Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Trauma Ward


Approaching the trauma ward, a woman walking with her IV companion passes me. She walks at the normal rate, but what distinguishes her are the rods surrounding her head like a carousel. Further in, a man with a walker hobbles along and a group of 5 adults unaware of their volume. Fred is in here, fourth floor.
I come upon him lying there, 5 fractures running through his hips and tailbone giving him the sensation that the pieces move within him like Jello squares.
These hours are difficult. Sending Fred into emotions and feelings he is not very familiar with. Emotions range from despair to wanting to run a church service in his room. Jonalyn and Dale have been supportive and superb patient advocates. I stand back in awe at how they can slide into the hospital staff’s hearts and get them to be on board with upping the care we are getting. Fred said he was moved to tears when he heard Jonalyn on the phone call out to him, “Daddy..” As Jon Delling said, “ Know that moment well. Nothing more humbling and tender. A father's heart touched by a his daughter's grace.”
So, no surgery is scheduled. The doctors say that the pelvis is so well connected by tissue and tendons and all -that unless the fractures are mis-aligned they prefer to let the body heal on its own. Surgery only complicates things and Fred’s breaks look like they are perfectly aligned.


Pain management is tricky. Fred said that while in Denver he believed that he woke up in a different room every day; the nurses and doctors were only a ruse. Everything around him was a deceptive guise and he was really all right. At one point he asked my if I was “Mina.” For the most part he knew us and so this didn’t worry me. I slept in his room 2 nights to ensure he got the care and meds when he needed it, because I was there when he had a migraine and 5 hours later the nurse still hadn’t come in with the meds.

Just as he started to round the bend of being a little more pain free the trauma hospital social worker came to suggest that we needed to transfer him to a rehabilitation facility. It felt like I had been swimming under water holding my breath for a very long time and as I came to the surface and could see the light of day, wham I got a bucketful of water in the face. Terri my sister in law did the research to find transportation. If we were having to move him, then lets get him back to our community. A Lear Jet seemed to be the best option. Thank you Angel Medflight.
Freedom from worry and logistics in such a move is priceless. Thankfully Fred has been blessed to manage his money well and so it was not a problem to say: “This is something that is important to us, just pay for it.”
The nurses were great on the flight. Fred went his first 6 hours since the accident without meds. He wanted to make sure he was clear headed and wasn’t nauseated. Landing at Presbyterian our flight nurses advocated for him beautifully to get us into a room immediately so he could have some privacy to relieve himself. We were whisked into the decontamination room. At least it was private!

Since the start I have been generally peaceful about the accident. I fought an intestinal bug the day after it happened and had some residual unpleasantries, but I have felt upheld by God and peaceful that things are in his hands. Fred said that in his Denver visions he saw 3 dark green and black demon faces peering at him. But that didn’t make me fearful. Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. Fred didn’t put a lot of weight into the vision either knowing that he was on painkillers.

Someone mentioned that although the accident happened on Hell’s revenge, that Fred’s survival and recoop will be Heavens revenge. I like that. God’s will cannot be thwarted. And as Dale whispered to Fred as they carried him to his airlift: Jesus is with us.

Presbyterian’s care compared to Denver is like a McDonalds burger compared to a Lowry’s Ribeye steak. Their food could also echo such comparison.

We are blessed to be in our community for this step of rehabilitation. We take a deep breath and lean into the routine knowing that the progress though slow seems steady.

I was watching the video of the accident, and noticed that the place where Fred was thrown had a trenchlike crevice. This hollowed out area cradled his body and protected it as the ATV slammed backwards on top of him.

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock..

I think God protected him from any internal injures (CTScan showed that) and preserved his life. (There he is across the room giving the nurse a bad time!)

God is merciful and Jesus is with us.

3 comments:

Jon said...

I can't imagine the pain Fred went through. Only God could sustain such times of aloneness. Praying for continued healing and patience to heal for Fred.
Post Script: Now Fred has one more thrilling chapter of adventure to add to his book? Book, did I say that? Time to have some Akmak from my backpack. Jon Delling

Grandma Seelye said...

Thanks for the detailed update. We prayed for you both yesterday at Bible study. Love and prayers

Ashleigh said...

We were sorry to learn of your accident, it is quite an amazing story of faith and triumph. We will continue to pray for your recovery.
-Ashleigh & Spence