I ran myself over with our family’s minivan. I’m not joking. GigantoBaby had just turned one and was SO close to walking, Middle-Middle was 3 1/2 and Responsiboy was 4 1/2. They were all in the car. We were parked on a slight incline and as I started to pull out, I realized I had left my cell phone inside. Since I could see the minivan through the windows inside, I pushed the car into park (but left it running) and ran inside. As I grabbed the phone, and turned to run back to the car, I saw it start to roll. It was rolling right toward a brick wall. I lost it, all common sense, all restraint, and just started running. Foolishly, I ran around behind the car, just as it hit the wall. The left side of my body was crushed between the wall and the car. I watched my wrist and leg snap. Because the car was running, it kept on trying to move in reverse. I screamed, and someone quickly came running and drove the car off of me. I was lucky, it was the end of the day but someone heard me. Thank God, otherwise, I would have had to make one of the children get out of the car and call 911. I had my cell phone, but it was lying just out of reach in the landscaping. As the woman who came running drove the car off of me, I called FPD and my cell. It took him a little while to realize I wasn’t joking. He beat the ambulance there, so did my mom. She immediately ushered the kids out of the van. As the ambulance rolled up, Resposiboy turned to my mom and said “Is my mom going to die? You shouldn’t call 911 unless you think someone might die?”. That hurt worse than the broken leg. When we got to the hospital, they gave me enough morphine to knock out a horse. I, apparently, thought it would be appropriate to yell at them about cutting my pants off. They were NEW PANTS? Sheesh, how embarrassing. They rushed me into the OR, but not before they got consent from FPD. They told him that they couldn’t see the extent of the injury because of all the soft tissue damage. If they got into surgery, and it was too bad, they needed his permission to take my leg off. He immediately turned to my dad. My dad looked at me, shaking me to try to wake me up, knowing that he didn’t want to make that decision. I said “cut it off it you have to, but try to do it below the knee so that a prosthesis will fit better”. THIS is exactly the reason they didn’t ask me to sign the form. I don’t remember any part of that conversation.
One week and three surgeries later, I left the hospital in a wheelchair and instructions not to lift or bear weight on my arm or leg for 6-8 weeks. I had three boys under the age of five. That wasn’t going to work. I asked PT to fit me with a platform walker. I didn’t put any weight on the leg or arm, but I cared for the children by myself from two weeks on. I had to go to PT for three months after. I started running on the leg six months after. It will never feel quite the same as it did before. We joke that the rod that has now taken the place of my femur makes me a little like the bionic woman. I can laugh about it now, but at the time, the thing that hurt most was that I couldn’t be the mom I was before to my kids. I couldn’t drive them anywhere, I couldn’t run after them, I could make about two pb&js before I got winded and had to sit. I just wanted to be mom. There are SO many people who feel this way. When I read this post on The NieNie Dialogues, I felt for Stephanie. She was burned in a horrific plane crash. She is finally taking little steps toward feeling like a mom again. I am healed now, I run after my kids with no pain. It will take her A LOT longer than six months to feel that again. I know nothing about the suffering she has endured. But, I know what it is like to have to count on others to mother your children (thanks mom!) while I had to concentrate on getting better. I’m donating to the NieNie Recovery Fund in honor of the moms everywhere who just want to be able to care for their kids like they used to, without having to ask for help. Thank God for two years and the rods and screws that hold the left side of me together. It taught me so much about the kind of mom I want to be.