We were nearly home when suddenly a thump hit the car, there was a wrenching of metal, the sound of breaking glass as the back window shattered and a hard crunch where our car was thrust into a frozen, icy, snow bank. When it all stopped we took stock of how we were. No obvious signs of injury. Joe got out of the car to see what had happened and how badly the car was damaged. I heard his voice, he was being calm, as he had to be.
I was in a panic.
Would our car be drivable?
If it wasn't, how would I get home? I've only got my manual chair and we were 'close to home' for a car but 'miles from home' for a manual wheelchair.
Was my chair damaged?
I take really good care of my manual chair because it's irreplaceable, they don't make it any more. It fits me perfectly. It serves me well. It's travelled the world with me. I turn to assess the chair. It's covered in broken glass. I can't see if it's been scrunched.
How am I going to get back from work each day?
Joe picks me up from work every day. It's our routine. It suits us. It works well. What if the car's repairs take a long time. What do we do? How do we organize our time?
We can't afford to buy a new car right now. What if it's written off? What then? What are our options? We need the car to get me around.
I called 911, they tell us to get information from the other driver and then take the car to the collision centre. I tell them I have a disability and am worried about the driveability of the car. They say to get a tow truck. I ask how do I get home? They say the police don't attend these things. I say this isn't helping and hang up.
They call back.
I'm told that though they don't normally do this kind of thing, since there's a mobility issue they will send a police car. Great. Someone to help me navigate getting home if I can't get home. The police car does not come. We try moving the car and it seems to be drivable, at least for the distance home. I call 911 to cancel the police car, the one that didn't come.
So that's what happens when Friday the 13th comes on Wednesday the 10th.