I wasn’t much of a crier until this guy, who I call my husband, entered my life. He made me all girly and emotional! :( I wasn’t much of a crier because when my dad died a MAJOR wall was put up and Vincent was the one to tear it down. So when I cry because Sarah McLachlan ASPCA commercial comes on it’s his fault ;)
Many of you know that my husband was in a motorcycle accident in 2009. He is part of the statistic that reads “more service members are injured stateside each year than overseas.” What many of you don’t know is how unbelievably lucky he was. More like blessed…
Vincent and I watched Taken on New Year’s Eve. We saw the movie when it was in theatre but wanted to watch it again (Blue Ray babbbby!). If you have seen it (if not, you should) you’ll know that Liam Neeson plays the main character. Liam’s wife, Natasha Richardson, died of an “epidural hematoma due to blunt impact to the head” while on a sky trip in 2009. She hit her head but refused medical attention because she said she felt fine and was lucid. She died two days later. (She played the mother in the Lindsey Lohan version of the Parent Trap).
What you might not know is that Vincent sustained the same injury in his accident. Sure the nerve injury has been terrible but his traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been the most over-looked and misunderstood injury. After we found out about the bleeding, I kid you not, a nurse looked my dead in the eye and said, “Do you understand his injury?” – Uh. NO – “Well he is very lucky because 95% of people that come in here with that kind of injury leave here in a hurst.” Then he walked away. YOUR doctors discharged him yesterday and now you find out that it’s a much more severe injury and you have the audacity to tell me that he should have died?! As if it was my fault! I was stunned. He hit his head going 50 mph and you didn’t think closer monitoring was necessary?
Needless to say, I still get very heated when I talk about the care he received. I don't think that the doctors saved his life because truthfully they didn’t do anything but give him pain medication and monitor him. That isn’t me being ruthless… it’s true. He walked out of Navel with a sling. When he left Pitt he had a neck brace, sling, and cane. I think there was a much, much, much higher power responsible for his safety and healing.
OK! I’m done ranting.
Vincent is amazing. Truly. He has learned to manage his injury beautifully (as beautifully as one can). He has more motivation than ever before and his ambition sometimes is nauseating! You can’t tell he is hurt just looking at him. He has relentless, sharp pain (24/7!) in his left arm and his brain did take a beating. He forgets things (but that’s a man for ya ;), gets angry quickly over small things, and has a hard time forming new habits.
We both downplay what happened to him. I think it’s because he is doing so well that we forget that the odds were against him and he probably shouldn’t be here today. After watching Taken and being reminded of Natasha Richardson’s untimely death, I said a quick “thank you” prayer.
Thank you God for sending Vincent a guardian angel…
1. 3 weeks after his accident was Christmas. This was the first one for us as a married couple. It was wonderful.
2. The day his got discharged. He could finally open his eyes without getting a major headache.
3. I bought him that dog in the gift shop. It looked like Rocky and I knew Vincent was missing his baby. Best $10 I have ever spent.
For those who don’t know the ordeal here is a quick timeline (I love those timelines):
December 1, 2009-Vincent left for work and around 7:30 texted me telling me he was leaving Camp Lejeune and heading to Camp Johnson (about a 10 minute drive) for a class. Oh- did I mention it was a motorcycle safety class?? Yea- ironic.
-Ten till 8, I got a call. I ignored said call because it was EIGHT IN THE MORNING. Caller called back and I answered. What I heard next was like a movie- “Ma’am, I’m with Onslow County EMT. Your husband was in an accident. We are on route to the Naval Hospital.” I (stupidly) asked if the man was serious. He said that Vincent was conscious and asked if I wanted to speak to him. When I heard Vincent say “hey baby” my world crashed.
- I get to the Naval hospital around 8:20 AM. They really don’t know what the status of his injury is. I cannot tell you how unhelpful (and rude!) the staff was. I understand you have a high stress job but telling a spouse that you would prefer that a patient have a broken shoulder over a nerve injury – because a nerve injury is SO inconvenient for you – is not nice. Vincent’s Gunny was a God send. Gunny Page stayed with me for several hours while Vincent was in testing. He bought me lunch and kept my mind occupied. I am forever grateful to that man.
-He was transferred to ICU that night for observation because of his TBI.December 2-3, 2009Vincent was transferred from ICU to the Multi-Service Ward. He was discharged because (I kid you not) he ate a BITE of chicken.December 4, 20099 AM - I took Vincent back to the ER. Two hours after we get back there a nurse finally sees him. MRI confirms he has bleeding in his brain and they transfer him to Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville, NC. That whole day was a blur.December 5-8, 2009He was under the wonderful care of people at Pitt.