Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Mark's 36 ft fall 3 years ago today

Mark's 36 ft fall 3 years ago today

The writing of this is 12/9/05

From the beginning 12/5/05 to 12/9/05 (The accident)

But right now I am really going through a bad anxiety attack and thought it would feel better if I just journal ed...so here goes. I believe the panic and anxiety attacks lately come from "mostly" the fact that Mark returned to work a few weeks ago. Mark was out from work for 19 months because of his catastrophic injuries. If you'd like to read more on that it is my first Journal entry.Mark and I have been together since we were 15 and we are both in our 40's now. The reason I'm sharing that is to say we are very close and have done just about everything together. So when Mark was out for 19 months I loved having him around all the time. I will say this....when something catastrophic happens in your life everything forever changes. Good and bad.

Walk with me.....December 5th 2005: Our daughter Brittany has her 19th Birthday. We celebrate it with our unofficial adopted son RJ and his beautiful wife Lexi and their precious babies. I have my Mark and Brittany has her beau Kenton with her. We are all at a beautiful restaurant celebrating life and happiness, not to mention that RJ and Lexi are leaving the following afternoon for their home in Germany (their both Army). The night ends blissful and we say our good byes to RJ and Lexi and wish them a safe trip back to Germany.

Our baby girl in the mean time is now 19 and is growing up Ü.Life goes by, we stay busy, walking around life in a bubble *that's what it felt like later in the story.* Mark and I since we have been together have always talked on the phone 2-3 x a day from age of 15 to present age. But the day of Mark's accident the strangest thing is...I didn't call him. Friday December 9th 2005 I have Drs appointments all day long back to back almost. We don't have a car right now so our son Mark is coming by to take Brittany and I too the Drs. appointments. So here we are all hanging out together and goofing off in between Dr appointments. On the way home we stop at a Wendy's and order food to go. When we get into the house I realize I had not called Mark today? I get this strange feeling. Brittany aka Boo says she has a message on the phone from Kenton can she call him before I call daddy. So I let her. As soon as Boo starts speaking on the phone to Kenton and I saw her face I knew it was bad and that it was Mark. The fear Instantly hit me. What happened is 1. I had been so busy all day I didn't call Mark. 2. We didn't have a cell phone at the time and so I didn't know that Mark had been in a life threating accident. He was hurt at 11:00 A.M. that morning *the time I normally call him*I have to pause for a moment here. As it makes me cry and shake to know how bad Mark was hurt and I was so unaware. We did not get home from Drs and Wendy's till 2:00 that afternoon. So Mark had been hurt several hours prior to this, no one could find or contact me in anyway. Mark's Mom was the second call and she was there when I got too the ER around 3:00. Kenton Boo's beau was one of the people they contacted to try and find us. That's why Boo's face went pale while talking to Kenton. And some how God let me know instantly that it was about my Mark. I want to write this all down...the anxiety is so strong and my hands are just shaking terribly! So I run into the ER as soon as we get there and I get to the ER and see all the family, Church friends and Pastors, Mark's boss all in this one small room. I run towards my MIL and ask her if Mark has died? She said no Donna, but it's bad. I was hysterical at this point. To know that my strong Mark could be hurt so terribly bad was unfathomable to me. To me he was the 'rock" in the family.

When I got to Mark after calming down some-because they wouldn't let me see him till I did. The first time I saw him he didn't see me. But all I could see was both Mark's hands cast-ed above his elbow. I turned away quickly and started crying again. I pulled myself together, because that's what Mark would have done and I wanted to be like him now. He has always been my example. Mark was already in shock when I saw him in the ER. He looked ok from the outside so to speak. He had mud every where and blood caked in his eyes and nose. I tried not to cry but you can't look at someone you love so much and in that kind of pain without crying. I know I tried!

How the accident happened 12/9/08

Mark is a commercial plumber. That means he works on buildings and high rises that are going up before the walls and insides are put together. The Friday he got hurt Mark was up 36 feet. Mark leaned over a thick cable that worked like a balcony line would so that you wouldn't fall from where you are. Well, The cable was supposed to be secured and taut so that you could reach/lean over it and bring up your materials in the bucket. Mark went to reach over and the cable that was not secured snapped and Mark fell 36 feet to the ground. They *the crew* said Mark on the way down somehow tried to grab the cable line and not fall all 36ft, but all that happened was it slammed Mark up against the building hurting him even more before he hit the ground. Praise God that the 2 days before Mark fell we had-had a rain storm-because Mark fell into the only mud puddle on that construction site! They the *Drs.* after Mark started recovering said that mud puddle might have saved his life so to speak. If it had been hard and dry....They don't believe he would have survived.

