Sharon's Accident

On Pat's birthday, on the way to meet his mom for breakfast, Pat was in his car so he could go straight to work, and Sadie and I were in my car. I was turning left and the white car in the background of this picture ran the red light and hit us, spinning us around and knocking us clear into the grass.

Sadie was in the backseat on the passenger side, and thankfully she was not hurt at all. God must have been watching over her! My main injury was I got whacked on the back right side of my head pretty hard. I don't know what hit me.

It seems possible if I ended up leaning to the right, the door might have been crunched in enough that my head hit against it.

This is the door after they removed it to get me out of the car. My side of the car was up against the concrete cover of a sewer vent, so they couldn't open my door, and I was unconscious.

Both airbags went off, and the passenger seat was smashed in pretty well. Both windows shattered on that side. Sadie apparently had glass in her hair, but thankfully none got in her eyes, nose or mouth!
Pat noticed that we were no longer behind him and called my cell phone. When I didn't answer, he drove back and found the accident. I had just regained consciousness and sat up in the car when he got there. I did not recognize him or Sadie. :-( That was pretty scary for him.

I guess it's good that I don't remember the accident. (Or the next three days in the ICU for that matter.) I'm just so glad things weren't worse and I'm sooooo glad Sadie was not hurt.

More details about my recovery...

I had a pretty bad head injury, so I was taken via ambulance to the hospital where I spent the next 9 days. Pat took Sadie to the ER to get her checked out, and fortunately she was not hurt at all except a tiny scratch from glass on her foot. Glass was in her hair and all around her, but none got in her eyes, nose or mouth. Whew! I'm sure the impact was pretty strong, and she was on the side of the car that was hit, but thanks to her carseat and God's protection, she was just fine. Yay!

I don't remember the accident or the next three days in the ICU. That is very weird to me... apparently, I was talking and interacting some with family, doctors and nurses, but I don't remember almost any of it. I have a vague recollection of coming to in the MRI machine and freaking out because I was in this tiny space and didn't know why. I don't remember what I did, but Pat says the nurse came to get him and asked him if I was claustrophobic. Not usually, but post accident with a jostled brain, apparently so. So they let him sit in there for the MRI and talk to me. Apparently that helped. The doctors said I had a subdural hematoma which is basically bleeding and swelling of the brain. But it wasn't bad enough to need surgery or anything. It just took time for the swelling to go down and the blood to be absorbed.

The first night I was in the ICU, Keith slept in the waiting room. They tell me that he had to call Pat early the next morning to bring the breast pump, because I told my nurse I was in serious pain. And apparently, I was leaking all over the place! Considering I hadn't fed Sadie or pumped since about 6am the previous day... I bet I was in pain! Sadie got her first taste of formula that day, though. And had lots more for the next week.

On Saturday night I was moved to a regular room. I do remember some of the next day. I remember that Cameo, Ken and A came to visit me, but I don't remember the entire visit. Cameo said I seemed pretty out of it. I do know that I could not move my left leg much at all. This was apparently caused by the damage to the right side of my brain. The next day they made me try to get up a little bit. I moved from the bed to a wheelchair with Pat's help, then into a chair for a while. That made me really dizzy. Little did I know that was a sign of things to come.

On Monday evening, I was moved into the rehab section of the hospital. I got around with a wheelchair for Monday night and Tuesday, then on Wednesday, they had me start using a walker. I got extremely dizzy during physical therapy Wednesday morning, and missed the rest of therapy that day.

By Thursday, I was doing much better. I still couldn't move my left foot, and it just pointed down on its own, so I had to wear a brace to keep it in position, but I discovered that I could walk on it without using the walker! Yay! By that afternoon, I was walking so well that the physical therapists said I could go home the next day as far as they were concerned. So I had them page the doctor to see if he agreed, and he did! Hooray! So on Friday morning, I was finally able to come home.

My parents had stayed to take care of Sadie (and be there for me) the entire time, so I wasn't having to worry about her. And they brought her to the hospital for a few hours each day, but I really missed her a lot.

Over the next few days, little by little I was able to move my foot and then my toes. Now I can move them all around, but my leg still feels like it's asleep from the knee down. Parts of my foot are still quite numb. I continued going to physical therapy for the next several weeks. I no longer use the brace at all, although I still can't wear flip flops... my toes can't hang onto them and they slide right off.

For the next two months, I continued to get very dizzy fairly often. So Mommy and Maw-Maw stayed with us to help me care for Sadie. I was sooooo glad to have them here. They were a huge help, and I really enjoyed their company.

On October 18, I had a follow-up MRI, and when the neurologist showed me the results, he said I have an area of scar tissue now in my brain, but that everything healed well, and things will not get worse. He said he's seen people with a lot less damage never even wake up, so I'm doing really well. Yikes!

Mostly, I'm just so glad things weren't worse, and I'm incredibly thankful that Sadie wasn't hurt.