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Challenge: We Have a Story to Tell II (Standard Editing)
Collection: Portfolio
Camera: Canon EOS-7D
Lens: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0L IS
Date: Jun 14, 2016
Aperture: 6.3
ISO: 160
Shutter: 1/200
Date Uploaded: Jun 14, 2016

[Jun. 15th, 2016 01:32:59 PM]

This is my story, this is my song...

First day of voting, and after looking through the images, I have no hope of top ten in this one. Yet there is so much to this story.

But can you really tell in a picture?

I have no visible wounds from this story, other than an arm in a sling, and now I'm not really even wearing that. I'm going through life slowly, and if you didn't know the story, you couldn't tell from looking at a photo.

The photo doesn't show the broken ribs, the football sized hematoma on the thigh, the break in the arm.

It doesn't show that there was a partially collapsed lung.

Can you tell that a 4,000 lbs compact suv was parked on my back?

Did you know that I felt it roll on top of me and stop? That it removed all my breath, so I couldn't scream? That it slowly dawned on me that I was slowly dying, I couldn't call for help, and that no one would know I was there until I was dead? That I was wondering whether I could somehow kick the car while laying on my stomach to make some sort of noise?

Does it show that the next thing I remember was my husband rolling me over and asking me if I was alive?

You probably can't see us waiting for an ambulance to find us out on a two rut path at a local park. Can you see me lying on the ground, one arm over my head, one arm down, afraid to move?

Did you notice that one of the EMTs didn't realize how long the drive was, and since the fire truck couldn't make it down the path, he ran all the way out?

How about the ambulance, and being loaded on it and driven back to the helicopter?

I don't blame you if you didn't really see the helicopter ride to Newport News level 2 trauma center. I didn't see much of that either. I guess they gave me something so that I didn't freak out too much on the helicopter.

Since photos don't have sound, I assume you didn't hear me singing the whole time. But I guess even with sound, you wouldn't have heard that. I kept panicking, so I sang in my head the whole time:

"Be not afraid. I go before you always. Come, follow me, and I will give you rest."

I haven't been sure of where I stand with my faith over the last number of years. But this is where I found myself until I got to the hospital.

Did you see all the people in the emergency room? It sure was a lot. You probably couldn't hear the tears and the quiet screams whenever they moved me. It's good that photographs don't have sound. I wouldn't want to hear that again.

Did you see how happy I was when my husband and son finally got there? I don't know if you heard that they were originally told that I was being flown to Richmond for a level 1 trauma center, and didn't get a call that the destination changed until about 20 minutes into their trip. But I was so happy, you must have seen that.

Did you see my son holding my hand? You must have seen how that calmed me.

You've seen my eyes: not in this photograph, they're doing much better in this one. But I did show you the other shot:

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Was it obvious that I spent 5 days in the hospital and then finally got home.

I don't think you could have missed the fact that my heart went into SVT before I even set foot in my house. That it was almost impossible to lay down on the floor with the ribs being on one side and the arm on the other. But you must have noticed how hard I tried to flip the heart back into sinus rhythm.

I hope you saw the EMTs that came to help. I only saw them from a prone position, so they were just faces floating above me as they tried to find a vein for an IV, so they could get the heart back into rhythm.

Did you see how sick I felt when the heart was going 220 beats per minute?

I hope you didn't see that they had to put the IV into the carotid in my neck. I was kind of sickened by the idea, but I'd take anything that worked at that point.

Hopefully you never noticed me carried out of my house on the stretcher. Those front steps are long and steep, and I was thinking about how much of a splat I'd make with the broken bones if they dropped me.

There wasn't that much to see for the next 5 days in the hospital.

Does the photo show the nightmares? Nightmares that have nothing to do with the accident. Seeing a woman have a semi tip and then land on her causing a chain reaction on the highway. Where the semi broke into parts and started coming after us like a B grade action movie. Where I only kept thinking that I survived being crushed only to die on the highway? Why does the mind have to create these things?

Can you see that I'm afraid to go out anywhere? That the littlest, strangest things revitalize memories of not being able to breathe.

This photograph doesn't show any of this. And I wondered how I could recreate the pain, the fear. How could I show you? Perhaps others could have done it. I couldn't.

But whenever I see this -- it will show me all of these things. It will remind me of the pain, the vulnerability, the process of healing. And it will continually remind me of how incredibly luck I was.

Peter: this is for you.

[Jun. 19th, 2016 05:24:29 PM]

Explanation of photo:

The tripod is there because I have not been able to hold the camera myself, yet. All shots have had the tripod.

The shot was done in the mirror, because I couldn't begin to do this by going back and forth.

The penguins were drawn by my daughter. :)

The no shirt was for two reasons: how vulnerable it's made me feel and as a homage to peter's shot:
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That there are no visible scars from this injury. Yet the scars still go deep.