So here we are at the ER and Mark is needing to go into ICU. By Saturday Morning he's in ICU and hooked up to pain meds. They tell me that Mark was in bad shape. Mark crushed his lungs, Lacerated his Liver and Spleen, tried going into kidney failure, Mark had crushed both wrist bones to pieces, both his cheek bones-what they call under your eyes *orbital* bones both of them were broke, His right eye was popping out, he had a tramatic brain injury bleed at the frontal lobe on his left side.

Saturday was a fearful bleak day. I was so scared and my family, Mark's family, our children were crying trying to find out if Mark was going to make it, what they were doing for him etc...

Sunday was worse. When I got to the ICU that early morning some time during the night they had to put my baby into an induced coma. I walk in not knowing this and all I see is a life support system!!! I fall to pieces and hit the floor. I cannot tell you the fear, worry, hurt, un sureness that you feel in a moment like that. I have never had so many emotions take over me at one time and try so hard to express themselves separately! The nurses ran for me and someone got the Dr.

The Dr. said Mark was unable to breathe on his own because of the severity of the crushed lungs. They said that he had swallowed allot of the gunk from the construction site mud puddle and his lungs were filled with it. Plus the internal injuries Mark had sustained. They could not get Mark's blood pressure or heart rate under control. One minute his heart rate was beating like a marathon runner. The other his heart would drop down to 30 beats per minute. I would just start crying and tell Mark to breath and get that heart rate up. If it went past a minute and his heart rate did not come up on it's own, they would have to give Mark something to help it out. So they had to put him under. I shiver thinking of this.

A life support system is a wonderful thing for technology. Yet when it's hooked up to your loved one it's a love hate relationship with that machine. You are thankful that it's there but you hate the noises and hisses it makes constantly. Constantly reminding you that someone's life is hanging by a thread and that thread happens to be my husband!

It's funny how your mind plays like a reel on a movie screen. Because I went over that day in my mind a million times. I remember Mark getting ready for work that morning. He was drinking coffee, I was still snuggled in bed, He gave me a kiss and I said my prayers over him. The last thing I remember of good that morning was him opening the front door, smiling and saying I'll see ya this afternoon. But he didn't......

Because that day our world was forever changed and Mark didn't walk through that door that afternoon.

Mark was in ICU and on life support for almost 8 weeks. Mark got phnemoia (sp?) then he got 2 staf infections. One in his lungs and one in his kidneys. He got a total of 10 blood transfusions in between this time. He was not bleeding internal but they needed the blood for extra oxygen for Mark's body not to shut down. Then he had a superbug for 10 days. he ran a fever of 103 for those 10 days. The Drs were working frantically to find a mixture of antibiotics that would kill the superbug. Finally after 10 straight days Mark's fever broke! Everyone is cheering. The Drs. start bringing Mark out of the coma. it took them 3 days and many tries before Mark woke up :). I could feel the angels singing :). Each day Mark was improving :)! Finally he was let go from ICU to what's called step down care. So he was in the hospital for another 10 days. Then he was transported to a rehab place-where they had like little apartments, so I moved in and stayed 24/7. Mark just had his treach out so he was trying to talk-he sounded beautiful :). Mark had to re-learn how to eat, walk, talk, dress himself, etc. He went through 4-6 hours a day of cognative and physical therapy. This lasted a little over a month. We even celebrated our 23 rd anniversary in rehab :). Best gift I could ever have was the one right in front of me :).

Miracles...Mark was scheduled for surgery to repair both hands and arms. They explained to me that both of mark's wrist and arms would have rods, screws and some other kind of titanium in there as well. But Mark was so sick he couldn't go through surgery. The orto Dr. came into ICU a few times a week and would set Mark's bones as well as he could. So Mark never had to have surgery and get all that stuff into his body. Then when Mark went to have trecha surgery they were going to put mesh inside his cheecks as they could not fix the bones. As his Mom and I waited for the surgery to end-Mark's Dr. come's into the family room an hour earlier than he told us he would be. My heart dropped. But his Dr. was smiling. he said I don't know how to say this but Mark's bones are not crushed any more. He knew it was the hand of God. We all did.

So where lies my anxieties and panic attacks I was first writing about. From the first moment of this accident I have always felt guilty about not calling Mark that day. For one of us not to call the other that is so unlike us. I blamed myself for the accident. I know it's crazy but I feel it and have always. You know the *what if* game. What "if" I did this or what "if" I had of said this etc....

That's what I was doing to myself. What If I had of called Mark. Of course the accident still would have happened, because the cable was faulty and not secured. But in my mind I see Mark going to lean over and his phone rings and he backs away from the cable and he doesn't fall. That's the kind of what *Ifs* I have.

