::pack:: of fixations

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


Anatomy of a car crash part 10

This will be most likely my last "anatomy of a car crash" post. Because, as my Dr says they just have to get two more things out my body & then it's time for me to go home. Home. I haven't been home since 2:45pm on Christmas Eve. Last time I was home Colum was alive & well. My life was perfect. But currently, Colum's Christmas presents are still waiting to be opened, his clothes are hanging in his closet, & his crib is still there with his precious imprint left in his beloved blankets. If I could, if my body wasn't broken, I would walk in the door and climb in his crib & just breathe in every smell & deposit them in my most dependable memory bank. All the laundry has been done, so I think the crib is all I've got. It's been 5 & 1/2 weeks so I hope his crib still smells like him. I fear I'm forgetting his smell. Forgetting how it felt to hold him. His head laying on my shoulder, my hand under his shirt tickling his back, his skin so soft, & my face buried in his soft, blonde, uncombed hair. His arms, one wrapped around my shoulder & one around my neck. His wobbly steps throughout the house. His uncanny ability to just dance when ANY music was on. He would constantly yell out "NO!" (learned from his big brother), & sometimes it was kinda through his nose. I learned after many times of getting decked in the face & him yelling "NA" (his other more violent no, that he said (not through the nose)) that if I wanted a kiss, I had to pin his arms down & just take one. That boy could hit so hard.

Every few shift changes I get a new nurse &/or aid that I haven't had before. I never know if they know our story or not. I constantly ask myself, do I just come out & tell them, so they know why I'm randomly crying throughout the day? Sometimes we start talking about our kids & life, & I catch myself out of habit saying "my kids", then I hesitate and stumble through the rest of our conversation. I know I'm allowed and able to count Colum as my kid even though he's gone. I guess I am still going to have to find what I'm most comfortable saying to new people I meet, that hopefully won't bring on any tears. It's something I never thought about before this happened.

I know going home will be wonderful, but I'm sure I will be a mess. I've never heard Ryan cry so hard since he's been home. I can't feel Colum here in the hospital, I hope I can feel him at home. I plan on not having visitors the first few days so I can have a few days to mope around & hopefully have my own spiritual experience. I'm a little scared to be on my own, no warm blankets placed on me when I suddenly get cold. Getting my own fresh water & being in charge of my own medications. I've always had a problem asking people for help, no matter how bad I need it. Will I be able to overcome that & call all my wonderful friends and family who so graciously volunteered their time to help us? Will I over do it, ....probably.

This week they just have to take the stent out of my kidney & hopefully take my IVC filter out. I can vaguely recall having the IVC filter put in. They make a tiny incision in your neck, lightly sedate you, and put a rather large, collapsible, metal, umbrella shaped device through the incision. They place it below your lungs to prevent blood clots & it expands like an umbrella. To remove it they go in through your neck w/something like fishing line & a hook. They attempt to catch it w/ the hook & it collapses & out it goes ...but I guess they are only able to get it out 20% of the time, otherwise it just becomes a part of you until it dissolves. Ryan was one of the lucky 20%, they 'caught' his a few days before he was discharged. He was very anxious for days, weeks even, before they removed his. He was not as drowsy as I was when they put it in, and you must be awake but you get lightly sedated for the procedure. He hates needles, even the little, tiny ones. He has a scar on his chin from when he fainted from piercing his ear in high school (glad that didn't last long). They normally have to break out the fainting salts when he gets his blood drawn and he gets white as a ghost. This all makes me laugh out loud. He's a manly man, he does manly things, & works a manly job.... But he just can't do needles. When you do IVF there are a lot & I mean a lot of shots given. He gave me every one, yet it didn't help him overcome his fear. He was starting to get me worried about them removing my filter. After, they took his out you would have thought he'd just returned from battle. "Does it hurt really bad", I asked? "well, no...it's just crazy cause you know what they are doing", he said. This, makes me giggle. The man has titanium rods throughout his body now but this small procedure was such a huge ordeal. Oh, I love that guy! Whenever he doesn't take my fear of spiders seriously, which he didn't for years, I just chase him around with a needle :).

A few more days left for me here in the hospital! I really have enjoyed blogging about what's happened and what I'm going through. It's been therapeutic and it's great to read all of your supportive comments to help get me through. I'm going to continue posting updates and hopefully throw in a few pictures because I can use my other devices, once I'm home.

