calm in intensive care
Our story continues from the moment in my first blog post when Beth tells me that everything will be okay. The Jaws of Life frees her from the car. She is rushed to a helicopter, blades spinning.
“I was, strangely, very calm,” Beth wrote in a school essay. “A nurse told me I was in shock. The doctors stuck many needles in me during the helicopter flight that seemed to last only a minute. I found out later that these were high doses of medicine that slows the chain reaction of nerve damage. I landed at St. Vincent hospital in Toledo."
"I was taken to an exam room and they cut off my clothes. They jokingly asked me if those were my favorite jeans, and of course, they were. When I was taken to a room in intensive care, my dad asked me if I wanted to know what the doctors had just told him minutes before: I was paralyzed from the chest down. I believed it, but it did not scare me.”
I was scared enough for both of us. The single tragedy of not walking spiraled out of control with shattered neck bones, surgeries, a cut spinal cord, paralyzed organs, and serious health risks of quadriplegia. I waited on edge for her optimism to crash. I felt like nothing would ever be okay again.
Beth's morphine haze faded as we prepared to leave intensive care for rehab, ten days after the accident. Her experience continued to be different from mine.
"Accepting my new disability never was a real issue for me. The issue was what needed to be done next."
4/5/2016 09:04:11 pm
Wow! I relate to your reactions, Cindy. Beth's not so much. I have heard her say she wouldn't change what happened. That doesn't compute for me, but I have my own major issues with acceptance. I had wondered how things transpired with the accident. You have me on the edge of my seat.
4/6/2016 09:28:02 am
Re: Beth not wanting to change what happened. I don't think that was true in the beginning. Maybe starting a few years later? Thanks for commenting here and following our story!
4/5/2016 11:19:09 pm
I feel so connected to you and your daughter. I feel both saddened by Beth and your struggles and at the same time amazed by your inner strengths.
4/6/2016 09:41:57 am
Thank you, Chuck! For years after the accident, Beth's injury was a tragedy through my eyes. However, you're right that it never was for her. Since the injury could not be undone, she accepted it and faced forward, to what needed to be done next. Her resilience is amazing.
2/25/2017 03:12:55 pm
This is the first piece I've read from your blog. Stark and powerful. The raw courage of "this is what is and we will deal with it," alongside the realities of moving forward from that moment with surgeries and struggles and pain. The lives of a mother and young woman changed in a blink. I"m inspired by the honesty and courage.
2/25/2017 04:39:34 pm
Thanks so much, Elaine! My emotions after the car accident are still painful to recall. Writing about our travels and adventures after Beth's injury has been therapeutic for me. My daughter is the brave one! She somehow knew that everything would be okay from the start.
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