Now that he's back to work I can't eat or sleep. I have been working on these entries for hours now because I can only write so much without getting upset still.

I'm scared if I fall asleep I won't here the phone ring if something happens. Not only to Mark but anyone in my family. I worry all day long about Mark. Even if not externally-internally like a low rumbling in a volcano that goes un-noticed but you feel it.

Then there's the "last happy moment" reel before Mark was hurt. I keep seeing him at the door that morning Smiling at me, saying he loves me and that he will see me that afternoon. But he doesn't.

I can't eat because I'm to tired and to anxious. My nerves are shot @ the moment. I am going on my 3rd day of not sleeping. I want to sleep I just can't seem to calm down enough to do it.

Mark's only been back to work 2 weeks and I'm a basket case! Where do I go from here? How do I move forward with so much worry, fear, anxiety and trembling? These are questions I am really asking myself. It has taken me this long just to write the first entry down about Mark working. I figured if I write it down I can see it and it exist and it's real. I want to be strong for Mark, I want to be strong for God and for all the wonderful miracles and love he's given us. But I feel I keep letting God, Mark and myself down right now.

The first journal I ever read when I got back onto AOL journals was (don't take life for granted ) That sums it up. Love, Love. Love and don't let petty things get in the way. Those petty things may last you a life time of remorse if you never see that person again.

So today and every day remember the ones we love may never walk in our front door again. Don't put off saying I'm sorry or that I love you. Don't let one of you leave that day with harsh words or pride-for if they do not return to you-it will be that last thing you will always remember.

I want to share a song Mark dedicated to me many years ago to express how much he loved me.

How Important that song would become only God knows. My answer would be an absolute YES!

Here it is on youtube.


By Garth Brooks

If Tomorrow Never Comes


Sugar said...

don't bother with an anxiety attack...remember God is in control. altho, mark suffered terribly, he is alive, & even able to return to work. Praise God!

Missie said...

When my brother was in a coma last year, I thought, no problem. We can handle this and get him thru it. However, when I walked into the room and saw him on life support, it was like running into a brick wall.

I understand how you felt!

Thank God Mark is recovered and returning to work.

Sybil said...

My dear Donna, I hope that after writing that all down you may slowly begin to bring your anxiety attacks under control...It is all over now...you have to try..I know you already do...to hand over your worries to someone higher than us..and somehow just know that all will now be well...Hang on in their friend. Thank you for sharing your life with us
Much Love Sybil xx

LYN said...

just rejoice that mark is okay and take each day as it comes...don't forget our lunch date someday okay?? ;-)

I was sorry to read about Laci... :-(

Yasmin said...

Glad Mark is ok, panic attacks are horrible, but they will ease of in time.

Take care


Christy said...

I've been following you here for a while, but did not put two and two together. I read you when Mark had his fall, goodness how did I NOT put that all together?

I've prayed and prayed for you for so long.

My friend, I'm looking for verses where God tells us to be anxious over nothing, but joyous over all.

I know this was so absolutely tragic and devestating for your family. You have such a praise and testimony though! He's ALIVE! He's so alive that he's able to go back to work after such a horrific accident. That my friend is a MIRACLE. TRULY you have witnessed a GOD GIVEN MIRACLE!!!! What a blessing. I know you'd never wish what Mark and your family has gone through the last 3 yrs to happen, but no doubt you've came out closer and stronger as a couple, as parents, friends, etc.

I'm praying for you that your anxiety will cease. That you will find sleep.

Here's the verse!

Phillipians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Take this to the feet of our Lord, lay it down to him. He's big enough to take all of it. Give him your anxiousness, your fears, your worries, and concerns...they are NOT yours to keep, they are the Lords to throw out.

I have suffered from anxiety and panic attacks (around the 2 yr mark of my daughter, Jordyn dying). I know them well and from time to time will still have a panic attack, they are few and far between, but when they happen they're awful. Please know I write none of this lightly.

I am truly praying for you and I'm rejoicing at Mark's recovery!!!!

Connie said...

The fact that Mark went back doing the same work as when he was injured speaks volumes of the kind of man he is.He is facing it head on.Just put your trust in him that he knows all too well to double even triple check for his safety.
Things happen for a reason and you all came out stronger for it.You'd be suprised how many women would have walked away..but your love for one another saw you through it.So glad this had a good outcome.His gaurdian angel works overtime.
God bless you both.

Shelly said...

Hi Donna. What an amazing story. I think Mark had angels watching over him that day or else God knew you needed him so much. I too have been with my hubby for a long time so I can't even imagine how you were feeling. I hope you are all doing well. And I hope you all have a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Love, Shelly