One thing I've realized from being in rehab is that I'm one of the lucky ones. I will walk (& run) again. My mind is stable. Although broken, I still have all my limbs. My speech and cognitive skills are not impaired. Soon, this will all just be an old memory, and a new chapter will begin...


Anatomy of a car crash part 9

First I just want to say thank you for all the kind comments you have left me. I read every single one of them and it helps me feel like I'm not alone & have special angels guiding me through the heartache & pain. Thank you to everyone who has been able to donate to help us. Every penny counts & I know in these hard economic times it's hard to do, bless you all.

It was decided a 3rd drain was to be put in. I don't know why but this one was excruciatingly painful. Luckily my mom wass there after it was placed. I cried and cried and needed my momma. It felt like a huge chunk had been cut out of my side with an ice cream scooper. There was a peculiar layer wrapped around my kidney that they wanted cleaned out; it turns out it was blood. My sheets were spotted with blood from who knows what part of the drain. I cried & cussed every time I've had to get out of bed & back in. It was a sharp, stabbing ferocious pain. This afternoon during my last therapy session we got interrupted by a transporter to get an ultrasound on my kidneys. To my delight when I was wheeled in the room the man who put in & takes out my drains entered into the room. The ultrasound showed it had served its purpose & he pulled out the drain right then an there, and of course it hurt like heck. The pain is now gone and I feel like a free bird again!

One of my main goals before I went home was to be able to walk to a commode to toilet myself. Yup, I've been going in a bed pan & my catheter was just removed yesterday. Another reason why nurses, aids, & therapists are special people is what they do to assist you in these situations. Bed pans are the only answer & it takes 2 people to help roll a broken body & place it under you just right. Then you have to get comfortable because going in a bed pan is not easy my friends. You are in bed & it's not the same. And it takes 2 people to roll you off and clean you. Every floor I've been on its all the same...going poop is a celebration. We are all on meds that plug us up. It's always a proud yet humble moment. Lots of very humble moments in here. I'm very very proud to say I no longer use bed pans as of yesterday. I won't need my friends and family to do that for me when I get home (something I've been absolutely terrified about for weeks). I can also brush my own teeth & hair, feed myself, push buttons, & hold a cup! Every ounce of independence is amazing and like a little celebration of my own.

Like I mentioned before, I don't get pregnant easily. 2 has always been our number. My pregnancy with Colum was very very hard. Last December I called and scheduled a vasectomy. The day before we were supposed to get it done I called & I canceled it. After the accident an old friend reminded me of a conversation we had shortly after I'd canceled. She'd heard me complain throughout my entire pregnancy about how sick,fat, & just plain miserable I was. Colum was also somewhat of a surprise. She knew 2 was our number. So she could not understand for the life of her why I canceled the vasectomy. She thought I was crazy. I told her, "what if one of my kids die". She told me how unlikely that was, & it is. I remember having that conversation. I am so grateful I canceled that vasectomy. All I want is to be pregnant again & hear little tiny feet pitter-pattering around my house again. & hear the laughter of 2+ siblings playing again. I know nothing can replace Colum. & there will always be a gaping hole in our hearts. Tonight I texted Ryan that I wished I was pregnant. He responded saying he asked Finn before he fell asleep if he'd want a new baby boy or a new baby girl and Finn said boy :). Of course I secretly want another blonde haired, blue eyed baby boy that looks and acts just like my Colum. But I know i will love whatever I get and I will keep colum's memory alive in them.

My goals/timeline are:
Walk without a walker
Not need a jazzy or a wheelchair
Walk without a cane
Run again & build myself back up to 5+ miles/day
Get pregnant at lightning speed (cross your fingers for me)
Continue running while pregnant
Get pregnant again a year later at lightning speed

...I think our new number is 3

Correction 4 is our new number. I still need to count my Colum. Love you baby!


Anatomy of a car crash part 8

We live in a tiny house built in 1952. We don't live beyond our means. We've remodeled most of our house ourselves to save money. We live paycheck to paycheck. We were poor. We were happy. Life was perfect.

Before the accident happened I was running 5-7 miles per day & Ryan was getting into it too. I would run on our treadmill in the mornings while colum took his first nap. That time was sacred to me. I ran my first 10k then a 1/2 marathon, which is something i never thought I'd do. We bought a used double jogging stroller off of KSL & ran a 5k as a family thanksgiving morning. running gave me a high that's better than any words can describe. It was also very exciting to have Ryan join me...something healthy that we could do together. I can't wait to run again!