Peter, my friend, my problems are healing. I'm amazed at your strength of mind and will. What an incredible story you gave us. If only we could be as brave in our stories.

Place: 12 out of 50
Avg (all users): 6.1964
Avg (commenters): 7.6000
Avg (participants): 6.1667
Avg (non-participants): 6.2105
Views since voting: 613
Views during voting: 142
Votes: 56
Comments: 20
Favorites: 2 (view)

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04/28/2020 07:21:18 PM
i've just read your story .. i had no idea ..
your story brought tears to my eyes .. was like watching a very sad and poignant movie ... i'm so glad that it has a 'happier ending' than might have been .. i hope that any of the ptsd aftereffects have faded ..
its a crazy place this virtual world .. we know a certain amount about each other .. but never the full story ..
and even in the real world .. we dont then either ..
i'm so happy you have your husband and son .. that they were your strength during that devastating time .. i just cant imagine what it was like for you ..

but when something of that magnitude happens ... and the very close call you had .. i'm thinking you have survived for a reason .. having said that .. i feel we are all here for a reason .. and it doesnt have to be earth shaking ... just doing the best you can .. and being kind and loving to your fellow man .. are a great foundation .. but you have that wonderful gift of your photography ... i wonder if that is part of your reason .. and what else .. xx
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/28/2016 12:36:32 AM
Wow - I held my breath so many times while reading your story. What an ordeal you have gone through. But I am glad to see that you made it and are, I hope, recuperating physically and emotionally. Thanks for sharing and my thoughts and prayers are with you for continued strength and peace.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/25/2016 03:53:28 PM
What a moving summation of a trip through hell. All traumas create memories that can be triggered at the strangest times. You have been on an incredible journey that will change you forever, and it sounds like you are using those changes to fuel creativity and as an opportunity to grow.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/24/2016 09:12:30 AM
Thanks for sharing your story. I think our world would be so much better if we understood each others' story better.

My favorite part of this shot is the expression in your eyes. So strong. So concerned. So intense. So unsure. Such strong contradictions that convey your story with conviction and force!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/23/2016 08:06:41 PM
Even with all you've been through you've proven to be a true photographer. You've dragged yourself out of bed, sofa or chair and obviously in pain to take those fabulous photos. Thank you for sharing your story and we are so glad you're here to tell it. Thank you for taking time to answer my questions and give me pointers. I hope we can meet someday.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/23/2016 01:27:10 PM
We love you, Wendy. What a brave soul you are. Thank you for sharing your story.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/22/2016 07:49:32 PM
Such a moving story. You are obviously a strong person to have survived this horrendous accident. Keep that strength. Hopefully time will heal you physically and mentally
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/22/2016 07:16:59 PM
Wendy, I almost feel I need to apologize for the 'so glad you are doing well' comment - it may seem a little glib. I am glad, of course, that you are recovering physically. And that you are so amazingly strong in coping with the after effects of your accident. I hope that the nightmares fade soon - become less and less frequent, less and less intense.
Some years ago I flew to stay with my daughter who had slipped in a flooded bathroom and broken some ribs hitting the side of the bath. Broken ribs, no collapsed lung or other injuries, but she was in great pain and zonked out of her brain on meds for quite a few days. So I can only begin to imagine how bad it is for you. My thoughts are with you - best wishes for as speedy and complete recovery as is possible. Your photography, under the circumstances, is phenomenal. You are one remarkable lady.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/22/2016 05:31:44 PM
Oh dang. Now I can't see.

I hate crying... so I can't read the rest.

Kudos to you, sweet, brave, amazing Wendy!

You are an inspiration to us all.

  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/22/2016 04:19:12 PM
Remarkable story Wendy; so happy you have progressed so far.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/22/2016 01:01:23 PM
Moving portrait, my friend. It is you, now, who are an inspiration.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/22/2016 12:32:52 PM
Wendy you're making a remarkable recovery. I hope the mental scars will heal soon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/22/2016 11:44:37 AM
What a story. A grand homage to the scars that remain for so many of us, scars primarily hidden on the the inside long after the traumatic event and long after the healing of exterior wounds. Such hidden scars that can, however, be seen in the depths of the eyes if one pays close attention. You surely showed us those eyes here.

I am so glad you are recovering. I'm sorry for the continuing fear. I hope day after day you continue to grow stronger.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/22/2016 10:01:08 AM
Amazing story Wendy, you have a lot to be thankful for, everyday we must remind ourselves of this.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
06/21/2016 10:16:54 PM
A very poignant reflection of your story, Wendy. I'm so glad that you are doing well.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/21/2016 01:22:07 PM
Nice portrait I give 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2016 08:20:02 PM
I am... SO thankful that your story is turning out with a happy ending! You, GO, girl!! <3
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2016 08:12:59 PM
Kudos for determination!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2016 12:48:18 PM
Painfull story. Wonderful image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2016 12:15:11 AM
Heck of a story. You look so STERN!
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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