Sunday, January 26, 2014


My picture taking skills were all used up in taking pictures of the accident.  But I am going to get better.  I took Halloween pictures but they disappeared.  I didn't take any at Thanksgiving, which we spent at the church with the Reeces in the afternoon and then went over and tried the turduckenish at Thompsons that evening.  We were brave that night and ventured out to WalMart for a trampoline.  And I got one picture of our whole Christmas season.  Lame.   We had a relaxing and very enjoyable holiday season, though.


We had to take the gingerbread house down to Scott's bedroom so he could see it.  He didn't get to commandeer this year.

 I was pretty proud of the tree this year.  I bought the tree.  I loaded the tree onto the van and drove it home.  I chopped the bottom off the tree.  I put the tree in the stand and I decorated the tree.  All by myself.  Don't worry.  Scott came up and helped put it straight after I took the picture.

Because it was hard to go anywhere we just stayed at home and rested a lot.  We made our gingerbread house and did our Christmas program for FHE.  On Christmas day we went to Uncle Mike's house for breakfast, went to see Frozen (the girls have been singing nonstop since then) and came home and had prime rib.  We had so many dinners that week!  Ham on Monday, Thompsons on Tuesday, prime rib on Wednesday, Reeces on Thursday at the cabin, Friday night Mexican food with the extended Thompsons.  It was awesome!  But between that and laying around all the time it's a good thing I got some running shoes.


I dragged Scott with us to Cornbellys.  He wasn't too excited about the rough terrain and cold while in his wheelchair.  But we managed to have a good time for a couple hours before he got too cold.  

 Alyssa in the princess carriage

 Scott couldn't do much but he managed to play a game of giant chess with Alyssa and Christian while the girls jumped on the pillow.  We watched the pig races and made it through a giant lizard.  The tough part was all the gravel.  There were a couple times I thought I might have to abandon him in the rocks.

Potato sack slide

 Hay ride!

Livi and Soran on the giant pillow

 Christian decided he wanted to play the bass.  Guess who gets to drag it to and from school?

 Amber and Daddy at their luau party for Activity Days.  I was so grateful he was there to take her.  There are so many things that would have made me bawl if he was gone.

So-So Ninja

The kids did a lot in the fall.  Alyssa did a ballroom competition at Timpview and they advanced in one of their dances.  She also played flute and piano.  Christian played soccer and did very well.  He also joined orchestra and got his first Boy Scout badge.  Amber joined the choir at her school, plays the piano and is doing dance with Skye.  Alivia and Soran are also doing dance at the same place.  They do ballet and jazz.  Soran and I have fun with her preschool.  4 kids is a piece of cake.  Scott worked at home in October, started going into work a little in November and in December went into the office a couple days a week.  I remember the first time he came upstairs after the accident I didn't know he was coming and while I was in the kitchen I looked over and there he was sitting on the floor.  I screamed.  He had scooted up on his butt.  


Quick recap on what happened before and I didn't have time to post.
 Alyssa and Scott at his company work party--casino night.  They had a good time and still managed to walk away with all money still in the bank.

 For my birthday this year we decided to go to the Ikea crawfish party.  They have all-you-can-eat crawfish and a variety of salads, etc.  The desserts were amazing!  I should have just saved all my room for them.  I rode the train to his work, then we took the scooter to Ikea and then went to the Jordan River temple with Mike and Nicole.  Then we rode all the way back to Provo on it.  It was a beautiful night.

 Being pigs.

Scott hosted a guys weekend for his Dad's birthday over Labor Day weekend.  Nick, Ayden, Gator and Christian and Scott stayed at the cabin and went fishing at Strawberry.  They also caught a LOT of crawfish and ate that for a couple days.  They had a great time.

The kids started school and I have pictures somewhere.  Alyssa entered 8th, Christian went into 6th, Amber is in 4th, Alivia went into first grade and Soran and I do preschool at home with some neighborhood kids.  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Rehab and PT

 First time getting in the wheelchair.  It took 3 guys to help transfer him.  Within a couple days he could transfer by himself.

