

Here’s the picture of her that was on Petfinder.com.

Painfully cute, right?

Painfully cute, right?

Let me tell you a bit about Sahara’s background.

Back in October of 2012, Luna had made it abundantly clear that she needed a friend.  She had a friend across our apartment complex named Bailey, who was a husky/terrier mix.  A cute little thing, she looked like a mini husky, but was a little stockier and a lot slower than Luna, which was great because they would play for hours and get very, very tired.

But when our friends went on vacation or a few weeks, Bailey went to a boarder and Luna had no playmate for three weeks.

When I used to walk Luna in Moose Creek, I would never have her on a leash because it was fairly uninhibited.  There were people, yes, but most of the houses were on an acre of land, and sometimes we would walk on the abandoned railroad bed back in the woods.  We saw a lot of moose, but they left us alone if we left them alone.

However, this particularly chilly October day of 5 degrees with a foot of fresh snow, Luna, with her crazy sled dog paws, decided to take off half way through our walk.

I was not dressed to be hiking through knee high snow.  I didn’t even have socks on.

When I got home, I was hoping that Luna was at the apartment.  Alex just got home, and I tell him Luna ran away.

He gets out of the car and we start walking around the complex, calling out for Luna.  She has this nasty habit of never coming when called.

After about forty five minutes, I decide, for the heck of it, to go to our friends apartment.  The apartment was divvied up into sections, and each section had its own entrance.  For instance, I was in the B section, and our entrance was only for those living in the B apartments.  Our friends lived in the J apartments.

I walk over to the J section, open the door, and see Luna laying in front of the door, ears back, eyes dilated and just looking overall pathetic.  I couldn’t even get mad— she missed her best friend Bailey.

I put her leash on and walked her back to our apartment.  Since we had rescued from the no kill shelter in North Pole and didn’t want to risk running into the woman who disliked military, we decided to head to the Animal Control in Fairbanks.

We had been discussing getting another dog.  Luna was my dog.  She still is.  Luna isn’t overly affectionate with Alex, but she is with me.  She would always lay at my feet, when I go to bed before or after Alex, she always crawls into the bed with me.  When she wants to play, she always puts the rope in my lap first— it’s just how it is.  She’s a little more like that with Alex now, but that first year with her, she pretty much wanted nothing to do with Alex unless he was going outside.

This bothered Alex, because he had a dog that didn’t really attach to him.

We argued about what kind of dog, and he wanted to get a pug.  He thinks they’re hilarious, I think they’re annoying in large doses.  I told him we should get another German Shepherd mix, like Luna, and he said maybe.  He wanted to get a toy breed though, since toy breeds are just that much easier to take care of, but I told him we’re either getting a real dog or no dog at all.

I thought this was fair.  I just like bigger dogs.

We agreed to see what kind of dogs were at the pound, but not to adopt any dogs that day.

However, he grabbed his check book anyway, you know, just in case he changed his mind.  We brought Luna with so Luna could be the final decider.  We wouldn’t want a dog that Luna hates, since it would be her new best friend.

We get to the pound in Fairbanks and they’re actually a little short on dogs, having only 20 dogs total at the pound.

For us, not a big deal.  We walk through and find a lot of retired sled dogs, all in the ten year old range who are just lazy and happy to not have to run twenty plus miles a day.  While the dogs were nice, we knew that Luna, who wasn’t even three years old at the time, would drive these retired dogs insane.  It’s like putting a teenager with a ninety year old in the same house together.

There was a one year old female pug that was howling at Alex, to which he pointed at me and said, “HOW CAN YOU NOT WANT ONE?!”

Ridiculous for a pug, right?

Ridiculous for a pug, right?

I couldn’t understand his want to have such a noisy dog.  The dog next to the pug, a 140 pound black german shepherd, was barking at us quite a bit too.  He had just survived four bullets to the head and was hardly scathed.

Now THAT is a tough dog.

Unfortunately, he was very noisy and more than double Luna’s size, and we only had an 800 square foot apartment.  While he was a nice dog, you can’t have a dog that’s ridiculously loud in an apartment.

When we are nearly done looking at the dogs, convinced we’re not going to get a dog, we see this really heavy set looking german shepherd mutt.

She only stands to about my knee, she’s 50 pounds, and when we take a closer look at her, we realize she’s severely underweight.  The reason she looks so chubby is because her chest is the size of a barrel.  Never, in my life, had I seen a dog with a chest cavity so large on a dog so small.

She didn’t bark at all, she just had a big goofy smile on her face, her tail slowly wagging.

She was a dog’s dog.

Alex fell in love immediately.  I thought she was cute, but I reminded him that Luna was the final determiner.

We ask the woman working in the back to take her out, and we take her into a room where we can meet her.  She practically bites off our hands eating the treats.  She’s sniffing everything, but she’s got a very cute waddle like walk.  We notice that her stomach skin is really loose with stitches.

“Oh, she just got fixed.  She also recently had puppies, which is why her skin is so loose.”

We got to learn her back story.

She was found off 40 mile Chena Hot Springs Road, by herself.  For those of you unfamiliar with Fairbanks, Alaska, this is an area where there’s no towns and very few houses from 10 mile Chena Hot Spring road all the way to Chena Hot Springs, which is at mile 56.  She was 16 miles from the closest  house.

Apparently when she was called in, Animal control whistled to her and she came running to them, happy for attention.  She had udders, but no puppies in sight.  Alex and I speculate that she ate them since she eats everything.

This, obviously, tugged at our heartstrings a bit.  She was very affectionate with Alex.

