Stayin' alive stayin' alive...
I’m feeling extra grateful for Christian today because this morning marks one year since he dropped a truck on his head and survived! Woof- that is one phrase I hope to never use again!
It was mid morning and Christian was working on his truck which was on a car jack. He was lying on his side when the truck slipped of the jack and fell to the ground hitting Christians face in the process. Because he was lying on his side the truck hit the side of his head, face and chest before landing on its tires. No doubt, if the truck didn’t have tires on he would have not survived that day.
I’m not sure how long he was outside, not sure if he blacked out and if so for how long but as soon as he was able he came inside looking fairly pale and says to me, “I just hit my face really hard with the truck. I was in the middle of getting the kids fed and ready for day and honestly I was half listening, so after he told me that I pictured him opening the car door and smacking his face- I mean who hasn’t done that before right? LOL And although that would have totally sucked I didn’t think it really warranted a pity party so being a little annoyed I asked him if he was ok and if he was planning on working (not my finest hour of compassion!!). He said I don’t think you understand, I hit my face really hard, I need to go lay down. Still not understanding what happened I continued on taking care of the kids thinking he would take care of himself and probably be fine within the hour. i went to check on him a while later and it was obvious that his face was hurting but the most concerning thing was his jaw locked- yikes so much for being ok after an hour or so of rest!
My sister-in-law is a nurse practitioner and has rescued us many times. This time was no different, she came over or to see how Christian was doing and after we talked about a few of the possibilities we all agreed that a CT scan was needed.
I’ll never forget walking into the hospital pulling our three 18month-2 year olds in the wagon and walking next to my hurt husband. This was a moment where time stood still for me and I remember asking God over and over again to please not let there be anything wrong. I didn't think I could handle it, yet deep down I knew something was wrong. Let me remind you that Christian didn’t look different, no blood, no major swelling so it wasn’t crazy for me to have held out hope for a muscle spasm or something that would be causing his locked jaw.
After the CT scan we headed home and anxiously awaited the results. Casey and Chad came over that night to break the news that Christian’s face was indeed broken. By now Christian’s face was starting to look droopy on the broken side and I was mentally gearing up for what the next few weeks would look like. I was terrified. Casey worked her magic to get us an appointment with an amazing maxi facial surgeon who explained what would need to be done to fix the break. I was shocked as he explained how they would cut behind the hear all the way to the top of his head and then peel his face off to access the break!!! The surgeon wanted the swelling to go down so surgery was scheduled for the following week.
Christian was so impressive through the whole process. He never complained, continued working, came home from work exhausted but happy and spent the rest of the evening playing with the kids. For someone who suffers several times a year with a bad case of the man cold, I was really impressed with how he powered through and remained optimistic #stud
In preparation for the surgery we cut Christian’s hair really short. We almost shaved his head entirely but wimped out at the last minute because we thought it wasn’t necessary...in hindsight I should have shaved the whole thing!
Surgery day had finally come. Christian's cousin Ali came to watch the kids- thank you Ali!
The surgery was a couple hours longer than I expected which had me worried and it didn’t help that there were several code blues called to the OR that afternoon and since I wasn’t sure which OR Christian was in I had convinced myself that it had to be him.
When the surgeon came to talk to me I was relieved to hear that everything went smoothly and I couldn’t wait to actually see Christian. When I finally did I was a little taken back because he looked ROUGH! Swollen, bruised and all wrapped up. I for sure thought the kids would be terrified of him!
I worked in a hospital for several years but nothing really prepares you to be the patient/patient family. From the dozens of nurses we interacted with to the surgery waiting room, the handful of code blues that were called to the OR that day and the less than impressive recovery care we received we were glad to be heading home.
The next day I did my best to prepare the kids for a scary looking daddy. When they finally saw him they were so excite and more curious than scared- mind you his head was still wrapped up.
A couple days after the surgery, I took off his head dressing to clean the incision and reapply ointment. I could not believe what I saw. Cleaning his head was torture. So gross! I still wasn’t convinced he would ever look the same and while I was grossing out he couldn’t get enough. I think he called everyone in his contact list to show off his incision!
I’m happy to report that Christian has healed up handsomely and that he no longer works on our cars LOL
When I think back to this incident I’m first reminded of the many good things that happened. I think of how Casey came to our rescue and never complained how inconvenient it was to spend all that time making phone calls or driving around picking up the CT results. I’m reminded of how comforting it was to leave the kids with Ali, someone I 100% trust. I’m reminded of the many friends and neighbors who brought over dinners. The cousins, aunts, uncles and siblings who generously pooled money, which was such a blessing when Christian wasn’t able to work.
This experience has once again taught me that God is in charge. Even when its scary and uncertain, He created the bigger picture and relying on Him can bring peace even in the most trying of times.
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