I felt that I'd made it through the hardest part of having small children close in age & everything was easier. They both slept through the night. Colum usually woke up first. I would put him on the couch & fill a bottle with cold milk, as i gave it to him he'd grin at me. Then I'd find the softest blanket i could find & put it on his lap & a piece against his precious little face. He would grab the blanket & silently give me that loving grin. Then i would put on his latest favorite show (was toy story) & he would smile like it was Christmas morning, because his brother ruled the tv scene most of the time. I would grab my sugar-free rockstar out of the fridge & crawl back in bed & try to pull out of my sleeping pill coma, & after I drank the whole thing hopefully get a pre-run jolt. Without a doubt within 5 minutes, Colum would sneak down the hall & stand at my doorway dragging his blanket, bottle hanging from his teeth. His smile would say I found you mama, now you have to cuddle. I would say something like "Monster boy how did you find me?", he would laugh & climb into bed with me. It was one of my favorite morning rituals. Finn & Colum played & played all day, they could look at each other a certain way & make each other laugh. They would play their own version of hide & seek, and shared a bedroom. Ryan & I looked forwArd to camping, fishing, & lots of future family vacations with our beloved boys that got along so well. I always felt so lucky I was able to give Finn a brother, since it was so hard for us to get pregnant with Finn (IVF twice).

Exactly a week after the accident the officer came in to talk to us about the accident. The man who hit us name is Thomas A*%><}*!? (don't know if I can disclose his full name). He claims he wasn't drinking but drank the night before. He said he dropped his cell phone & bent over to pick it up, & before he knew it he was headed straight for us. He is between the age of 54-56 & he lives with his parents. The officer told us he was insured, this got me through a lot of my surgeries. But, 2 weeks later our insurance called to tell us he was not insured. I lost my security blanket that evening. This was a very dark hour for me. This is when I learned this man, who I believe to have been intoxicated, crashed into my family, killed my precious, sweet-as-honey baby, forever ruined our Christmas'/my birthdays, almost killed Ryan, Finn & I, & has almost destroyed our entire lives, he did this; yet it is ALL on our shoulders. We are likely to be in financial ruin. But what eats at me the most isnt the money, or the scumbag that hit us.

I want to smell him & run my fingers through his hair. I want to hear his stories as he points at nothing & jabbers away. His face when Daddy gets off work & first steps in the door. His lips were the most juicy, kissable lips, I had to pin his arms down to get kisses because he would say "no", & slap or punch you so hard. I know him. I miss him. I want him back in my arms. Colum, I was so lucky to be your Mommy.


Anatomy of a car crash part 7

I knew I would be seeing Dr Morris shortly, since his face said it all behind the glass as he viewed my images. My stomach was beyond its capacity since I had to drink that CT scan drink & I could only drink about half of what I was supposed to. It wasn't long after I got back & settled that the whole trauma team appeared in my room. "We found the cause of the infection". I was relieved it wasn't in my heart from the PICC. "You have a huge abscess around your left kidney". "That explains why my lower back on the left side has been hurting", I said. For weeks my lower back had been hurting kind of a pulling sensation, just like a kidney infection. We talked about treatment options, first they would install drains & a stent which is the less invasive option. If that didn't work they would go in surgically & remove it. I voiced my preference which is to go in & get it out, but they insisted on the drains much to my dismay.

I was told when I'd first arrived at the hospital the Dr who worked on my internal injuries remembers my left kidney having a laceration (along with my liver & spleen). He cleaned it up as much as he could. But the CT scan showed that I had a hole in the top & bottom of my kidney. My blood was too thin (from all the blood thinners) to do any of the procedures so I was sent up to the ICU to be given Fresh Frozen Plasma, this would help thicken my blood back to normal. & put on NPO; no food or water. My stomach was 10 months pregnant + 10 thanksgiving dinners that night so the last thing I wanted was food... But I'm always thirsty. Back to the oh-so-familiar sponges dipped in water. The nurses in ICU were friendly. Some almost jumped when they first saw me because they'd helped take care of me in the beginning & couldn't believe how much better I looked & how far I'd come. One nurse said she took care of me that first dreadful night & said they had to put me in restraints because I kept ripping out the tube that goes down your throat. Blood had to be drawn & sent to the lab after every couple bags of plasma to see if my blood had thickened up enough for the surgery. In the beginning we were scheduled to do the surgery in the morning but it took twice the amount of plasma than anticipated. My blood wasn't thick enough until 430pm, I was so thirsty.

