Life almost got REAL short

* I decided to post the saga.  I realize it is a few months old, but given it is an experience I will refer back to, and I’d personally like to save the story…here it is…

I have ALL sorts of feelings and emotions… pissed, frustrated, upset, empathy, thankful… you name it, I’m probably going through it.  

Saturday, August 16 around 5 pm-ish

Frank was trimming the tree in front of the house.  Standing on top of a ladder with a chainsaw, {Yes! I said chainsaw. #*@&?!?!} he fell from about six feet, doing a literal head first, swan dive into the grass.  Passed out for a few seconds.  Came to.  Rolled onto his back trying to catch his breath and senses.  Complained about his wrist immediately.   His face was cut and bleeding.  He started sweating profusely.  Did NOT want an ambulance called.  Got up.  Started throwing up.  Agreed to go to the ER.

{Wife Rant:  A long time friend/neighbor was passing the house while Frank was on the ladder.  He stopped to help because of how and what Frank was doing.  Frank is Frank.  He would not listen to either of us.  I was pleading with – or in Franks opinion, bugging and nagging – him to please get down.  Our friend was as well.  Frank told him to ‘stop egging her on’…  When Frank began to fall, he tried to catch him.  It was horrible.  Another friend/neighbor/policeman stopped to help when he saw Frank lying on the ground.  Frank would not listen to all three of us about the ambulance, not moving, and not standing.  His wrist pain was what finally made him agree to go to the ER.  My friend/neighbor/policeman drove, as I was shaking from being so upset/frustrated/angry/horrified/scared.  When Frank hit the ground I was sure he broke his neck.  Actually, I thought he was dead the moment he impacted.  It did not make sense that he was standing, or walking, talking or anything!}

We spent the night in the ER.  X-rays confirmed his wrist was broken.  X-rays confirmed his neck was broken!!

Here’s the run down:

  • Wrist.  Distal head of Radius.  Compression Fracture.  For now splinted.  Saw the surgeon who recommended surgery to screw the bones back in place and together.  The wrist was set and is in good position, however if it shifts – which with a splint it could or could not – he will have limited use of his wrist. 20140831_132036 If all goes well the wrist can heal without the surgery.  If he ops for the surgery, there is a possibility that the screw head could stick out of the bone and could – or could not – cause friction on the tendons as the hand moves.  This could prove very inflaming and actually rupture the tendon.  We have two weeks to decide.  No matter what, the doctor says he will have arthritis in that wrist from this trauma.
  • Neck fracture.  C2.  Right side.  Bone is in position.  Nothing seems to be effecting his spine.  If it stays that way, he could have a great recovery.  He will need to wear a neck brace for many weeks.  A custom brace has been ordered.  We hope to have it by Monday.  Doctors are astounded that he is okay!!  Incredibly lucky that he is not paralyzed if not worse!!  He should not be here…20140817_001926
  • The cuts on his face were butterflied.  They are a non-issue in comparison to his neck and wrist.
  • When he arrived in the ER, blood tests showed his Kidneys were not functioning well.  His ‘numbers were elevated.’  The doctors were not sure if it was due to the stress of the situation, the trauma, or his diabetes.  He was given IV fluids to flush out the Kidneys and see if they would come back into balance.  They did the next day.  This was good – it enabled them to run a test to see if any of the vessels surrounding the neck injury were compromised.  We are waiting on those results.
  • While in the ER, he was hooked up to all sorts of monitors.  One of which was monitoring his oxygen levels.  The alarms kept sounding.  Doctors spoke to Frank encouraging him to see a Pulmonary Specialist.  The sleep apnea issues he has, were sounding loudly every time he started to fall asleep.  (Frank completely shuts down when his body has to heal.  I could swear he was a hibernating bear in past life.)  Years ago Frank went to a ‘sleep doctor.’  His snoring, apnea and restless legs have been a huge issue for as long as I can remember.  He was sent home with a CPAP machine….. which is collecting dust somewhere in the abyss of the garage.  He would not use it.  It was ‘too uncomfortable’ and ‘he couldn’t sleep with it.’  That was the last he ‘addressed’ this.  In the middle of the night, in the ER, doctors and nurses kept running to him when the alarms would go off – they tried to explain to him how dangerous this situation is to his heart.  Still Frank said ‘No’ to seeing the Specialist.  The next day when the doctor came in, I put my two cents in.  I want him to see the Specialist!  {Frank isn’t too happy with me……. oh well……}  I KNOW the guy in the bed next to Frank agreed with me.  I could hear Frank snoring before I walked into the room!  I apologized to him as soon as I walked in the doorway.  He shook his head somberly when I asked if he got any sleep.  I canNOT imagine trying to heal when you can’t get ANY sleep… hospitals suck.

As for the non-life threatening… He still has his comedic wit.

I took this photo because he wanted to see what he looked like –  “Oh geez, I should have combed my hair.”  (Yes….. I am glad he still has his ‘sense of humor’….. But I am going to kick his ASS when he can withstand it…. )20140817_101806

Life’s little wonders are still – THANK GOD!! – there.  Frank got to eat.  Charlee reversed the roles – she fed him. (Kinda cute to witness.) (Thanks to the brace, he drools like she used to. 😉  He can use his right hand, but is super achy.  Got out of bed for a few minutes. Good, but exhausting – and his neck started hurting after.  Got him resettled.  Sucks that every time he fell asleep a nurse or doctor showed up to wake him so they could ask how he was feeling. Oye. Double edged sword.

As for me… I am feeing pretty rattled.  Writing for me is key.  I need it to clear my head. 

Sorry for the bring-me-down news… and the bitchy-wife rant….  Wish I was writing something funny.  I had to get it out… It is what it is…… Life is short.  Almost got real short.


Follow the Saga:  Life almost got REAL shortHospital Update for FrankSympathy is not on the shopping list!Train ‘friends’