Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I never imagined continued...

     I never imagined I would wake up in a hospital ICU room with no memory of what brought me to that point.  Several weeks ago Barry and I visited with the police officer who was first on the scene.  Barry and I have talked multiple times about the events that had transpired that morning.  Bryce (Barry's dad) had spoken to him many times while we were in the hospital and we had learned quite a bit about what happened.  We apparently had passed a van that was going below the speed limit.  Barry generally sets his cruise around 5 miles an hour above the speed limit.  So we were heading North on the highway.  It was such a dark night.  I remember talking to Barry at some point that morning about how dark it was - it seemed like there weren't even any stars out.  We had picked up Emma a few minutes before and we were on our way home.  The plan was to go home and I would get ready for work - some of the kids had spent the night at Bryce and Sherry's (the boys) and we had left the girls sleeping at home.  Barry was going to hang out with the kids that day, including Emma, (so Judy could go to work) and then after work we were going to head up to my parents home in New Dale to a Brown family Thanksgiving dessert party.  I had made some pies the night before.  barry loves my homemade bananna cream pie and I had made that plus a coconut cream (since I love that).  It was fun to have Breanna at the house and we talked about the trip she was making for Thanksgiving weekend.  We talked about how it wasn't going to be exactly like she had planned but that it would still be fun and she was excited about going. 
     The police officer said that just after we passed the van a Semi pulled behind us apparently intending to pass us after we pulled back into the other lane ahead of the van.  Barry remembers seeing something in the lane ahead of us, and saying to me - "thats weird that vehicle doesn't have any tail lights".  Just moments later he realized that it wasn't tail lights he was looking at it was the front of a pickup coming towards us in our lane.  He remembers trying to swerve off the road to miss the truck - but it was too late.  Thank goodness he tried to turn because that is most likely what saved our lives (that and our gaurdian angels).  If Barry hadn't swerved the two vehicles would have hit directly head on - causing them to come to a stop and the semi would then have ran right over us.  As it was, the police officer said that as our cars parted -the force now pushing them to opposite sides of the highway - the semi went right between them; with no time or space to spare.  It really is amazing that no one was killed. 
     The police officer said that as he hurried to our car he was sure there would be noone alive inside it.  He came up on the car on my side and saw that I was up out of my seat with my head partway thru the windsheild.  He said as he watched I twisted my head kind of funny, pulling it out of the windsheild and sat back down in my seat.  He said I had my legs crossed with my right leg over the left.  That didn't really surprise us because I often sit in the passenger seat - with my legs crossed - so I could lean over the seats and hold Barry's hand while he drives.  Anyway the police officer said that both Barry and I were awake - Barry was having great difficulty breathing - he had after all just bent the steering wheel with his chest.  Barry had 6 broken ribs and either the steering wheel or his ribs had made a laceration on his liver.  Barry says he remembers this and the pain that his body was in at that point.  He said he felt like he couldn't get a breath.  He remembers telling the police officer who we were and that his feet really hurt (both were horribly broken) and that he should talk to his wife.  I apparently was pretty happy to talk to the police officer.  I too told him who we were.  I knew who Emma was but couldn't remember why she would be in the car with us.  Emma was pretty much not hurt and even told the police officer that her name was "Emma Holman" - (really shes Emma Lowder).  It truly is a small world and one of the firefighters on the scene knew Emma and her family.  But in the mean time the police officer needs information on how to get ahold of someone to help with Emma since she was very much a minor.  I gave him my phone and told him how to get a hold of my mom.  He told her that he couldn't tell her much but that Barry and I had been in an accident and that we would be transported to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center (EIRMC) in Idaho Falls - with broken bones.  My mom then made phone calls to both our family members and got the them all heading towards us. 
     In the meantime the police officer said I was pretty much happy to chat with him.  As I mentioned he said my legs were crossed and he could see the bone sticking out of my right femur pretty far.  Dr. Lee later said it was one of the worst compound femur fractures he had ever seen.  The police officer said that the large wound on my head as well as my femur were both bleeding pretty profusely.   He also said my right wrist was broken and dislocated.  He said it was pretty disturbing to look at.  And there I was chatting it up as if it were a traffic stop or something.  He said he knew I was pretty badly broken in other places too.  He said he really didn't have any faith that I would live.  He said that Barry although Barry was struggling to breath that he figured he would be ok with medical help. He figured he had some broken ribs and that his feet were messed up somehow but didn't think he was past saving at all.  He said the were able to get Barry out of the car fairly easily as his door swung all the way open.  My door was stuck and the had to use a crowbar to get it opened.  He said the dash was up agaisnt my legs and that I couldn't move.  They couldn't get a board in the car to get me out.  They pushed a blanket under me and like 4 of them proceeded to lift me out.  He said when the lifted me up I screamed for them to stop.  He said I told them to leave me alone - leave me in the car.  I can only imagine how much it hurt at that point.  I have always been told that a femur fracture is the most painful break to have.  I'm sure my wrist hut and besides that my pelvis was broken along with multiple fractures in my left leg.  He said he told me that they couldn't leave me in the car and since they couldn't leave me then the only choice was to get me out.  He said he was sorry and he knew that it hurt but they had to get me out.  He said I agreed and closed my eyes.  He said I didn't say anything else until they had me in the ambulance.  Where I apparently chatted my way to the hospital. 

     My little brother Jason was the first person to reach EIRMC and he said he came in the ER and asked the front desk about us. I heard him, recognized his voice, and said - "I'm back here Jason". Kind of crazy that I don't have any memory of that at all. Jason said I talked to him and would ask him the same few questions over and over again. I would ask about Barry and Emma and then ask him to "make my leg straight". He would tell me he was sorry he couldn't do that and I would look at him with a sad face and say, "please brother just make it straight." It makes me cry to think of how hard that much have been for him. When they took me away to surgery he went over and held Barry's hand until other family got there. Sherry (Barry's mom) said it is a sweet memory for her when she walked into the ER and came over to Barry's bed and Jason took Barry's hand and placed it into hers. Barry also remembers being in the ER and having to wait and wait until I was out of surgery to be taken care of. I don't have any memory of this time at all - except a fuzzy one of calling Jason's name to the ER - but I'm not sure if that is a memory or just what I have been told happened. It amazes me that our minds are so powerful. How could I go thru something like that - be consious - and not remember any of it? Its a strange thing to have a gap in my memory like that - although I would guess Barry sometimes wishes he could forget.
    The hospital is a pretty bitter/sweet memory for me.  I have such precious memories of my husband coming in my room and holding my hand when my pain was out of control.  I have sweet memories of friends and family putting their lives on hold so we would be taken care of.  I loved having company - it gives you something to think about other then your body hurting.  I have memories of my sisters/brothers and friends spending nights with me - I didn't like being alone at night.  I have not so sweet memories of hurting.  Even less sweet memories of my husband hurting.  Barry is a pretty tough person and when he has tears coming out of his eyes because of pain I know hes hurting pretty bad.  One evening we had lots of visitors.  My room was full, and the hallway was full.  There were several from Barry's work and family and friends from the ward.  Barry had been out in the hallway visiting and I was visiting in my room.  Up to this point i really had pretty much no feeling of or ability to move my left leg.  After a while the coworks left and Barry goes into his room with his parents, after getting him settled on the bed they come and close the door.  I could tell when he went in that he was hurting but I did not like it when they closed that door.  In my mind that meant something was wrong and I didn't like it.  Those in my room tried to take my mind off of it.  I remember asking to be helped out of the bed and let me get in his room.  I wanted to know what was going on and I wanted to offer Barry some of the same comfort that he had offered to me on many occasions already -  but I couldn't.  Eventually his mom and dad came out and said that Barry's abdomen was really hurting - as a result of his body trying to reabsorb the blood that had spilled into his belly from his liver.  Barry has said many times that his pain was more painful then anything else, more painful then his broken ribs or his broken feet.  My heart still aches when I think about the amount of pain he endured and how much he still endures due to his feet today.

1 comment:

Craig and Sarah said...

Your story is such a testimony to me of God's plan. I am so sorry that you guys had to go through such a huge trial. But, I know you are both better people from it and such an inspiration to everyone around you. I am so glad that you guys are doing better and getting stronger everyday. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and testimony's about your experience with everyone. I have been touched by it.

Sarah Bronson