 Scott's eternal view.  He rarely left the bed so this is what he looked at most of the day.

So-So and I at the doctor's office waiting for Scott to get back from x-rays.

We got to Orem Rehab and met everyone.  They were very eager to accommodate us.  He had a double room so it was large.  The biggest problem was the bed was about a foot too short, so they had to go find a larger bed.  They said it would probably be a couple days to order one.  Luckily, by the time I came back that night he was already in it.  I loved the bed because in order to be long enough it had to be wide and so I was able to lay by him.  It was the closest we had been for a couple weeks and I loved it.  He also asked for a bar to pull himself up with and they got that in for him as well.  The first thing I wanted to do was get him into the shower as he hadn't had one in two weeks.  They had a huge shower room with a wheelie chair and the first time we used it it took us an hour and a lot of grunt work by me to shower him.  We got faster by the end.  
The nice thing about the center was they were able to give him all his medications and check up on him frequently.  His leg was very swollen and they found out he had edema so they ordered a scan.  The nurse said they had found a clot in a guy a couple weeks before so they were going to be careful with it.  It turned out to be nothing but I was relieved they had looked at it.  
He really liked the food which surprised me, but I guess since he hadn't been eating much the last couple weeks it anything was good.  We had to wait through the weekend to start physical therapy.  On Monday a couple of the physical therapists came in and another nurse and it took all of them to lift him up into the wheelchair.  He was so used to laying he got light-headed and was only able to sit in it for about 5 minutes, but it was great progress.  
He was able to start working full time as they had good internet and he even had a meeting in the outdoor patio the next week.  But he only had about an hour of good, coherent awake time before he got drowsy.  He would actually fall asleep in his chair while people were talking to him.  So he spent most of his time trying to catch up on work between naps.  He would work out in the gym in the morning and then be in his room the rest of the day.  I would go over during the day and then drop off one of the older kids to be with him through the evening.  At the doctor appointment the next week they took out all his stitches (it took almost 1/2 hour with 2 guys working at the same time to get them all out--and it was disgusting) and they both said he looked good and to keep resting.  Trauma patients burn a lot of calories from healing which we figured out when Scott lost about 30 pounds.    
After a week of being there he decided he wanted to go out and visit the golf tournament he had organized for work.  So I drove him to the golf course and he said hi to everyone.  It was his first time out and after an hour he was exhausted but so excited to see people and get out.  
On Sunday I took him home for the first time.  I had been working so hard getting the house ready for him.  It was funny all the things we took for granted that had to be changed for a wheelchair.  His uncle came and made the bathroom handicap accessible (lowering the sink, making a bench so he could slide to the toilet, a bar to get in and out of the shower, a chair to sit in while showering, etc.) and I painted it and redecorated.   We also had to knock down part of the wall so he could maneuver in the hallway, I took out a mattress so the bed was lower for transferring, we got a ramp to get in the door, etc.  Anyway, I envisioned him getting home and feeling so comfortable and loving it he decided he wanted to come home right then.  He came home for 2 hours, slept for most of it, and wanted to go back.  I knew he was nervous about coming home (no hospital bed or nurse) but I was so sad.  It was hard going back and forth and not having him here.  But he was overwhelmed with the kids, noise and he thought I was going to throw him back into the swing of everything when he was still so weak.  He knew I was upset and he cried and I cried.  I pulled over so we could calm down and I told him it was okay.
He wound up staying 4 more days and by then he was transferring by himself, getting to the bathroom by himself and basically moving around a lot more on his own.  The kids were home for their first day of fall break and it was raining really hard when we brought him home.  It was an amazing feeling to all be under one roof and be together.   

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The good news

Well, I guess the good news is life has returned to normal enough that I am able to get back on my blog.  I have thought about it the last couple days but it feels so overwhelming to journal the last few months I have been putting it off.  But it's time.
I have been thinking about the accident a lot today and it is still a little painful to touch.  About 3 weeks after school started I was just starting to think how bored I was going to be having the days to myself and Soran.  And then I came home from the crosswalk on Friday the 13th with a huge to-do list and ready to head back out the door when I saw a message on the phone.  I almost didn't listen to it I was in such a hurry.  It was a social worker from the hospital calling regarding my husband and to please call her back.  I started calling her back before it sunk in what was happening.  I had the wrong number and had to listen to the message over and try again and by that time I was in a panic.  I felt I was falling into a dark pit because I just knew Scott was dead.  Why else would a social worker from the hospital call?  She told me he had been in an accident and broken his femur but that he was conscious and that was a really good sign.  She asked if I could come to the hospital?  Was I okay to drive?  And did I need anyone to come with me?
I told her I'd be there and grabbed Soran.  I have to admit I screamed a little and cried a lot on the way there.  I knew he was hurt badly and this would be life-changing.  Soran curled up in a ball on the seat next to me and just looked at me.  When I pulled into the ER parking lot the policeman came up to me and asked me for insurance information.  He told me how lucky Scott was and how he flew 40-50 feet.  When I got inside there were a few firefighters and paramedics still there.

 His head went through her windshield
 His poor scooter

 Here's where his bike landed...
And here's where Scott landed (his gloves and part of his jeans are lying on the road)

The social worker told me he was back getting scans to find out exactly what was wrong.  She took us to a room and gave me Scott's phone to call people.  She was so kind to Soran and gave her juice and Oreos.  I called his work first, knowing that he would want them to know first.  I told his boss he'd been in an accident and he choked up and I was crying.  We got a lot of visitors from his work that day.  The nurses commented a few times, "so, here's the wife with 5 children who let her husband ride a scooter to work."  I replied he wouldn't be doing it anymore.
Chelsea came for Soran and Nick got there at the same time.  He asked what I needed and I said to just hold me up when we went in to see Scott.  When we walked in he was totally covered in blankets and had a neck brace on.  I went over to him and told him he was so lucky he wasn't dead because I would have killed him.  He asked what happened and said it hurt so bad and "I'm so sorry."  He said those three things over and over the next couple hours.  His Dad and Nick gave him a blessing and told him he would live.  Then Holly and Scott's mom showed up and we took pictures to start documenting.  While we were looking at his foot I realized he had road rash on one of them.  I realized that one of his shoes had flown off, that's how hard he was hit.  Ben actually found it on the sidewalk across the street from the accident while looking for Scott's laptop, which he had started asking for.
The scariest part of the whole thing was when one nurse asked the other why they weren't giving him more pain meds and she said they couldn't because his blood pressure was too low.  It was about that point when it dropped to 67 over 30 and a lot of people came in.  They had his bed tilted up and the lights on him and there were probably 5 nurses working on him at the same time, trying to pump blood into him as fast as they could.  They gave him 4 bags of blood and 2 bags of plasma before he stabilized.
But then he started feeling the pain.  We found out he had a compound fracture on his femur, a broken pelvis and a broken toe, and a punctured lung along with various bumps and bruises.  We were waiting for an operating room to open up so they could fix him, but it was taking so long.  They couldn't move him to another room because he was too unstable.  Finally, after 3 hours, one opened up but no one was coming to get him, so the ER nurse finally pulled the plugs and started pushing his bed and I took the other end and we wheeled him into the OR.  I went to the waiting room and we waited for 3 1/2 hours.  Ben and Cami came and took me to lunch and the bishop showed up while we were there.  It was amazing how quickly the news spread and people came to help.  The RS president called me in the ER and had heard from Scott's coworker's friend.  Crazy!
Dr. Barker came out and showed us pictures of his bone and rod.  He said Scott had an impressive wound on his other leg and he had closed it and was hoping it wouldn't need a skin graft.  They would wait to do the broken pelvis.  He also said something was probably wrong with his knee because when they lifted his leg it was all loose but they would take care of that after everything else.  They took us up to the ICU and he seemed in really good spirits.  He had a brace wrapped around his hips to hold his pelvis together.  After a few visits by family I left around 9 with assurances that they would call if anything happened (they didn't allow people to sleep at the hospital).  I went grocery shopping as we had no food.  I had called the kids to talk to them but didn't see them.  When I talked to Christian he was crying and told me he was worried Dad would be different now.  I assured him that while he wouldn't be able to walk for awhile, Daddy would be the same.  When I got home they were already asleep and when I got into bed that night I laid there not sleeping and my legs hurt.  I think it was sympathy pains, but they were so real and I cried thinking about how much pain he was in.

