::pack:: of fixations

life after tragedy. living while grieving. love and triplets.


Anatomy of a car crash part 4

The next few days & weeks are extremely foggy. Back to back surgeries. Lots of visitors; visiting I don't recall. Crying in between surgeries, 1st thing when I wake up, & in the middle of the night. It physically hurt to cry, I asked why, "u have several broken ribs". The pain & levels of discomfort were literally unbearable. And it wasn't safe to give me any more pain medicine than I was being given. My legs felt like painful dead weights attached to a pile of broken bones. I would page nurses & aids to please just lift up my legs & put them back down, it would give a moment of relief. One nurse (whom is one of my favorites, love u megan) suggested I use a machine that people use when they get a knee replacement. It would constantly bend & straighten my leg & the answer to all my prayers. Better than the best massage. I quickly burned out 2 motors of those magical machines.

I had an incision going from the bottom of my chest to the top of my c-section scar, sealed with metal staples. I'd had surgery(s) on every limb. The Dr's thought they were done with me. Every time the transporter would come & get me for an x-ray, CT scan or surgery I would cringe. You don't realize all the bumps & rivets on the ground until you have to brace your broken body while being wheeled over them, pain shooting in every direction. People that know me well, know that I'm very in tune with my body. My left arm & right hand were still broken. I knew it. Each time I would get an x-ray on various body parts I'd beg the technician to please x-ray my hand & arm, "we can't without a Dr's order", they'd always say. My first physical therapy session is when I proved I was right, nearly a week after I'd had surgery on my other bones. He was moving 'the left arm', oh so gently. Then a pop. "you feel that?" I asked. He put his fingers near the popping, & continued to pop my broken bone. "okay, I hate that... Please stop now". Hours later, I was sent downstairs to finally get my last broken bones x-rayed. Both needed surgery & rods, screws, & plates were put in.

Somewhere along the way it was decided that a PICC line was needed. A PICC line is an IV that starts near your arm & runs along near your heart. The veins are bigger near your heart. You can draw blood quickly & give IV meds easily & it's a lot more convenient. Most of my veins were covered in casts & splints, & the veins that were accessible were shot. Putting in a PICC is an intense procedure that takes 2 people & an ultrasound machine. They have to carefully measure the distance from insertion to the heart & the main risk of a PICC is infection. After they put in a PICC they do chest x-rays to make sure it's in the right place.

Putting in my PICC went smoothly. For a moment I felt light-headed & the PICC team adjusted it & I felt better. They packed up their things & left. About 10 minutes later I was talking to my mother in law & stopped mid-sentence because I realized my heart was racing, I was light headed, & I hadn't had my chest X-rays regarding the PICC. My nurse was called in & I was hooked up to a heart monitor. Her face turned white. Moments later a swarm of people arrived & a crash cart was ordered. I felt like I was dying, "I'm not gonna die now after all I've survived", I thought. The PICC team moved the line a few centimeters & the problem subsided. The reason my body reacted the way it did was due to my bruised heart I'd gotten during the accident (something I had no idea about)... My heart rate was 196, normal is 90.

The first 2.5 weeks in the hospital I'd learn of new injuries I've had surgeries on at least daily. Its taken a long time for my foggy brain to sort through them & know which leg had which bones broken etc. But nothing compares to the ultimate pain I feel in the depths of my soul. The pain that my arms long to hold again. The pain my ears long to hear again, lips to kiss again. I miss him every second of every day & it hurts beyond any pain I've endured or have yet to endure. I want him back.

To be continued....


  1. Kelly, you don't know me at all, came across your story through the internet as I live all the way down here in Texas, but I have been so deeply affected by everything you guys have gone through, especially the loss of your little man. I know there is nothing I can say that will take your pain away and I just wanted to tell you that everything you've gone through 'sucks'...no one likes to say that but it's the truth, it plain sucks and if I could trade spots with you I would. I almost lost my son when he was 4mo old due to a rare blood disorder and when they told me that I needed to start thinking about funeral arrangements I remember laying on the floor in the hospital crying, saying, "I am not leaving without my son"...and then I see you and I realize that you actually had to face that fear and I have no words for that. I am so sorry and I will always be praying for peace for you and your family.

  2. You are in my thoughts and prayers constantly. I can't imagine the emotional pain you are going through. I am so sorry!

  3. Love you Kelly! Miss you. We pray for you everyday, at every prayer.

  4. ONE more, sorry. (I'm a writer.) I am looking at the guiding principles on your blog: Know what matters / Enjoy the journey / Leave the campsite better than the way you found it.

    Bless you, you certainly "know what matters!" That has been clear from the time you and Ryan found each other. You know how important your family is, you wanted those little boys with all your heart, and you have devoted your life to them and to each other. You have made such an impression on my kids. They adore you and Ryan. There is just something special about the two of you!

    "Enjoy the journey" - Wow. There has been so little for you to enjoy. Just allow the love of all around you carry you through this dark and difficult time. You probably know the parable of "Footprints in the Sand." No doubt you and Ryan are being carried through this part of the journey, and even at that, the pain is beyond anything any of us can imagine. But all the "angels" around you here on earth want to do anything they can to make your journey a little less traumatic and are willing to carry you as far as necessary.

    "Leave the campsite better than the way you found it." - You are doing just that. You are making such an impression on so many people. You are helping others to hold their families a little closer, to be a little less selfish, to reach out to those in need, to have faith and to pray fervently, just to name a few! The "campsite" or situation could hardly be worse, yet you have already counted your blessings, realizing that you were spared brain or spinal injuries. You know it's tough when that's about the best thing you can say. I see in your comments that you are sensitive to others, taking time to express thanks and considering those around you. Wow. Thank YOU for your incredible example!!
    Nadine Pinkerton

    1. Nadine, I just adore you. I love and always will love your comments. You are so wise, no wonder you have such amazings kids. & writing this all down is actually very therapeutic for me. I want to remember everything & already feel my memory of things slipping through the cracks .

  5. Kelly, thank you so much for sharing your experiences. My heart is breaking for you and your family, I'm so sorry for your heartache.

    I just wanted to suggest a small way to help with your hospital bills and that is adding google ads (or something simliar) to your blog. I know a lot of people will be drawn to your story and these can help financially as your share your journey. I know you don't blog to make money, but it could be a helpful side.

    I wish you & your husband the best in your recovery.

    1. This was such a great suggestion, I decided to do the google ads! I'm hoping to explore other things in the future when things settle down a bit. Thank you

  6. Sending prayers your and Ryan's way for a speedy recovery...if that's possible. And also sending prayers to you for the loss of Colum. I actually lost my son on October 2, 2010, although he was an adult and I did get 25 wonderful years with him, I am still grieving and I pray and think of him everyday; there is no greater loss than that of a child. When your ready-- there is a book called "Another Door Opens" by Jeffrey Wands. It's not a religious book but a "spiritual" book and explains what happens when we pass, about our loved ones in the spirit world and so on. It really helped me alot, as a mother I was wondering...."is he ok", is he "happy", is he "around me", are the signs I see and feel really from "him". It's and amazing book for parents of deceased children to read. Take care--I will pray for your family.