31 days. 744 hours. 44,640 minutes. May 16, 2022 somewhere around 1400ish I got the phone call. The call that would change our lives forever. Oddly enough, this is the second phone call I’ve received that would be so surreal that I almost felt like I was having a nightmare. If I could take that morning back I would. I was rushing around that morning. I woke up late and was taking my stress out on J and the kids. I remember kissing J on the forehead then stormed out of the house. That was our last encounter. My day went on as usual, dropped Jackson off at school, went to coach, and then started diving into that day’s worth of bids and phone calls. I worked out at lunch and then went for a walk with little Josie aftweards. I remember seeing a black cat and rushing past it so it would not cross my path. I always joke that I’m not superstitious but just a little stitious. I had just settled back into work and then I saw my dad’s name pop up. My stomach hit the floor and I immediately knew. I answered and he told me that J had been in an accident and that he would send me the address to the hospital so I could come up there. I asked all the necessary questions and learned that he was conscious but it was serious. The worst part of getting the phone call was I couldn’t leave right away. I had to feed Josie and go get Jackson from school. Once we were finally on the road I realized how slow time could be. The 2 hour drive seemed like it took an eternity. Once arriving at the hospital I was met by both my mom and dad. Apparently my dad had called my mom to come too (thank goodness). They wrestled our tiny little human in the waiting room while I was taken back to see J. My dad warned me that his legs were broken and they were going to look “weird”. Having been in EMS I had seen my fair share of traumas. Seeing my husband as the patient was something I never thought I’d have to do, or want to do. My dad was right. J’s legs looked extremely “weird”. I was so relieved to walk around that corner and see him propped up and talking. I didn’t even care what the leg situation was at the time. As long as I knew he was awake and talking I was relieved beyond measure. I was greeted by a whole staff of nurses and doctors and started learning about all of the injuries he had sustained. He had bilateral tibia and fibula fractures, a broken wrist, and a brain bleed. He also had some abbraisions to his torso that were caused by the friction from his jacket during his sliding. The left leg also had compartment syndrome so that was a pressing issue. I sat there by his side while he was in the ER sick to my stomach. So many thoughts racing through my head. How am I going to be there for my husband and be there for our kids? No one ever tells you that there might be a day where you are faced with a choice of caring for your kids or caring for your spouse. And I hope you are never in that situation. When you say your wedding vows and you get to the part of “in sickness and in health” you imagine the flu, the man cold, or maybe your mind wanders to the C word. Never in a million years would I have imagined that this would be our sickness or in health. The nurses worked on stabilizing his legs and got him prepped to go to a room. We knew he would be having surgery but we did not have any details. I went back to the waiting room and updated my parents and we decided that they would take Jackson home and I would stay with J until we got some more answers. I followed J up to the 6th floor with little Miss Joise asleep in my carrier. I asked the nurses if Josie was going to be an issue and they reassured me that she would not be a bother. We learned that he was scheduled for surgery the next day at 0630. I listened to all that was going on and let the staff do their job. He was in the IMC department so they could monitor his brain bleed and monitor the legs. They got him cleaned up and started to address his pain. I started to get packed up so I could go home and get Jackson set up for the next few days. The next morning I took Jackson to school and then started heading back to the hospital. J was already in recovery by the time I got to the hospital. His family was there in the waiting room, I was not fully prepared to see J in that state. They put external braces on his legs so there were rods and pins everywhere. They also had to do a fasciotomy on his left leg to relieve the compartment syndrome. There was a wound vac on the fasciotomy to help pull out the fluid trapped in his leg. The doctor advised me that this was the first of many surgeries that we should expect to go through. Holy smokes. My mind just went to mush. The thought that he was going to have to go under multiple times made my anxiety shoot through the roof. I went out to the waiting room and traded off with one of his family members. He was only allowed 2 people in the room so we would trade off. That day I was made aware that day that Josie was not allowed past the waiting room on the 6th floor due to it being an ICU floor. I broke down in the middle of the hallway crying like a fool because I was then faced with yet again another choice. Because I chose to nurse our daughter I wasn’t able to leave her for long. I do not have a freezer stash and she hasn’t taken a bottle since a week old. I begged them to try and make an exception. I explained that we lived 2 hours away and that she was nursing and my family was back home caring for our oldest son. They made some phone calls but sadly due to hospital policies there was no budging. I started having to spend more time in Brenham since all I was allowed to do was sit in the waiting room. I cannot put into words the feelings I was feeling (and still do) that my husband was laying in a hospital bed alone and there was nothing I could do about it. Unless I switched our daughter to formula. But thanks to the current country’s situation there was a formula shortage. I tried pumping milk to build up a stash but I don’t know if it was