It’s been a while, yes? More than a week anyway so that may not constitute “a while” for the rest of you, but it is for me. I didn’t even make a July 4th post which is odd for me considering I’m an Army wife and way proud of our soliders.
So Happy *belated* 4th! I hope everyone enjoyed your long weekends to celebrate our freedom!!
Our weekend wasn’t filled with music, warm weather, face painting, American flags and celebratory fireworks like I hope everyone else’s was, but it was a celebration in its own kind of way. See, we’re supposed to be at home in Georgia right now, but instead, we’re still in Germany. Where does the celebration come in, then? Mostly, it stems from the fact that we’re even alive.
The day we left for the airport was June 28th (& my G-ma’s b-day R.I.P!). We picked up a friend who was going to drive our truck back from the airport for us so we wouldn’t have to pay for long-term parking and then we went on our way. I was sitting in the middle and hadn’t had much sleep the night before so I laid my head down on my knees and fell asleep. About two hours into our trip while driving on the autobahn, I was jolted awake (briefly) by the feel of the truck swerving heavily, but I don’t remember the vast majority of what I’m about to tell you after that part because I was knocked unconscious shortly thereafter. The story was put together for me by our friend, my husband and a tiny bit by the kids. It turns out a little orange Audi TT cut in front of us in the fast lane causing my husband, who was driving, to have to slam the brakes in order to avoid hitting him. He was about a foot or less away from slamming into the cars rear when he swerved to miss it. We were doing about 90mph so when he swerved, he lost control of the truck, we slid across 3 lanes of traffic – miraculously not hitting anyone – until we landed in the dirt and started flipping. The truck rolled over anywhere from 3-5 times, but I only felt the first one because that was the point at which I hit my head on either the dashboard or the steering wheel and passed out. Apparently, I was thrown over my husband and could have potentially gone out the drivers side window, but he grabbed me, turned his back to the open window and held on for dear life. We even made a nice little path through the trees before we finally stopped in one place with the truck landing on all four tires. And the Audi that started the whole thing? That asshole kept driving.
I can’t really see it that clearly, but this was a picture of where we slid through the trees, taken by the friend that was with us almost immediately after the accident. Supposedly you can see the shape of the truck back up in there somewhere, but to be perfectly honest, I don’t see it.
I find this whole experience to be ridiculously full of miracles. I’m listing them in chronological order – not order of importance because the most important thing is, of course, that we’re all alive.
First of all, going across 3 lanes of traffic on the autobahn, where there really is no enforced speed limit unless it’s raining (and it wasn’t) and not hitting any other oncoming traffic? I believe that counts as miracle number one.
2.) No one else was hurt or caused to wreck.
3.) The back seat of the truck, where our children were buckled in, was untouched. The windows and doors…everything…was still in tact and aside from being shaken up & scared, the kids were fine. No broken bones, no serious injuries. Little James had a cut on his finger, Krysta has a scratch on her forehead & Kira has a few tiny cuts on her fingers and a black eye. That was it for them and to say I’m thankful is the understatement of the century. They were my very first thought when I felt us swerve and start to roll that first time and apparently they were my last thought for about 10 minutes or so because I got knocked out after that.
4.) The other passenger we had with us in the front was free of any serious injuries as well. He got a pretty nasty-lookin’ bruise from the seatbelt and whiplash, but other than that, just the normal bumps and bruises. He helped get our children out of the backseat and made sure they were okay. I’m incredibly thankful that he wasn’t hurt because my husband and I would have harbored a crazy amount of guilt if he had been, not to mention the unbearable pain it would have caused for his family. I’m grateful that he was such a help to us with our children as well and I’m also 100% positive that he will never get in a vehicle with us again…
See, my sense of humor lives on 🙂
5.) The whole drivers’ side of the truck was caved in where my husband and I were and yet we’re still here.
6.) The air bags did not deploy and (yes, I’m going to say it again) we’re still here. Also, my husband is dead set on a law-suit because of this. He said, “Dodge is gonna buy us a new house & two new vehicles! From Chevy!” <—Isn’t that like the ultimate middle finger to a car company? It’s like walking into a McDonald’s with a Burger King bag or meeting Britney Spears just so you can get her to sign your Christina Aguilera CD (which I totally want to do, by the way).
I know without a doubt in my mind that someone or something was watching over us that day because we wouldn’t be here otherwise.
My husband has 2 broken ribs and bruised lungs. I have 3 broken vertebrae’s, my lungs are bruised like the hubby’s, but I also have some blood built up in them and we both have to be very careful in following Dr.s orders so we don’t develop pneumonia. I have a pinched nerve somewhere that is causing my right arm to drive me insane, but hopefully that will loosen up soon. I’m tired of having my last 3 fingers feel like they’re asleep when my thumb and index finger feel fine – it’s so weird!! I hit my head repeatedly so my face is pretty beaten up and swollen, but all the injuries, bumps and bruises that we have are expected to heal completely. Can I just say THANK YOU, GOD over and over again? And a GIANT thank you to my husband, too, because if he hadn’t grabbed me and held on, my injuries would be so much worse right now. I ♥ you!
