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

This is a picture of Luna when we picked her up from the no-kill rescue in North Pole, Alaska.

About ten minutes after we first met Luna

About ten minutes after we first met Luna

She had been at the pound for around five months when we came upon her.  You see, my birthday is on Valentines, and the last week of January, Alex told me that since our one year of marriage was coming up and we had only had two fights (HAH! SO MANY MORE NOW!) He said that we were ready to take our relationship to the next step.

He was going to get me a dog for my birthday.

We felt that if we could keep a dog alive, we definitely had a chance at keeping a baby alive someday.  Along with that, I had been begging him since the moment we moved into our apartment to get a dog.  I would spend hours looking at petfinder.com and showing him picture s of dogs that would be perfect for us.  I believe a house is not a ho me without four paws and a wet nose.  Nothing, and I honesty mean this, nothing can lift a persons spirits more than a dog that is happy to see their owner.  For me, it keeps my depression at bay, they get me out of the house, my dogs are my fur babies.  I don’t care if people hate that term, for a person who was told she can’t have children, my dogs are my children.

So when the one year mark came up, and we had been getting along better than ever, he reluctantly agreed to take me to the rescue to look at dogs.

So on February 3rd, 2012, we called the animal rescue and got directions.  It was owned by an older woman, and we found out later she hated military.  Her reason wasn’t unfounded, considering many military couples went there and insisted on getting a puppy, only to bring the fully grown dog back stating they didn’t want to bring the dog with to their next base, or they had a baby and they didn’t want a dog bothering them with the baby.  Since we were looking at getting a puppy, she was pretty rude to us from the word go.

To be fair though, we went into the area where all of the dogs were and took a look.  Military aren’t allowed to have certain types of breeds, so we had to turn down the pit bull mixes, as well as a pit bull/Rhodesian ridgeback mix, and I thought I saw a black tail run through the little doggie door in the husky section.  I thought nothing of it, and she had no shepherds in at that time.

She showed us a 12 week old black lab mix with a white bow tie that was very loving and hyper and I fell in love immediately.  Since we didn’t have the money at the time, she said she would hold the dog for us until the next day so we could get the money so we could get the crate, food and so on.

I skipped to the car and when we got home, I dog proofed our house (we only had a couch and end table at that time, nothing else in our house), and the next morning at ten o’clock, we had the car cleaned out for our new little puppy, some extra money set aside to buy the things needed.  We decided to name her Geisha-niichan, or Geisha for short, because she was so darn pretty.

Alex and the original puppy we were going to get

Alex and the original puppy we were going to get

We were so excited to have a black lab puppy.  In high school, my brother adopted a black lab puppy and that dog, who is still alive, has always left a very soft spot on my heart for labs.

So we called the rescue to ask her to get the puppy ready.

She sold the puppy.

To a little girl and her father.

Alex, of course, saw how down I looked and got after the woman for not holding the puppy.  She said she had other dogs and he said he wasn’t interested.  So he took me to Barnes and Noble, where I read dog books with teary eyes and drinking a coffee.

I went on my phone and was looking at petfinder.com, and in there, at the rescue we had visited, I saw a picture of an absolutely beautiful Alaskan Husky/German Shepherd mix.  In the picture, she was shying away from the camera, her eyes were big, and she was only two years old.

I walked over to Alex to show him the dog.

“Do you remember seeing her yesterday?” I asked him, putting the phone right in his face.

“No, I didn’t see her.  Maybe she was hiding in the house?”

She was part shepherd.  For as long as I could remember, I had always wanted a German Shepherd.  To me, they were the ideal dog.  Beautiful, loyal, intelligent, sassy, fluffy.  Everything.  And Huskies are abnormally friendly, which would be perfect for us.

“Come on, we’re going to the rescue.  Now.”

I dragged Alex out of Barnes and Noble, shoved him in the car, and about a half hour later we arrived at the rescue.  The woman greeted us, and we followed her into the dog building.  We walked over to the husky section of the pound, where in a small area there were four husky mixes.  In the back corner, we could see a scrawny black husky with light brown eyes and tan socks.  She looked scared.  The woman pulled her out of there and handed us her leash.

It was Luna.

She was a little underweight, lanky, her head low, her tail touching her belly, and she was shaking.  She had a very athletic build, and the woman told us that Alaskan Huskies were sled dogs, so they tended to be leaner.

“How long as she been here?” I asked the woman.

“Oh, she’s been here for months.  Nobody has taken any interest in her.”

I couldn’t understand why.  She was shy, yes, but she was very obviously an athlete, something a lot of people look for in that area.  She was beautiful, she was shy, she was the only dog in there that didn’t bark.

I was in love.

“Alex, I think this is our pooch,” I told Alex.  He nodded in agreement.

Alex wrote the check for the $100, we were given a leash, and we drove back to Fairbanks.  To PetCo.

Where Luna shit on the sales lady’s shoes.

Then when we finally got her home, she wouldn’t really take any treats, except beggin’ strips.  And refused to eat.  Or approach us.  But would always sleep on the couch.

Alex thought I was crazy for how attached I got to her.  I would get teary just at the thought of bringing her back to the pound.  We had a couple of friends who had a terrier/husky mix that was overly energetic and when they came to visit.  Luna wagged her tail for the first time.

We brought her to the dog park in temperatures at around -20, where she ran for over an hour, refusing to stop.  We had to drag her away from the park.  She didn’t like rawhides too much.

Snow! SNOW EVERYWHERE!

Snow! SNOW EVERYWHERE!

After the two week trial was up, we got her paperwork with a letter from her previous owner, which I still have to this day.

I won’t put it on here, but you could tell by reading it that he truly cared for her wellbeing, which is why he brought her to the no-kill shelter.  He left his email and phone number, asking to be contacted when she was adopted.

So I called him, and we talked for a while.  He told me she liked her food with water on it, that she attacked the neighbor’s chickens, as well as her eating his couch.  He told me she never barked, or really made a sound.  She was a very shy dog, even as a puppy.  She had a sled dog mom, she was very well loved, but unforeseen circumstances caused him to give her away.

She was loved, but he had to let her go.  I respect him for that.

I’m sorry I couldn’t have found her sooner, but I did find her.

Looking back now, I am so glad that the black lab puppy was sold.  If we had gotten that puppy, Luna may still have been in the pound.

Since we’ve adopted her, she’s warmed up and come out of her shell.  She sleeps in the bed with us, I wake up to her licking my face or her dropping a rope on me.  She’s still fairly quiet, but sometimes, if she really wants a belly rub, she’ll “moo” at us.  When I’ve been at my computer for too long, she’ll put her paw on my arm and give me a look, which I call her “Shenanigans” look, where she’s basically telling me that I’ve been on the computer too long and that we need some fresh air.

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

Luna is not amused by your shenanigans…. ever

She’s made me more active.  She’s kept a lot of the loneliness away, and when we adopted Sahara, she’s given us a lot of entertainment.

I’ll have her until her dying day, where a little part of me will probably die with her.

She’s about 4 and a half years old now, healthy as ever.

Since I was once told that I can’t have children, she’s replaced that want with the love only a dog can give.

To her previous owner, you know who you are, thank you.  She has filled a part in my heart that I never thought could be fixed.

Shelter dogs need love too, they tend to love you more.

Luna in Louisiana

Luna in Louisiana

That picture was taken about a week ago.  Since getting her, she has learned how to play fetch as well as tug-o-war.  As you can see, she looks much happier now than she did the first time we took her home ❤

Does anyone have an interesting way of finding their pet?  Any great shelter stories?  I love hearing about people’s pets 🙂

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