Monday, May 10, 2010

On luck and miracles

I've never considered myself a lucky person. I'm not unlucky, necessarily, but certainly not one of those people for whom things always seem to work themselves out. And certainly not one of those people who wins raffles or finds an abandoned roll of quarters on the sidewalk.

But today? Today I am the luckiest bastard alive.

Driving to work this morning I began to feel short of breath. I thought nothing of it because, you know, I'm pregnant, and babies have a way of doing that to their mothers. But shortly thereafter, I started to feel hot. Way too hot. I rolled down the windows and pulled my hair off my sweating neck. I immediately identified this feeling. It's been a long time, but I used to suffer from regular bouts of hypoglycemia.

I needed to get my blood sugar up or pass out.

I scrambled frantically to pull a bottle of juice from my lunch bag, and attempted to plan my escape route. I was driving, unfortunately, along the viaduct near the entrance to the Battery Street tunnel. Seattle locals will know that this means speeds of 50mph and no shoulder. I would have to get through the tunnel before I'd have the opportunity to pull over.

I gulped down juice and maneuvered into the right-hand lane to be ready for the exit after the tunnel. The end of the tunnel spits cars into a tricky stretch of road: relatively high speeds, merging traffic, and no real exits... just hard right-turns onto side streets. Basically, once you come through the tunnel, it's no longer a freeway, but people still treat it as if it is. I've seen more accidents and near misses on that stretch of road than any other in Seattle, so I wasn't looking forward to navigating it in my diminishing state.

I headed into the tunnel, willing myself to stay conscious, gripping my juice bottle like that would save me. Deciding two hands on the wheel was a better bet, I wedged the juice between my legs and focused on the end of the tunnel. Things were going okay, the heat in my brain was beginning to subside and I thought the juice was kicking in.

And then, emerging from the tunnel, my vision began to go black. I had time to check my mirrors and my blind spot, veer right into the "exit" lane, and note that there was no one behind me to rear end me if I slowed waaaaaaaaaaaaaay down.

And that is precisely what I did. On any other day, I would've caused a 5-car pile up. On this day, I managed to keep from killing myself or anyone else as I turned, barely conscious, onto the side street. With my vision all but gone, I hit the curb - hard - as I turned, and spent a bit of time partly on the sidewalk. (Thank god she's a Subaru. Thank god's god there was no one on the sidewalk.)

Safely on the side street, I pulled far enough forward to not be hit by anyone electing to make the same turn and stopped the car. Horns honked as cars had to make their way around me, and I thought to turn on my flashers. Immediately, the honking stopped. Thank you Seattle, for being so polite.

My vision quickly returned to normal and I was able to drive across the street to a parking lot and call The Man. The car drove fine - not even a hint of anything out of alignment and I'd miraculously left no destruction in my wake. Worst off were my jeans, soaking with the juice that had once been contained in a bottle between my legs.

Sitting in the parking lot, I dug into my lunch to get my blood sugar back to normal while I waited for The Man to come rescue me. And I thought - A LOT - about just how incredibly lucky I really am.


cd0103 said...

Oh man. You are so incredibly lucky! Thank heavens you are okay.

Not a soccer mom said...

That is so scary. I have a bit of low blood sugar also.
That sounded a bit like my migraines. I certainly hope all is well with you and your baby.

And so glad you are ok.

T said...

Dang girl! Whew! What clear-headed thinking for someone who was about to pass out!

See what single motherhood'll do for ya?


Hope you went to get that checked out.

BigSis said...

That is so scary. I'd say you are lucky to be blessed with such a level head!

MindyMom said...

Wow. SO glad you were able to navigate yourself out of the situation safely. You ARE lucky. How scary.

Single Mom Seeking said...

Wow, fast thinking. And please promise us that you'll carry around some snacks in your car, okay?

So glad you're fine, babe!

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