The final test was to bring in Luna.

Alex went to get Luna from the car and brought her into the pound.  Luna, obviously, was a nervous wreck since she spent the better part of six months in a pound.  The new dog began to hump Luna the second she came in the room, to which Luna didn’t move.

We saw this as a good sign since Luna didn’t try to rip her throat out.

The Animal Control woman told us that they named her Sahara, since she has so much dark orange fur with a black saddle.  I figured this was perfect since I already had my Moon, I figured that I would now have my Desert.

We picked up food for her at Cold Spot Feeds, got her some rawhides, and brought her home.

We took her on a long walk outside, lasting close to an hour, and once we brought her inside she pooped on the carpet.  And peed in the bedroom.

She did this for two weeks.

No matter how much we walked her, she refused to go potty outside.  We would walk for close to two hours sometimes to get her to go potty outside, but as soon as we got inside, she’d make eye contact and poop on the carpet.

When we took her to get her stitches out, it took four people to hold her down to get them out since she had a lot of fight in her.  We then learned about Alpha training and started doing that every day.

I don't think she minds...

I don’t think she minds…

After a couple of weeks, she became a very complacent dog, never barking, no longer humping Luna into submission, and stopped having accidents pretty much completely.

Alex got his wish too.  He got a dog that was his.  Sahara likes me, don’t get me wrong.  But she never lets Alex out of her sight, and she’s kicked me off the bed on several occasions to be closer to Daddy.

So happy to be held by Alex

So happy to be held by Alex

She also had this habit of destroying my house.

UGH!

UGH!

Unfortunately, she is a lot older than we realized.  She’s got quite a bit of gray around her muzzle now, and each passing year she gets lazier and lazier.  Usually she gets her exercise by watching Luna run around the yard.  Sometimes she’ll jump out to try to catch her, but usually, she’ll just lay down next to us, her tail slowly wagging, enjoying the scenery before her.

She’s a really good sport.  We can dress her up, give her a bath, hold her like a baby, and she is usually just happy to have the attention.

Sahara, the happy reindeer!

Sahara, the happy reindeer!

To Sahara, the third, but always equal, love of my life.  May you live many more happy years.

Sorry this was so long, but I hope that this was heart warming, considering my last post was long and heart wrenching.  Not all pound dogs are lost causes!

What’s your story about your dog?  How did you come to get your pet?  Do you dress up your dogs to ridiculous proportions?  Tell me in the comments!

How A Scentsy Warmer Broke My Toilet

Okay, to be fair, it was mostly my fault.

This story happened when I was living in Alaska, shortly after I got married.  Alex and I were still in the honeymoon stage, we were just getting to know each other still, and I thought that absolutely nothing could ever go wrong in my life because I’d already survived shit creek in my teen years.

This particular night, it was a little balmy at -45 degrees, and I was tidying up the house.  I had my scentsy warmer filled to the brim with cubes so my house smelled of lavender goodness.  Since I had hardly any furniture at this time, mostly I was just vacuuming.  This was actually before I had Luna or Sahara, so mostly the vacuuming was just getting the dust off of everything because we had nothing but gravel roads in rural North Pole.

I decided that the cubes had used all of their scents and instead of dumping the hot wax in the garbage like I was supposed to, I decide to be a true idiot and dump the hot wax into the toilet.  It solidified immediately, making a huge chunk of cold wax in the toilet.  Since I don’t want to stick my hands in the toilet, I decide to flush.

Now, for those of you who are not engineers, let me explain what happens next.

  1. The flush starts to act funny because the wax gets really cold in Alaskan piping.
  2. The toilet stops working
  3. The Empress Majestic Dodo (me) decides to keep flushing, which it can’t because the giant ball of wax is stuck in the piping.

So, obviously, the toilet begins to flood the bathroom.

And after a few minutes, it starts to flood the hallway.  Then the bedroom.  Then the living room.

Alex was at work until midnight and it was around 8:30 at night.  I start to full blown panic.  We didn’t have a plunger because we never thought we’d ever clog the toilet, so I just keep flushing, hoping that it will start to work again eventually.  When the water is reaching the living room, I know I have to call Alex.

Me: Hey, honey, do you have to stay at work tonight?  Can you quite possibly come home right fucking now?

Alex: No, it’s Red Flag right now, I’m stuck here until probably one in the morning.  Why?  What did you do?

Me: Did you know that you’re not supposed to flush hot wax down the toilet?

Alex is quiet for a few beats.  I’m pretty sure he was banging his head against the wall, considering I heard a few thumps while I was waiting for him to respond.

Me: The entire apartment is kind of flooding right now.

Alex: Did you put towels down?

Me: I honestly didn’t even think of that.  I’ll do that.

Alex: I’ll see if they’ll let me go home since you’re trying to ensure that we never get our security deposit back.

When we got married, we married our towel collection as well.  He had a bunch of pretty, white towels and all of my towels were either a light tan or a dark burgundy.  Since I’d had them for a couple of years, I figured the color wouldn’t bleed at all so I throw every towel we have on the floor to soak up the toilet water.  The toilet eventually stopped flooding, but it still wouldn’t flush.

Alex was home about twenty minutes later, to which we put the towels in a garbage bag and head to Fairbanks to get a plunger.  After the thirty minute drive to Wal Mart, we stop at the laundry room in our apartment complex to wash all of the towels.

Naturally, I am not my mom who is a wizard at laundry and do not think to separate the colors from the whites.

All of our towels turned pink.

My husband declared me the Majestic Empress Dodo.  Never again, am I allowed to fix the toilet.

 

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