A Christmas to Remember

Warning:  graphic description of an accident

Edit:  Other than a few edits that I made, this post is largely unedited. It was left that way intentionally to show how difficult it is to write, and to track my progress as I go along.

On December 19th,  we headed into Meijer in Gaylord to do some Christmas shopping.   It was snowing so we took it slow and I snapped a few pictures as  Ben drove.  Moments after I took the pictures, life as we knew it changed when our vehicle hit a patch of ice  and threw us over into oncoming traffic.   We hit the other vehicle head on. 

I saw the headlights from the other vehicle on the front of it just before we made impact.   Everything felt like slow motion.   After the initial impact,   airbags went off and there was kind of a lot of dust and things in the air for a few minutes.   Likely is probably more like a few seconds but it felt like minutes.

Ben tried to find his phone but he couldn’t , so he grabbed mine to call 911.   I remember him asking me if I was ok,  and I wasn’t.   I knew my left wrist was broken and I was struggling to breathe. 

Ben told me he loved me and I responded that I loved him too.   At one point while we waited for the paramedics I use my right wrist to pull myself up because I was really struggling to breathe and that hurt really bad too.   I also realized there was blood everywhere and didn’t know where it was coming from, but I knew I was hurting and couldn’t breathe.   With my first aid and cpr training, I knew I shouldn’t move because of possible spinal injuries, but I also knew breathing came before spinal injuries.   If I stopped breathing, it wouldn’t matter whether or not I hurt my spine. 

When the paramedics arrived, they assessed us. as well as the people from the vehicle that we hit.   I was labeled priority one.   They cut the door off to get me out then cut my seatbelt.   I was put on a stretcher and taken to the ambulance , where they began cutting my clothes off to further assess me.

I was also put on  oxygen.    When they cut my coat off from my left arm , I realized the bone must be through the skin on my wrist,  as I could feel the wetness from the blood.  I forced myself to stay conscious,  as I was afraid I wouldn’t wake back up if I went to sleep. 

They rushed meet me to the hospital in Petoskey,   where the trauma team then took over.  We noticed my belly was tender, and it was at that point we realized there was likely internal bleeding.

I was rushed into emergency  Exploratory surgery.  Just before, they allow me to speak with my mom on the phone briefly.

I don’t remember a lot for a while after this.   When I came to, I was in the ICU.   I have been intubated for surgery, but was on oxygen by this point and the tube had been removed.

I spent several days in the ICU before moving to a regular Room.   In ICU, we discovered even more was broken.   In all,   I have at least 2 broken ribs, a broken scapula, Broken wrist and a fractured wrist, broken toes, broken ankle, and a dislocated and broken hip.

I also had soft tissue damage in my stomach,   They had to repair about 10 inches of intestine, put stitches in my colon,  and make a temporary fix to a hernia where my liver is pushing against the abdominal wall into my chest.

In the ICU I had my own Room, but when I transferred to the medical word I shared a room. I spent from December 19th to December 30th in the hospital, before moving to rehab.

Spending Christmas Day in the hospital was definitely not what we planned. It will definitely be a Christmas to remember. In many ways, I will long treasure this Christmas. I may not have spent it with my husband and other family like I planned, but I did get to see my husband, And I felt God moving and working in unexpected ways. I don’t know that there could be any better Christmas than to spend it with God, and the amazing people He’s been bringing into my life through all of this. I may not have been where I wanted to be for Christmas, but I was where I needed to be.

On December 30, I transferred to Mary Free Bed in Traverse City for rehabilitation. I have a long road ahead of me and it is not going to be easy. But we know that even in all of this, God has a plan, and He is working everything together for our good.

In the meantime I will try to blog as often as I can. Typing is

really hard right now but I can use microphone on the headset Ben gave me to do speech to text. One day I will return to my writing from these past several years, but I’m determined to make this work for now.

3 thoughts on “A Christmas to Remember

  1. This is so awesome Cindy. God certainly spared your life and we are so glad He did. You do have a long road to come back but you are strong and with God’s help, you will do it. We are praying for you.

  2. Wow…I am so sorry to hear that this happened to you guys.
    I can relate quite a bit because on Nov 1, 1995, I was run over and dragged 25 feet by a group of stoned and drunken teenagers in a minivan. A Carhart coat had saved my life that day-it caught the undercarriage and held me from being smashed under the back tires…they threw it away at the hospital, so I no longer have it though…
    I remember turning my head towards the back of the vehicle as I was being dragged, prompted by the curb I saw flying towards my face at what the police deemed to be 25mph.
    I still have flashbacks and trauma from seeing and KNOWING that once I hit that curb, my face would not only be smashed in, but my head would be run over.
    Luckily for me, one out of about 15 people who were out in their yards, had the courage and foresight to run out in front of the van smashing into the window with the rake he had in his hand.
    As I lay there on the wet pavement, the driver – a 16 year old boy who had been left at home by his father who was on vacation in Florida- held my hand. He was crying and was so distraught at what he had done. He was apologizing profusely up until my aunt came up and told him to get the hell away from me. I let her know that he was just a kid, and he was as traumatized as I was.
    As I lay on the ground terrified to pass out, because I was afraid that I would never wake up again…I saw out of the corner of my eye, a figure of white light (I kid you not, I believe I saw this clearly)…it was kneeling on my left side by my knees/shins. I kept awake by focusing on colors around me and saying them out loud…I had an open book pelvic fracture.
    I’ve been having issues with flashbacks for the past few months…they usually start when the weather resembles that evening–especially if I get the smell and light sensory input at the same time. And, I wanted to write this to let you know that I get it and if you need ANYTHING…even just to talk…you can feel free to call me (I’m Kimberly from TheGreenHouse.Rocks) I think Ben has out number and if not, just get in touch with Jason. I know it can be hard when people around you are trying to understand, but they simply can not unless they’ve been there…so…yeah. I’m not thinking clearly again, so I’mma let you go.
    I’d like to say lots of warm and fuzzy things, but they really aren’t going to make it any better…so, I’ll just say that I hope you continue to improve and that both of you can heal from this experience.
    Kimberly

  3. Pingback: Where I’ve Been… – My A-muse-ing Life

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