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Homeschooling The Well Prepared Child: April 2015

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Life Gets In The Way

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     So now you know about my husband's accident, however, you would not believe how much it has altered our lives. Not only has life taken a turn for us, but, it is also getting in the way. (Mostly, it is my blogging that is suffering.) This is why. 
    The first week we were home from the hospital, my husband needed constant supervision. He was barely walking with a cane. I had to help him to the restroom, taking a shower, and putting on his clothes. The kids and I were his hands and feet for everything. If he was hungry, we got him food. If he was thirsty, we got him a drink. We set up the garage with a bed borrowed from my mother's spare bedroom. I was the only one sleeping in it, because, laying flat was not an option for him. He slept in his comfy recliner. He would fall asleep at 8 p.m. but of course I would be up till nearly midnight. Bathroom breaks were sporadic through out the night; he was awake by 4 a.m. and I would be up to make coffee. 
     Chores needed to be done every day. My own plus his was getting to be a job within itself. Every day, I would make a list of what he needed done around the house plus what I did. And every day, the kids and I would tackle the list together. I have always known how much my husband does around our house and mini farm, but until then, I never realized how much. I'm not sure that makes much sense to you, but it sure makes sense to me. Adding in his chores, even with the help of the kids, was exhausting. Small naps and tons of coffee kept me going. 
    Before the accident, we signed Zoey up for softball. My mom took her to the first few practices for me. Alex had gone with my brother to help him remodel a house his family bought recently. I couldn't leave Mike alone. He is a strong willed and stubborn man that does not like the fact he can not do much on his own. One early morning, I was awoke by a crashing sound. He had woke up and decided to get his own coffee and let me sleep. He was getting around just fine, until he decided to move the recliner closer to the T.V. and became off balance. He fell into the wood burning stove. My sleepy brain did not register that he had fallen. Sitting straight up in bed, the garage dimly lit, and still asleep, I thought he was just stoking the fire. It was not until my son come running in asking what happened, that I realized he had fallen. Luckily, nothing was hurt but his pride. We moved the reclining love seat into the garage instead of the recliner so we could sleep side by side. No need to move any furniture around anymore. ;)  
     The next week, Mike was getting around a little better, but the kids and I were still doing everything around the house. Alex was back home. Zoey and I did not make it to co-op because she came down with the stomach flu. I only got a few work hours in the first few weeks. 
     We started getting our garden ready for planting. Growing our own food has never been more important or as needed. Alex tilled the garden for me. His first time was pretty dang good! Zoey and I started our seedlings. My new potato bucket is growing beautifully. I am excited it is working this time. The sun has made all the difference. (Okay, so maybe winter gardening in the garage didn't work so well. But, do you blame a girl for trying?) My tomato plant I have babied all winter is HUGE and has little tomatoes already forming. We also ended up with a few new chicks. Two of them were not claimed from the daycare's annual chick hatch. The other was bought at our local feed store. I keep saying no more chickens.. but they keep finding their way into our hearts and home. The chick we got before the accident turned out to be a rooster. 

The day before Easter, my cousin called me with 3 free rabbits. We hosted Easter dinner at my house since getting out of the house takes a lot out of Mike. It was a great day. Both sides of our families attended. At one point my sister laughed and said, "Only my sister would have LIVE bunnies hopping around her garage for Easter!" 
     We went back to the hospital in Dallas for Mike's follow up appointments. Even though he is recovering far better than what the doctor's thought he would, he still has a long way to go. The doctors predict he will be out of work still for another 3-6 months. 
     Although we have had support from some family and friends, we are still struggling with the loss of his paycheck every week. I only work a few days a week at my job normally. Luckily, my boss has allowed me to take up as many hours as I can. This helps to pay the bills, but it seemed like every time I tried to work, something happened that kept me from working long. Thank goodness I prepare for emergency situations. My preps, plus donations from friends and family, and a visit to a local food bank, help to keep food on the table. Every little bit helps. 
     So now it has a little over a month since the accident. My husband is no longer using a cane. We are sleeping upstairs in our own bed. (Thank goodness! I'm not sure how much longer my hips could take sleeping on the love seat.) He still can not lift much, bend well, stoop over, or do much like he did before his accident. What he can do, takes much longer and wears him out. Alex has started a new job, but until we can get the old truck on the road and insurance on him, I will be taking him back and forth to work. When our homeschool co-op classes end, I will be returning to work full time myself. I will have to balance work, the garden, sewing, farm and house chores, homeschool, and softball. I just hope I can balance blogging in somewhere. 

     Life is still getting in the way and will continue to do so. But, honestly, I truly feel blessed to be just 'getting by.' 

Disclosure: I am Amazon Affiliate and may receive a small compensation for including links on my blog. Buying through my links is not necessary, just appreciated. Amazon does not charge extra for linked items recommended by their affiliates.  I only recommend products that I use and trust OR plan on using in the future. Please buy responsibly and do your own product research before buying anything online. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Life Takes A Turn

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     I have been MIA for the last month. It has been very hard to get back in the swing of blogging. Not only have I been at a loss for how to write this post, but also, there has been so much going on I can barely sit down to write. Life has definitely taken a turn for us. 
     So where do I begin?
     March 6th, I got a text from a friend asking if we still had that old S10 Blazer. 
"Yes, we do." I reply back. 
"My husband said he was driving down HWY 19 and thought he saw it being loaded onto the back of a wrecker. It was in an accident. Maybe it was not Mike's." 
     1993 S10 Blazers are still quite common in this area, but I called the house immediately. No answer. I had 15 minutes before it was my lunch time. I called my neighbor asking if she had seen Mike drive in from work. She had not noticed, but she would get up and get dressed to walk down there. I asked the girls down in the nursery area to pray that if it was my husband, he was going to be alright. 
     Lunch came, and I called the house again with no answer. The neighbor said she was walking out the door to go look. As I clocked out, I told a co-worker I was not sure what I was going to do. Should I just wait and see if he calls me back and go run my errands? Do I run home and see if he is just out in the yard? Or do I start calling the hospital? I am the type NOT to worry about the tornado until it is hitting the house. However, in my head, I am hearing the emergency sirens going off in my head... As I look down at Zoey, I see the same fear in her eyes as she tries to smile back at me. I put my arm around her as we walk out of the building. 
     We had not gotten half way to my truck when I got the phone call from the police department. I know the number well. I froze and pulled Zoey to me. Instead of saying hello, I asked, "Where is he and is he alright?" Confused, the officer introduced himself. "Is this Mike Flemens Wife?" 
"Yes, it is. I have heard, is he alright?"
"No, ma'am, he is not. He is being care flighted to Parkland Hospital in Dallas." 
     Scariest moment of my life was going back into that building with my daughter in tow to write down the number to the hospital. I thanked the officer and immediately called my mother. My boss and a couple of the girls I work with looked on as I called my mother to ask her to drive me. I was shaking so bad I could barely stand. I just held my daughter tightly. 
     As I waited for my mother to get there, my boss and her husband (my preacher) held our hands in a prayer circle. When he finished the prayer, I said, "Thy will be done." Instantly I was calmed. My mother came and we began the 90 minute journey to the hospital. Friends and family pitched in to let everyone know what had happened; prayer chains were started. 
     The whole ride, I was calling the hospital. Mike and his ID did not make it there at the same time. The had no idea who my husband was. Back in our town, my brother in law was talking to the emergency workers that were on the scene of the accident. They assured him he was at Parkland and last heard, Mike was in X-ray. We had reached the hospital by the time one of the workers called me to let me know they had located my husband.
     Mom and Zoey parked the car as I went straight to the Trauma floor to see him. He was being sedated for becoming combative while they were trying to work on him. He had tubes and wires connected to him, barely any scrapes or bleeding. The doctor explained he had some bleeding on the brain, and several areas of his left side received broken bones. His scapula (shoulder blade) was broken into 3 pieces, his pelvis was fractured in 2 different places and he had several broken ribs. The bleeding on his brain was mild and was from broken blood vessels rather than from several blunt force trauma. I praised God with a smile on my face. I am sure the nurses and doctors thought I was suffering from some sort of shock, but My husband was alive! The man I loved and who loved me back with his whole heart, the father of my children, my best friend, the man that always pushed me to be better and believed in me was ALIVE by the grace of God. I knew all else would work out in the end. 
     I brought Zoey in to the trauma unit so she could see her daddy. We smiled to each other, held his hand, kissed him and whispered prayers of thanks to the Lord. I took her back to my mother after talk of waking him up.          
     They began talking him off of sedation. I held his hand and talked to him along with the doctors until he was finally awake. He was disoriented and confused. When he was finally (somewhat) fully awake, the doctors were pleased and sent him to a private room. We were blessed with being able to stay with him. 
     My sister and brother in law were there and brought Zoey and I clothing and personal items from our house. We prepared to stay in the hospital for as long as it took for him to recover enough to come home. My mom wanted to take Zoey with her, but my side kick was where she needed to be. She, nor I, would have it any other way. My brother came and gave me money to help with what ever we needed. I didn't have to worry about how I was going to feed us. The nursing staff said we were welcome to sleep in the extra bed in the room. My brother stayed at a friends house that was local to him. This all happened on Friday, Day 1.

