Saturday, June 12, 2010

Hubby's Accident Still Affecting Us Eight Years Later.

The year is 2002, a hot June 3rd and I was cooking supper in anticipation of hubby getting home from work sometime soon. Just an average day, light house cleaning and a light supper.

The phone rings. I just knew it was hubby calling to tell me he was on his way. I answer the phone with a cheery "Hello Yello".

A lady starts talking and I could tell it was a professional call, I was disappointed but gave her my attention. She asked my name and my relation to hubby. She said her name (like I'm going to remember that) and where she was calling from. University Hospital, was all I caught. My heart lurched and my mind was racing, waiting for her to get to the point.

She says....(AND I QUOTE) I need you to remain calm. The irony of her statement didn't go unnoticed, I actually called her on it. How am I supposed to remain calm when the hospital is calling me about my hubby??

She remains calm and tells me hubby has been in an accident and HE IS OKAY! I need to come to the hospital as safely and calmly as I can.

That woman just didn't know who she was talking to. I can be tough when I need to but this time there was no calming my nerves. I hadn't broke down into tears, but I was shaking all over. My right foot was literally jumping off the gas pedal uncontrollably.

The whole ride there (a good thirty minute ride),I kept having to find things to make me mad in order to get there safely. If I can make myself mad my nerves will calm down. I circled the emergency parking area four times waiting to get a place to park, I was tempted to just park in the street and jump out. Frustrating to be so close and yet stuck in the parking lot!

I rush through the doors, dealt with the stupid nurse and I am escorted into the back. I could see him straight ahead sitting up on the gurney, we made eye contact and then I broke down. I crumbled into the closest chair (funny how there was a chair there), the relief of seeing him alive was overwhelming, the tears just poured.

He relayed the story to me...
He was at a job site waiting to pick up a piece of heavy machinery, but they weren't finished yet. So he was doing a walk around, checking everything on his truck. He bent over and out of the corner of his eye he saw a pipe coming right at him, there was no time to move in any direction, it was going too fast.

WHAM BAM! The pipe had swung up and hit him on the side of his head. The only visible sign of trauma was that he was unconscious and blood was all over his ear.

The report was that he had been for unconscious when he was brought in (for about an hour, total), they checked him over, did xrays and tests, and basically sent him on his way with some painkillers.

When we went to the doctor the next day was when we was told he had a blown out ear drum. Within the week he was in surgery for it.

He complained of massive headaches and losing his balance for months after and they all said that was to be expected. Finally one doctor requested a certain test and then sent him to a chiropractor. This went on for more months and still the headaches were extreme and when he would start coughing he was having blackouts and convulsions, later to be described as seizures.

I truly believe that the delay to find out what was wrong was because we had to go through Workman's Comp. Thankfully we had enough foresight to get a lawyer or they would have cancelled him out just months after the accident. The lawyer was the key to actually getting anything done (even though we never actually laid eyes on her, she was fabulous!). They wanted to be done with him, but she insisted they hadn't fixed him enough to be capable to go back to work.

After more tests and more doctors it was finally revealed that he had a broken neck. He had three cracked vertebrae, they were pinching a nerve and causing all the pain.
The last doctor said it was a miracle they didn't kill him sending him to a chiropractor for all that time. The nerve had been in this predicament for almost two years, they can go in and fix the vertebra's but the damage had been done to the nerve.

Now at this point it had been just shy of three months for the second anniversary of the accident. We had been living off of 200 a week, which wasn't easy but manageable. Hubby wanted to sue, but somewhere in the agreement to receiving Workman's Comp benefits, we lost the right to sue. After hubby being home for nearly two years, he was ready to just get fixed and get back to a normal life, but really it was all about getting the headaches to go away.

He had the neck surgery, it did work and he was back to work in two more months.

The long term affect is...
No balance.
Still has headaches just not as severe.
Still has shakes down his right side (but only when he is coughing), mostly from the neck down his right arm and it also causes him to lose balance and step backwards.
While in this seizure, he has a slight blackout. These generally last a second or two. The whole seizure itself lasts about 10 seconds, some shorter.

The doctor did tell us what the name for this type of condition was, but neither of us can remember what it was and none of his paperwork has it written down on it. Big long complicated name, that is all I know! We was told that these seizures would get worse with time, but as of yet they have been pretty consistent in there short length.

Why am telling you all of this?

Well this Friday was a different story.

The seizures were kinda the norm for us for the past eight years, so much so that I have become used to them and I guess tune them out at times. I'm awake now!!

We was watching tv, no news there, right?

