Friday, April 13, 2012

August 2010

If I didn't have the support at home, I would have been at the hospital for 4 months.  Hospital bed, commode, visiting nurse, visiting therapists, wheelchair, walker, and many more were set up. 

Stuart's office was transformed into my little hospital bedroom.  Bless his heart- his entire contents were thrown out into all parts of our house.  It is located in front of laundry room so it had an immediate access to back door.  My dad and Stuart built a ramp there.  My dad and Stuart had the room freshly painted.  Quilt was passed to me from a friend's dear aunt, and it brought a touch of love to the room. 

In the picture, it shows the bonding time between my youngest son, Todd and I.  I did not get to move into my own bedroom upstairs until 4 months later.  I could not even get to go upstairs to see my boys asleep. 

The famous saying of "A little bit goes a long way" worked in my case.  It is a start somewhere. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

July 1, 2011

Philippians 4:8, "...Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable."

Our one year anniversary of car crash is creeping upon us faster and faster.  Emotions are all over the place.  Nearly everything is a trigger of memory. I try to dwell on what is true...we all are alive.  What is lovely is we get to celebrate other day together.  What is honorable is God grants me more time to see my boys grow some more.

Simple but powerful.  One morning, Todd and I were in his bedroom to get him ready for the day.  He grabbed a short from his drawer and placed it on my laps then looked for a t shirt.  He didn't understand why at first my jaws fell to the floor.  The short has desgin of fire truck, ambulance, and police car.  He looked and said, "They were at car accident."  Yes.

Kevin is in boy scouts.  He read their magazine and came across an article about a scout who was in car accident with his mother and his sister.  He got out and saved their lives.  I could see a pang of guilt on his face.  He said, "I couldn't get out to get help."  Told him that he did great that day.  There was no way he could have gotten out.  Rescuers had to either cut or break branches to get to us.

We often see a van that was alike ours.  Often that causes me to think of the aftermath of crash.  I see in pictures how crushed our van was in the end and think how blessing we got out.

Once in a while, we will drive on road that looks similar to the road we drove on in crash.  I had to stop once and let Stuart take over.  Sometimes when boys are happily playing in back seats and Stuart is asleep, that triggers to the moment how it was like that before the crash.

It affects us all.  The biggest one is seeing my limits and my scars.  I see it everyday.  That brings me to the next blog.  Stuart encourages me to write about physical milestones; how far I have gotten from the day I was brought to hospital. 
June 10, 2011

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
A time to be born and a time to die,
A time to plant and a time to uproot,
A time to kill and a time to heal,
A time to tear down and a time to build,
A time to weep and a time to laugh,
A time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
A time to embrace and a time to refrain,
A time to search and a time to give up,
A time to keep and a time to throw away,
A time to tear and a time to mend,
A time to be silent and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate,
A time for war and a time for peace.”

I do not think it is any surprise that we had plenty of tears during our trial from the car accident. Even in trouble time, we had laughs.

This one feels like a Candid Camera moment. You pretty much become familiar with hospital workers after many weeks of stay. To begin my rehab, I was moved to a wing where NO PATIENT could walk. Everybody was either on bed or in wheelchair. I was the youngest one on that floor. During the day, I opted to lay on a recliner so I could have a break from hospital bed. On the last week of rehab hospital, boys were sent to a friend’s house for a week of sleepover. Stuart moved into my room to start training course with therapists to understand better how to help me with transition to home.

Stuart and I agreed that when I lay on my recliner during the day, he gets to lay in my hospital bed. At night, we switched. Like I said, I knew faces pretty well. One day at lunch time, a new worker walked into my room. She immediately assumed that I was a visitor, and Stuart was the patient. She asked where he would like the lunch to be placed in the room. He threw off the blanket and got up to walk around the hospital bed. I searched for her facial expression. Puzzled. Shock. Disbelief. Jaw dropping look. She took a step back. She looked back to the door frequently to look for a nurse. Stuart caught on and said, “I am not the patient! She is!” Still shocked, she asked for my hospital bracelet to be sure. She admitted then that she thought she saw a miracle right there and was ready to scream "I got a walking patient! It is a miracle!" We had good laughs!

May 31, 2011

I cannot believe it is only a month away and few days until it is our one year anniversary of our car accident. Emotions are over spilling, and I need to get them out in print. Otherwise, they are going crazy in my mind. 

When I heard years ago that we should memorize at least one favorite verse from bible to help us in the time of trouble. I chose Psalm 46:10; it says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Who knew years later I would use it profusely for months to come after the car accident? God did!

When a doctor from a passing car stopped to help, she held my head. Even though I lost my glasses from the crash, I managed to write my parents’ phone number and told her to keep our boys together no matter what. Afterwards, I felt at peace and wanted to sleep. She repeated the following words over and over again, “Do not move. Stay awake.” Psalm 46:10 kicked in.

Firemen swarmed around me as they figured out how to pull me out. Extremely a hot day, I felt their sweats dripping on me. One of them held my face and said, “It will hurt.” Psalm 46:10 kicked in.