stress or just my body not being used to it I couldn’t get much. Not to mention, adding one more task to my plate would just be insane. I scheduled trips up to see J when I had someone available to tag along to sit in the waiting room with Josie. One of J’s shift captains met me there and sat with her, my dad came for a day, my mom went, and his dad even watched her after one of his surgeries. He was in the hospital for 18 days. 18 long days. J came home and we got him settled.He is wheelchair bound and had to keep the left leg elevated due to having a skin graft where the fasciotomy was performed. I jumped right into getting his medication schedule written out and getting things organized to help get him around the house. Thanks to my dad and Uncle D for tirelessly working on the wheelchair ramp getting J in and out of the house was flawless. Inside the house was a bit more challenging. The bed was too high, the doors too small, and those are just the things I can remember. My dad came over and built a platform with a ramp to make it easier to transition from the bed to the wheelchair. We took each task and analyzed it to see if there were things that could be done to make this new life easier. I was doing J’s bandage changes for the skin graft site. We had to Amazon 1-day ship everything and even had to reach out to family for some supplies since the hospital only sent us home with supplies for 1 day. I changed gloves so many times so I could keep the wound clean. We settled into a routine but on Sunday J started to become feverish and started to show signs of sepsis. We called EMS who came out to evaluate him. They confirmed our suspicions and I helped get him on the stretcher and watched them load him in the back. He spent 4 days in the hospital while they tried to get control on the infection. Within this time Jackson had been diagnosed with post streptococcal pneumonia. With the help of my mom we kept him home so we could monitor his wheezing. I felt so bad for Jackson. We had just gotten over having the stomach virus mixed with E. coli AND strep. When J was discharged my sister and I loaded up and headed to Round Rock. We got him in the car, got him some Torchy’s Tacos, and headed home. We settled back into our little routine. We worked hard over the weekend to find ways where he could move around throughout the house alone while I was at work during the week. Monday I went back to work and it was a relatively normal day. My dad went over and had lunch with J and then a few hours later I came home to start the evening routine. After the kids were down I checked on J and he became feverish again. I immediately began messaging my aunt who is an RN for a local hospital and after I told her everything that was going on we decided it was best for him to be evaluated again. Gigi came over to be here with Jackson and J and I started making our way to Bellville. Due to them having Covid patients Josie and I waited in the waiting room while they took J back. The nurse came out and told me that he was still septic and they were going to keep him and transfer him back to Round Rock as soon as possible. I made it back home around midnight and tossed and turned all night. The next day I went to work, got all my stuff done as soon as possible and then headed to Bellville to see him before he got transferred out. Josie and I visited with him for a couple hours and then back to Brenham I went to get Bubs from school. He’s been at St. David’s in Round Rock since Tuesday night and they have been phenomenal. He had another surgery (4th) to go in the left leg and clean out the infectious fluid. He’s been there resting and recovering. We miss him more than I’ll ever be able to put into words. I know that this is only the beginning of a long road to recovery for him. One thing I know is that I will be there by his side through all of this. Whether that’s being at the hospital or here at home taking care of the house and kids. Everyone keeps saying how strong I am, how resilient, how amazing. But I feel like none of those things. The only way one could truly know how we are feeling is if you’ve been through this or are down here in the trenches with us. And if one more person tells me “it could have been worse” I might just combust. Of course it could have been worse. We 100% have recognized that. But, this is our for better or worse. This is the worst traumatic event we have been through in our life. Telling me to be thankful for it not being worse does not lessen what we are going through. It honestly just irritates the piss out of me. My husband, the father of my children, and my best friend is going through the hardest accident and recovery without anyone by his side at the hospital. If only I could clone myself so I could be in 2 places at one time. We FaceTime throughout the day and he calls to blow kisses to Jackson and Josie before bed. I am so thankful for the Bellville Medical Center staff and St. David’s staff for taking such great care of him. I am so thankful for my parents and sister for being here day in and day out to help with the kids and Josie. I am thankful for the family and friends who have turned into family that have stepped up. I am beyond thankful for J’s work family who have come over and checked on us and for checking in on J when they know he’s not at home. We are so thankful for all that have donated to the GoFundMe or given grocery cards. I am thankful for the family and friends who have brought meals. We will never be able to fully thank everyone and I know that there will be so many more reasons to thank everyone as the journey continues.
2 thoughts on “One Month.”
What an unbelievable story. My gosh! My heart goes out to you guys going through this trial. You can see how healing it is for your hubby to have his kids around. God speed to his complete recovery.
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What a great writer you are too. I cried when you cried. Thank you for your story