as many of you well know by now, bill, myself and baby girl were involved in an auto accident on easter sunday on our way to a baby shower in minnesota. just outside of waterloo, we hit a patch of ice on the interstate that sent us through a sound barrier fence and down a 40-50 foot embankment. my right leg was pinned inside the vehicle by one of the steel i-beams from the fence. i was trapped in the car for about 30 minutes before the incredible fire and rescue squad from evansdale was able to free me by cutting off the passenger side door. i was then taken to a waterloo hospital where my leg was set (painful) and my injuries assessed. bill refused medical attention at the sight, as he was up and moving and everything appeared fine (the one time he was wearing a seat belt!) we were told that the baby was fine at that point, but that we would need to be transferred to iowa city hospitals because neither waterloo nor cedar rapids had the doctors or tools needed to fix my leg.
upon reaching iowa city, i was sent straight into trauma. the leg was reassessed (and re-set) and after several x-rays and a ct scan, i was sent straight into surgery. i received a spinal epidermal (less harm to baby girl than general anesthetic), so i was awake the whole time. during the first surgery, the cleaned out all of the debris and dead tissue in my leg and put on an external fixator (very similar to the erector sets we had as kids!) i recovered for the next 48 hours in labor and delivery to monitor wee one - who is more of a trooper than any of us!
yesterday i underwent round two of the surgical process - the external fixator came off and a lisp plate was placed onto my tibia along with approximately 15 pins. additionally, because of the amount of dead tissue, muscles from my calf were stretched to fit around my shin bone. they then grafted skin from my upper thigh to cover my knee. needless to say, i have quite the battle wound and bill is already thinking about tattoos that can be used to cover it. yesterday and today have been the most painful as the healing process begins. i have been told to expect 2-3 months of recovery plus physical therapy. this could be a multi-year process, but i am forever grateful that i still have a leg.
i will remain in the hospital until sunday at this point.
other questions that i know have come up:
- baby girl is, for lack of a better term, quite the little bad ass! i did experience some constant contracting during the surgery yesterday, but she has decided (upon the advice of mom and daddy) that she stay put a while longer and bake a few more weeks! heart rate has been good and she is handling my pain meds like an old pro!
- i have definitely developed yet more renewed faith in God and the people that surround us. the outpouring of love and support has been more than overwhelming, and we are eternally grateful.
- i finally got bill to take vacation! he has been absolutely incredible though all off this and is by far my best nurse, supporter, friend and company. we have had several "date" nights (last night was our "Indiana Jones" marathon!) and hasn't batted an eyelash over anything. he lifts me, shifts me, keeps an eye on the baby monitor, asks all the right questions, taken care of everything...i'm telling you laides, i'm pretty convinced i have the best.
- i have come to appreciate and value insurance far more this year than ever before - all is taken care of and we won't have to worry about anything financially!
- the house has continued to show. my parents have had the puppies at their house all week, and i think we are going to come home to some pretty spoiled pooches when this is all said and done!
- it's times like these that i am so thankful we moved home. it has been wonderful to have our parents close by and katie jo has gotten lots of education through all of this (including several opportunities to wash my hair and bathe me!)
i cannot express enough how grateful we are for the outpouring of support and love that has come from this. i'm so thankful for the prayers, the flowers, the e-mails, the cards and the love.
the drugs have begun their dance inside my head, so i will go for now, leaving you with pictures. i hope this all finds you well.
"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." - Aesop
after the first surgery, before the second: