The hip and the urological injuries were complicated. Because his stomach was still open, they were too risky to be done right away. Although his belly was stitched from the inside out, he needed a Wound Vac – an amazingly elegant device that keeps a wound free from infection and draws the skin closer together as it heals. Four months after my husband was admitted to the hospital, he was released with his hip and pelvis in pieces, two catheters, and the Wound Vac holding his belly together. He was put on twenty-seven vitamins and medications and sent home to our two-bedroom apartment I converted into an acute care rehab unit with a hospital bed, medical bars, and visiting nurses.
The three months out of the ICU before his release were a blur of getting up every morning atsix am, seeing him at seven, getting to work by ten, coming back atseven pmfor dinner together- leaving at ten, paying hundreds of medical bills and starting the whole thing over again the next day. There were hip fixators, blood clots, physical therapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, lavender oils, and visits to nursing homes when the hospital wanted to release him prematurely. I was blessed to have a ‘Hospitalist” who prevented that and when he was sent home, I took on a gifted Internist who coordinated all of his complex care. Both of their efforts and love saved his life again, multiple times.
I watched my husband go from a wheelchair to a walker, and from crutches to a cane in the span of six months. He took his first steps without assistance Christmas Day. I watched my husband relearn math with elementary school textbooks and regain his speaking voice by singing. The outpouring of love and support from friends and family and theLos Angelesmedical community was astounding. I will forever live in gratitude.
We moved back home toNew York Cityin April for my work. I hoped a walking city would make it easier for Ford to get around. We wanted to be closer to my family and to theEast End. We moved home for a fresh start- to somehow put together the pieces of our lives post- accident. Recovering from trauma, is never fast, and it’s usually fraught with complications especially, if like my husband, you’re just lucky to be alive. We had another hospital stay, this time here inNew York, in June for a life-threatening bug but, thankfully, we beat it.
I had planned to spend a week in theHamptonsfor our first vacation since the accident enjoying the sun and fun of the July fourth holiday with my husband and family. Ford and I ached to resume our long walks through the North Woods to watch the sunset on the bay. My husband fantasized about starting a garden while he was getting well. But one day into our stay, Ford spiked a fever and it was a hurried drive back toNew York City- back to doctors, tests, and more surgeries. I have spent days in his hospital room, dreaming about waking up to coffee on my parents’ deck, playing in the pool, going to Barry’s Bootcamp in Wainscott, barbecues, and hearing my nephew play at “The Talkhouse.”…well, maybe next summer.
I have learned to take everything one day at a time. Nothing in my life looks like I had planned. But here’s the thing: before his car accident, my husband and I were a mess. We were both working too many hours. We weren’t connecting. He was partying. I was angry. Nothing was working with “us.” We both knew it but we couldn’t fix it. And then the accident happened and it changed everything. While we were getting well, we re-discovered each other.
My happiest moments have always been just laughing with Ford. He is my soul mate, my playmate and the only person who has ever been able to make me believe in magic. We will get through this. We are figuring out our “how.” My husband is the most resilient person I know. He is truly a miracle in every sense…. and me? I’m just the tag-along.
Pages: 1 2