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.