Well, I guess I better start at the beginning. About 3 weeks ago I had a “concerning” incident. Just after Jon and I put the kids in bed we were talking. I tried to say the word “probably” and couldn’t get it out. Suddenly I couldn’t speak. Then when I could speak, my words were coming out jumbled and I wasn’t making sense. Just as Jon was preparing to call 911, I started to make coherent sentences. My jaw was stiff and I had no idea what happened. I thought maybe it was a small stroke. The next day we went to the Emergency room and they ran a few tests. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary so we returned home with an appointment for Neurology a few weeks down the road.
December 4th Jon, Gavin, Addie and I were running errands. We had just started on a huge laundry list of things planned for the day. We had to run up to the Education Office here on base. Usually grounds are very well maintained on Air Force installations. As we walked in we noticed the sidewalks weren’t shoveled and the steps were icy. We took care of our appointment and left the building. Knowing that the steps were icy I was trying to be careful. I was holding Addie wrapped in a blanket. The next thing I knew my feet flew out from under me. Jon said my feet were about the height of my head when I fell. I protected Addie as best I could. I instantly knew something was wrong.
I told Jon to take the baby. I cried that I thought my back was broken. I couldn’t move and the pain was excruciating. He ran in with to have someone call 911. While we waited employees from the building tried to keep me warm by covering me with blankets. Remember, this is Alaska, it’s winter, I was only wearing a jacket and jeans. Finally the fire department showed up. They had to place me on a board and use the neck brace along with all the straps and place that on the gurney. By this time the ambulance arrived. They loaded me in and off we went. All in all, I was lying on the ground in snow for about 20 minutes which caused me to shiver and shake like crazy. VERY PAINFUL.
The EMT crew wanted to medicate me but I told them I was nursing and they didn’t know what they could give me. I had to tuff this one out. In the E.R. they took initial X-rays which showed nothing. I knew this hurt way too bad to be nothing. I knew something serious was wrong. They informed me I would have to give a urine sample. Trying to move off the gurney and sit up was so painful I blacked out several times and was shaking. The admitting doctor knew by this point something had to be wrong.
The rushed me for a CT scan and injected me with dye. The test revealed that I had a lacerated spleen and 2 broken vertebrae. Finally pain meds came. The morphine barely dulled the pain. I was admitted and sent to a room. The accident happened right around noon and the only thing I had a chance to eat that day was a bowl of cereal. By this point it was reaching 9pm. I couldn’t eat or drink anything because surgery hadn’t been ruled out yet. Finally at 10:30pm I was able to lie still and drink juice. I could only lay on my right side and the pain was so intense I can’t even come close to describing it.
I was turned into a pin cushion with too many needle pokes to count and after several failed attempts, 2 I.V.’s. Jon and Addie were troopers. Addie is still nursing and has learned to nurse in difficult circumstances. Jon is balancing taking care of me, and our 3 kids. On Wednesday I went to my scheduled appointment with Neurology. I didn’t even make it through the entire appointment before blacking out and dry-heaving like crazy. The doctor knew something was off with my pain meds. He had them switched and it made a huge difference. I had been battling pain and nausea until that point. I was in the hospital for a week and have enjoyed being home. It’s nice to be a family again. Words can’t express our thanks to the ward members who pitched in and helped in our time of need. We have had so much support and love. Being away from home is difficult and it’s nice to know we have friends to count on here. I have started to walk. With assistance from Jon I can walk to and from the bathroom. I can now lie on my back or side. I am also able to climb in bed by myself.
I am making progress, it’s slow, but I am grateful for any improvement. Please be patient with me. I will try to keep things updated but I move quite slow now days. Thank you for your continued love and support!