They wheeled me down to radiology to install a drain that goes through my side to the abscess & on the outside of my body there's a bag & some sort of suction ball. I was to be awake but lightly sedated. They did a few X-rays then gave me a shot of lidocaine & began cutting a hole for the drain to enter. This was very painful. When the procedure was done, the resident Dr on call in the ICU told me I could only have a few sips of water because I was going in for another surgery the next morning. I took my few sips & fell asleep in the ICU The next step was to put a stent along the bottom hole of the kidney until it healed, which was put in the next day. For a few hours I felt better, maybe this could really work. They moved me back to the the orthopedic trauma floor, not rehab with Ryan. It was really hard not being with ryan. But every single afternoon when he had finished therapy he would come up to my room & lay next to me in his jazzy, until bedtime (love that guy).

A few days later another CT scan was done. The Drs told me that it wasn't just one big abscess like they thought. The drain was helping a tiny bit but they found a part of it was moving down to my bladder. There were several pockets of infection, my body had built walls around the fluid, which actually turned out to be urine that contained bacteria. Antibiotics would unlikely be able to go through these walls. I still had a low grade fever & basically sat in a pool of my own sweat all day & night. Another drain was put in, this one 10x's more painful than the last, I literally screamed more than once during the procedure. This one didn't ever even drain any fluid out. & after a very short time niether was the first drain. I had to stay on the ortho/trauma floor for 8 days, I stayed in bed all but one of those days just wishing they'd do surgery & just go in there and get it out. I could recover on that floor and then join Ryan in rehab until he had to go home and also have one less worry on my mind.

I wondered why they were leaving the drains in if they werent even draining until one day. Nurses work 12 hr shifts. During each nurses shift they flush the drains with 10 cc's of saline, so in a 24 hr period there is 20 cc's of saline in my drain bags. One morning one of the groups of Drs came in. They mentioned how the drains were still draining really good, about 20 cc's per day. Aha, that's why they havent removed them. "That's the saline that the nurses flush my drains with, 10cc's per shift=20cc's per day". I really like that group of Drs but they didn't say anything after I told them that, but I saw a small flinch.

During rehab a few days later we were about to start my 3rd (out of 4) sessionof therapy. We just got done with lunch and I was told earlier that I'd probably be able to take a shower later (my first one since Xmas eve approximately 3.5 weeks ago). My therapist Darcy whom I love and is absolutely incredible at what she does took off the blanket and pillow I had on. One of my legs was wet. At first we thought my bags were leaking but we quickly discovered it was my catheter. Earlier that morning my aid was violently yanking on it, so when they told me I'd probably pulled it, I told them why I thought it was leaking. My nurse was called down to the gym, meanwhile my therapist fixed the problem. When the nurse arrived she didn't put gloves on or even bother to lend a second pair of eyes on the problem. She offered to take me upstairs so I could change my pants, but then I would miss out on therapy & I was just barely granted weight baring on one leg. I smelled like urine. Darcy advised my next therapists to wear gloves because of what happened. My aid came in to tell me that the drs decided i couldnt shower while my (stupid) drains were still in. I steered my jazzy chair over to where they wanted me, wearing my dirty pee pee pants & began to laugh. Like I'm wearing my dirty pee pants, so the therapists have to wear gloves, & I don't get to shower because the drains that aren't even draining are still there kinda laugh. After therapy I changed my pants & cleaned up a bit & had a small mental breakdown. The next day my mental breakdown spilled over while talking to the Drs. And that day my drains were removed & stitches were finally taken out of my right hand.


Anatomy of a car crash part 6

Ryan was driving on Christmas Eve, Finn was behind him, & Colum & I were on the passenger side. We were hit head on, but I'm guessing it was at a slight angle because the drivers side of our car was unrecognizable. You would assume that the driver didn't survive. I was taken out of the car 2nd, Finn 3rd, & it actually took them 2 hours to cut Ryan out of the car. In the pictures I've seen of our Subaru Outback, the outside where colum was sitting looks almost untouched & where I was sitting not too bad. Yet, we received the worst of the injuries.

