Life Changing Moments: Part 4

Morphine. Unless you get morphine on a drip at your disposal, it’s the dumbest painkiller ever. Yes it works. It works almost immediately and gloriously, but it wears off so fast. Within 30 minutes I can feel twinges of pain and by 2 hours I’m in full blown pain again.

County hospitals need to exist. And ours is the only level 1 trauma center in our city. I had to go there. I didn’t have a choice. And now I was stuck on a gurney until they could transfer me to the surgical wing. They also were waiting for the orthopedic surgeon to come speak with me. Again it felt like forever and I had to lay and the most uncomfortable thing with a broken hip.

Now family is calling, talking about transferring me. This hospital is not really as great as it sounds. It’s filthy and there are so many people in every corner, it has the worst reputation and I can’t say their treatment of me proved that reputation wrong.

The surgeon comes in and at this point it’s still up in the air as to if I will need surgery or not. I was hoping I wouldn’t. I just wanted this to be simple from here on out. I silently pleaded with God to protect me again, even more. I don’t know why, maybe because I still worried about dying so much, but the idea of surgery scared the hell out of me.

His name is Dr. Gomez and he was not at all what I was expecting and super friendly. He confirmed surgery was needed, without it I would definitely need a total hip replacement sooner rather than later and arthritis was imminent. So when, was my next question. Apparently the type of fracture I had is the worst kind you can have. Only 2 doctors in my city perform the surgery, him and a Dr. Eagan. I ask if I could get another opinion or ask another doctor. He said of course but I would have to go to Fresno or Los Angeles. Then he looks at Matt and I and said the most honest thing ever. He said ” I know this hospital has a not so great reputation, and it’s probably mostly correct. For instance I won’t perform your surgery. The earliest I will do it is Monday and I won’t be here Dr. Eagan will. It’s a holiday weekend and the surgical staff is the B team. I only perform this surgery with my top staff.” Now I know this comes off as saying exactly what I want to hear but he also said he write up a list of other surgeons I could seek out for their opinion. I can’t explain it we just felt comfortable with what he was saying. My family however still wanted me moved.

When I finally got a room, it was the worst room ever. My roommate was a severely obese YOUNG lady who smelled so bad my mother had to rave gagging. Thankfully I got put in another room. But two things I realized about hospital beds and the nurses I encountered. They won’t help you transfer unless absolutely necessary, I have a broken hip and we didn’t know this but knee as well and my entire right side is so sore, I needed all their help!! Also they are so much more comfortable than a gurney. As soon as I got into position, half of my pain was gone!

As we waited I silently cried. I cried when no one was looking and I prayed and pleaded with God to save me once again. I don’t know why but I had such a fear of this surgery. I kept thinking I’m too calm, I was too calm. When I go under I’m never waking up. I thought about the will I wrote as a class assignment and how it was going to be my kids reality. I wondered if Matt would follow my wishes and stay with my parents so they could help him raise the boys. I wondered how long he would stay by my bedside hoping for me to wake up. How long would he keep me alive and would he give up on me. I told you, I was terrified.

Then I did the one thing I wasn’t supposed to do. The only doctor I spoke to during this time said this was like the “going to the moon” type of surgery for ortho’s and that he didn’t do it but had seen it. He did not ease my worries. So I googled it. Ugh the amount of complications that can arise from this surgery are ridiculous! Like dead foot. They have to move your sciatica nerve out of the way to perform the surgery and sometimes it is damaged and your foot no longer works. Your foot no longer moves up and down in a walking motion. This was not what I needed to read, you know as someone who has issues with her sciatica already. Then the chance of arthritis anyway and then a hip replacement eventually, yeah well that didn’t help.

I had an amazing roommate named Sherry. She talked me off my ledge of fear. She prayed with me and for me and put me at ease. I thanked her many times but I know it wasn’t enough. She was so sweet and kind and funny. I hope she is doing well and I think about her often. I finally fall asleep knowing tomorrow is my big day and I will again have to be strong.

To be continued…

Posted in Road to recovery | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Back 2 School 2014

IMG_0293.JPG

I am so proud of myself and my boys! We had a successful first day of school and no one cried! I thought I would and honestly if I had walked them to class like I normally do I probably would have.

Caleb did great! The night before he was worried about making friends and being around so many new kids. But when he walked in the door after school he immediately said “mom I made 2 friends!” Success! Tonight when he went to bed he said ” goodnight mom, see you on the second day of school. ” I know the newness will wear off but for now I’m riding this wave as long as I can.