I don’t remember having the following picture taken because I was in shock at the time and I had so much head trauma that I literally couldn’t remember anything the first 10-15 minutes after I came back from the land of the unconscious. I couldn’t have even told you my own name at the time and I kept asking the same questions repeatedly. I bet that was annoying…
I did remember the kids though and I’m sure they got annoyed with me, too, because I kept asking them over and over again if they were okay.
Shortly after that, I did get it together though and started remembering everything. They took my husband and I to two separate hospitals and (after cutting my first ever Victoria Secret bra!! *sad face*) put us both in ICU. I didn’t get to talk to him until the next day. Meanwhile, our friend stayed with the kids in the hospital until they prepared a place for them in the children’s clinic. He came up when he was able to see me and took this picture because I was morbidly curious to see what I looked like at the time.
The kids were in the hospital for 3 days, but since they were fine, they were released before I was so some amazing & wonderful friends of ours graciously kept them while we were still in the hospital. James actually got released the same time the kiddos did, but he refused to leave me at the hospital and stayed with me while I was there another 2 days. I’m sure he was supremely uncomfortable, but he never left me and was so unbearably sweet the whole time. The German girl I was sharing the room with told me at one point “your husband is so beautiful to you.” And he really, really is. I won’t get into all the details because I don’t want to embarass him, but I will say that I am incredibly blessed to have married him and he has turned into such an amazing man, husband & father – even if he is a little rough around the edges ♥
When I was finally able to check facebook again (from my husband’s phone) I was so completely overwhelmed with all the prayers, well-wishes, we-love-and-miss-you’s & get-better-soon’s that I still don’t even have words to express how much it meant to me. It’s an amazing feeling to have so many people thinking about you and wishing you well – it’s fantastic to be loved! 🙂 And I genuinely do appreciate every single one of you! When we got back home, we had friends offer to cook for us, help us get our recycling taken off, offers to take us to doctor’s appointments or wherever else we need go in the next few days, help with chores and the kids…seriously – thank you all so, so much. I feel like I would be taking advantage to accept everyone’s offers to help, but just knowing that so many people care enough to even make the suggestion makes me want to cry.
I will admit that there was one thing that annoyed me and it has nothing to do with those whose offers of help and friendship were genuine. Over the course of 3 days, I got 10 friend requests on facebook from people who have never shown any interest in talking with me or being my friend EVER, but right after the accident, my facebook was flooded with requests from people who pretty much just wanted to be a part of the gossip. It’s safe to assume I denied ALL of those and it irks me so much that some people are so nosy & ill-mannered that they feel the need to try and make their lives more interesting by gossiping about events from someone else’s life. Also there were rumors flying around at first that we were in a plane crash, our injuries were depicted inaccurately and some people were even saying that the only reason my husband and I were flying home is to get a divorce! So, I guess there were 2 big annoyances if you want to count the rumor mill, but that will always be in effect everywhere you go. Maybe I should have added the gossipers so they could at least keep their damn story straight?!
Ok- tiny bi-polar rant over 🙂 I’ll go back to being thankful and happy now.
Here is a picture of me the day after the accident when I got moved out of the ICU and was finally able to shower. BTW – you would not believe the amount of dirt and glass particles I found in my ears and everywhere else – scary!
I thought I should smile because I looked really scary otherwise…
I took another photo the day we came home because there was a lot of talk on facebook about seeing what I looked like and people who had pictures were not posting them out of respect (thank you!!) so I figured “what the hell?” and posted my own pictures. I didn’t smile in this one because I wanted to be able to see the blood in the corners of my eyes (because that is so bad ass! :P), but I’m thinking I really should have because I totally look like a zombie.
On the other hand, the hot pink color on my eye-lids was kinda pretty (before it started turning all yucky like the above picture) so I may be investing in some eyeshadow soon.
And this is me today:
Heehee…who says I shouldn’t be having a little fun right now? I know what my makeup will look like on Halloween 2011!!
Also, I did some with effects because my husband is gone cleaning all the stuff out of the truck (and trying to find his and Krysta’s glasses that are hopefully still in there and not broken) and I’m really very bored right now.
Alright, enough of that. I’m not taking pictures of all the other bruises I have because I can’t see most of them except in the mirror right now and also because that would just be creeptacular…although, if I could reach the one behind my ear to take a picture of it, I totally would because it’s such an odd place to have a bruise that I’m fascinated with it.
Here are some photos that hubby brought back with him of the truck:
Can you believe the air bags didn’t deploy after all that?
There are a ton more, but this is all I feel like sharing. Should I reiterate the whole “Thank God” thing again?? No? You got it? Okay…good 🙂
I’m so tired of talking about this so I hope this helps clear up the curiosity for the rest of you 🙂 I am going to take a Tylenol 3 and attempt to pass out somewhere.