Later on I learned what had happened by piecing together what I was told by family after once again waking up in a hospital ICU.
I’d been airlifted from the accident to the closest trauma unit approximately 90 miles away. My family got there soon after I arrived. On arrival tests were ran per protocol, then triaged which included unsuccessful attempts at getting my hip back into place. I’m unclear as to what happened or exactly what the specific medical necessity was, but from there, I was airlifted for the second time to Barnes-Jewish in St. Louis. I have no memory of this, except for waking up briefly at the end of the second flight panicked at not being able to move, unaware of where I was, and being highly claustrophobic did nothing to help the situation. Luckily, we landed before I had a full blown panic attack only to have them accidentally hit my hip on the helicopter frame when unloading me and passed out once again because of the pain.
I woke up only three times in the trauma unit that I remember. Each was after unsuccessful attempts at putting my hip into place. My bed was surrounded by the several medical personnel needed for this procedure. The medication used to put me under during these attempts caused me to have terrifying nightmares as I’ve never had before. So much so, before putting me under for the third time, I asked the nurse to stay with me. I remember exactly what I said to him. This would be the last attempt. That was final. I needed and begged him to stay with me, and not leave until I was completely under. I told him I wasn’t sure I’d come out of where I was being sent back too. I was scared, I was tired, I thought I was going to die…. alone.
I’d not only suffered a dislocated/broken hip which ended up having to be repaired surgically with a bracket and pins, but also several broken ribs, a third degree liver laceration, and a broken tibial plateau (knee) which wasn’t found until five weeks later during my routine post hospitalization follow up appointment with my orthopedist.
I was hospitalized for a week. On leaving, I was able to come directly home instead of going to a rehabilitation facility. My mobility was very limited and required the use of either a wheelchair for any extended periods of time or a walker for short distances. I needed assistance with almost everything from using the restroom to getting dressed to showering.
It’s been six months since the accident and I have yet to get back to where I was physically before everything happened. Then to be told at my last appointment that I never will due to residual damage and deterioration caused by the wreck, my life has once again taken an unforseen, twisted, and wicked turn. Once again, as I’m having to cope, adjust and learn a modified way of daily living, I remind myself . ..
And that it’s all about isn’t it?? Living ~Not Just Surviving….