Sunday, March 02, 2008

lessons learned

Thanks to everyone for the kind thoughts and sympathy after my car crash! I'll usually keep my calamities to myself, but this was the rare occasion when I felt physically compelled to tell people all about what happened -- it was like this sick feeling in my stomach, and it wouldn't go away until I could share those harrowing emotions with other people.

A few people expressed concern about whiplash and other late-onset injuries. I haven't seen a doctor yet, but I definitely think that's good advice. My immediate impression was that I was perfectly fine, but there was soreness and bruising that I didn't notice until hours later. The next day my neck was stiff, and that didn't go away for another day or so. Since I was actually in two separate car crashes, in two different cars, apparently both insurance companies would cover any physiotherapy or health care, but I would need to report and make a claim within 10 days of the accident(s).

It's hard to piece together exactly what happened, though I can still hear and feel the crunch of that first collision. It all happened so quickly, I can't quite pinpoint the moment in which I lost control, turned the wrong way, or pressed the wrong pedal. I think my larger mistake was being on that road, in that weather, on not too much sleep. Tracing it back in my mind, the only things I know I could have done differently were to be better rested, take smaller streets, or wait out the snow storm before getting in the car.

So I'm trying to change my habits, to be less hurried, impulsive, and demanding on myself -- to get a full night's sleep whenever possible, and not just whenever I can't haul myself out of bed. To give more thought to the situations I create for myself, not just to rush headlong towards the next thing coming.

I'm not sure if those lessons are at all relevant to anyone else, or to bass playing -- I sometimes have to remind myself that this is supposed to be a bass blog! But I think any experience, no matter how scary or uncontrollable, can help teach you important things about yourself and your habits, and change your ways of being. Hopefully this one will help me to be a safer driver, and a less scattered person.


He of Great Ambition said...

Sleep is so important for us, but modern culture demands far too much of our time for an adequate amount to be achieved! I'm sorry to hear about your accident, and I hope the best for your recovery.

Bass blog, yes. Insight into the life and habits of an outstanding professional musician, YES!

Anonymous said...

Go to the doctor NOW!!!! Seriously Matt - after my first accident I had a stiff neck & sore back - I went to an orthopedic surgeon and had an MRI done - I have four swollen discs in my back (two in my neck two in mid back). I am having physical therapy to help get me back to where I was. You need to be very careful - for example a swollen disc can lead to a slipped disc and seriously affect whether you can play ....!!!!

Take Care & I totally understand about the mental anguishes too - it takes a while to get over that feeling of the crash ... go slow and take care.
Best Wishes

Anonymous said...

Get well, pal. I had a similar situation on a snowy road in upstate New York when I was about your age and in the middle of a move.

Lydia said...

Since both insurance cos will pay, you really should see a doctor... I imagine though that the 10 day claim window has already disappeared?

How have you been getting around? Is transit working out ok?