This has been an unimaginable year and my family has forever been changed. It is hard to believe that it was 1 year ago today that I received the phone call that changed my life. It is funny now when I think back before the accident and the problems I thought we had. It did not take me long to realize how good I had it in comparison. That sentiment is still true today in comparing where we are 1 year later. Regardless of our current situation, we have so much to be thankful for. We have seen worse, we have lived and experienced worse.
When we look at the last year we have had many emotions, up and down. The phone call just puts you in a state a shock, you rush to the hospital to wait, when you see what you see, you freeze. Is this my baby? Laying on the gurney in the trauma unit, the room felt like it was over 100 degrees. She's laying there with a tube down her throat, head bandaged. What strands of hair that were hanging out were matted with blood. I am in numb. My sweet friend Lisa Kelosky, who never sleeps rushed to the hospital to be with me. Her and her husband Scott were a welcome site. My friend Linda Maxwell was right behind her, once she realized it really wasn't a nightmare and that really was me calling and waking her in the middle of the night. We also had several of Lauren's friends there and a friends Mom, Lisa, who took notes for me when I couldn't think.
There are no secrets with facebook and since Lauren's friends had already started posting we had to notify family asap. I had already called my brother Barry before we headed to the hospital, He, his wife Dana and Zac left to tell my Mom early that morning and we called Ben's sister around 6am and she got ready and headed to spend the day with Nana and Papa since we did not feel like they should come to the hospital. As the morning came, the calls started coming in as well as the friends. Thank God for friends and family who all so generously stopped or changed their plans to come and be with us to offer there support. If you have never experienced this type of outpouring it is overwhelming. Thanks to Joelle & Heather for bringing me essentials from home - it was very much appreciated. Amazing what brushing your teeth, set of clothes and washing your face will do for you.
Surgery was done Tuesday afternoon and it was the following afternoon that the surgeon told us that Lauren was in a coma. It was then that I broke. I was not prepared for that, it was beyond my comprehension. If you are not a Christian or if you have doubts please go back and read this journal. The very next day, which was Thursday the nurse came and got me from the waiting room to tell me that Lauren had woke up, pulled out her tube and asked for me and Ben. We ran to her and I do mean ran and she wanted her brother, so my sweet friend JoAnn James went to the school to get him and bring him up to the hospital. JoAnn was also the one who started this page for us.
Lauren was paralyzed on her right side as well as her left foot. She also had diminished vision. That evening as Ben and my wonderful friend Kristie Strickland were back with her, they prayed over her and began to recite the Lord's prayer, Lauren finished. This was amazing because Lauren was just in and out and did not know everyone yet. I ushered Ben out because it was crucial that we not overstimulate Lauren so her brain could heal. As I stood loving on her, she started singing Amazing Grace. I so wish I'd had my phone to record that moment, I did grab a nurse to witness it with me. I stood with tears pouring out of my eyes. We are not a family a singers, but at that moment I know God was speaking through her in that song because it sounded like an Angel.
Those first few days have many blurred moments and so may other friends and family that I can't even begin to name but everyone was so awesome. Your calls, texts, visits, cards, gifts - -they really do mean so much. For Lauren it was the beginning of a very long road and we are still walking down this road. Here is where we stand now. Lauren does have more independence especially since the surgery to put in the plate to replace the skull. She is still using a walker, we hope to graduate to a cane soon, but not yet. She can use more of her right hand and arm, but a very long way from being able to use it effectively. And she still has some diminished vision- mostly peripheral. It's hard for people to understand if they haven't experienced a similar circumstance in there life. For Lauren she can't peel or cut up an apple, has trouble opening and pouring a drink as well as even heating up something in the microwave. Even when she gets it heated she can't walk anywhere with it, we have made some modifications to make some things easier but again, we have a way to go. In the middle of all this we still have many dr appts and numerous medications. We are also getting ready to do some more outpatient PT once we can get it lined up as well as some transportation. we are just now beginning to transition Lauren to staying be herself. Since we came home she has had someone with her almost constantly. Without the help of friends and family this would not have been possible. Stacie Alday, there are no words to thank you for your constant help in and out of the hospital, Connie and Christie who have also stayed with Lauren once we were home. Also when we were in the hospital those first few weeks, everyone helped us stay with Lauren, so we could get some rest. I had a co-worker give me a few nights in the adjoining hotel. Those moments of rest were priceless, appreciated and very much needed.
As always we ask for your continued prayers - -we are 1 year down and 1 year to go for the maximum benefit of recovery. They state the first 2 years of a TBI are the most crucial for your brain to relearn. We need to make the most of that year. We want Lauren to continue to improve, to walk unassisted, to write again, to drive .... I promise you, its the little things we all take for granted each day that mean the most.
As a final word, may we all remember the words Lauren posted that fateful day on facebook: Though I walk in the midst of trouble: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me KJV Psalm 138.7