Aftermath

I was hit by a car. My life altered, radically and permanently, after.

I didn't ask for this, it just happened. And now I have to figure out how to cope. How to continue. How to pick up the pieces and move on. The very scary Next.

After the ER, I had extensive emergency surgery, and from what I can tell, though I never actually asked, my tibia came through my skin when it broke, as I still have a giant wound that according to the doctor was "the spot that suffered the most trauma." After the surgery though, they couldn't close me up. Too much bleeding, too much swelling. And that kind of swelling can lead to what they call "compartmental swelling" aka the swelling gets so bad it cuts off circulation and then I have to be amputated. Eee. So they operated, and cleaned out the dust fragments of bone, leaving the larger ones, then implanted a titanium rod in my leg which extends from knee to ankle.



Then I was given a hospital room. My last day there, I sat down and wrote out every nurse and everything I wanted to remember from my stay there, but I forgot the paper when I left. Sad. I remember the first nights I was still half-in-shock, half-drugged and didn't do much. After the first day though I was eating real food again, because I didn't want to do liquids. Some of the nurses were super nice, and super friendly, and others not so much. During the day they would come and have me walk on crutches. The first day we went from my bed to just outside my room. The next we went all the way around in a circle. Going to the bathroom was always fun. I had a catheter, an iv, and for some of the time, a vacuum tube in my leg. In order to go anywhere all of that had to come too. And it got tangled up easily, so I had to hop, or jump, or spin to untwist and it was agony. I wrote briefly about it being hell here.

One of my fondest memories of being in the hospital is all the love I received. Truly I am grateful for everyone who reached out, called, sent packages, flowers, or came in person. On Sunday, the 1st, I had 21 visitors. I had a 2nd surgery on the 2nd, which I remember nothing of, only the beforehand. Camille was my nurse that day, and I feel so bad for what happened. As we were waiting for them to be ready for me, my muscles started constricting, and wouldn't release. Like my fingers curled up and I couldn't unclench them, only it was like my whole body. This hurt really bad and I started to hyperventilate also, then I don't remember anything after that. I know my grandparents were there, and I'm sorry for scaring them. I also know there were like 4 nurses tending me just then. Camille said she got one of the directors and they did breathing with me sorta like they do with pregnant women, but I don't remember any of that. From the 31st to the 2nd, I remember my leg bled alot and we kept it elevated and with bags of ice. Sleeping was really hard. And because of the blood, they had to change my pillows like every 4 hours.

My third surgery was on the 6th. On the 5th one of my favorite nurses, Lynn, was so nice to get me out of bed, take me to one of their special rooms and wash my hair for me. That felt so refreshing. The 6th was my last surgery, where they closed up the 2nd fashiotomy. The beforehand can be viewed here, but I WARN YOU, THIS PHOTO IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART. AT ALL. The white you see there is my tendon, and above that, those are my muscles. Yeah, gross.

After 7 days in the hospital, I was still struggling to come to grips with what had happened to me. How changed my life was. How I was going to get through and move on and be okay. Friday I reached my limit and cried myself to sleep. Saturday morning they came in and took my blood again (which always hurts) and they had not done that in 3 days. Then the nurse wanted to give me one last anti-clotting shot which they give you in the stomach, and I couldn't take it. I was tired of being stabbed and tried of being poked, and tired of being stuck in a bed and unable to move. I asked her, please, did I have to? She said she could not force me to take the shot, but what did I prefer? Well, clearly, I prefer NOT to take the shot. She huffily said, "Good luck getting out of here." When the next nurse came on shift, I got the shot, but she gave it to me in my thigh instead of my stomach and it hurt less. But honestly, I couldn't have done anymore shots. I was breaking down, and emotionally frayed from being in there.

Going home was much of a respite either. They prescribed me some Percocet and I was on my way. The fierce independent that I am was quelled in my invalidness. I can't carry anything with these crutches. Nothing. The percocet really messed me up. I was nauseous, had an upset stomach, was dizzy all the time, and sleeping was hell. I would fall asleep, only to wake up covered in sweat. Like drenched to the point I wanted to change the sheets and take a shower. This would happen about every hour. I'd be cold, but sweating. I'd be burning up, but shivering. I stopped taking the percocet after one day, but the night sweats/chills continued and my stomach still felt constantly sick. The day after I got out of the hospital I went to church with my grandparents to prove my activeness (another post in itself). I even went for all three hours, though I got dizzy in Priesthood and thought I was going to pass out.

It was determined that my grandparents, though good people, were just too old to care for me properly. I continued reading books in my waking hours, or attempting to fitfully sleep, without much success. Time drug slowly by. Some nights I still cried myself to sleep with despair and one night I even started hitting myself in the face because I was so frustrated that my broken body would not let me rest.

