Around 6 years ago my husband and my life took a huge turn, mostly my husband’s. One night when he was working at the elevator in town he had a truck rush into dump his semi that was filled with corn before he shut down his site for the night. So he ran up the tractor to turn the auger on. When he went to step out of the tractor he missed the top step and fell to the ground and landed flat footed. At the time he said it hurt for a moment but then went away. We had no idea the damage that had been done.
A couple of days later he thought he had a kidney stone, so we took him into the ER and they couldn’t find anything. He went in for a second opinion because his right leg was also bothering him. After having a CT scan done the doctors discovered that he had shattered a disc and apart of his vertebrae had been broken off and was currently cutting into his sciatic nerve, and they needed to operate asap. Well that was November of that year and his surgery ended up being pushed back to Febraury thanks to the lovely Workmens Comp we had to deal with. They are not on my list of favorite people in the world, in fact they sit close to the very top of my shit list, but I won’t get on my soapbox about them because we could be here a while. Finally my husband’s surgeon said he didn’t care, time was starting to be of the essence and they needed to get that bone out now or there would be irreversable damage done. So they went in endoscopically and pulled the bone chip from his sciatic nerve and said it may take up to 18 months to regain feeling in his leg. That was about 5 years ago, he still has no feeling in his leg and his strength isn’t what it was in that leg before this happened.
So the next step was to take care of the shattered disc. Which again needed to get approval from workmens comp, which felt like it took forever. When they finally gave the ok it was September, so we scheduled the surgery for that October. If we would’ve known the roller coaster we were about to jump on I don’t know if he would’ve gone through with it. He was really hesitant about it. He researched so many different out comes, and really it was half and half. Half of the reviews he read from the surgery said it was the greatest thing they had done, and their lives were so much better. The other half said they wish they never would’ve done it. Which now that it’s been done he’s apart of the half that wishes they would’ve never done it.
It was an early morning surgery, we had to be there at 4 in the morning. When we checked in they told us the surgery was gonna take about 3 hours and they would keep me posted on how he was doing and I could also keep track of were he was with the monitor in the waiting room. We went in the back and he gowned up, and I sat with him until they took him back to the OR, I gave him a hug and kiss told him I loved him and they wheeled him away as I walked out to the waiting room. I remember watching him be rolled away and thinking “please, please don’t leave me” while tears streamed down my face. I wasn’t very strong at that time. The colors on the screen turned from him being in prep to operating and it seemed to stay that color for what felt like forever. 3 hours had past and no one came to tell me anything, fear started setting in. I called my mom and told her they weren’t telling me anything, she told me to go and ask. So I did, the receptionist disappeared for about 10 minutes came back and said someone would be out to talk to me shortly. Someone did come out about 15 minutes later and all I was given was he’s still in surgery. REALLY?! NO SHIT SHERLOCK! That’s what the screen says, so I asked why? They said it would be three hours. “That’s all I can tell you ma’am.” Ooooo I was pist. So I tried to disctract myself and I went down stairs to try and eat. I couldn’t I had all these things running through my mind as to why he was still in surgery. I remember texting my friend, who is another one that has become family, saying he died and they are trying to figure out how to tell me. She kept telling me he’s not dead he’s ok, calm down, do you want me to come sit with you? I didn’t want anyone to sit with me because I was afraid of falling apart. It was about 5 hours into the surgery and my mom had showed up with little man and said “he’s still in surgery?” “yep” “have they updated you?” “not really no” She tried to calm me down the best she could, having my little man there helped because I needed to stay calm for him. 7 hours after the surgery began the screen changed colors from operating to recovery. Well it’s about damn time.
The doctor walked out to the waiting room about 15 minutes after the screen said he was in recovery. He was dripping with sweat and looked exhausted. He asked if my husband had ever lifted weights, I told him he had for about 13 years. He said the reason it took so long was because he had a hard time getting through all that muscle. Well we found out 5 years later that it was actually because while they where in there placing two rods, 6 screws and a cadavar bone they also broke off his transverse process and had to place another cage in where they broke that off at. So you can image how annoyed I am currently that it has taken 5 years to discover this little bit of information. Accidents happen, I get that especially being a tech to an orthopedic vet for two years, and I understand he was just covering his ass so he wouldn’t get sued. But that little tidbit would have been nice to know.
He said my son and I could go back into recovery and see my husband. We went back there and my eyes filled with tears of joy. I was so happy to see him laying there awake and even babbling about the zombies that were going to take over the world some day. It ment he was ok. They finally transfered him from recovery to his room, where even more B.S unfolded. They placed him in his bed and he looked at me and said he wasn’t comfortable. So I told the nurse and she went to grab another nurse. The recovery nurse and head nurse went to shift him and I stood there to help the best I could. When they went to shift him the head nurse said he wasn’t helping enough, um hello the man just woke up from 7 hours of anesthesia and is not exactly with the real world so no he’s not going to be much help that’s what your for. Instead of asking for more staff help she grabbed the blanket that was underneath him and yanked it almost out from underneath him causing him to yell out. The bitch was lucky my mother was behind me because the woman would’ve had a broken nose and possibly a black eye because I was about to elbow her right in the face as hard as I could until I heard “Jen, don’t you dare.” I was pist. That’s a really good way to break someones hardware.
