Posted by: aceanderic | May 9, 2009

Saturday, May 9th – 1 year since the accident

Saturday, May 10th, 2008
I woke up at 3.02 by nose bleeding. I opened my eyes, wiped off the blood; the bed next to me was still empty. I got a calm feeling over me and I knew Eric had been hurt. I got out of bed at 3.05am to listen at Eric’s phone message. I called him back but there were no answer so I went back to bed. Eric got hit at 2.44am.

I had a busy day ahead of me. It was Saturday and I had to go into work to proofread the 140-page book I’d been working on, it was finally going to print today. I called Eric’s phone several times but there was no answer. I went upstairs to see if he slept in our guest beds, I don’t know why I did that; I knew he wasn’t in the house. I normally could sense when he’s around but I felt the loneliness, and deep inside I knew something was wrong. A realtor called me when I walked the dogs. His client wanted to see our house for the second time. I needed time to clean the house, plus I had to go to work so we arrange a meeting at 11am. I got home, called Eric again and this time I left a nasty voice mail about how rude he was for not calling me and for not coming home. This might be our chance to sell it, where the hell is Eric? At 10am the phone rang, I didn’t recognize the number. It was the police. “Do you know why I’m calling, Mrs. Davidson”, he asked. My heart stopped. “There’s been an accident”, he continued, “Eric got hit by a hit-and-run driver, and he hurt his leg. He’s at the hospital now and he’s going to need knee surgery”. “Is his head ok?” I asked. I don’t know why I said that; I never asked that question before. “Yes mam, but you should get over the hospital as soon as possible. Do you have anyone that can drive you?” A few minutes later the phone rang again, and it was from the hospital. The surgeon needed my permission to operate on Eric’s knee, and then someone else needed permission for something else. My head was spinning. “Yes, please do what ever you need to do”, I said.Then I asked if they needed to amputate. I rushed over to our neighbor, banged on the door, feeling totally dizzy. I grabbed my laptop, purse, put the dogs in the backyard and off we went. I was still in working mood so I called my vendor and said that the catalog files would get delayed a day. I was sure I’d be back at work by Monday again. Damn Eric, I thought, having me rush to the hospital when I need to work, just because of a small knee surgery. He should be able to call me from the hospital and tell me where he was. I’d called Eric’s brother-in-law and told him that I’d found Eric. He’s at the hospital for a knee surgery. “He’s at ICU West wing, and he’s a respirator connected to him for breathing support”. All this was at the time just words for me with no meaning, Paul heard the words and he told Marci to get ready to drive down to Portland.

I made it to the front door of ICU; I lifted up the phone to ring for someone to open the door. A voice answered and said that someone would come and meet me shortly, and she asked me to wait there. At the same time a man walked out so the door opened and I walked in. As I walked to the center area of ICU I felt small and completely lost. My husband was here somewhere, but where? A nurse approached me and said that I couldn’t see Eric yet because I wasn’t sterilized. A Social Worker led me into the waiting room and asked me to wait. I was confused, why should I sit here and wait, I wanted to see Eric. The social worker came back with Eric’s nurse and she said something about Eric being serious injured and the rest was a different language and a blur. I was told about Eric’s injuries, that it’s going to take a long time for him to recover and something about permission, paper work, surgery and if I had family in town for support. Eric got hit on the right side when the car hit him. His right lung was bruised really bad, part of the kidney died, and the liver was damaged. The spine was fractured, he had to lay perfectly still in bed to not damage the spine more, his right knee was damaged, broken ribs, a fractured scapula, part of the neck bone chipped off, cuts and bruises all over the body, and then she said that the brain was damaged too, but we didn’t know to what extent. My head was spinning, I felt calm but confused. I thought to myself, “It’s a good thing I walked the dogs this morning because this is gong to take a while”.

I finally saw Eric, it was hectic and everyone was running and talking fast. I walked up to him and looked at his face, there was blood on the side of his face, in his ear, and hair. He had cuts and scrapes all over his body. It looked like he was sleeping. I saw the tubs but I didn’t register the amount of tubes. “Where is his wedding ring? I asked someone and the same person pointed at his backpack in the corner of the room. “All of his belongings are in that bag“, he said. Someone approach me and needed me to sign some papers, and at the same time I was asked to answer some questions about Eric’s medical history, and another doctor wanted to show me an X-ray. I don’t think Eric wanted to donate his organs if he died so I answered no on that question, and he didn’t have food allergies so that was a no as well.