I fed the kids the next day and took them to the primary program practice and headed to the hospital.  They had given him 2 more bags of blood and he looked pretty good.  He wasn't allowed food so I spent the day giving him ice chips.  They were hoping his internal bleeding would stop so they could do the pelvis surgery the next day, it was too risky to do while he was bleeding so much.  People stopped by to visit and I called a lot of people while he rested.  He became obsessed with finding his laptop.  I was like, you are almost dead here, let's worry about that later, but he kept asking people about it.  They couldn't find it amid the wreckage of the scooter.  Holly said she would get it for him and that calmed him down.  He was in so much pain every time he'd move or cough his pelvis shifted.  We tightened the brace as much as we could but it was still loose.
I didn't want to leave that night but the nurse told me I could call any time, so I went home.  I called at about 2:30 to check on him.  She said he was getting some sleep.  The next day I went in and they said they were going ahead with surgery.  He wasn't feeling well and laid with a wet towel over his face most of the morning.  It was the day of the primary program and we missed it.  We watched Brian Regan's emergency room that made us laugh and cry and they finally came to get him.  The doctor said it should take between 3 and 4 hours.   A lot of family gathered in the waiting room this time.  I did okay until about hour 5 and then I was sure something was wrong but no one wanted to come out and tell me.  I walked down to the chapel and broke down.  How was I going to manage the kids and taking care of Scott?  Was he going to be okay?  And I just ached for all he was going through.  And then I felt this great comfort and had inspiration to let one of the older kids come and be with him in the afternoons so I could go home and be with the rest of them.  I came out and he still wasn't out of surgery.  I couldn't take it anymore and went into the OR and asked the nurse.  She said they were still working and that the doctor was being really careful and taking lots of x-rays while they worked.  She also gave me a nurse robe thing I wore the rest of the week.  It was warm and brought me comfort.
After 6 hours Dr. Barker brought pictures of all the screws now in place.  He told us Scott couldn't walk for 3 months and that he would probably need rehab after that.  I cried some more.  By that time most people had gone so his mom and I went to see him.  He had been shivering during the surgery and so they gave him a muscle relaxant which slowed the anesthesia from leaving his body.  He was really loopy.  And his body was so cold.  We covered him in blankets and they gave him a lot of pain meds.  That was when he would stop breathing.  He would stop for about a minute.  I would yell at him to breath and he'd wake up enough to do that and then fall back asleep.  The nurse came in and the jerky PA told me not to worry about it, they would tell me when something was wrong.  So every time he'd stop I'd go out in the hall so I didn't freak out.  It was scary to watch.  But he never completely stopped, so I guess they were right.  The next day he didn't feel good.  They had given him 2 more bags of blood.  He sat with a rag over his head and rested most of the day.

