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"5 Years, my brain hurts a lot"

It’s a David Bowie lyric, I swear. But it’s applicable to this date in time. Five years ago today was my big car accident. Today’s a birthday of sorts for me. It’s been five years since I almost died, since I died financially (!), and since I annhilated my sister Kiera’s car.
I’ve told several of you I show you some pictures for some time now. I thought today would be an appropriate time. Now you all can see where my complex comes from regarding picture taking and the right side of my face. (I’m serious – take a look at my reflection in a mirror some time and you’ll see how drastically different the two sides of my face are.)

Here on the left is what remained of the car I was driving. It was a Geo Prizm, and it rocked – so I bought another one (which I still drive today). It was basically a head-on collision with a Suburban and yes, I was wearing my seat belt. That, and the air bag, are what saved me.
It just begs the Radiohead lyric “In a fast German car/ I’m amazed that I survived/ an airbag saved my life.”

Here are a couple hospital pics. I love the detail of the top picture – you can see my pre-op ear just hanging off my head, but you can’t see all the crazy trauma until the bottom picture, where my face is spilling off the side of the neck brace. My right hand also got pretty torn up, which had me worried for a couple weeks. But it’s fully functional now, although I can never bowl beyond 5 frams without starting to feel the aches and pains.

These pictures are post-operation. As you can see in the bottome picture, they cut open my scalp so as to fold my face down and reconstruct my face. It made for an awesome haircut for months to come. They also made a sizeable incision under my right eye in order to access and rebuild my orbital.
My eye was swollen shut for a few weeks and I spent a lot of time in that position, right in front of the TV. I don’t remember much from those days in bed doing nothing but watching “Real World” reruns. Probably because there was nothing to remember.
In these pictures I’m sporting a “Delta Center Post-Game Clean-Up Crew” smock, which still hangs in my closet. I believe there are only one or two of you reading this that will remember its origins (a post-monster truck rally cleaning gig at the Delta Center to benefit the cheerleading squad. There was only one thing that could get me to clean up after a bunch of rednecks at 1 AM – cheerleaders.).

This whole accident ordeal was an experience I’ll always be grateful for. It’s got to be one of the single most seminal events of my life and I think about it every day. But most of all I have to thank the doctors for giving me the Brad Pitt cheekbone I’d always wanted. It’s the reason I was able to swindle the hottest gal I’ve ever seen into marrying me.

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8 thoughts on “"5 Years, my brain hurts a lot"

  1. Hottest girl ever here, i remember the day Wes showed me these pictures. We had only been dating a week and I was dumbfounded. I remember that I kept saying “Your face is huge! Your face is huge!” My golly I’m glad for that new cheekbone – it’s so hot!

  2. Oh man….I remember seeing you live and in person and I must admit it was rather shocking. The coolest thing about seeing you was how absolutely positive you were. You were still in such great spirits. What a guy!

  3. Wesley;You have brought a lot of memories back to your Grams heart!!! My heart was broken and you….were terrific!!!! You would have thought you were on earth to give comfort to us!!!You were an amazing example to me of faith and the pristhood!! You are still an example to me and I love you and your precious family so much!!!! When the weather is better I WILL SEE HOLDEN AGAIN!!

  4. I just have to comment on this! You can’t tell me that was actually a car and not just scrap metal. That is insane! Glad you lived through it so you could marry the hottest girl ever.

  5. Wow…it’s incredible what people can survive, that looks like it was horrific! We’re happy you made it through and can confidently sport the ‘Brad Pitt cheekbone’…it certainly suits you.

  6. Jack-knife juggernaut, brother. I remember those days vividly. My first response to the whole affair when I walked into your hospital room was laughter, but looking back (and with a bit of medical experience since), I’m just glad you’re here. Also, I’m glad I wasn’t in that passenger seat, which is where I was most other days for years. Happy it worked out the way it did.PS, You were a crappy bowler even before that. I don’t think much was lost there.

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