fenchurch: (Fenchurch Place)
It actually occurred to me this morning that today was an anniversary. Eight years ago today was one of the worst days and best days of my life. Worst, because of the injuries, some of which still have lingering aftereffects to this day, and best because we both survived it without being hurt worse than we were. Yep, it's the anniversary of the day we were in our car accident. If you've never heard the story, you can see the post I made just after midnight that night here: http://fenchurche.livejournal.com/79765.html It was a bit after we were released from the hospital and got to a hotel... I'm always amazed at how coherent I was considering how much pain I was in and the fact that I was drugged to the gills (when you break your shoulder in multiple places, they give you the good stuff). Plus, I could type with a grand total of two fingers on my left hand (pretty much the only bits of me that weren't hurting). Oh, and "Sheriff Guy" never ceases to amuse me, because obviously I'd forgotten the word "Deputy" (although it probably didn't help that he'd introduced himself by his first name).

Also somewhat amused by the "six weeks" thing for my shoulder healing. What they actually told me was "six to twelve weeks." That was the first time I'd ever broken a bone so I had no idea what to expect. When the six week mark hit and I was not anywhere close to being healed, I got just a wee bit depressed. My doctor then informed me "Yeah, when they told you six to twelve weeks? They meant twelve." Mostly because there's absolutely no way to immobilize the acromion process and that sucker moves when you *breathe*.

If you want to read some of the followup posts about it, just click on the "accident" tag at the bottom, although you'll have to scroll down a bit to read them in order.

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Fenchurch Place)
Yep, it's that time of year again... hard to believe the car accident was five years ago, and I definitely think it's the sort of anniversary that needs to be remarked upon at least a little bit.

Once again, for those who are new to my LJ, it was five years ago today that [personal profile] rackham and I were on our way back from visiting my grandmother in Idaho Falls after visiting his parents in Utah for Christmas. We'd left Idaho Falls and it was wintry, but not too bad... but by the time we passed Pocatello and headed across the state toward Burley it had gotten downright scary: ice on the road, snow blowing and high winds. Thankfully, Rackham wasn't driving all that fast, so when the wind hit us and pushed us sideways off the road, we only rolled four times. We were also very lucky that the entire accident was witnessed by two wonderful gentlemen who pulled over immediately and apparently were already calling 911 before we'd even stopped rolling.

When we were loaded up in the ambulance, I was asked if there was anything I wanted them to find from the car... and I asked for my laptop (I later realized I didn't even have my wallet, but by gum I could get on the internet!). Turns out, in addition to the standard bruising and cuts, I'd broken my shoulder in three places and torn the crud out of the other shoulder (something that didn't become apparent until later). It also led to the weirdness of having the worst and best New Year's Eve of my life -- worst because I was in horrible pain and drugged to the gills, best because it simply felt so good to be alive.

Here's the surprisingly coherent entry I made about the accident the night it happened (typing with the only two fingers that weren't sprained or attached to a broken shoulder).

And the next few entries from later that week:
January 3 has some photos of the car.
January 7 has more details about the accident and the first week of recovery.

And if you want to read more, I've got most of the earlier posts tagged for easy perusal.

And now for the update on the state of things today... )

And one of these days I really do need to get around to "re-reading" Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. I read it out loud to Rackham on that road trip and finished it the day before the accident... but it occurred to me last year that even though I'd been recommending the book to tons of people and had given copies of it as gifts, I didn't actually remember it. At all. (I didn't have a head injury, but it's more that some things became incredibly unimportant and never made it into long-term memory.)

Hmm. Might have to make it my first book of the new year!

Crossposted from my LJ
fenchurch: (Looking Up)
I can't believe it's been so long since I last updated...

Let's see, some milestones from the last week: )

We weathered the windstorm that swept through here today without any further damage to the trees... we were just a tad worried that some of the other hazelnut trees would fall, or that the one already down would fall further and take out the fence, but we seemed to have lucked out. We did get some wind gusts in our neighborhood up to 50mph, though... and the storm lasted for about 18 hours, so there's a ton of debris everywhere. We actually had the computers turned off all day... even though we didn't ever lose power, it was fluctuating enough we decided it wasn't worth risking it. Thank heavens for laptops.

I'm slowly getting caught up on "Veronica Mars" -- this week I managed to finally watch 'Ahoy Mateys' )
fenchurch: (Looking Up)
Thanks for listening to me whine earlier this week... The last few days have actually been much better. More blather about my shoulder under the cut. )

Other positives for the week:

Yesterday I was able to unload and load the dishwasher. This made me so happy I called my mom and several friends to brag about it. Seriously, if you ever want to feel completely useless, get into a position where you can't even manage to do standard household chores.

