Friday, December 30, 2011

My way of thinking/ 2011 Reflections Part 2

Part 1 ended after I had been hit by a car and come home from the hospital.  I took two pain pills and went to sleep. 

The morning after the accident I awoke to a new world of pain.  Everything hurt, my toes, every muscle, my head, even my hair felt like it hurt.  I had been warned that I had suffered a concussion and that the effects could take awhile to manifest themselves.  I thought that was why my head felt like it was going to explode.  But no.  That wasn't it.  The effects from the concussion waited two more days to rear their ugly head.  When the concussion stuff began happening, the pain seemed bearable in comparison.  I was dizzy even flat on my back.  I threw up several dozen times.  Every time I vommited I had to move and every movement was like being hit with a sledge hammer.  It lasted a full 24 hours and then suddenly that part of my misery just stopped.  After that the pain seemed easier to take.  I just tried not to move.

Without going on about all that, I also had to begin the process of filing an insurance claim, although it was about a month before I could begin to deal with all that.  I had to get the police report, my hospital records, an estimate for damages to the chair.  Yeh, like I was in any shape to do all that.  A month after the accident I was no longer a giant bandage.  I was now a giant scab.  Every move pulled on the scabs and sometimes opened them back up.  But, somehow, with lots of help from Jon, we got all the required documents together and filed our claim. 

There was some frustration involved in dealing with the insurance people, but we began getting money right away.  It wasn't going to be a fortune (you have to be permanently disabled or disfigured for the big bucks) but it was going to be enough for us to do some serious redecorating.  First thing was a laptop and a big 42" HDTV.  Now I was beginning to truly join the current century.  I had a lot of learning to do, but being in bed most of the time, it gave me something to do.

By early July I was functioning fairly normally, though I was no longer standing or walking at all.  That would have to wait for the healing to be complete and for me to get back some kind of mental stability.  I was terrified of leaving the apartment without Jon.  Even with him I panicked if we had to cross a street.  Crosswalks no longer afforded me any sense of safety.  I had to wait until every car had come to a complete stop in both directions before venturing into the crosswalk.  We often missed lights altogether while I went through this process.  Jon demonstrated uncommon patience during this period.

By mid July things were better.  I received my full settlement and we were preparing to begin a major renovation of our apartment.  That had to be put on hold when on July 19th Jon had a major seizure and stopped breathing.  Amazing how my own physical problems were suddenly forgotten.  In between dialing 911 and propelling myself to his side I began mouth to mouth while awaiting the paramedics.  They were here in two minutes (if two people ever needed to live across the street from a hospital...).  It seemed like two hours to me.  Jon was rushed to the ER, unconscious and not breathing on his own.  I followed immediately.  Amazingly I forgot to be afraid crossing the street.  I was far more terrified than worrying about a little thing like a car.  Arriving at the ER I found Jon in a coma and on a respirator.  I went into a dull kind of shock.  I was too scared to feel anything except panic.

Jon was moved to Intensive Care that night and remained in a coma for eight horror filled days.  He began breathing on his own on the seventh day but he was far from out of the woods.  All of this had been caused by a bleeding ulcer that ended up requiring two emergency surgeries and eight units of blood.  It was touch and go for three long weeks during which time I had to get over my own fears and take care of evrything on my own.  The dogs couldn't feed or walk themselves.  I relied on my strong belief in the power that comes with remaining both calm inside and positive.  I also relied on the remarkable support of my dear friends.  Facebook became a constant source of encouragement.  How had I lived without it?

Love is the greatest power the Universe has supplied for us to take advantage of whenever we need it"s strength.  Miraculously, after three very challenging weeks, I brought Jon home.  He healed faster than anyone anticipated.  By the end of August we were ready to go shopping for new furniture and paint etc.  We hired a painter and arranged to take the dogs to a motel for a couple of days while our home was transformed.  I know that I was over the moon happy.  Not only was my partner, my best friend, ok, but our lives were being transformed in a significant way materially and spiritually.

I will leave it there for today.  I promise I will wrap up this eventful year tomorrow as we end the year for real.

                                                                 Peace and Love,





  1. Wow Bill! 2011 was an eventful year for you. Best wishes for a happy, healthy and rewarding 2012. I'm happy to be part of your Facebook support group now.

  2. You have already been more support than you know Sherryl. Just knowing that I know someone who can truly help me when I have no idea what I'm doing with all this technology is a huge support. You are a very gifted lady and I appreciate that!

  3. Hi Austin,

    holy cow! What a nightmare. But happy, it all came to a good end (or new beginning?!). I love how you always see things positively, something good always comes after a bad event. You are awesome.
    I am so glad we got you :-) So happy we met online (who actually brought you into the circulation desk?).

    Ok, wrap up your story, so we can jump into the new year (which doesn't exist anyways but it's good to look forward to something new -and the feel I get when a year ends is good, love the excitement and vibe of it).

    Cheers and happy 2012,

    Franziska xxx

  4. It has been quite a remarkable year for us but there have been a number of happy new beginnings. Our friend, Theresa, likens it to childbirth. Out of some mind numbing pain came some wonderful gifts. I promise I will wrap it up in a pretty ribbon tomorrow. Then we will move on to the next chapter and a year that will certainly hold some surprises for us all.

    By the way, Heidi Alberti brought me to The Circulation Desk. In the process she became one of my most treasured friendships. Her grief is my grief and I send her my strongest, most positive energy every day. I know you do too and I am grateful to you for that among so many other things. I am so blessed to know you!

  5. Thank you for so freely sharing from your heart, my dear friend! I look forward to seeing how you complete your retrospective!

  6. I am breathless, Bill! To have Jon's seizure happen right on the heels of your horrifying accident is unimaginable. What a nightmare that hospital scenario was. I must say I find it amusing--and comforting--that you wanted to use some of your insurance money to redecorate! That's so much better than having to use it for PT or nursing aides!

    I am glad I am reading this all after the fact, knowing that you are both o.k.

    OK, I understand there is a part 3. I'm going to catch my breath and read on

    Judy Stone-Goldman
    The Reflective Writer
    Personal-Professional Balance Through Writing

  7. While it all seems quite horrifying, it really wasn't all that bad. I knew in my soul that I would be ok. We survived and I am here to tell the tale. Life is what it is. We deal with it. I am grateful for all the new beginnings.

  8. Bill, Your last comment says it all "it really wasn't all that bad." Only someone with such a powerful belief in the goodness of the world would say such a thing after all you've been through. I am hoping for much happiness and good health for both you and Jon this year.

    caregiving. family. advocacy.