To add to this shit show the next morning they came in and told us he had a blood clot behind his knee and needed to stay in bed for the next 3 days instead of getting up and doing physical therapy. Wonderful. After 3 days his surgeon comes back from the weekend and asks why he hasn’t been doing PT? Because he has a blood clot and was told not to. No, he should’ve been doing it three days ago. So it was a classic example of failure to comunicate. That day he started PT, and since it seemed like my trust in the staff was basically none existant I was helping them get the stabilizer belt on him and stand him up. Before I know it I here this loud bang followed by a blood curdling scream from my son. He fell out of the bed and landed on the cement floor on his head. As if I wasn’t stressed enough now my son may have a concussion. So they did PT with my husband while my son and I went and had an xray of his head to make sure nothing was cracked and he didn’t have a concussion. At that moment when my strength and sanity was hanging on by a thread God has this angel step in with who is now one of my best friends text me with “hows it going?” I was in the elevator going back up to my husbands room when I recieved it and I completely broke down. It was kind of like that scene in Steele Magnolias when Sally Feilds totally looses her shit after they ask how she was doing. I’M FINE! yep totally was me. Instead of going to my husbands room I took little dude to the family room let him watch cartoons and play while I fall apart and text her back with the shit show that was currently my life. Then the most weight lifting text pops up on my phone “why don’t you bring little man to the apartment and I’ll watch him for awhile so you can have a break and just focus on your man.” I started to bawl even harder. I needed to. So we went and said goodbye to dad and I took him over to her place. She gave me a big hug, told me everything would be ok just go be with your husband.
She was a God send in those 8 days. She took my son for me a few times so I could focus on my husband and the care that he needed. This is when she started to become my family. She would text me every day to see how I was doing, if I needed her to bring us anything or if there was anything she could do. It was an amazing support since I didn’t have any family in town. My dad did come down one night to help us out and talked me into coming home a couple nights before he was released so we could get the house ready for him and for my sanity I needed to. It was so wonderful of him. He texted me and I told him what was going on. He had the day off and was helping my step mom with a fundraiser at the dealership, but he dropped everything and came to my rescue. I don’t know if I ever thanked him enough for that, because it ment the world.
The night before my husband came home one of his nurses finally did her job. She took his blood pressure, which was dangerously low, and asked if they’d been taking his BP before giving him his BP meds. I told her no. She told me she was not going to give them to him because if his BP drops any lower and he gets up to use the bathroom he will get light headed and could fall, which could lead to more issues like his hardware breaking and because he was on warfarin bleeding internally. She also said she’d tell the nurses for the next shift that they needed to stay on top of that and needed to go in together to check his vitals and give him meds. I was very thankful that someone on that floor actually knew how to do their job. But apparently the other nurses didn’t listen because 45 minutes later they came in to check his vitals and 45 minutes after that they came in to assess his pain. At about that time I’d had enough, psycho bitches cage came unlocked and she stepped out. I told the nurse who came into assess his pain to get out and meet me at the nurses station. The fear in that womans eyes was honestly priceless. I left my son on the blow up mattress sleeping and walked down the hall to the nurses station and unleashed a bitch that I had never seen myself and honestly didn’t know I could become. I told them that he is coming home tomorrow and for the last 7 days the man has been a damn zombie. When we leave this hospital tomorrow it is me and only me who will be walking him up 4 steps into the house, me a little 100 some odd pound 5’1 girl holding up a 200 some odd pound 5’9 man by myself. I need him completely coherent and able to walk up those stairs without being a zombie. He had hardly had any sleep and they were going to let him have it. So you want to assess his pain and vitals? You will be doing it at the same time. You will be checking his BP before you give him his medication and if I have to do your job anymore more shit then what is right now will hit the fan. Apparently it was effective because it worked. We came home and got through his recovery. Which yes was another tough road and adventure in itself.
From all of this horrible experience came a large amount of good. God brought a friend that I already knew was there even more into my life and she has become family. She has moved about 4 hours away since then, and I miss her dearly but I know if I ever need a shoulder to cry on or a little extra strength to get through something all I have to do is call. I also found my voice and found out how fierce I could be as an individual and woman. I never knew I had that voice until that night, that pyscho has been locked back up and I keep her at bay most of the time, but mess with my husband or kids and don’t think I’m going to keep her locked up for long. She tends to try and reach out past those bars every once in awhile when something I’m passionate about comes around but I haven’t unlocked that cage in a while. I have become such a strong woman because of that ordeal and others where I had to. Which is amazing and I hope I can show my daughter that it’s ok to be a strong woman who speaks her mind and protects her family. I hope it’s a trait she carries on when she has a family. Not even then, when she becomes a young woman. The other good that came from it all is, my husband may not be able to ever work again which is hard for him some days, but he’s home with those babies every day. If it hadn’t been for this injury he may have been on the road a lot away from home and missing out on every wonderful thing that he’s been there for.
They say things happen for a reason and I believe that to the very fullest. It sucked that he had to go through all that pain and we had to go through all that stress but it made us stronger individually and as a couple. Many may have walked away if this would have happened to them. For my husband and I it has brought us so much closer. And all though my faith was tested a lot during all of this I wouldn’t change it for the world because in the end I know the Lord was walking beside me the whole time. My friend is living proof and the strength of our marriage is living proof.
Happy Tuesday my friends. Always thank the Lord for the trials and tribulations he’s put you through….what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and that my friends is no lie.