A friend sent my husband a get-well card which stands on his dresser with a line-up of others. He gets a “kick” out of this one in particular. It shows a cat, its leg in a cast lying in bed, in traction. When walking by it I’ve heard him say, “poor cat.” He finds it easy to sympathize over such a predicament, possibly because his own could have been similar. We laugh at the card but at the same time are thankful that his accident did not land him in the same position.
Have you ever unsuspectingly taken a fall and thought, “that’s how accidents
happen.” Well, one of these happened to my husband. And now six weeks later, he’s given me permission to tell you about it. He was in the garden picking zucchinis, bent down to pick up a box filled with them, lost his balance, and fell back to the sound of a very loud crunch. I heard him call me and ran outside, only to find him lying on the ground. As I reached his side, and asked what happened, he then passed out and I ran back into the house to call 911. The person on the end of the line asked me if I had taken his pulse. I never thought of it. “Is he conscience,” he asked. I didn’t know. “Well go outside and call his name,” he said. This I did. I yelled,” Burl” and from his position on the ground, he said, “What?” So I had determined that he was alive. I got an ambulance to transport him to the emergency room.
An ex-ray showed that, indeed, his back had been broken, but an MRI would tell us
whether or not it was a new break. We waited eight hours before his turn came for this procedure. A doctor suggested giving him morphine, but Burl asked what else he could recommend. He prescribed Percacet. At 2:00 a. m. we were sent home, he wasn’t even kept overnight, with me driving. Our home, by the way, is a 40 minute drive from the hospital. Later that same morning, a person came with a brace he was to use and left us with a few instructions.
So began our journey through a month that neither one of us remembers very well. The Percacet did take hold and covered the severe pain, but it also caused intense dreams, and the need to sleep and had a bad effect on the digestive system. In fact, he would
awake briefly in the morning, then fall back to sleep until 3:00 p.m. This result was frightening to me.
In one week we were to take him to see a neurologist, who said the ex-ray looked the same, which was good. He was looking at a compressed vertebrae. Earlier, In the ER we were told that a procedure for this type of break was to inject cement into the vertebrae to keep proper spacing. But when seeing the neurologist, we learned that they were not “jumping” into surgery. We were glad, and returned home for more weeks of the same treatment, Percacet and much sleeping. Not much eating. Our primary physician had not seen us at all, leaving us feeling somewhat abandoned.
I read that there is more reproduction of cells when sleeping and that the more time you sleep, the more cells grow, the faster the recovery. I felt relieved. The fifth week, arrived
and Burl knew the pain was easing up, so he dropped the Percacet, which is a narcotic. Some people who must use it for long-term sometimes become addicted. It took nearly a week before he felt back to normal and healing was taking place. Six weeks and we headed for the neurologist again, this time with Burl doing the driving. “Come back in three weeks,” and the doctor will dismiss you,” we were told.
I know there are many people experiencing long term pain and suffering and our experience gave us better understanding and a heart of sympathy for them. Life’s trials are meant to strengthen us for the road that lies ahead. Sometimes I wonder if the next one will be an even harder jolt in the road.
Prayer brought us through this trial. Our faith in God who knows all, sees all, and hears all, kept us strong as we trusted Him to see us through this. It is strengthening to know He will never leave us or forsake us.
The friend who sent the amusing card, I’m sure, would never have guessed that though it was meant to be funny, it also helped to remind us that others were suffering similar injuries. We only hope that they have God to lean on and to trust for the future.