I have a lot of internal injuries caused by my seatbelt & the high impact (obviously, I'm still glad I was wearing a seatbelt though). My digestive system was basically paralyzed & On the 2nd or 3rd day I was here they put a tube (nasal gastric) down my nose to my stomach (not fun) to drain all the stomach acid etc that has built up. The tube went into a plastic container, and over about a 5 day period it drained at least a liter or 2 of mossy green fluid (this was during my very foggy days). I couldn't eat or drink while that tube was in. & it was convenient because I was in & out of surgeries & you can't eat or drink 12 hours before. I had absolutely no appetite but I was dying of thirst. I love water! I don't really drink soda, I always prefer water. Pain meds give you cotton mouth. They do give u sponges that have some gross synthetic sweetener taste attached to sticks, that u can dip in ice water & use to wet the inside of your mouth... But it's just not the same. They give you fluids via IV, but I was still dying from thirst.

One of the most uncomfortable things I've had the pleasure of experiencing from the internal damage is being bloated. My stomach sticks out as far as it did when I was 9 months pregnant, & I feel like I did when I was days away from delivering. It feels like I've eaten 1-10 Thanksgiving dinners on top of that depending on the day. When I'm not on NPO (no food or water) and I can actually eat, I can only eat a few bites of my meal because there is literally no room in my body... & I usually pay with additional bloat from eating those couple bites for a few hours. It's something I'm still struggling with & I hope it resides soon.

I believe when I got here I went to the ER, then the OR, then ICU, back & forth between OR & ICU, then the orthopedic trauma unit. Ryan and I were able to be in the same room on the ortho trauma floor. It was nice to wake up & cry in the middle of the night & look over & have him right next to me. Ryan was granted weight baring on 1 of his legs & was ready for rehab! The hospital said our insurance felt bad for us & approved for me to go to rehab also. So downstairs we went. In rehab you get dressed in the mornings, & they have showers (I still haven't been approved,just sponge baths... sigh). They put you on a schedule & in my case I get to get in my jazzy which is so wonderful to get out of bed & feel the wind on my face as I cruise the halls.

A few days into being in rehab we had friends visiting. Out of nowhere I started feeling really light-headed. The aid came in & routinely took my vitals. I had a fever of 103 & my heart was racing at 130. I was told they were concerned because my white blood cell count was 20 the day before & jumped to 40 that day, (normal is 5-10, if u get an infection it usually jumps to 12). We have a good friend that is a Dr & she said she had never heard of somebody who had a white blood cell count of 40 before. My bloated stomach (I call it my baby, my gremlin baby) felt like I was 10 months pregnant + 10 thanksgiving dinners consumed. That night my fever jumped to 105, I told them to take out my PICC because my heart was racing & that was everybody's assumption for the cause of this mysterious infection. They drew blood from the PICC to test it for cultures. It takes about 3 days to identify the bacteria & how to treat it. I lied there with my parents & Ryan that night thinking & feeling like I was going to die.

After 2 days of waiting for the results, my heart still racing, fever 105, 15 months pregnant, they told me I was getting CT scan. I was told to drink a liter of special & very nasty drink prior but was only able to drink half because there was absolutely no room in my body. My transporter came to take me to the ice cold CT room, almost unbearable with a fever. I was delighted to see that my team of trauma Drs were already there eager to see the results. After the scan was finished I could see the head trauma Dr(Dr Morris) through the glass window looking at my images. I could tell by his facial expression that they had found the cause of my infection.

To b continued....


Anatomy of a car crash part 5

There is one good thing that has come out of this. One thing I'm very proud of & brings a smile to my face, & chills down my spine. They were able to donate columns heart to another child. Colum died on Christmas day. I hope the family got the call on Christmas morning to get ready for the best Christmas gift ever. I hope that child is healthy & lives a long fulfilling life. It's something Ryan & I have talked about & always knew we would do. & in case u are wondering if it is a hard thing to do when you are actually in that situation... Not at all. It was "take everything you can use". Anything to avoid another parent to have to burry their child, "take everything you can use".

In the 1st week after the crash there'd be talks about the funeral. I tried to avoid it, I was never ready. Then a date was set & I got angry, "it's the longest we can wait to preserve the body". Body. My baby's 'body'. He was gone. No more 'Mom' songs in the car sung by him while driving. No more dragging blankets w/bottle dangling from his teeth looking for Momma for cuddles. No more measuring cups scattered all over the house. No more before bed time jammy wrestling matches w/Daddy.

