As I was saying, life changing to say the least…
A beautiful days drive, uneventful, relaxing, and almost home for the first time in two weeks. Us pulling the camper, our eleven year old son watching a movie in the back seat, and out teenage daughters following in the truck. Five o’clock Friday night traffic, on Interstate 75, just six miles from the Michigan
Ohio line we got into construction. Anyone who has lived in a northern state knows summer is construction season, they have to fix the roads while the weather is good cause winter is always right around the corner. The construction signs warned that once you cross the state line traffic shifts to the right lane and the shoulder of the highway, all semi trucks must travel in the left lane and not in the right lane, which was the shoulder of the highway. With us pulling a fully loaded camper my husband decided to stay in the far right lane (the shoulder lane), since we are slower moving traffic with the camper. Despite the warning signs the semi truck in front of us never heeded the warnings and did not move to the main lane of traffic, just six miles into Michigan we were approaching an exit with a decorative arched bridge when suddenly the semi truck stopped without warning.
Our son had ask from the backseat what we were going to do for dinner and I turned to answer him, when out of the corner of my eye I saw my husband stomp the breaks with both feet, I remember thinking you can’t stop like that while towing the camper, after that is a blur to me. I remember hearing my son screaming and crying and I heard myself saying I’m coming, are you okay? The next thing I know my soon to be sixteen year old daughter is at the door of the suburban, saying are y’all alright, I can’t get the door open, I have to get y’all out of the car. It was all a blur of smoke, crashed metal, screaming, people talking, and a phone ringing from somewhere. What was happening? Why couldn’t I understand what they were saying? Why can’t I get out of the car? I can’t move like I’m tied down! I don’t know what to do, I’m so confused! I hear my husband telling our daughter to move away from the car, he laid on the middle seat of the suburban and kicked out the rear window, crawled out and pulled our son out, then proceeded to tell me to unbuckle and climb in the back seat and out the window. I still wasn’t understanding what was happening and why couldn’t I hear my son crying anymore, was my baby ok? All I could do is say I can, I don’t know how!
He left our son on the side of the highway with our daughters, our oldest daughter had managed to get out of the truck she was driving and the three of them were standing in front of the guard rail on the side of the highway beside our now two totaled vehicles and camper. My husband crawled back in through the broken window, unbuckled my seatbelt, and instructed my step by step how to crawl between the seats, I now know I was on shock. He went out the broken window first and told me to crawl through the window and get on his back, where he carried me to where our children were and left us there to check on our dogs, who had been riding, in their kennels, in the truck with our daughters. Dogs were ok, he turned to look, and I was checking the children for injuries, so he grabbed our daughter’s phone to call the military base and let them know what happened. I had it together enough, or maybe it’s that extra measure of maternal instinct God gave me, to check my children for injuries. Our oldest daughter has cuts and burns to her hands and arms, probably from the air bag coming out of the steering wheel, I don’t believe anything is broken, our second daughter seemed to be ok no visible injuries, her airbag didn’t seem to have deployed and our son he looked ok until I pulled up his shirt, black and blue from his chest to waist, possible internal injuries maybe but he was awake, talking, and didn’t seem to be in pain. As I turned to see where my husband was I saw him pacing the side of the highway talking on the phone to someone at the base, traffic everywhere and backed up as far as the eye could see, then he just dropped to the ground, in the middle of the highway lane in front of the truck and I noticed his leg had a huge knot on it and was bleeding. It never occurred to me that he could be hurt to, I’m still not totally with it at this point.
We were loaded in ambulances, by the time they put me in I was having trouble breathing, thinking it’s my asthma and I just need my inhaler, but it didn’t help. Our oldest daughter hands and arms wrapped in bandages, and one of the first responders is coming back and forth to the ambulance door letting me know what was going on with my husband and other two children. When the second ambulance arrived they put our son on a backboard strapped him down (he was not all that thrilled about that), but with his bruising a necessary precaution. They took us to a small local emergency department were I’m happy to say everybody checked out ok, nothing broken, no internal injuries, just this one little problem I still can’t breathe, even with the oxygen. After the X-rays and CAT scan the doctor, along with my husband and mother-in-law come in the room and gave me the great news that everybody was ok and going home except…you guest it…ME !!
I had somehow managed to break my sternum, hit both knees, which were swollen twice their normal size, herniated two discs in my neck, had a considerably bad whip-lash that damaged and locked all the muscles in my neck, shoulders, arms, and upper back, and I had ruptured a disc in my lower back. I stayed in the hospital for almost a week, on the cardiac Ward having blood test run every six hours, EKG’s, and eco cardio grams to make sure there was no damage to my heart. I finally was allowed to go home and put on the very long road to recovery. It’s been 12 years since that day, it has been a very long, hard road to recovery. I went trough 18 months of physical therapy, chiropractic, massage therapy, acupuncture, I went back to the doctors I was seeing before, as well as, back into counseling for trauma and to the medical professionals that had been treating me with both natural remedies and Western Medicine. I had learned enough by this time that if my body was ever going to heal I needed a Holistic approach to get back on my feet. I have seen amazing doctors and not so great doctors, I’ve tried a lot of treatments some worked and some did not. But most importantly I’ve learned something everyday through this experience.
I’ve since had eight surgeries, I’ve been in and out of physical therapy, had to have help doing everything from bathing to cleaning house, and have struggled to even get out of bed many, many days. When you are that injured it’s impossible to eat right and absolutely impossible to exercise, so that battle I’ve had with that 30 pounds is long since in the rear view mirror, I learned those three numbers on a scale does not make you or break you if you don’t let it! One year after the accident I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I look at it as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome’s big sister, the biggest difference is the constant muscle pain in Fibromyalgia. I’ve battled through so much to get to recovery, I know I’ll never be the person I once was.
We have made three more moves since all this happened, I would say the hardest part of moving is finding new health care professionals, that understands my Holistic Health views and Western Medicinal treatments. That I make the choices about my body and my health and I decide wether or not to take their recommendations. I have found a good balance between the two, one that works for me. I have always wanted to put those degrees to work helping others, but I thought that dream was over when 2 years ago I was diagnosed with Connective Tissue Disease (also called Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disorder or pre-Lupus) all triggered by the accident. I’ve been on a good complementary medical program(one that includes many disciplines). I have been doing phone and in person consultations again for the last few years. We’ve made our last move and are settled where we plan to retire. I decide I wanted to use all I’ve been through and all I’ve learned to educate others, through consulting, coaching, and blogging. I hope you enjoy my blog and will like it and follow me, if you have any specific issues with your health contact me through my website and I would love to work with you. I love to see people healed and living in wellness, that is the best part of what I do.