Aiden is a talker. He has and probably always will get into trouble for talking. This year he came home from school and said he didn’t get in trouble for talking today! Again, it won’t always be like this but I will take it!

IMG_0297.JPG

IMG_0296-0.JPG

I’m trying really hard to focus on the fact that I am alive and here to share another school year with my kids. But a little piece of me is mad that I couldn’t go to my sons first day and walk him to and from school. I chose to stay home it’s just too crazy for me in a wheelchair to battle my way through and too much to ask my husband to battle for all 5 of us. When I think about it I can feel the anger rising. I snuff it out though and remember I’m still here.

Posted in school time | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s That Time!

It’s back to school time here and this year I will have a TKer and a 2nd grader!! For those of you not familiar with TK it’s transitional kindergarten. Basically it’s a year for kids who just missed the deadline to enroll in school to help them prepare and make sure they are ready for kinder. Caleb will be my TK kid and honestly he just now is starting to become excited. He is my middle little and school has never appealed to him like our oldest. He went to preschool for 2 years for 3 days a week and was so happy when he no longer had to go. He is my kid that says he doesn’t want to be anything when he grows up, never getting married and will live with mommy forever!

Until this week, heck yesterday he was not excited. But we bought supplies and special pencil boxes and have really been trying to pump him up and it seems to be working! ( please cross your fingers and say a prayer it sticks)

Now Aiden has always loved school. He is excited to reunite with old friends and excited about being a big 2nd grader. He is also excited his brother will be going with him. He is not however excited about the increase in homework, but somehow I think he will survive.

Me? I am so not prepared. When I left my parents to come home I thought so what if I am confined to a walker or a wheelchair! I can still get organized and do all the things I need to do to get the kids started right. The best part is I’m not working so no excuses this year, I’m creating the get ready center I always wanted last year. Boy I seriously did not understand my limitations. First of all I am so backwards on my sleep from the hospital some nights it’s 4 am before I can even fathom sleeping. And I cannot really do as much as I thought. It takes sooooo much energy getting in and out of this chair. So I tried the walker and standing, on one leg, yeah that gets old really fast.

Needless to say my get ready center is not going to be ready by Monday. I will get it done if it’s the last thing I do! I will get the teacher gifts done and their school binders done this weekend. I am so frustrated right now. I know that this is temporary. I know I’m so lucky to be where I’m at with all of this but there are still so many unknowns and limitations that sometimes I sit up at night and just cry.

Tonight however I resolve to accept my limitations. Be thankful that I am here to see my babies go to school and stop crying. It’s that time of year and I am so excited for my boys. I live them more than anything and I can’t wait for their first day!

Posted in school time | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Life Changing Moments: Part 3

This is the part where, in retrospect, I become very angry. I am not a person who screams and yells to get their way. I can if pressed to my breaking point but I have learned in my old age, most of the time throwing a tantrum is just not worth it.

I laid on a gurney without anyone by my side, without pain meds for hours. I was supposedly just fine. I just had deep tissue bruises to the bone but I would be fine. I told everyone to go home and take care of my babies, rest so they could come get me when the time came. I was in excruciating pain but I could take it, I’m going to live after all. Seriously though I would have paid anyone whatever money they wanted for an 800 mg Motrin. I mean really they know how injured I am I told them I’m a 10 on their scale of pain. Did I need to actually cry to make them believe me? I cry just not when I need to be strong and now was that time. If I cried I would feel all my feelings and fears and anger and I couldn’t do that in the hospital.

So I laid there listening and agonizing. Listening to all the other people screaming, all the calls over the intercom notifying the team of the next emergency arriving. I heard this lady loose her ever loving mind and use ever foul word in the book to try to get her way. In the end she was discharged and told if she wanted treatment she would have to sign in again, hopefully at another hospital! I tried not to feel or think about what happened but every time I closed my eyes that truck was there. The car was spinning and I wanted to scream. The nurse comes in and says as soon as I walk a few steps I can go home. I ask if I get any pain meds to help and she says well maybe after wards. Um maybe after wards? In my head I’m losing my mind, on the outside I just breathe. People I cannot explain the pain at this point. My tailbone feels like it has been shoved up into my body and my knee and hip are throbbing. But I want to go home. This place is scary and I want to forget all of this. So the nurse comes around and gives me her hand. I mean just her hand! I’m looking at her like I need to lean all up on you and you need to slide me to the edge of this bed lady! Don’t get me wrong she was nice and all but again just because I’m not screaming and crying on the outside doesn’t mean I don’t feel that way on the inside, especially when I tell you repeatedly.