The funeral was beautiful. There wasn't much at all that was planned by us except a speaker & singing itsy bitsy spider. It was held in the Hope Chapel here in the hospital because we were too sick to leave. Ive been in-capable of brushing or doing anything w/my hair since the accident. I had people put it in a few braids the day before hoping for waves but I got more of a crimped look. I threw a cape/poncho sweater awkwardly over my hospital gown. We were brought down on cardiac chairs, covered in pillows & blankets. Somebody spoke that we had no idea was going to speak & who we've never met or heard of in our lives. How do you plan your baby's funeral?

There is something that has helped get me through. Something so beautiful that whenever I think about it, I get overwhelmed with gratitude & hope. Angels. I didn't know how many there were until all this happened to my family. They walk the halls of this hospital & so gracefully stop in to rescue me. I couldn't even hold a cup to get a drink of water until recently & i still struggle sometimes. I've come a long way but the 1st 2.5 weeks I was basically incapable of doing anything. The nurses, Dr's, Surgeons, Physical/Occupational therapists, Aids, & janitors... all complete strangers. Some know our story & some don't. They give me a hug mid blood draw or wipe away my tears during our physical therapy session. They give you sponge baths & wash your hair using buckets. They took care of both of my babies. They care. Angels.

I have angels who are my friends or friends of friends, or complete strangers who are working so hard to help raise money for us. People who own small businesses doing fundraisers & donating so much in this economy. The financial burden this is putting upon us is impossible. They take time away from their own families to try & help ours. They are sacrificing so much of themselves & tapping every resource possible to help us. Attorneys offering their services for free. Random strangers sending me emails & even commenting on this blog giving me faith to push forward with words of encouragement. Angels. A big huge THANK YOU to all my angels! I know if it wasn't for every single one of you I couldn't do this!

....yup there's more to be continued.


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....


Anatomy of a car crash part 3

I remember the swarm of Doctors & medical staff surrounding me once arriving to the hospital. I remember a very painful device placed on my right leg that sent painful electrical currents through the bones. "what's your name? How old are you?". I stopped answering. Breathing was nearly impossible now. I believe my blood pressure was 44/70. They gave me a drug that completely paralyzed everything except my mind while they sent me through an x-ray machine. I could hear them saying, "at least we don't have to listen to her hyperventilate anymore". I was terrified they were going to start operating while I was in this state. My main thoughts were still about breathing, my babies & Ryan

I woke up from either my first or second surgery. There was a breathing tube going down my throat that I quickly ripped out. I looked around & nobody was there & that's when I knew in my heart that there was something seriously wrong with Colum or else my Mom would've been by my side. I called for the nurse and asked if she could get my mom on the phone. As she ran back to dial I was greeted by the head Dr of the trauma unit (cant think of his name right now, one of many wonderful Drs here but also a personal favorite). He told me I was in the worst condition with the worst injuries in the entire trauma unit. That's the first time I realized how serious this all was.

As the nurse handed me the phone my mom picked up almost immediately. "what's wrong with Colum?". My mom said it was a big debate on whether or not to tell me but she thought I should know. His spine was severed & he was on life support. They were waiting on Ryan & I to get stable enough so we could say our goodbyes. I quickly found out that Ryan had no idea about this situation so I called him to tell him the devastating news.

I was told that it was the first time in the history of this hospital that they've ever approved for a baby on life support to be wheeled over to he U of U hospital so the parents could say goodbye. They wheeled him into my room where we were all waiting. He looked so beautiful & peaceful. I held him in my arms unable to get him in our old snuggle position due to so many broken bones. It was the last time I'd get to hold my Colum. Saying goodbye was the hardest thing I've ever done. Nearly every bone in my body is broken & it's been excruciatingly painful but losing Colum feels like something's been amputated... Something that hurts so deep, that will always be with me. A piece of me died that day.


Part 2

....I expected to get in the ambulance & naturally drive to a hospital but it never moved. "what's your name, how old are you?". There were 3-5 guys inside trying to assess my injuries. Asking me if this hurt, if that hurt. I DID answer those questions. I expected pain medicine but, never received any. I couldn't breathe. The pain. Was I gonna live through this?, did I want to? "what's your name, how old are you". They were frustrated. I know they got my blood pressure reading once & everybody grunted, 1 said I don't believe you. I met 1 guy that helped me later on, & he said they couldn't figure out why I couldn't breathe. He knew I wasn't just hyper ventilating. "what's your name? How old are you?", I told them I would not answer those anymore & they'd just get a blink. I warned them before I vomited & missed their bucket onto the walls, floors, & shoes. Breathe Kelly, breathe to get to Colum.

