his words didn't resonate right away.
my initial reaction was, 'yes,
let's save my leg.'
as if there weren't a doubt in my mind that they weren't going to.
but as we all waited in that room
now stained with the blood from my lower limbs
and resonating with charlie's heartbeat
i began to grasp the severity of the situation.
i couldn't focus.
bill picked up the information
the doctors threw on the floor at his feet.
i don't know how many times he answered my 'what?'
but each time he did it with more patience and love
than i have ever demonstrated.
the surgeons explained that they were going to clean out the debris
that had been left in my leg
by the truck
by the beam.
it was uncertain how long the surgery would take;
no one knew what they would
or would not
find in the leg.
there were concerns of arterial damage.
there was a very real possibility of amputation.
there was the chance
the very real chance
that they would need to perform an emergency c-section
as being on my back for such a lengthy period of time
and under any type of anesthetic
put her at a great risk.
anesthesiologists came in and explained their role.
they would use an epidural.
putting me under put the baby at too much risk.
they would continue to give me a bolus
to keep my lower extremities oblivious to the dissection that would be occurring in my right leg.
surgeons came in and explained their role.
they would be cleaning out the debris and removing dead tissue from my leg.
the tissue would
more than likely
there was a slim chance that i may regain some tissue given my age and physical condition
but more surgery would be needed
including muscle grafts
to rebuild my leg.
whose name i can't remember
but whose face i will never forget
explained her role.
to keep charlie safe.
she would stand with me however long it took.
she would hold my hand
talk to me
tell me how charlie was doing
and make sure that she was safe at all times.
the room was being prepped.
the family was being moved.
bill and i were given a moment.
only a moment.
but a moment long enough for me to tell him
with as much urgency as i could muster...
me: if something happens...
him: (shaking his head. squeezing my hand.)
me: no, listen to me. if something happens...if something goes wrong...you get her out. take care of her first. save her.
him: everything will be fine.
me: i know, but if it's not...
him: (nodding). okay.
me: promise. promise me.
him: i promise.
there were 'i love you's', interlaced fingers.
there wasn't time to be scared.
there was barely enough time for a kiss good-bye
a kiss for luck
a kiss for love
but there was enough time for me to wish
he didn't have to leave my side.
i was wheeled down a long, yellow hallway
and given something resembling grape soda to drink.
it was supposed to neutralize the acid in my stomach prior to the epidural being administered.
they told me it would taste like a sour sweet tart.
but it was the first thing i had had to drink since the tragic loss of my starbucks
and i was parched.
another i love you.
a squeeze of the hand.
i was pushed into another sterile room
with more gadgets and tools than one person could name.
i had to sit up to be given the epidural.
the morphine had weakened me
the pain had intensified
and i was given strict instructions not to move my right leg.
but i needed to sit up to be given the epidural.
it was a dance
but somehow we all managed.
i felt ice course through my veins
and as i lay down
i lost all feeling below my waist.
and for the first time in a week
my sciatic pain was gone.
for the first time that day
i was able to sleep.