So I tell her over and over again as I try to stand that I can’t do this. That my hip and knee hurt and there is no way. She smiles and says yes you can it will hurt but you can do this. I seriously want to punch her in the face. I suck it up and ask for drugs, for crutches anything to help. She replies well you won’t have morphine at home so no. Afterwards we can talk to the doctor about pain management but right now I need to take a few steps. I close my eyes and imagine knocking her on her super smiley ass! Then I open them and put my foot on the floor and try to put weight on it. I almost scream or I let out some noise. I can’t remember I just know I said no! I tell her something is wrong, it doesn’t feel right. She just keeps pressuring me I mean encouraging me. I try a couple of more times before I finally say enough is enough get me a doctor.

The doctor comes in and starts in on me. You have to do this, it’s just bruised, nothing is broken, I can get you crutches if you think it will help, blah, blah, blah. I cannot believe the attitude this dude is giving me! I tell him I feel like I also have a pulled muscle or something in my upper thigh because it shoots an electrifying pain between my hip and knee every time I tried to stand on it. I tell him over and over my hip and my knee. He starts hounding me for an exact pinpoint of the pain so I finally say look I had 3 c sections and got up and walked as soon as I could. I walked my way out of the hospital early each delivery, hell I helped load the car with my first! If I could I would walk my happy ass out right now!! But I am telling you this pain is unbearable and something is very wrong.

I hear him consult a doctor outside my door. This doctor suggest an X-ray of my femur since I am now complaining about my thigh. So i am finally whisked away to the X-ray room. And there I finally encounter the nicest person ever. So funny and sweet and apologetic for making me hurt more by moving me around. Next thing I know I can here lots of people discussing my films outside and they keep asking me if I’ve ever injured my hip before. I don’t know how many times I told them no. Finally the doctor comes back and says they noticed something on the X-Ray that requires a ct scan of my hip. Finally someone sees what I can feel.

Again I meet a sweet woman who takes me to the ct and performs the scan. And then I wait. So I called the nurse. I asked her to call my husband and ask him to come. Just tell him I’m bored and need company. Of course he came. We chat and I ask him a million questions about himself. Why didn’t you check into the hospital? I know it’s a broken finger but what if it needs surgery? What if you have internal bleeding? What if? What if? What if? Then I start the how are my babies? Then I cry I stop there because I’m tough and crying is not allowed. Seriously I don’t know what happens to me in these situations. I just have to keep it together.

After what seems like for ev er, the nurse comes and asks me if the doctor has come by to talk to me about my scan. I say no and she looks well, sad. She says you have an acetabular fracture. I look at her and say okay I’m trying to think about what I know bout the human body but I got nothing. What is that? It’s the ball joint and socket. I just say okay so I’m not crazy and my pain is real? And she says no you’re not crazy. Okay good thank you. Now can I get some pain medication?!

To be continued…

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Wordless Wednesday

20140806-145933-53973064.jpg

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Aiden’s Big Adventure!

This last weekend Aiden went on his first trip that didn’t involve mom or dad, any of his brothers, or nana and papa. My brother took him camping and fishing at Balch Park with his girlfriend and her family. I must admit as excited as I was for him I was also terrified.

I was worried about all the things that could happen to them traveling a couple of hours away. I worried about bears and boredom equally. 3 days is a long vacation when a kid no longer wants to be there.

But of course I worried for no reason. While he did see lots of bears, a little too close for my comfort, he also caught lots of fish and had fun exploring. He collected sticks and helped walk my brother’s future in laws dog. I’m so proud of my brother for stepping up and being the uncle I always knew he could be. And I’m so glad that even though our accident stopped us from all our summer plans, Aiden still got to go on an adventure. Maybe next year when we are all done healing we can all go!

20140805-021500-8100249.jpg

20140805-021500-8100429.jpg

20140805-021500-8100898.jpg

20140805-021500-8100669.jpg

20140805-021501-8101116.jpg

20140805-021501-8101337.jpg

20140805-021501-8101579.jpg

Posted in Fun Times | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life Changing Moments: Part 2

I am lying on this gurney in an ambulance waiting. The paramedic is talking gibberish and I’m just trying to feel. Feel if I’m going to be okay. I already know Matt won’t go to the hospital as a patient, he is so flippin stubborn. He is almost more stubborn than me!! I hear the paramedic ask if he’s coming and what not because we gotta go. The fireman says he is refusing treatment but we are doing a quick assessment. Of course, he could have internal bleeding, shock, my mind races I cannot lose him. The Smith Five does not work without him!

