I'm no stranger to emergency rooms, however it only occurred to me today - 24 days After Accident - that my myriad of ER experiences never included Trauma. I've been in emergency rooms for strokes, heart attacks and the usual kid and geriatric events. Never for anything remotely like this. I am in awe of people who choose to work in trauma and have a new appreciation, an undying admiration and respect for them all after this experience.
Being a huge fan of the past drama, "ER" and the current hit "House," I considered myself nearly an emergency room expert of sorts. Besides which, psychological thrillers are my favorite books to read, meaning literary blood and gore is commonplace in my head. Tess Gerritsen is a favorite medical mystery/thriller author. These facts came to me as I nearly passed out at least five times during the nine hours I was stuck in a corner while they worked on my husband. Well, dang it if that blood just wasn't so REAL and so EVERYWHERE. Trauma doctors and nurses and attendants and whoever rushing back and forth with blood bags and tubing and syringes and bandages and electronic doohickies, running tests and sewing stitches and creating a pile of bloody stuff that surely to God I hope they burned.
Oh, and then there was the paperwork. For every 15 minutes someone administered care to my husband there was some poor gal filling out 30 minutes of paperwork. With. Every. Deed. Massive amounts of trees were felled so that the proper papers could be filed in triplicate.
Eventually, blessfully, hubby was placed in SICU around 1am Saturday, August 7th after having been med-flighted by helicopter to Huntsville Hospital around 3pm Friday afternoon. Twelve days in-hospital and 3 surgeries later he is home. Both cheekbones were fractured, his jaw was broken in 4 places, lost multiple teeth, crazy amount of scalp and chin lacerations, broken right upper shin bone and right talus/ankle bone.
The cause? Discovered only the last week in the hospital hubby has an unusual heart arrhythmia that apparently developed over the last year. They only know because during his stay he was having some "blank out" times that couldn't be identified. A heart monitor proved that his heart would suddenly race like a machine gun - often for as long as 2 minutes. His blood pressure would plummet and he would basically blank out, or lose that time. So his last surgery, or procedure really, was the implanting of a teeny tiny defibrillator which will literally shock his heart when it goes into this "sudden death" (their word, not mine) arrhythmia.
Which leads us to the ladder. The last thing I said to him as he was leaving was "Do NOT get on a ladder today 'cause I won't be there." "Of course I won't," he quipped as he dashed out the door. However, right before leaving the lake house to head home he decided it wouldn't hurt to Spackle some cracks before painting. His feet were 10 feet up when he "blanked out." He's 6'1. You can do the math. The maxillofacial specialist said the only times he's seen this extent of massive trauma to the jaw also involved a broken neck, and/or paralysis or death. Hubby was "loose as a goose" therefore his injuries were much less than they could have been. Kinda like a drunk that walks away from a 10 car pile-up of his own creation.
So, there ya have it. I'm now nursing a very changed individual. We have been blessed by the generosity and kindness of manner of family and friends and its to them that this post is dedicated. Thank you all - each of you - for your cards and prayers, thoughts and generosity of time. My photography days have been put on hold for a bit, obviously. But those of you who know me KNOW that I've a bevy of images saved to share and stories to go with them. One day I may even do a great blog about Blue Cross Blue Shield. It won't be a pretty one, though.
Thank you all for your kind comments! I've missed being here and have missed you all!