I should have written posts sooner. There have been so many things going on in my life, I will still be writing this at midnight to get everything in that has been going on since Sept. 17, 2018. Unfortunately most of them were/are painful. However, as with almost any event in life, even the painful things can have some good in them.
As most of you know, my husband, Don, and I work as transport officers for the local Sheriff’s Office. On Sept 17th we left early morning to pick up two patients from a state mental hospital 160 miles away. Each one of them had a court appearance, both at different times. Since they were mental patients and not prisoners, we could not hold them overnight in a jail cell. So that meant we would bring them to court them have to take them back to the hospital the same day and then come back home. That could and has required an 18 hour)s work day. As we were approaching the town just 10 miles from our courthouse a car made a left hand turn directly in front of us. There was no way we could stop in time to avoid a collision. We were in the Sheriff’s Office full size transport van, the other vehicle was a small sedan. The front of our van, on my side, hit the sedan on the passenger side door. My head hit the windshield. Fortunately the seatbelt and airbag kept me from going through the windshield. After the crash the first thing I remember is not being able to see anything but white. I thought I had died and gone to heaven! Then I smelled the horrible smell of the air bag gas and thought “Hmm, maybe not heaven! Neither patient was injured. All seven of us, 4 in our van and 3 in the sedan, were taken to the hospital.
It is a very small hospital and normally could not have handled that many patients at one time. However, they were holding training and all of the hospital staff and the county EMT’s were at the hospital for the training. There was a little boy, about 7-8 years old, that had a bump on the head. He was sitting on the side where the door was hit. I think the driver had whiplash, he told the EMT;s that he had been driving for 10 hours straight. The mother wasn’t injured. One of our patients wasn’t injured at all and the other one was treated and released after it was determined she was thought to be faking injury to obtain pain medication (she is also a drug addict). Don rebroke a rib that had previously been broken and I sustained a lacerated spleen, concussion and contusions from the top of my arms to the top of my thighs. ( Now I know why I have always disliked the color of bright purple! LOL! ) They treated Don and sent him home. They admitted me because of the concussion and bleeding from the spleen. I was released the next evening. So Don and I went home to recover. The good part of all of this is it brought Don and I closer together because we were scared for each other and then were taking care of each other.
Exactly a week later, my grandson, Zach called. He had been working at the jail the day of our accident and had immediately came to be with us in the ER, as did most of the other officers. Anyway, I asked him what he was doing when he called and he said that he was in the same ER that we were in the week before! He had cut his finger almost off, at the first knuckle. It was his trigger finger, which isn’t good for a law enforcement officer and a hunter. He ended up going to a Wichita surgeon. The finger had crushed bones also.
All three of us were continuing to recover from our accidents when Don stopped eating and complained of always being exhausted. He spent all day, every day lying on the couch in the dark. I was almost recovered from my injuries when I came down with bronchitis.
One evening I had an errand to run while grandson Zach was there with Don. When Zach left, Don went outside to say goodbye. The next day Zach called me and told me that when he saw Don outside he was bright yellow. Don was able to get an appointment at the VA the next day when he told his Dr his symptoms. I wasn’t able to go with him. Later he called me to tell me they were admitting him to the hospital.
While there they did an endoscope surgery and found a tumor that was blocking his bile ducts. After tests and a week in the VA hospital they transferred him to a local hospital that had a surgeon that did the Whipple procedure. (Google it.) This is surgery done on patients with pancreatic cancer. He had his surgery two weeks ago. The tumor was removed and his organs were reconnected. It was a 7 hour surgery. The tests came back from pathology last week. They were positive for bile duct cancer metastasizing to his lymph nodes. At first I was happy that it isn’t pancreatic cancer but after googling it, I don’t think there is a lot of difference as to survival rate. I have been driving to Wichita every day and home every night. He is having difficulty healing. He is very weak and in a lot of pain. I don’t think he realizes yet how serious his disease is. He was supposed to have come home, with Home Health support and help, Wednesday but he developed what they think is a liver infection, so he has been transferred from the medical team back to the surgical team. I don’t know when he will be able to come home. I do know that his surgeon would rather he go to a nursing home and we are in agreement if he can come to the one here rather than one in Wichita.
To add injury to insult, Zach called yesterday and said that he had gotten hurt at work again. He know has a large hole in his right arm where a piece of something he was working on came off and flew into his arm! And Don’s daughter, Mikki, now has bronchitis! Oh, btw, they also found a spot on my lung and one on my kidney during one of my CT scans after the accident. When things calm down I am going to have another scan.
Prayers are welcome!!!