Doctors in ER learned of my deafness and dragged Kevin in with them to interpret for them. I wanted him out of the room. Unfortunately, he had to see too much in that room. Kevin was at loss with doctor’s words and instead signed, “Mom. Stay calm. Mom. Stay calm. Mom. Stay calm.” Psalm 46:10 kicked in.

Torn away from Stuart and boys as they transported me to other hospital, my emotions felt heavy for them. Yet, I knew boys were in great hands of our family friend who drove 2 hours to get to the hospital and took them home with him. His wife took them under the wings for the night. Psalm 46:10 kicked in.

During one test of many, nurses failed to notice that table was not up to the same level to my bed they slided me sideway by sheets. When they let go of the sheets, my body thudded. The level was off by several inches. Enough for the pain to overwhelm me. Psalm 46:10 kicked in.

Dealt with needles daily for a month. Broken needles. Collapsed tubes. Ran out of veins. Psalm 46:10 kicked in.

Rod was put in my knee to hold it up in traction with weight on floor. Anybody who kicked it accidentally sent pain through my body. Dad stood guard of it and directed people around it. Psalm 46:10 kicked in (more like screaming)!!!
Surgeon told us the night before third surgery that we might want to call in a pastor for rituals since there was a chance for death due to blood clot in my left lung I had gotten from the crash.  Psalm 46:10 kicked in with cries!!!

I needed radiation treatment within 24 hours of final surgery, and the team of radiologists pretty much confirmed Psalm 46:10 when they said, “Be still.”

Armed with cautionary words from surgeon about not to move this or that way for few months. Here we go again, Psalm 46:10 kicked in.

Psalm 46:10 became my refugee in peace in the following months and still to this day.
Did this mean that I was a saint throughout the whole ordeal? Of course not! I never was, am, nor will be one. I am a human being with emotions! Even I begged the head nurse at the hospital to tell me if I had been a bad patient! Her words soothed me. She said with the pain and limits I had, I had every right to feel frustrated. She also said I was quiet like a mouse except for the needle times. I even kicked my own mother out of my hospital room once. I became angry with a person who denied me a cookie only because of that person’s concern in regards to my weight gain being stuck in wheelchair. In my mind, I thought, “Fine! I will have 2, 3, or more cookies then! I will get Stuart to give them to me.” I was angry with limits already and didn’t want anybody to add to what I could have to the limits list.

The biggest challenge was to find joy even in middle of my trial like the bible says in James 1:2: Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” My faith has been tested over and over again. I thought, “Why didn’t God get me home on the day of crash?” Then my friends told me, “God is not done with you.”
August 10, 2010

So many people have questions about our accident, and it might be theraputic for me to talk about it.  It still haunts me daily. 

Every year our boys stay with my parents in North Carolina for a cousin week along with their cousins.  We returned to pick boys up and decided to stay for few days.  On July 5th, we were on our way back home.  The drive is usually 6 to 7 hours.  It all depends on traffic.  Stuart drove the first part then I took over the driving.  We were about two hours from home when I first saw how bad traffic was on I-95.  With that, I decided to switch to back roads.  Stuart had fallen asleep.  Boys watched movies on our dvd player.

I thought I had hit a jackpot when we arrived on the back road.  Beautiful scenic drive.  Farms, rolling hills, lakes, etc.  No traffic anywhere in sight.  I remember Kevin asked, "How much longer till we are home?"  I replied, "One hour and half to go!  Be patient!"  Never thought that it would take ME one month to be home.  I was the one who needed to be more patient than ever!

This is the part where I have no recollection of.  We learned from police that witnesses told them that I had to swerve off my lane because an oversized car had taken up part of our lane.  I must have done that to avoid being hit by that car.  Remember we were on back roads; so there was no such thing as an emergency pull out area on side nor a median.  So I knew I had to get back onto lane.  From that time, our van just fishtailed on both lanes, and I had lost the control of wheel.  (Later we learned from pictures that the tire that hit on the side had a flat.  Perhaps that caused the trouble of staying in one lane).  Stuart woke up confused.  We were then on coming traffic's lane, and I saw a family van that I knew I had to avoid being crashed head on.  I then tried to swerve back onto my lane only to end up going off a hill into bottom of trees.

My immediate thoughts were of boys.  I tried to leave my seat only to realize I could not move my right side.  Part of my legs were stuck under the dashboard.  Plus my door was blocked by trees.  With God's hands at work, the first car that stopped was a doctor and a nurse.  Upon their observation, doctor assessed that I needed her more.  Nurse stayed with Stuart.  Initially they thought Stuart had a heart attack.  They were able to help us till amulances, police, and fire department arrived.  Boys suffered black eye and bruises while Stuart had a fractured stenum.  We were taken to a nearby hospital only to find out they could not handle my injuries.  I was then transported to a hospital near home.  The next day I had two surgeries then another one few later.  That was where I stayed for one month.

Now I am home.