A Car Hit Me Once

If I had a dollar everytime I heard "Oh my god you got hit by a car?!" I'd be rich. But if I also go a dollar everytime I had to re-tell the story, I'd be rolling in cash. So, here it goes. It was May 28th, 2011 on Memorial Day Weekend during my Freshman year. My Dad, sister, and I were eating outside of a restaurant in front of Marley Station Mall which was across from some Apartments. It was a pretty normal night, light traffic and clean skies, and we were just eating hamburgers. Then I look up and see really bright lights that were too close to be a street lamp and in that moment I heard my Dad yell "Run!" I jumped up and ran, but of course in the exact direction the car was traveling but I just didn't know that it was a car. I don't remember much between running and waking up, which I would consider good because I was in a great deal of pain even waking up. I woke up on the cold, hard asphalt and I remember I couldn't see anything or feel my legs and my chin felt like it had been stabbed... a man was also lightly shaking me asking if I were okay.
When I tried to move and I couldn't I began to flip out but the guy held me down warning me to not move. I heard sirens and then all of a sudden I was lifted onto a stretcher... and that shot excruciating pain throughout my entire body. The ride to John's Hopkins was a long one and my EMT and I went through the normal questioning. I asked what had happened, he hesitated but told me "Gabrielle, you were hit by a car. From what I heard you flew about 25 feet and I'm guessing landed on your chin. Your Dad and Sister are okay but the driver isn't. We are almost at the hospital.." Then I tuned out. I thought "HOLY F@!#ING S@IT I GOT HIT BY A CAR OH MY GOD HOW AM I NOT DEAD" and I began to cry. They whisked me away to some operating room where they quickly examined me, did some x-rays, and (as I tightly gripped the nurses hand) put 10 stitches in my chin. I waited til about midnight to have a room, unfortunately just like everyone else in the world they mixed my information up and I ended up being labeled as a 32 year old man named Gabriel.
The next day was testing and more x-rays. By the afternoon I found that my pelvis was fractured and I most likely wouldn't be able to walk, both sides of my jaw were fractured, my leg was badly bruised as well as the rest of my body, I bit my tongue pretty bad to the point where it would never fully heal, and I had to sit in a neck brace for the night. A nurse came in and gave me a walker so I could try and stand, but the moment I got up I nearly fainted from the amount of pain in the lower half of my body. But other than that I was sent home the next day and after 2 weeks bed rest I was back in school for finals. It took about a month for me to walk without any help and my jaw took 2 months to heal. My leg unfortunately is forever messed up as well as my mentality. It's hard to cope with the fact that I nearly died that night somedays... but somedays I'm thankful.

This accident caused a multitude of sensations within my body before, during, and after the fact. The main sensation would be pain or touch, seeing as I was sideswiped then tossed 25 feet sideways and landing on my chin. There was no pain before the fact and I thankfully don't remember during, but after my entire body ached. I felt the aches in my body through the means of Transduction. For example when I tried to walk, when I stepped down pain from my legs feet and pelvis where transduced into neural messages sent to most likely the Parietal Lobes in my brain, which led to me feeling pain in those areas and nearly fainting. But there were many parts of the brain used before, during, and after my accident. While I don't quite remember what happened right before and during, I can make a few inferences. For one, I'm quite positive the Medulla was accessed because when my Dad told us to run, even though I wasn't sure from what, my adrenaline and heart rate most likely increased significantly or in other words I was Psychologically Aroused. This is because my body was in a state of Sympathetic Division during my Fight-or-Flight Response. Now, after the fact the main things affected were my mental & physical health. For one, since I couldn't walk very well my Vestibular Senses were out of whack. I couldn't walk straight for a week or so and it took about a month to walk without any other help. Also since that caused a lot of pain I was on meds which made me fall right asleep so I'm sure my Pons were affected. The other main thing affected was my memory which is the regulated in the Amygdala and eventually the Hippocampus (which I'm accessing now to write about it).

The only thing about this accident that was Behavioial was the Operant Conditioning that occurred. My positive reinforcement would be that if I kept trying to walk I would get better and be able to walk without any outside help. The negative reinforcement would be trying to eat, because my jaw was fractured so it hurt like hell but I needed to eat. And the only punishment was positive punishment because if I walked too much my mom yelled at me and that was good because I wouldn't exactly heal if I over worked myself. This accident didn't really have Classical Conditioning or Observational Learning involved in it. I wasn't learning anything with any stimulus or from watching others, just trying to get back on my feet again.

However, cognition is really apparent in this because it's really hard to forget a freak accident like this. Sometimes, if I happen to be sad or scared I remember the accident. This is an example of Mood Congruent Memory. I experience an emotion and it triggers the memory. It doesn't happen often, but it's not entirely impossible so it's sortof a Persistent memory but not fully. It's not like everyday I think about it, just every once in a while. But since I experienced it myself, I don't really believe any Misinformation or Suggestibility was involved. Transience is a big factor though, so I don't remember the entire accident, but the important parts are what sticks in my memory.

Now, I had two main Emotional responses: Fear and Depression. These two can be explained through the different theories in this way...
James-Lange- I began to cry so I felt depressed and my heart rate increased so I felt fear.
Cannon-Bard- I cried and felt depressed at the same time and my heart rate increased and I felt fear at the same time.
Two-Factor- I began to cry because I almost died in the accident. I cognitively appraise the fact that I am depressed.
However, the General Adaption Syndrome it doesn't exactly apply. Sure, I was stressed but it wasn't a Chronically Stressful thing. If anything I was mostly depressed for a bit, but I was pretty happy I missed school for a while. I don't really ever remember myself freaking out about it after the actual incident.