Well he got up to do something and was just standing there, I was watching the tv, not him. Next thing I know...I see his arm jerking, then I hear him coughing. I watched him take a step backward, still nothing new. It looked like it was passing and he had it under control. I went to take my eyes off him and he went back two more steps and slightly to the right. He was practically leaning against the wall, by now. I was just about to say...That was a big one! But instead I was up out of my chair trying to catch him. He had stepped back into the wall and with nowhere else to go he started falling sideways. Everything went flying into his chair.. drink, ashtray, remote, himself...

I managed to catch him before he hit the ground. By the time I got him seated on the couch he was able to see again and had no clue what had just happened. He looked at his chair and said...Did I do that? Ummm, yes Urkel you did that. Jokes, my only defense when having had soiled my pants!!

This one lasted way too long. I estimate that it lasted about 40-45 seconds. Yup, I don't think I will be getting complacent again any time soon!

What was the one thing that upset him the most about this one?

That I soiled my pants?
That he nearly hit the ground?
That this one lasted soo long?


His Sprite drenched REMOTE!!
It died and he has to wait 3-5 days for a new one!



Lucy said... [Reply to comment]

Oh Heather how very scary. I don't have the answer for you to have any peace of mind. You must be constantly on your toes but the problem is still there. I can only say again how sorry I am. What a way to be treated by the hospital. It is a wonder the one of the quakes did not kill him. My cousin had seizures all of his life and worked at Union Pacific RR and they never found out. I hate to say this but it may help. If he takes a bath make him leave the door unlocked. My cousin after he retired and married and had a good life, drowned in the bathtub during a seizure. I am not trying to scare you, but you need to know what could happen.

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

i can't believe it took them that long to figure out his neck was broken...and what a shame that he couldn't sue for damages that are apparently life long and affecting his livlihood. Bright side is that he is alive, thank God. I can't imagine how scary that must have been for you. It is too funny that he was mostly upset over his remote, now that's a man for you!

mch3n said... [Reply to comment]

WOW that one was way too long.I rember all of that he had just had is neck surgery not too long before I got married. I got a pic of him with his neck brace on.

Dove said... [Reply to comment]


I am so sorry to hear this news. Please tell your hubby that we are glad to hear that he is better. If you every need to talk after something like that or anything at all don't hesitate to call me. I love you Sis!


Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Argh honey that sounds awful... well kind of awful. I did giggle a lot that his only concern was his remote! He certainly seems to have the right attitude to all of this stuff.

I truly hope you find a solution soon xx

Jimmy said... [Reply to comment]

Sad to say that so many things go un diagnosed, with this one lasting so much longer it may be worth it to go and get him looked at again.

The biggest thing you can do for him is go and get a universal remote and have it on standby for the next sprite incident---just in case :^)

kendrasue said... [Reply to comment] horrible. I'm sorry that you and hubby have had to go through this ordeal for so long. I hope that they get better and not worse as diagnosed (or un-diagnosed for so long). And I hope you had a great rest of your weekend. And sorry about your pants! :)

Jingle said... [Reply to comment]

sorry for what happened...
It is a reminder as always...
Hope that you have a better day today!

Mrsbear said... [Reply to comment]

Oh my goodness, that is a scary story. The negligence on behalf of the workman's comp people is astounding. How could they miss a broken neck? I hope he's okay...and that your new remote arrives sooner rather than later, getting up to change the channel sucks. ;)

Angelia Sims said... [Reply to comment]

Oh, I saw this on Facebook but I didn't know you blogged about it. I thought you were taking a break and hadn't checked back. YIKES Heather! The whole story it even scarier. I can't believe the original accident. Amazing he lived with that much pain.
I would have soiled my pants too! Too bad about the remote. It's like no remote, no TV. HA.

Heather said... [Reply to comment]

Lucy...Very good advice, thanks!

Suzicate...Ruined remote is just so devestating for him! LOL!.

Sis...Yeah I have that pic too!

Dove...I'm sorry I haven't called lately. I'll try to catch ya on Facebook.

E.D...Yeah he has his priorities straight! LOL!

Heather said... [Reply to comment]

Jimmy...Easier said than done. I can say it but wether or not he will listen is another story! LOL!

Kendrasue...Thanks Kendra! My pants survived, barely!

Jingle...A reminder indeed! Woke me up!

Mrsbear...I was pretty shocked too when they said it, how could they have missed that for so long? He hates getting up for anything!

Angelia...Oh believe me he has found a way to watch tv! No remote is going to hold him back! LOL!

Kaylen said... [Reply to comment]

Whoa---how scary!!
What a horrifying thing to have happen at work, and living off just $200 a week?? That's pretty insane to think about.
Best wishes for him not having any more anytime soon!!!