Life flight was coming. I just had to breathe my way through the pain & minutes. The men didn't know that when he turned his hip & my left arm fell off the bed that extra bit of moaning was me trying to tell them, "dude that arm dangling either prop it back up or cut the thing off". I remember hearing the helicopter & being told it was time to go. The men wheeled me out & loaded me in as I breathed. It was a tight fit. "7-10 minutes", he said. I wanted to get to Colum but also terrified about what was going on with the other half of my heart I was now flying above.


Anatomy of a car crash. Part 1

I'm writing this down from my hospital bed, typing with one finger. I want to write everything down while it's still fresh (or as fresh as it can be since all the anesthesia & other drugs). I presume this is gonna be a long, sad, and gruesome story since I plan on naming all of our injuries. It's my worst nightmare, that I'm still living.

Every Christmas Eve my side of the family throws a party and I always look forward to it. This year it was at my Brother's, and we got there at 330pm. This Christmas was especially exciting because Finn is 3, & starting to understand what Christmas was all about. After, the party I planned on drinking mulled cider & putting cookies out for Santa.

I yelled to Finn with excitement that Santa was coming tonight from my brothers front porch as Ryan put the kids in their carseats & finished saying anxious-to-get-home-goodbyes (why didn't I take 10 seconds longer). We were leaving South Jordan and turned on 90th South. I was looking at instagram on my phone when Ryan said "what the hell", I looked up & saw the lights of a huge Subarbun jumping over a raised median (which was landscaped w/boulders & trees (& he took out 2-4 trees I later was told)). I believe the speedlimit is 50 mph, he was going 60 mph, Ryan said some one had just cut him off so he's positive we were goinG 45. I blinked and we were hit, head on.

I was in shock I guess because my phone hit the floor & I knew I couldn't reach it to call my Mom. I tried to undo my seatbelt & open the door to 'yell' for help. Airbags must have gone off because the one thing we have going for us is no brain or spinal injuries. Ryan & I both had the same red marks on the left sides of our noses. Then the I can't breathe happened. So many people whom I don't know their names came to our aid. Ryan and I both had people holding our necks/heads up. I now know why but didnt know then and it really irritated me but, people ask you the same questions over & over again.

The shock wore off as soon as help came. Then I couldn't feel my right leg, then my left. The numbness going up my fingers and creeping up my arms. I screamed. "what's your name, how old are you?". A few minutes had gone by. The numbness turned to excruciating pain. Something that would stay with me for weeks to come. I couldn't breathe. "what's your name, how old are you?".

A few more minutes of pain, trying to breathe, and "what's your name? How old are you?" went by, then I heard the worst thing my heart could take. One of our aids was assessing us, "no pulse on this one, & blood coming out of his nose. Let's take him."

I screamed. I couldn't breathe. I screamed. They took my baby. I heard them. I knew. "what's your name? How old are you?". I couldn't breathe. Pain was growing more and more excruciating. But, not being able to breathe was worse. I felt like I was drowning. Maybe they will save Colum. Must breathe to stay alive. "what's your name? How old are you?". Different people, same questions. It's hard to talk when you're drowning. 'I can't breathe please don't ask me questions', i politely asked for the 20th time. "what's your name? How old are you?", what was wrong with these people.

Minutes felt like hours. I ignored their ignorant questions. I could only concentrate on breathing which was getting harder & harder to do. By the time the next ambulance was ready, it was determined i would be next to go. All I could think about was the oxygen mask I longed for. The echo of Ryan yelling my name & how I couldn't respond. Being pulled out of the car was my first indication of how broken up I was. I could feel that every inch of my body was broken. My entire left arm was left painfully hanging as the stretcher was rolled towards the ambulance... Ohhh my left arm!

I got my oxygen mask, but to my despair I still couldn't breathe. I don't know if the blood pressure machine wasn't working or they just couldn't believe the reading. "what's your name? How old are you?", they kept asking me that. I told them I won't answer those questions I couldn't breathe. To be continued....