Current mood: thankful
Firstly I want to take the time to THANK YOU all for the great concern and the prayers and the support that you have provided my family and I in our little family crisis. I know that every little prayer and thought helped and was very much appreciated.
I guess I should explain what happened.
Mom was traveling with my Aunt Jeanette and my cousin Jeanelle to Raleigh, North Carolina to go to my other cousin's (Jenna) wedding. They had practically just arrived in the area and went out to do a little last minute shopping. As my mother was trying to get back in my aunt's 4x4 truck (a little taller than your average pickup) and she reached to close the passenger side door, she lost her balance while sitting on the edge of the seat and tumbled "flipped" out of the truck and landed on her head, neck and back. A couple of passerbys stopped to help my aunt with Mom and (rather than call EMS) put Mom in a wheelchair that was in the back of the pickup (my cousin has severe rheumatoid arthritis and needs a wheelchair occasionally) and wheeled her across the street to the nearby ER.
Dad received a phone call from the ER doc and I managed to call back and talk to her. At that point she had already been thru x-rays and CT and was immobilized on a backboard with a cervical collar awaiting transport to WakeMed Trauma Center.
My brother Matt left from Tennessee immediately and Dad and I left at daybreak on Sunday for the 13 hour drive. Mom was immediately admitted to Neuro ICU and diagnosed with a displacement of the C-6 and C-7 vertebrae. We talked with the neurosurgeon and I was able to look at the CT. The neurodoc stated that it was a miracle that my mother did not have complete lower body paralysis. Both vertebrae were displaced several centimeters and actually the edge of C-7 vertebrae was resting on top of the edge of C-6. According to the doc, Mom was "blessed" with "a generous spinal canal" (the area where the spinal cord goes thru) which resulted in very little neurological deficits. The only thing my mom was complaining about (aside from the neck pain) was bilateral upper arm weakness and pain.
Mom spent the weekend horizontal in NICU with about 40 pounds of traction on her head and neck, trying to get the vertebrae to go back into place naturally. Well, naturally, that didn't happen. Mom's first surgery was Monday afternoon and lasted for 4 hours. The neurosurgeon reported that the vertebrae went back into "perfect alignment" and had to insert a titanium plate and screws on the posterior side of C-6&7.
Mom spent the next two days recovering from surgery and we finally got her back eating and drinking, though she was in extreme pain (was on a morphine and then a fentanyl PCA pump for a day and a half). On Thursday it was decided that she would go back into surgery on Friday to place a second plate and screws on the anterior aspect of C-6&7, basically to strengthen the neck for the long term and per the doc "would improve her long term recovery significantly". So that surgery went without a hitch. She was transferred out of NICU on Thursday night to a private room in the neuro step-down unit and had her surgery the following morning.
As of right now, Mom is recovering tremendously (though Dad would believe otherwise). I guess this paramedic stuff doesn't hurt. It was a bit tough with it being my mom and all, but I was able to stay objective and managed to keep both Mom and Dad informed of all the different aspects of care and what to expect and etcetera.
Mom is almost her sassy self. She was to remain horizontal until Saturday and gradually be allowed to sit up. Just talked to Dad a little while ago and Mom was sitting up, they had removed her catheter and got her standing and walking a little bit this morning. Everything is progressing very nicely from my point of view. Wild guess, but I think Mom will be able to return home late next week or so.
Mom, Dad and I all decided that I should probably get my butt back to work so I managed to grab a flight on Saturday. I spent the rest of the day with my Aunt Jeanette and Jeanelle (who had hip surgery on Wednesday) at UofM Hospital. I just got back home about an hour and a half ago.
Again, thank you for all your prayers and thoughts. They were very much appreciated. Once again, I know without a doubt that I have the VERY BEST family and friends that a man could ever hope for.
Love you all!!!
21:01 2 Kudos
Monday, June 15, 2009
Thank You All SO VERY MUCH!!!
[17 Aug 2008 | Sunday]