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The Journal of Jeffrey Parren

NYC Marathon
11/06/2010 03:37 p.m.
Just letting all my pathetic.org friends know that I will be running the ING NYC Marathon tomorrow morning. I am a whole mess of emotions including anxious, nervous, scared, excited, etc. I am in the final wave start in the back of the pack so seeing me on tv is unlikely but my race number is 50816 if you wanted to log onto www.ingnycmarathon.org and set up a way to get updates on my progress or at least get a text of when I finish and with what time. My goal is right around 4 and a half hours, which is about 10 minutes per mile. Waiting tables has made training interesting and difficult at times, but I feel like my legs are strong and my mind is even stronger.

Tune in to NBC tomorrow on your television or even online to catch the action live of one of the best marathons in the world!

Wish me luck!!!
I am currently Anxious
I am listening to A million thoughts

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1000 Poems in a Month
05/31/2010 04:51 p.m.
Just letting all my pathetic.org friends that I will be trying to duplicate the feat done by Stephan Anstey a few years ago by writing a 1000 poems for the month of June. I have a fan page setup on Facebook entitled "The One Word Magician" to keep up with my progress or just look under in my folder to see all the poems.

If you want to act as inspiration send me some words that I can use to write some poetry!!


I am currently Anxious
I am listening to The AC

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Great Episode!
02/28/2010 09:04 p.m.
I just watched one of the best episodes of Law and Order: SVU. From 2008, entitled Persona. The twists and turns! If you get a chance to watch it somehow, I suggest you do. Big fan of that show, even though it is slightly disturbing at times it really is a good watch. I won't talk about the episode so as to not give away any of it, but top 5 episode for sure.
I am currently O.K.
I am listening to TV

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5 years ago today
04/22/2005 04:22 a.m.
Survival
(Posted on a Saturn enthusiast website after my ordeal)

Well, before I even start to dabble into my tale, obviously you (the readers) have some knowledge that I am here to tell the story, so that in itself is enough for me to pay homage to Saturn and its makers. Anyone who owns a Saturn knows of its quality, reliability, and enjoyment of the ride, along with many other adjectives that qualify. I hope Saturn keeps doing what it has done so far; the formula has worked for years and it worked for me…

The Day I Will Never Forget
My story starts out on a messy April 21, (’00), Good Friday of all days. I, so far, had a steadily uneventful day. (I was supposed to be doing something with a school-type function at 11 that morning but it had been canceled earlier that week for extenuating circumstances.) Only a common quarrel with my girlfriend and the eventual “fixing” of the problem were to alter the day at all. Overall, the day was going good, I wasn’t irritated in the slightest to have to go to work and bust my ass like I always pride in myself. The day’s classes were canceled, it was a good day to sleep in and get some rest, stroll into work a refreshed kid of 20, who was pretty much worn out from a full-time college schedule and working 30-hour weekends (Thursday – Sunday.) After lunch and the mini-quarrel, I walked with my girl to the parking lot to say our good-byes since Easter was in just two days and school was going to be out until the following Monday. We weren’t sure how much we were going to see one another over the weekend so the embrace was warm and lengthy. Little did we know what lingered in the foreground just 10 minutes later…

In my green 98 SL, I was driving with a good attitude. A little time off from school and seeing some family I hadn’t seen in a while was awaiting me over the weekend. It had been raining all day so the ground was quite wet and, as I eventually found out, slippery. I had been on the road for less than ten minutes. Turning left onto Riverview Drive, little did I know what was going to happen. I passed a streetlight that was merrily aglow with a green light for me to continue on my joyride to work. A downpour had now begun. I approached another car, a little white piece of crap that was going 20 in a 40. I switched lanes to my left into the fast lane of the 2 lane each way road. As soon as I had straightened the steering wheel, my car began to spin. A feeling overwhelmed me, as all time had almost slowed to a stopping point. I couldn’t believe what was happening. It felt like I was dreaming all in that instant. My whole day just flashed in my head: waking up, showering, lunch, my girlfriend and I saying our good-byes. I also had this feeling of being in “trouble.” I thought of my mom yelling at me for getting into what I had. I wasn’t scared in any sense either though. I was just waiting to wake up, like from a bad dream. Well, when I woke up I didn’t open my eyes for some reason. I just listened. I could only hear the gentle sound of rain. I didn’t know at that time, but it was the rain that was coming into my car through the two passenger windows and my back window, which had been shattered in the accident. The next thing I heard was a voice telling me not to move. Don’t move? Why can’t I move? Who was this voice that was talking to me? What’s going on? Where am I?