I wished only for death. Why? Why the hell did I live? I know how many would have been heart-broken, distraught, devastated to know I was taken. I'm not saying I'm ungrateful for what I have, and the fact that I am watched over. I feel very blessed to know God loves me and cares for me, and he still has work for me here. I just don't understand the whys yet, and in those moments of lonely darkness, didn't want to be strong anymore. I wanted only peace. Elusive peace that death would bring. The nights after were difficult for me.

The doctor finally told us when we went for the first checkup that the condition I had was called Atlexisis, meaning that when I suffered my trauma my lungs partially collapsed. This was causing my organs to not work all the way and the reason I was having chills and sweats. The only way to fix this was to do deep breathing, and wait. So I tried to do deep breathing as much as I could, especially at night when I was sleeping, but it didn't help too much.

My father came to rescue me on Wednesday the 11th. I was still not sleeping. The first night he was there, he took me downtown to see Randi in her play. Two days later we headed for Florida. Before the airport, I got to see Meggers and Scott before I left (to return books I'd borrowed and say bye). The plane trip was agony, although getting a wheelchair was cool. We brought as much stuff would fit in 4 suitcases and two huge carryons, plus my backpack, but half of my stuff is still in Utah, and I left more than 150 books. The second leg of the trip from Denver to Orlando we sat in the very front so I could at least put my feet up, so that made it more tolerable, but still the flight was so LONG. When we landed my mom and brother J were waiting and they squealed and ran to hug me.

I would be lying if I said I was excited to be home, but really, I can't think of anywhere better. My parents can definitely take care of me. And I get to spend ample time with my siblings.

I have physically left winter behind for the sun, and now am left only to deal with the winter that still rages in my heart. The one that does not want to forgive, that is still angry, the one that is still hurting from what has happened. I don't know how to reconcile this, and frankly, don't know that I want to.

In time, I hope that it will get better.

Part of my headache and agony of the first nights and weeks has been resolved, thanks to Brit helping us find an attorney, which I'm not allowed to talk about for sake of our case; suffice it to say we are working on it, and hopefully all will be made right by the end.

Since coming to Florida, I have done a little better sleeping but not much. And I'm so bored. The days just drag, and all I can do is sit here and be an invalid. And I hate it. There's only so much reading, video games, and tv watching one can handle. Why isn't it May yet? AGH.

Today I even watched Spanish soaps.

One of the first days I was here we went to Wal-mart and I got to ride in the little dirver cart thing, which was pretty fun, and today we went out for subs. Other than that it has just been sitting.

Also Ry was sick when I got here, and I quickly caught the bug so on top of my leg pain and not sleeping, I have a cough and stuffed sinuses as well. Life is just peaches!

My knee staples came out on the 14th and were fine, but the ones on the inside of my leg got infected and we had to go to the ER. No one in Florida wants to take an "out-of-state" case so we couldn't find a doctor and went to the ER instead. We had to wait for 4 hours before there was finally a bed available. The doctor was really young, but he knew what he was doing. He took out the staples from the infected part and gave me butterfly bandages to keep the skin together. He also prescribed two kinds of antibiotics so that the infection would go down, and it has, significantly. Today I'm supposed to get the last staples out, so that will be nice. But I still can't feel my foot, it's still way red, and my leg still has this nasty bulge in it, we are hoping from the trauma.

But I'm doing okay. Relatively speaking. I guess. If you ask me, that's what I'll tell you anyway.

Why do we always say we're fine,
when it's obviously we're lying?
Why don't we ever tell the truth,
what do we got to lose?

And I don't know much,
but I know about love and how it hurts me to give up
It hurts me to give up

And I don't know much,
but I know about love and how it hurts me to give up
It hurts me to give up


4 comments:

  1. Erynn Marie said...

    Good heavens. Sometimes the worst part of a trauma is not the trauma itself, but the aftermath. I'm sorry to hear this has been so rough on you. Pain, sickness, lack of fairness, changes of plans, further complications, depression, hospitals--none of this is any good. I can tell you that this will pass and that at some point, things will be normal again--though, perhaps, normal in a different way. But for now, the better words are more along the lines of, "Hang in there. Enjoy your family. I'll keep you in my prayers."  

  2. Allie said...

    Honey--I love you and miss you. You're in our prayers.  

  3. Cassandra said...

    I heard about this from Tabitha; yikes, boy! I'm glad to hear you're making it through ok. Keep us all informed, ok? I'm also glad to see the other posts about your younger siblings keeping things interesting; laughter is the best medicine, after all!  

  4. Charlie Gammon said...

    I heard from Tabby. SpAz, hon, I feel for you, even more so because my EMT training gives me some idea what you're talking about. You're totally in my prayers.  


 

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