Adjustment and the Most Dangerous Highway in America

Yes, I'm still here. We made it through the springtime and the one year anniversaries of all of our losses. Summer kept us busy. Our first trip to Florida since Papa left us was quite a challenge, taking the kids around reintroducing the older ones, and introducing the younger set to all of our family hangouts, even establishing some new ones. Finally got around to placing a headstone on the grave of Josh's little sister, Rebecca who died before the family packed up and moved to Haiti to begin the Great Goodman Adventure. Such a bittersweet moment of placing that memorial, praying as a family and paying our respect, at the exact same time that, way over in Texas, Josh's sister, Jennifer, was delivering the newest addition to the crew.

While we were sightseeing around Josh's home state, an unforeseen thing happened. We were traveling back to Orlando from Tampa on the interstate, in the fast lane, in the rain, on what turns out to be the most dangerous highway in the U. S. when we were hit from behind and then side-swiped. The other truck hit the back corner of our truck which should have caused us to lose control, and then proceeded to scrape the entire length of the vehicle and finally ripping off the side-view mirror. Joshua was able to keep us on the road and bring us to safety on the shoulder where we could assess the damage and call the Highway Patrol. Long story short, three of the five of us suffered whiplash as a result of the accident and we have been seeing a chiropractor since we returned home in mid-June.

I've learned a few things since getting regular adjustments three days a week. First of all, I was hurting when we went in for our first appointment, but I walked out of there in a bit more pain, while at the same time having such a feeling of relief that someone acknowledged that I was actually hurt and in need of help. Our doctor explained to us how our spine links our skeleton together and if something is out of line,  it puts the rest of the body out of line as well. As we are being reset, other places may hurt as they are being forced to be brought back into line. He told us that we would have days when we felt wonderful and would even think about not coming back to the doctor, since everything felt fine. We'd also have days where it hurt so much like it had in the beginning and we'd want to give up. In the midst of all of this, if we kept with it, we would find that when it was all said and done, we would be walking away feeling better than we have in a long time.

I never knew that depression and anxiety were common symptoms of whiplash. I never knew that a vacation could change my life so much. I never knew that minding my own business and staying in my own lane, someone else's actions could hijack the peace that I was trying to walk in. Oh wait a minute, I did know that one. I was completely astounded, however, in everything I've learned about how closely my recovery has mirrored my experience with grief.

Wonderful, pain free days closely followed with days that felt like it just happened all over again. Finding out that I wasn't really all better, I was only adapting to a misaligned lifestyle that needed to be set right if I ever wanted to be whole again. Some people don't understand why you are "acting" like you're hurting so much, and the relief when you find someone who tells you its ok to hurt, let me help you get better, you're not just being dramatic and making it up after all. Don't even get me started on the amount of times in praying for my, Josh's and Emari's healing that I asked God why this had to happen, especially right in the middle of our vacation of all times.

On this side of the pain, on the road to recovery I can honestly say that while I'm not grateful for the pain, I am thankful for the experience of watching God take care of us in the journey.


Anonymous said…
Loved reading this, Amber. I love your style of writing. I'm so sorry to hear about the accident but so happy to see you all came out safe and together. Sending you prayers for a smooth recovery.

Ashley R

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