I Need Help!
The first person to my aid was an EMT. He just happened to be in the area and saw the accident. He was also off duty at the time. He is the one who told me not to move and the one who was also holding my head when I was on the ground. I was told not to move, but my body just pulled me out. I had no mental decision to get out of the car. I was okay until about 7 feet away from the car as I was pulling myself out and then the pain hit. My body was in total control until my brain received the pain signals and then I just stopped moving totally. The ambulance came there a few minutes after I stopped dragging my body. I wasn't going into shock or anything from what I remember which was a good thing. I was on my stomach when they got there and they had to flip me over to get me on a stretcher. I think they put a neck brace on but I am not too sure. I really do remember how much the stretcher hurt though. A part of my bone in my pelvis was almost totally broken off, so lying flat without pain was nearly impossible for weeks, much less right after the accident. Every time they moved me, either on the stretcher into the ambulance or to a different flat surface such as the one in the ER, was very painful for me. They had to cut off my clothes too, so I was somewhat pissed at that, in my out of ordinary state of mind that I was already in. I am quite a free speaking person (you can ask my friends that one) so in the ambulance I remember I was mouthing off to the EMT people quite a lot. I don't remember what I was talking about in between the moaning but I do know it wasn't too nice…

I relate the immense amount of adrenaline pulsating through my body as the cause to my body pulling me out of the car and dragging me about 7 feet from the car. I never made a mental thought to move. The only reason I stopped was the fact that a rush of pain had finally come over me. Almost five minutes had passed until my brain received any signals of pain. I noticed next my inability to breathe. I coughed and it sent a shockwave of pain through my body. I realized I was in a lot of trouble, not from anyone else, but for my life. Survival then became my newest issue. I just wanted an explanation.

The Other Car
It turns out that I had spun approximately 1-and-a-half times. I was T-boned at 2:30 PM on my passenger side by a white ’93 Buick, much heavier than my light ‘98 Saturn. The other car basically opened my car like a damn sardine can. The driver, a 67 year-old male with no reaction time available to him with the quickness of the events, hit my car as well as me. It was a busy part of the day so he really wasn't going that fast at all (I assume.) He was probably going the pace of the traffic, which at that time is around the speed limit (40). He might have been even going a little slower than the limit. I was going roughly 35 so the impact was probably quite a display. I started to hydroplane so I don’t really think I lost too much speed. I did turn sideways when I was hit but I was on the thin layer of water so it really didn't alter the speed of the car. I also did see him. I saw him as I started to spin and then again when he came into view after I spun around once. His car was more of a blur than an object that I was expecting to hit really. It all happened so quick and yet so slowly. The experience and the lessons learned will never escape me.

The Eyes Open
As I opened my eyes I found myself on the pavement. It appears that I hadn’t listen to that random voice. When did I unbuckle, open the door, and crawl out? When? This isn’t a dream…

The first thing I saw was a hand. It wasn’t mine. It was the hand of the EMT who was holding my head. It was also red, my blood. My head had hit the side paneling in between the two driver side windows. My seat lies way back because of my height, 6’4’’; comfort being the main goal. I can only imagine trying to remove my face stuck to glass. The next thing I saw was the other car. The Buick basically had no front anymore. The front tires were blown. The engine was now non-existent. The next thing I looked at was my car and it oddly looked fine. I didn’t understand it. I did notice that my airbag had deployed, but that was the extent of what I initially saw of the damage to my car. The driver’s side was pretty clean looking. After I saw the pictures of the car my dad had taken days after the accident, I was truly speechless. The car was terribly damaged. Half of the car was basically gone. As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Reflections
As I look back at the whole experience, or what I remember at least, I am amazed that I am alive. The pain was so bad. The inability to breathe was frightening. My overall injuries were as follows: Head laceration (approx. 7 staples to close it, all of which I was awake to hear staple into my scalp), Punctured right lung, Herniated right diaphragm (the organ located under my lung to make it open and close, basically breathe), 2 Broken right ribs, Fractured right pelvic bone (yeah, the one that a baby travels in between out of women and the one that men use to make the creation of that baby more enjoyable for the ladies), right Chest cavity filled with blood and other liquids, and a Liver that migrated to where my lung used to be. I went through two surgeries, 4 hours each. First to fix my chest which had been draining for the few days before the surgery. My lung was closed and refilled with air and diaphragm resealed as well. My ribs were checked just to make sure. A one-foot scar now resides starting under my armpit to beyond my shoulder blade. My second surgery was to fix my pelvic bone. A part of it had healed so they had to break that part before they could put the puzzle back together correctly. Five 2-inch screws and a metal plate roughly 9 inches long was put on my bone to make sure it held together while healing as they wanted. A nice scar resides there as well, approx. 9 inches, basically following the track of the plate.

After 3 and a half weeks in the hospital and a little over a week in rehab, I was able to go home. Since then I have been doing rehab three times a week and gaining my weight back as well as my muscles to my body in general. I am still unable to apply full weight to my right leg but that will come back in due time. I will be able to start walking full weight in August and I can’t wait. All the things I missed this summer! I will try to be as active as I can. Hey, it’s good to be alive!

I will admit it too, I am “Lucky to be alive.” I have heard that phrase almost too much after telling my story over and over again to people. I don’t feel exactly lucky right now, but I will when I am able to forget it ever happened. I could also look at what the other possibilities were too. I could have been with the school function I mentioned briefly. I would have gone to work almost three hours later. But the way I look at it is that this whole thing happened so I have to deal with it and not the possibilities. Basically I have learned that you have to life you life to the fullest and the way you want to. Don’t let anyone lead you around like a puppet, enjoy yourself and live every moment, every day, as if it were your last.

I want to send Special Thanks to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Paterson and Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in East Orange for saving my life and getting me back into the swing of things, respectively. I also want to thank all of the EMT’s that helped me in my time of need.
I am currently Reflective
I am listening to Silence

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