Side note: men please just go to the doctor! Don’t be so manly that your wife can’t worry about her own well being anymore because she is too damned worried about you!

I hear my sister say I’ll go. I hear her but she never gets in. I’m all alone in this ambulance trying to feel past the pain. I honestly have no idea how I am so calm. I am in so much pain it’s unbearable. There are no words to describe this. But the medic says my heart rate and blood pressure are great. All he can talk about is the glass that is covering my face, arms, chest, and in my mouth. Asking what it could have been. I said I had a Starbucks mug in my car maybe that? (If you look closely in the previous post you will see that Starbucks mug sitting outside the car in tact!) I was totally impressed with his ability to get an IV in my arm in the bumpiest ride through town ever. We pull up and I hear a girls voice, I love you sissy. I had no idea my sister was up front. I love her so much for coming with me, for not leaving me alone and scared. She is amazing.

We get to the hospital and it is like a nightmare. All the things you see on tv shows and movies is happening to me. I’m surrounded by doctors and nurses and each one is yelling out this and that. Asking me all these questions, moving me all over the place even though I’m in all this pain! Then I hear it, the scissors cutting through my jeans. My first thought is I’m hurt worse than I know. They see something that I can’t see. Then I think oh God everyone is going to see me naked- everyone.

They have to exam every square inch and flip you this way and that. The whole time I have this huge neck brace that makes it harder to breathe. I am not sure what happens next but I know I had all kinds of X-rays. All from above, nothing too invasive. I’m thinking this seems not emergent. Like everyone is too calm and there are less and less people around me until it’s just me and a couple of nurses and my sister. I finally get some morphine. And let me tell you, that is some good ish. For about an hour and then it starts wearing off. I wouldn’t get anymore morphine or any other pain killer for almost 12 hours.

By now my mom and husband show up. The guy who hit is is also at the hospital for a BAC test and is sleeping off his hangover. I am told my c rays are clear and I will stay for 6 hours to be monitored and then released. I am in total disbelief. The pain I am feeling, the fact that my knee feels hyperextended every time they straighten it out, it just can’t be. I tell my family to go I will be fine. Rest up and come get me when I’m released.

I am photographed by the highway patrol and asked about my injuries. They want to build a case against this man and assured me he is going to jail. I begin to think maybe I’m not as strong as I think and this pain isn’t as bad as I think, after all I’m just bruised badly. But God I am in pain. I relax thinking and beginning to believe I’m going to live. I’m going to hug my babies and see them in the morning and life will be as it should. I immediately think of Aiden, my oldest, he knew what happened and was scared. He asked what will we do now that the car is gone, what will happen if mommy can’t work? This kid is too smart and I’m sad he even has these thoughts. I am angry that this happened, but then I could have died. I began to think about my love-hate relationship with religion and God. Is this punishment or did He save me. Then I worry if I’m ungrateful I may die from complications. Laying on a gurney in this closet of a room my mind is wandering and my feelings are soaring and I just want to not be in pain. I want to sleep. But that’s not going to happen.

To be continued…

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Life Changing Moments: Part 1

I wasn’t sure how I was going to proceed with this blog. I love being able to share, capture these moments, and pour out my heart when necessary, but I just came to a point where I didn’t know what to do. I’m so glad I kept it so that I can get this out.

On July 4th I was terribly sad. I had to work 1-10pm and was going to miss a holiday with my boys. Callen is 2 now and this was going to be the first year he could really enjoy fireworks and participate. I wasn’t going to see that and I was being a huge pouty brat.

I went to work and got to see my girls and cheer up a bit. Then we found out the mall decided to close early and I would be home well before dark! I was so excited I was on the verge of tears! We closed up and headed out the door. My husband showed up to pick me up at that exact moment and we were off.

Talking about how excited everyone was I got off early we headed to my parents home. We are blocks from our destination when in one moment our day and subsequently weeks after would change beyond words.

I hear Matt yell hold on and he slams on the brakes and hits the horn. I look up from my phone and see a huge pick up truck barreling down towards us. I scream or shout or something and BOOM! I close my eyes. I squeeze hard. I open them and the car is spinning and I squeeze them harder because I’m sure we’re dead.

