Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Page 3 - Still Spinning


            There are things about the accident that I could not have known until I was told later… For example, when I flipped I came to rest against a tree. I also didn't know how badly I had cut my scalp. So many things the mind/brain protects us against, pain, tumbling, sounds, smells, blood, fear in general… It comes back in bits and fragments and in the time it takes to process what we know, we have to choose sadness or courage in our journey forward.

After my bold statement to my sister which I thoroughly meant, the next few days were a mixture of total clarity and drug-induced fog or dare I say sleep. One does not sleep in the trauma unit. One is kept alive therefore monitored with vigilance. I'm at a point right now where I realize I have not slept normally since that day.…… That clarity I speak of had me fully aware of the sensation of being intubated, that tube down my throat into my lungs, not pleasant. My lungs were full of fluids and when I tried to pull air in and push it out, I was as often choking on mucus of sorts. To add to that I was also biting the tube in a clench response to the stress of trying to breathe. There was also the feeding tube that went up my nose which would prove to cause problems in my sinuses later on. But I was constantly being told to stop biting because it was inhibiting my breathing, easier said than done. The huge neck brace I was wearing was not exactly helping matters either. All of this culminated to form one particularly bad moment…

I had no way to call on a nurse if I needed one. Everything was up to the monitors in my room that showed heart rate and oxygen saturation levels in my blood. Otherwise unless someone walked by my room and I caught their eye, I was at the mercy of those alerts. So when one day I became so overwhelmed with fluid in my mouth and could not breathe and the panic set in as I waited for someone to walk by… No alarms went off, no breath came in so I began to flail and move as much as I could which meant mostly my head and neck, until someone finally noticed my distress… A nurse came in and immediately suctioned the fluids out and warned me against moving my head so much. Disaster averted but the next phase was being told by one very kind and protective respiratory therapist that if I could not breathe through intubation I would have to be put on a respirator and that would mean I might be able to get back off easily or ever. A ventilator would be breathing for me and it was a scary idea in everyone's mind that I could not do that myself. For me, all I wanted to do was breathe, no matter the consequences down the road…


  1. Your writing is making this such a vivid picture. Thank you for reliving and sharing this with the world. It's a reminder that life is so fragile and that anything can happen to anyone at any time. It could all be over in an instant, or changed forever. You are my hero.

  2. parts of me are remembering myself lying in the road wich is nothing in comparison and parts of me is so immpressed with your courage and inspiration to others who read this and then as a nurse I thank you for making me remember just before going back to a busy world of medical how vunerable and scary it can be on the other side wich is what needs to allways be remembered so thank you and know how amazing a person you have allways been and are