Day 2: While in a good bit of pain, Mike tolerated the pain well but slept through most of it. We had several calls and texts sending prayers and well wishes. Our families kept Facebook updated on his progress. My son was finally located, but not having a vehicle kept him from coming right away. I had never heard fear in his voice like I did when he called me. I assured him his father was going to be okay. While Mike slept, I took Zoey to get a late breakfast. She witnessed her first homeless man when we ventured outside of the hospital. (Small town children live sheltered lives.) His dad, aunt and cousin came. My brother came back to pick Zoey and I up to go to Walmart for some supplies. By that night, Mike was becoming more coherent. The pain med fog started to lift. So many different Doctors in the last few days, it is even hard for me to keep them straight.

Day 3: Mike's mom, brother and our son, Alex, came up to see him, along with several others. Mike is barely taking any pain meds. As long as he is still, there is minimal pain. Not being able to turn onto his side is the worst part. That is the way he sleeps. His arm and pelvis are a little more mobile. Doctors and nurses agree he is still recovering miraculously! Mike's anxiety is very high. He is ready to go home. He has hospital issues to begin with, coupled with being an 'outdoor' kind of guy and being immobile is starting to get to him.

Day 4: The physical therapist came to see if Mike could get around in a wheel chair. He handles it like a champ. A friend of mine came and brought us bags of lunch and visited us for a while. When I was walking her out of the hospital, Mike decided he needed a private moment in the bathroom. He used Zoey as a crutch to get there. Managed his business and was planning on using Zoey again to get to the bed, however, he fell on the way back. X-ray's showed no additional damage. He is released by Doctors to have assistance from the nurse and either me or our son. I talk with his Trauma doctor on getting him released soon. She says, "Other than the broken bones, we have no other reason to keep him. We would like him to have 6 weeks of physical therapy though." I talk to her about doing physical therapy at home vs. the hospital. My husband is a home body and I am afraid he will push himself to hard at the hospital to prove he can go home. We have a strong family support system which includes nurses and pt specialists. My mother also works at a rehab center just in case we need it. Our house is set up to where it can be easily cleared out so he has room to move and maneuver with out risk of falling. My son will be moving back home to help out as well. The doctor says she will talk to his physical therapist. If she okays him to go home, she will release him tomorrow. 

Day 5: The Physical Therapist came to talk with us. She knows he has been walking to the bathroom with assistance, and brings a crutch, cane and an A-frame walking device. He chooses the crutch to begin with. He walks with it so well, they decide to switch him over to a cane before Mike can reach the door. He moves fairly well, walks a good distance, and even tackles a small flight of stairs. His PT lady is quite impressed and releases him from any more PT. The Occupational Therapist says not so happy about the whole thing. Thought his brain damage needed some more work. I tried to explain to her that the doctors had not mentioned anything about brain damage and my husband was acting perfectly normal now he was not taking many pain meds. She is not convinced, but are released by the Trauma doctor anyways and are on our way home by 6:30 that night. 

     It has now been a month since my husbands accident. He is walking around with minimal assistance from the cane. By no means is he 100% or even close, however, he is still my walking miracle. Now at this point, you might be wondering what happened, how did the accident happen? All I can tell you is, he was T-Boned turning onto the highway that takes him home. The other driver was just shaken up a bit. The teenager that hit him, also happens to be a friend of my son. He said he saw my husband stop at the red light so he proceeded through, then, suddenly Mike pulled out. Mike's truck was T-boned at 60 miles an hour. My husband remembers he had gone to the store after work, he bought a few things for the house, loaded up his truck and started home. Walmart is 2 minutes from where the accident occurred. There has been speculation on why my husband would pull out into on coming traffic. Either way, it has been deemed his fault for pulling into an intersection that had not been cleared. 

     All I know is, my husband is alive and is recovering at an amazing rate. In all honestly, when I got the call, I thought he was dead, or close. You do not get care flighted by helicopter for a minor bump on your head and a few broken bones. I really believe God hears prayers and reversed this for us. We are fully blessed. 

So that is the beginning of where I have been. 
Life decided to take a turn on us.. 

Disclosure: I am Amazon Affiliate and may receive a small compensation for including links on my blog. Buying through my links is not necessary, just appreciated. Amazon does not charge extra for linked items recommended by their affiliates.  I only recommend products that I use and trust OR plan on using in the future. Please buy responsibly and do your own product research before buying anything online.