It was a Thursday morning. My first full week back to work after the birth of C4. It wasn’t a particularly bad morning – a pretty normal one, actually. I woke early to start work. I packed a lunch and a school bag. I loaded up both girls in the red car I loved.
Two blocks later, I was in an accident. A woman pulled in front of me and when she stopped, I went around her. She sped up and I, in turn, accelerated to get around her on a curve. My car hit a wet spot and lost control. The car was skidding and was headed towards a tree that would have hit the side of the car. The side of the car where C3 was in her car seat, next to her sister. I turned the wheel and instead crashed head on into a palm tree.
I would do it again. I hope I never have to do it again.
The airbag went off. I got up, out of the car. I pulled C3 out of the car and walked to the other side of the road – away from the smoking car. The woman from the other car pulled out C4. I stood there, in the grass with my crying children while she called the police and an ambulance. Apparently, I had blood dribbling down my left knee. C3 stopped crying when she saw the fire truck. She was mesmerized by the first responders. C4 just wanted to eat. I fell to my knees at some point – standing was too difficult on what I presumed was a bruised hip.
The paramedics helped me stand and then decided to take me to an ER. Because I was dizzy. I had no idea what was in store. Inside the ambulance, C3 played happily and C4 nursed like a fiend. We waited for K to arrive.
I went to the hospital, but refused pain medication. I was a nursing mom. I took x-rays where the techs contorted my body, moving me from side to side. I felt pain, but I still thought I’d be walking out of the hospital that night. I had no idea. I had no idea what I had done to my body. Then, the doctors started coming in. They made me take real pain medication. They told me I’d have to go to a trauma center and that they were searching for a doctor to fix me. Not everyone fixes broken acetabulums.
I was transported to yet another hospital – two ambulance rides in one day! I couldn’t believe it. I went for more x-rays, more ct scans. I had more pain medication. A rod was drilled into my leg for skeletal traction. I was sent to the ICU. I had no idea at the time I was in the ICU. I suppose that’s good – the not knowing. I had no real idea that I had broken my pelvis, my hip joint, so much.
I was in skeletal traction for five days – Thursday through Tuesday around 5pm. Swelling had to go down. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t eat. It was… different. Then, surgery: seven surgeons (a bunch of residents) and nearly seven hours. My high pain tolerance finally failed me and I begged for more medication. I was drugged to get through the following 24 hours. I had trouble moving and the hospital staff suggested I go to a rehab clinic.
I refused. I put pictures of my children on the bars of my bed. I took control of my recovery much like I take the control of all things. I forced myself up. I forced myself out. I had to get home. C3 was getting “handsy” at school. C4 wasn’t turning her head at the sound of my voice. Pumping and dumping was getting old.
It sounds horrible, right? It was. But I had incredible staff who took amazing, amazing care of me. Family and friends visited me – unwashed hair and all. My husband stayed with me. People prayed over me. More people took care of my broken family and I realized how much work I actually do to keep things moving. I am a mother; I can do anything.
I came off pain medication the day after I came home from the hospital. I wanted my eyes back. I wanted my nursing relationship back. I put a scarf on my walker to help me move my leg. I put a basket on my walker to increase my independence. I breathed in healing air.
I believe in intercessory prayer more than anything. I am amazed by it because I can feel it working. I am so much better than I was. And oof – the weight loss, y’all. I am stronger than I have been in years. And, y’know – a whole right side weaker.
I think the shock kept me from knowing how hurt I was in the hospital. I would somehow forget that I had broken the hip joint and my pelvis. People had to remind me continuously that I had stitches in my left knee and a large hematoma across my stomach. The mind is amazing at protecting itself.
Anyway, that’s the story. That’s what happened on May 15th that will change my life forever (severe arthritis FTW!). That’s where this new lesson in patience originated from. This is where my new understanding of grace comes from. Just, um, take my word for it. No need to try this one at home.