Today, for the first time in three weeks, I'm not wearing a baggy button down shirt or a stretchy tank-top. Nope, I managed to get a t-shirt on this morning! Yay! I feel almost normal! Of course, it's a big baggy t-shirt I snagged it from [livejournal.com profile] rackham's part of the closet, but still...

The swelling has finally gone down in my hands enough that I was able to wear my wedding ring today!

I noticed yesterday that the last of my bruises (the one across my upper arm from the seatbelt, probably the source of the broken shoulder), has FINALLY faded out. The area is still sore, but is no longer discolored. (ETA: I jumped the gun on this... Rackham has informed me that it's definitely still visible especially toward the back, though fading.)

And finally, in non-recovery news, [livejournal.com profile] shaddyr recommended an absolutely fantastic Firefly/BtVS crossover fic called "Carving Out the Future" by Dreamfall (there are more chapters available out on LJ here: [livejournal.com profile] dreamfall_nnwm). Dreamfall has done an excellent job of capturing the characters' voices... of course, the downside is that it's a WIP, but the story is satisfying enough that even if it never gets finished, I think it'll still remain a favorite.
fenchurch: (cats)
The Good: PT on Monday went really well, and I left feeling fantastic... we worked on a few very mild exercises geared toward range of motion (including an odd one where I have to lean on a table with my left arm, let the right arm just dangle and move my body to create a sort of pendulum action with my right arm -- no arm muscles in use, just letting the arm move a bit more than usual).

The Bad: Tuesday I was a bit stiff and sore... wondering if maybe I overdid it a bit at PT the day before, or afterward, since I'm finding I have to be careful or I forget that my right arm can't be used for much. The problem is that it's getting better enough to use for some VERY minor tasks that don't involve holding any weight or moving my shoulder, and I'm not doing a very good job of remembering to limit myself. I'm way too eager for it to just be healed and done with it.

The Good: Tuesday [livejournal.com profile] rackham stopped back by the house after his PT appointment, just in time to take me out to lunch at Olive Garden... just the thing I needed to keep from going stir crazy!

The Really Good:Also on Tuesday, I got a box of Australian goodies from the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] queenofattolia! Squee!! The funny part was that when the box first arrived, before I opened it, I had a moment of wondering if I'd forgotten that I'd ordered something (since it was from a mail order company I've used in the past). I've actually been watching for that sort of thing, considering my brain likely got a bit sloshed around in the accident (when we were in the ER, I actually started going through things like trying to remember passwords, whether mint chutney still sounded yummy and whether I still thought James Marsters was hot, just to check). And about two hours later, another box arrived, this time from [livejournal.com profile] babyotto and her family, with some new boardgames (oddly enough, shipped from a place just up the street from where we usually go shopping -- very disconcerting!) -- I can't wait to give them a try!

*Big hugs* to both of you!! You ended up timing things just when I needed some cheering up!

The Ugly: It's next to impossible to control what you do in your sleep, and I somewhat blame the fact that my arm is getting a bit better. Wednesday morning I woke up in the worst way possible... just as I was starting to stir, my body or my brain decided it would be an excellent idea to stretch... including my broken shoulder. I was once again intimately reaquainted with the definition of EXTREME PAIN which, btw, is even better than caffeine for reaching that fully awake status. It also made for what would have been an entirely miserable day if I hadn't been able to indulge in some of the treats I'd gotten the day before.

I spent Wednesday maintaining my body's Ibuprofen level, contemplating the last few Vicodin in the bottle, icing my shoulder and watching episodes of "Good Eats" (Alton Brown makes everything better). And I'm definitely planning on mentioning this at my next PT appointment, which happens to be tomorrow morning (or, technically, later this morning). Now I'm doped up on Tylenol PM and I'm hoping I'll be able to get at least a little bit of sleep. I am so ready for this to just be over. Broken shoulders suck.
fenchurch: (Looking Up)
Went to see the doctor today, mostly to get the stitches out (and boy does THAT feel good -- no more insane itching in an area I can't reach (i.e. the elbow of my injured arm)). It's going to leave a lovely scar. The doctor was really impressed by how (relatively) minor our injuries were, considering the sort of accident we were in. He discussed pain management with us and also gave us each referrals for Physical Therapy... although judging by the way he was talking about my next eight to ten weeks of PT, you'd think he was sending me to the gallows. Apparently, there will be even more pain. :-p

Rackham started back to work yesterday (though I suspect the main reason he did is because he was going stir crazy with boredom). He still can't drive and is still pretty stiff and sore (evidently television lied to us and bruised ribs take quite awhile to heal), but is able to get around without the neck brace for extended periods of time.