I cannot tell you how long this took, it felt like minutes but I’m sure it was seconds. But when you think you’re dying, suddenly in pain like never before, you think you are dead for sure. I open my eyes and the car is stopped. Matt and I move the airbags off and there is glass all over us. I look at him and ask if he is okay. He seems fine, but there’s blood. His finger is bleeding but he says he is fine. I say good get me the hell out of this car.

He jumps out and tries to open my door but it is caved in. The dash is halfway on my lap and my door is up against my right side. I feel like everything from my knee to my hip and tailbone have been shoved up into my body and I am in so much pain I can barely handle it. I beg him and now strangers who have stopped to help to get me out. I tell them I am not dying in this car!! All I can think about is my babies. Good Lord my babies I’m not ready to say goodbye. I don’t want to die. Please God save me I have 3 boys to raise and love and I cannot and do not want to die.

I yell at Matt to call my mom and tell her I love her in case I die. I move my leg because it just hurts so bad and is literally stuck inside the dash. It helps but barely. Now there are strangers in my car. Holding my hands, telling me to calm down. Asking me questions to assess my mental status, breathing alongside me because once I realize I’m stuck I almost pass out.

I so wish I knew who these people were. They helped me more than they could ever know. Once I am breathing fine I find my calm. My vision is clear, my heart is no longer pounding. Then my mom arrives and she is screaming at the sight of me. Stuck. Stuck in a car that looks like one of those cars you see on the side of the road after an accident and you say oh my I hope they got out alive.

20140730-002821-1701279.jpg

I tell her mommy I’m okay. I’m in pain but I’m okay. Mommy calm down I’m okay I promise. All this time these wonderful people are holding my hands and telling me how great I’m doing. I seriously love these people.
Finally help arrives and the firefighters get in and start holding me down and prying the door off. At this point I still don’t know if I’m going to live but I said I’m going to fight to live. And because the jaws of life are insane I had to watch. They pop off the doors and get me out. I’m doing okay. This is all so surreal it’s like I’m in a drill or a movie scene not real life. I am alive and I’m almost in shock that I made it out of that damn car. I see all my family standing by, the look of horror on their faces frightens me, but it’s not until my dad yells “be strong Ali we love you,” that I start to cry. I just say I’m trying dad I’m really trying.

To be continued….

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

I Don’t Know You, but I Feel You.

20140507-215815.jpg

I don’t know this family. I know their names are Dan and Jacqui and their sweet boy Ryan. I saw them on Instagram Tuesday. Everyone I know was posting pictures with the hashtag #redballoonsforryan so after seeing it so much I finally clicked on it. Ryan was playing in a friends front yard and in his excitement ran out into the street to grab a wayward frisbee. In this single moment of pure joy for him he was struck by a truck and passed away.

I have no clue who these people are but in that moment we became connected as parents. I cried reading his story and looking through her Instagram feed at all the loving, sweet, and silly images of their perfect little family. I don’t know them but I feel pain and heartache for them.

I have no clue if the world or God is trying to tell me something but I get it, I hear you. With so many little lives lost lately I sure am taking stock and making sure I appreciate every moment I get with mine.

If you have read my blog than you know I have suffered some post partum anxiety and well it never really goes away. All of these things happening is starting to activate the parts of my brain that go to the dark places and tell me I don’t deserve this happiness or that any moment it’s my turn to have tragedy strike me.

For now I sit and keep those feeling and thoughts buried. I am choosing to be thankful. I am choosing joy over fear and pain. I would rather have happy moments wild and free than terrified guarded ones locked up inside my home afraid of what might happen.

This Mother’s Day release a red balloon for Ryan and his parents and keep them in your thoughts. It is just against nature and all things right for a parent to bury a child.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

When was the last time you had a Bra Fitting?

I used to ask people if they would like a pastry with their coffee for living, now I ask women if they need a bra fitting to go with their new panties. It is the end of an era, I left Starbucks in January.

It wasn’t an easy decision and I was so sad to leave the company I admire and love so much. But the stress I was under was no longer healthy for me or my family. There were many factors leading up to this but ultimately my sanity was just worth so much more than my love and respect for Howard Schultz.

I am now a category manager for PINK by Victoria’s Secret. It has been fun and interesting. I haven’t worked retail clothing in years! But managing a business and people are nothing new to me.

I am excited for what the future holds but more so I’m just happy to be able to be happy and enjoy work and my time away from work again.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment