Wednesday, July 20, 2011
"At Least You Weren't Flying a Plane"
Praying makes a difference. The possibility that I would have been at work this week as a patient and not an employee (if God had not granted me a series of miracles) is high. I was driving home from California after a great week in San Diego and Redlands for a continuing ed conference when at 10 hours into the drive I enter the Utah County work zone. The sun has just set and I am anxious to get home to prepare for work the next day. My good friend Chris Wilde calls just to see how things are going and after a few minutes of chatting I let out a quick panicked yelp and say that my car just stopped working. In actuality, just the instrumentation simultaneously dropped to gravity dependant zero position. I do not know my speed, gas gauge, or core temp. And I do not know what is wrong. At work I described it as the dials went from full muscle tone to fully flaccid in an instant- an obvious central nervous system failure. Chris tells me to calm down and asks if the car is still running- which I note that it is. I also notice that my headlights are dying and it is getting dark outside. I am really nervous because I have 30 miles left with no lights and the sun is not going to make an encore performance. I am in the middle of the work zone- no shoulder. Chris says to keep going as long as possible. All my senses are standing at attention as I maneuver through the traffic trying to keep a clear radius because I don't know how much people can see me. One car pulls in front of me enough that I had to take my foot off the gas for a second and when I step on it again... pause, jolt and then reengage. Okay- that was really unnerving. The car ahead slows so I have to repeat process with similar results. Within 30 seconds of the initial pause the gas pedal now no longer works at all. Work zone, no shoulders, dark... (perhaps repetitive but this is what I am thinking) I am also slightly or moderately panicked. Chris is telling me not to panic and I am praying I have enough momentum to get to the next exit. But, I am slowing quickly and there is no way I'll make it. That is when a piece of shoulder opens- the only shoulder I know if in 20miles of work zone. I pray I still have brakes as I pull over. I of course have no idea how much shoulder there is or if there is a drop off because I can not see without headlights. Mercifully I make it tot he side and engage my brakes for a full and complete stop. My hands were shaking so bad I was giving Parkinson patients a run for their money. But I made it, I was safe and after a few tears and Chris telling me over the phone everything turned out fine, its all okay, I managed to calm down. I called my insurance and got a tow truck, Chris was already in his car and able to come pick me up. As for timing, the tow and Chris basically arrived at the same time, and my phone battery lasted long enough for me to finish the last call I needed to complete everything. I even had a highway patrolman and a kind hearted man stop and check to make sure I was alright while I was waiting. My only complaint is the mosquitoes the size of Zeus that infiltrated the car every time I had to open the door. I arrived home safely thanks to my chauffeur and even got a little sleep before going to work. Trax helped me to work and my incredible mechanic (love him) Mike got a new alternator installed by the end of the day. I was back up and running with out missing a beat. (If you need a good honest and reliable mechanic- Atlas Motors 4020S 500W.) I <3 them. I am so grateful I took the time to get on my knees and pray for safety and protection for my journey enabling God to work unrestrained to produce such beautiful miracles that something that could have been life altering-even ending- turned into a minor inconvenience. Praying-it does a body good.