Saturday morning was really beautiful. Bob and I drank coffee and rehashed the Friday night debate. We made plans to work in the front yard because it was sunny and the homeowners association is cracking down on deadbeats who don't tend to their edging.
Bob's good deed for the weekend was to drive our oldest son Ian to a job about forty miles out of town. Not a great errand but Ian seems to enjoy the job and what we've seen in the last few weeks is encouraging. So he took off at 8:30 and I started the laundry. Half an hour later everything changed.
"Mom, this is Ian. We had an accident."
"Are you alright?"
"Where's your Dad!?"
"He's still in the car!"
For the next ten minutes I listened to cars whizzing by and perfect strangers attempting to get my husband out of a car, on the side of the road, in a town I had never heard of, almost an hour from home. I knew he was alive and semi-conscious. As soon as the paramedics had him on a stretcher and were taking him to the hospital I got in my car and drove there. I didn't think, thinking is dangerous.
In the emergency room I met my uninjured son. He had a scrape on his elbow, a bump on his head, and he was shaken. Bob was flat on his back on a stretcher, a cervical collar immobilizing his head, but the doctor assured me that he was going to be fine. They were simply waiting for xrays to confirm that he didn't have a neck or head injury and then they would send him home. But the xrays didn't release him. The xrays showed he had a broken rib, a broken sternum, and a possible tear in his aorta. Instead of coming home Bob was loaded into a helicopter and flown 90 miles to the Trauma Center in Seattle.
It took nearly three hours for me to drive to Seattle. Three hours of National Public Radio and slow traffic. The traffic was slow because of an accident, a small car in the road, completely burned out by time I passed it. I didn't worry, I didn't panic, I just drove. Looking back on it now it seems unbelievable that I was calm, that I could walk into the hospital and tell the cheery volunteer at the information desk that my husband had been airlifted and I didn't know where to find him.
After nearly twelve hours and many tests the doctors were able to rule out an aortal tear but they kept Bob there for two days so they could monitor his heart for signs of failure. He couldn't eat or drink for the first 36 hours because they hadn't decided whether or not they needed to do surgery. In the end they decided he was going to live and sent him home.
We've been visiting all kinds of doctors this week. Somehow the hospital missed the fact that Bob's knee was broken. He also has numbness in his hand and they are still trying to find a reason for that. He isn't allowed to lift anything or use his hands for support because he could worsen his broken sternum. He can't put any weight on his right leg. The orthopaedic surgeon wants him in a wheel chair but he refuses to use it. He's getting better but it's going to be a long recovery.
Yesterday we had to go claim any property left in the car.
For twenty four years Bob has been my partner, the guy who makes me laugh, who takes care of me, who loves me no matter how difficult I am. I almost lost him and I couldn't imagine living without him. I am blessed to have such a good husband. We are blessed because he survived.