Monday, January 31, 2011
I guess I can write about our accident, now. Some quiet moments to reflect how one split second can change your life forever. It does mean something when everyone says, make every moment count, and we kinda of brush off the comment, since all our lives are so busy with such mundane moments.
I was driving Jim to Billings to see his neurologist and fill his pain pump for the
neurology syndrome, stiff man syndrome
that he has. The weather was clear until just outside Billings, about a 2 and 1/2 hours drive from the house when the roads turned to ice. I lost control and tried to bring the truck back onto the highway but it had spun a complete circle and we were hit by an 18 wheeler head on. The last memory I had was seeing the truck and telling Jim to hold on.
I awoke 2 hours later in the Billings Hospital in ICU with Jim just down the hallway. My boss, Julie, had been called and was already there to make the phone calls. Jim had broken ribs, a cracked pelvis, intubated, which was removed since he never want anything but comfort measures couldn't swallow, and had already pulled out any type of feeding tube which he refused also. A head injury and too many lacerations to count. We had always talked about which way our life should move in a situation like this.
I had a ruptured liver, lacerations to my legs, back, a head injury and bruised ribs. Far less severe than any of Jim's injuries.
I was released the second day to the medical floor and Jim was moved to a suite for palliative care where I could spend the night. He became a DNR with comfort measures only. We stayed a week and then was transported home by ambulance which was one of Jim's biggest concerns that he be allowed home with his cats should things go terribly wrong.
Julie was waiting for us with the hospice nurse which became a God send since only more bizarre things could happen, the ambulance got stuck in the snow, a friend went and got his tractor and with Julie driving the ambulance
and the the tractor pushing the ambulance, we got Jim close enough to the house for him to be carried to his room where his precious cats were waiting for him.
I have been taking care of him now with pain medications, cleanings his sick body with help from the hospice nurses, my nursing gives me peace. I wait for him to just take one bite of food. Just one bite. My peace comes from people I don't know, who come when I call and say he has fallen out of bed and they come at all hours to pick him up and settle him back to his level of comfort. The hours tick by like days and he continues to hold on. I sing songs to him and he always said I couldn't dance and couldn't sing, but he laughs at me. The hospice nurse will dance, while I sing.
I hold on.