It felt so good to be out of the house for a bit... the friend who drove us to the appointment dropped Rackham off at work and then took me over by Trader Joe's for a bit of grocery shopping. It was just so wonderful being OUT... it could have been an auto parts store or a garden shop and I would have been just as happy. Of course, it also wore me out completely... I came home and slept for three hours.

In other news, the Coincidence Patrol is still out in full force. A few months ago I started picking up issues of Scientific American again at various locations (I'd had a subscription back in Junior High and loved it, but got distracted by fannish pursuits and switched over to things like Starlog and The Whovian Times (or whatever it was called)). Anyway, I'd been thinking of subscribing again recently, and what popped into my mailbox today but a subscription invitation from Scientific American. All I can think is that they have spies everywhere and were tipped off about my recently renewed interest by undercover agents at the grocery store and Barnes & Noble.
fenchurch: (cats)
Figured I should post a quick note to let everyone know we made it home...

The flight home went really well, even though something about my arm brace/sling triggered a second check at Security... the TSA person was very understanding and gentle doing a VERY quick "pat down" (I think they figured there was something in the foam of the sling that was showing up weird). The airport had one of those cart thingies waiting just on the other side of security and we were whisked away to our gate (which was of course at the very far end of the concourse). The Delta gate attendant bumped us up seven rows in the airplane, so we'd have an easier time getting on and off, and then they had us board first so we'd have plenty of time to get situated. They also made sure we had a row to ourselves, so there's plenty of room for my arm (not hard since this flight is only about 2/3 full).

Anyway, I hear my bed calling to me... I can tell it's missed me over the past two or three weeks, I know I missed it.
fenchurch: (Looking Up)
Yesterday was the one week anniversary of the accident... and some of the smaller cuts and scrapes are fading, quite a few of the bruises have mellowed to some truly ghastly yellows and greens (although I still have a number of lovely purples here and there), and my shoulder still hurts like all get out, but is a whole lot more tolerable (I'm only using the Vicodin to manage the pain enough to sleep at night and can sometimes get away with only taking half a pill at a time -- I still wake up when the stuff wears off, though). I'm afraid I'm hopelessly behind on LJ and hope that everyone is doing well... I doubt I'll be able to catch up on everything. I've been doing a lot of resting, though I did find time to get [livejournal.com profile] rinewick (Rackham's youngest sister) hooked on the new Doctor Who! I also managed a short shopping trip with my mother-in-law a few days ago for things I can wear with a broken shoulder... i.e. several loose tank tops and a few short-sleeved button-down shirts to go over them (they all ended up being Hawaiian shirts... [livejournal.com profile] archerrat would approve).

We're flying out tonight for home, finally... and while I'm not looking forward to being in an airplane for two or so hours, it's at least going to be considerably shorter than driving. Plus we'll get to sleep in our own bed tonight!! Yay!! We're borrowing some luggage from my in-laws and have managed to get quite a bit of our stuff packed away. There are a few things we've got boxed for shipping and a few other things that were heavy enough and not necessary enough that we'll just leave them here to pick up later in the year. I'm also really grateful that we were able to spend the first week of recuperation here... I'm not sure how we would have managed, otherwise.

Looking over my first post about the accident, I'm really amazed at how coherent I was... although I had apparently had the word "Deputy" shaken out of my brain there for awhile (if you hadn't guessed, Sheriff Guy = Deputy). It didn't help that he had introduced himself simply as Eric, at the time. We finally got a look at his business card a few days ago and realized that he has the same slightly unusual last name as some people we go to church with... we gave them a call, and sure enough, he's a cousin. It's a very small world.

Some things we've found out since the accident:

Yeah, we were right in remembering what felt like a really strong wind blowing us off the road when we hit ice -- according to the news, that area was having wind gusts up to 60mph at that time.

There were apparently over 40 accidents on that stretch of road that day (three serious, including ours).

The reason everyone in the ER kept pronouncing our last name correctly (a VERY rare thing) was because the recently retired ER manager is married to Rackham's dad's cousin and has the same last name.