The awesome news was Holly completed her mission and found his laptop!  He was able to relax a little more when he realized it still worked.  His mom showed up and told me to go home and rest so I went him and saw the kids for the first time in a few days.  He got to eat on Tuesday and the first thing he had was cream of wheat and a grilled cheeser.  They took him down to get an MRI on his knee.  It took a really long time.  We got the results and they said he didn't have any ligaments attached in his knee.  And he had torn his IT band, which the doctor had never seen before.  So they set another surgery for Sunday.
Wednesday is a blur.  Although I'm pretty sure it was Wednesday that Scott started insisting he wanted to work, and someone needed to give him clearance to do that.  I argued that no doctor was going to while he was on so many drugs.  The nurse looked at us and said he'd be back, and in walked a social worker.  She sat down and told Scott he needed to trust people at his work and let them carry some of the load for him right now.  At least until he was out of ICU.  It was kind of funny that we had to have intervention, but he was being so adamant about it!  The PA that said he wouldn't approve Scott for work asked if he was mad, and I said he was mad at both of us.  But he got over it quick.
Thursday he was doing well enough that they moved him down to the Ortho floor.  It was a depressing move.  His ICU room was huge with lots of windows.  The 5th floor had a tiny window that faced a brick wall and was very small.  I left early and went back later that night.  Friday we planned on having a "date" night and thinking about anything but what was going on.  I rented "The Great Gatsby" and we started watching when Brother Coffman and the bishop showed up to give Scott a blessing.  And then his parents showed up.  The bishop asked how Scott felt about the possibility of a calling as High Priest group leader.  Scott looked at me and started crying.  He had felt like he was going to get that calling about a month before the accident.  He felt something big was going to happen and kept mentioning it to me, almost every day.  When the accident happened, we assumed that this was it.  But we realized that it was going to happen, despite everything else.  Then Scott gave me a blessing.  I have read the expression "face wet with tears" but never experienced it until that moment.  Tears weren't streaming down my face but I was very overcome.
I had felt a burden since Scott was gone from our home, and realized what a responsibility it is to provide, protect and ultimately care for a family.  And I had felt a lack of the priesthood as well, which I had never experienced before and taken for granted.  Even with his frail body I felt such strength from him.  He could barely hold his arms up over the side of the bed, but he was so strong.  Right after everyone left we got a call from the CFO of his company.  He called to say that many of the employees had come to him saying they needed to do something for Scott.  So they gave him enough time off to cover his time in the hospital.  And they gave us some extra money to help cover expenses.  More crying.  Needless to say we never finished the movie.
Saturday they put him back on a liquid diet as he was having surgery the next day.  It was a long day and I don't remember anything remarkable about it.  Sunday we headed down and chatted with the anesthesiologist and assistants and doctor.  We were getting used to the routine.  We figured after the other surgeries this one would be a piece of cake.  But we started worrying when the anesthesiologist started talking about giving him a nerve block for the pain.  Little did we know.  They expected the surgery to be about 4 hours.  It turned out to be 6 1/2 and that was with 2 surgeons working at the same time.  But Dr. Larsen came out and said it went very well and the other doctor had said he thought it was the best surgery they'd ever done.  Scott didn't feel that way.  He was in so much pain.  Video following.  It's pretty funny.

They kept telling us once they got on top of the pain it would be okay, it just took awhile to get on top of it.  It took about 5 hours before he got comfortable enough he could sleep and I left.
The cool thing about this surgery was they used cadaver tendons to repair his knee and put a cadaver patch over his IT band.  The cadaver patch is a piece of skin from a cadaver that will turn into whatever part of the body you put it on.  If you put it on a heart, it will turn into heart.  If you put it on a muscle, it will turn into muscle.  As the doctor had never repaired an IT band before, he pulled it together as close as he could and just threw a patch on it, hoping it would repair the space between.  Alivia thought the idea was pretty cool and her next few journal entries for school mentioned how her dad was part zombie and had dead parts in him, along with a picture of a nurse carrying a box of body parts.  We now refer to Scott as the bionic zombie.
The next couple days were spent rotating legs to try and get comfortable.  And using bed pans (he hated).  And sponge baths.  And the physical therapists wanting him to sit up.  I felt they were pushing him too hard but he loved it.  By Wednesday they felt he was doing well enough to transfer to a rehab center, so that night I dressed up and brought ice cream to celebrate.  But when I got there they had given him some more blood and said they wanted him to stay one more day just to be on the safe side.  It was kind of depressing, but I was so nervous about him leaving the hospital it was okay. I wanted nurses around all the time.  Thursday was spent hanging out and waiting.

Friday afternoon the ambulance guys showed up and loaded him onto a gurney.

It took 2 big guys, an ambulance and a van to move him to Orem Rehab where we'd be for the next 2 weeks.  And we were out of there!