Wednesday, October 1, 2008


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.


B2 C2 2009 said...

I hope you know how much the reverse of your last sentiment is true. Bobby couldn't be in better hands and we couldn't be more blessed to have YOU in our family! Hugs from 3000 miles away - Anne

ms-teacher said...

I cannot imagine losing my husband (also named Bob - they sure are good guys, those Bobs!) and am so relieved to hear that your husband is o.k. Keep us posted on his recovery. Your family will be in my thoughts.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I'm so happy this story has a (relatively) happy ending. What a scary thing to have happen.

I'll keep your beloved in my thoughts.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Oh Gina~

I am all choked up over here. I can't even begin to imagine how frightened you must have been, must still be.

I am also praying and thinking the most positive thoughts.



Mrs. G. said...

I am so glad your guys are OK. You are blessed. I wish Bob a speedy recovery. Do you feel a little like a newlywed? A fresh start. xxooxx

bacioni said...

Oh, thank goodness he will be alright! Those pictures are mighty scary.

You are truly blessed.

Ginaagain said...

Anne, I wouldn't have made it through those first few days without you. Thank you for being online waiting for me.

MS Teacher, Bobs really are good guys.

Jenn and Cheri, Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers. I believe they really do help.

Mrs G, it's going to be a while before we feel like newlyweds. Quite a while.

Bacioni, Thank you.

Laura/CenterDownHome said...

Oh, Gina --

I've been out of it the for the last week or so, and didn't know this had happened!

Because I tend to mention it on my blog so much, and probably in emails to you (sorry), you know Mark and I had a terrible accident several years ago. I felt sick reading the discription of Bob and Ian's accident. I'm so glad that Bob is home, and, hopefully, taking his time to mend.

I think that it's difficult to realize, when you are living it, that there is a lot of post-traumatic stuff affecting the whole family. For a long time. I'll be thinking of you guys and holding you in the light.

Our accident and my injuries were a wake-up call in a lot of ways for me -- changed my life, eventually for the better. Our accident, strange as it sounds, was a blessing in our lives. Suddenly, one's priorities are made clear, unimportant stuff really fades to the background. I know that you already know that.

Sending Love and hugs --

JCK said...

Oh, Gina, I am so sorry. Yes, you are blessed, but what a scary time you went through.

I am thinking of you and your Bob and sending prayers your way. Hope your son is talking about it, too.

kate5kiwis said...

woah, Gina, much love to you and yours. wishing you sunshine and healing X

Jason said...

Yikes, Gina! Terrifying. Getting a phone call like that...then driving all the way to Seattle...and all the other stuff. I'm so glad he's going to be okay. Whew!

Ginaagain said...

Laura, there is definitely a reordering of priorities going on in my house. Things that were very important a week ago just don't matter anymore. Thank you for the encouragement. I hope we can look back on this and find the positive.

JCK, Ian has talked about the accident and seems to have recovered well. I felt guilty last Saturday because I brought him home and dumped him on his girlfriend, leaving her to deal with his emotional fallout. In retrospect it was exactly what I should have done. He needed her more than me and that is as it should be.

Kate, sunshine would be so nice right now! Unfortunately it's raining but that's how this part of the world is.

Jason, the drive was so strange. I keep thinking about it and wondering where my mind was.

pen* said...

just touching base to let you know i've been thinking of you and i hope that bob is well and truly on his path to recovery xx