For a small hospital in a small town in Idaho, the ER really had its act together... we left there with all sorts of paperwork, plus two CD-ROMs with self-executables that provide our x-rays, CT scans and other test results to give to our doctor. Color me impressed.

Yesterday, we called and talked to Michael (one of the guys who stopped right away) to let him know how things turned out... he was very happy to hear from us and gave us a few more bits of info about the crash (since he actually witnessed it). Yes, we rolled about four times, and one of those was airborne. He had been absolutely astonished that we were in as good a shape as we were and that the car didn't look worse than it did. Gary, the guy he was traveling with, apparently told him later that he'd thought Michael had gone off his rocker, asking us all those questions -- M had asked about our Christmas, where we'd grown up, what sort of food we liked, that type of thing -- only to have it explained that it was a way of keeping us from going into shock. It worked pretty well, too. Those guys really were absolute godsends.

Oh, yeah, and I'm still typing one-handed, with sore fingers, which means you probably still won't hear from me much. I'm pretty sure I just hyper-extended them gripping things while we were rolling -- the main thought going through my head when I realized we were about to roll was "don't put your hands up don't put your hands up" -- because of my mom's rollover accident a few years ago that crushed her left hand (she'd put her hands up by reflex when she rolled). When I told her about this later, she just said "you're welcome." :-)
fenchurch: (Looking Up)
Thank you all so much for your good wishes, they have really meant the world to me, especially these first few days... you have no idea how much.

Typing is still incredibly difficult... not only am I one-handed, but the fingers on both hands are still sore (I suspect it's from gripping whatever happened to be nearby during the rolls), with one sprained or strained finger on my left hand that I really can't use for typing at all.

The stitches in my elbow are beginning to itch, which I suppose is a good sign, but is probably going to drive me crazy. My shoulder is, understandably, excrutiatingly painful... I finally got a gander at the notes the doctor made for me (since I suspected I wouldn't remember much of what he told me). I've got two fractures in the distal clavicle, and the bit I kept feeling moving was the nice clean break in the acromion process. Yeah, I'd never heard of it before, either.

The next morning Rackham and his parents drove over to look at the car... turns out the guys who had first stopped for us (and had covered the car with a tarp and had helped gather up a bunch of our stuff that had been flung out) had told the tow truck driver to keep the tarp on the car, so he'd tied it down for the trip to the wrecking yard (where it was placed in covered storage), which meant all our stuff ended up staying relatively dry.
Rackham took a camera with him and got a few shots of the car )

All in all, the car did exactly what it was designed to do, give its life to save ours. It's a crumpled mess, but we're still up and walking (albeit painfully at the moment) and talking and my shoulder should heal up in just a few months (if I don't go stir crazy first).

We went through my father-in-law's travel agent today and managed to book an aisle and window seat on a flight out this Saturday for a really reasonable price... and if we wind up getting someone assigned to the seat in the middle we can always look at swapping around... but she didn't think we'd need to. I'm really anxious to get home, even though it means we won't have all these hands around to help anymore. I want my own bed and I miss my cats, and I just want life to get back to some semblance of normalcy.
fenchurch: (cats)
...is most definitely not the best way to start off New Year's weekend.

We're both going to be okay... [livejournal.com profile] rackham tried to scrape all his hair off on the ceiling of the car. Lots of scrapes, small cuts, bits of glass and a few hunks of missing hair. He also injured his neck a bit and is currently wearing one of those foam-type neck braces... and he has stitches in a deep gash in his elbow, a small fracture in his foot (probably from stepping on the brake) and some bruised ribs. Oh yeah, and lots of bruises.

I got a few scrapes and cuts, a deep gash in my elbow (also stitched), LOTS of bruises, and I broke my shoulder in three places (it's a seatbelt injury, so I can't help but feel somewhat grateful for it. Better a broken shoulder from wearing the belt than a broken neck from not. My first bone breakage ever, and I did it in a fairly spectacular way. My right arm is immobilzed, so I'm typing entirely left-handed... not too tough, but a bit slow.

And oh, yeah... it frelling HURTS. They gave me Vicodin, which I am hoping will help me sleep through the night. Or at all. (and should also explain any weird typos you might see.)

More details under the cut )

I'll try to type up more later, but my hand is getting tired. The upshot is that we're going to be okay, although it doesn't feel like it tonight. My right arm is out of commission for about the next six weeks and we'll be heading back down to Provo as soon as we're feeling up to being in a car that long... we'll stay with my in-laws for a little while until we're to a point that we can fly home.

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Fenchurch

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