Eric had to get his knee taken care off so I was asked to go home and rest, someone would call me when the surgery was done. I grabbed Eric’s daypack and I noticed that the back was full of dried blood, and the shoulder straps were cut off in the middle. I knew Eric would get really mad when he found out about that; this daypack has traveled around the world with him. He loves this daypack. “I’m going to have to fix this before he wakes up”, I thought. I left the room and drove home. I called Pam and asked her to come down, it was more serious then I’d thought, she was already on her way with Gina and Marci. I called the realtor and canceled our meeting due to a family injury, and he got offended and angry with me. Once I got home I started cleaning the house. I also thought about making dinner. As I was scrubbing the bathroom floor on my knees I thought to myself that I must be in chock, why else would I be cleaning like this? I called the hospital and found out that Eric was back from surgery so I figured it was time for me to head back.

After getting lost a few times I finally made it back to Eric’s room. He had a large white wrap around his knee. I stood there for some minutes and just watched him. “This isn’t that bad, Eric will be back in a few days”, I thought. It’s Eric, he always ends up in trouble but he will be ok, just like all the times before. I had to see the restroom so I walked out in the hallway and that’s right when Pam, Gina and Marci showed up. I warned them that it looks worse then it is. “Eric is sleeping but he will be fine a few days”, I said. Marci started crying as soon as she saw Eric, Gina couldn’t take it and had to leave the room. I was confused, why were they so upset? Eric is going to be ok. Just shortly after more family members showed up. I got ticked off but didn’t tell anyone because I didn’t want to hurt their feelings. But there were no reason for why they had to go through all this trouble to see Eric. Eric’s going to be upset when he founds out about this, I thought. He’s going to be just fine, it’s just going to take a few days. How embarrassing, I thought.

My phone start ringing. It was all over the news that a man named Eric Davidson had been hit by a car and taken to Emanuel Hospital with life threatening injuries. Friends called me to see if it really was MY Eric the news were talking about.

It was later in the day and it was still hectic around us, more papers, questions and someone asked for insurance info. I didn’t have Eric’s insurance card on me so I handed in mine, which caused some major issues later. We were all standing by Eric’s bed, looking down at him. His eyes were closed but I could see his eyes moving back and forth. His arms were tied down in bed for safety. His muscles were working; his fist and legs were tightened. I could see him fighting inside the body; he must have been in excruciating pain. Someone told me that a man named Jeremy Jordan had been arrested for hitting Eric with this car. I thought it was a good thing the accident happened on a Saturday morning, this would give him some time to heal before Monday came and we all had to go back to work. I didn’t know at the time that I was never going back to work at Nemo Design again and that Eric would stay at a hospital setting for six months, and on top of that, never be the same person again.

It’s a year ago today, and so much has happened since. The sun is shining just like last year. And I’m sorry to say that just like I had to wake up alone a year ago, someone else will too tomorrow. This same person will also get a call from the police about their spouse being hurt and rushed over to ICU…. Who ever you are; be strong my friend and have lots of patience, you’ll need it. And please, never give up hope, no matter what the doctor tells you. Never give up hope!


Responses

  1. I’m so sorry for what you’re going through… my aunt was killed (Marilyn Jensen) in August 2005, and I was almost killed about a year ago on my motorcycle. I’ve read about you and your struggles. My wife and I will be there on the Ride of Silence – I’ll be the one in black compression socks on a celeste Bianchi Giro, red, white, & black sidi’s. I’m a broken man today, but I’m getting better every day. I am realizing today how lucky I was not to have gotten hurt worse. I was in west wing ICU with a shattered wrist, broken leg, broken back, broken ribs, internal bleeding, head trauma (my short term memory now is in the 3rd percentile) dislocated fingers, cracked & chipped teeth, partially bitten off tongue, massive blood clot in my leg, and a series of pulmonary emboli in my lungs that almost killed me a second time. And I’m one of the lucky ones… stay strong!

  2. Hi AnnaCarin,
    I am continued to be amazed by your strength and dedication. You inspire me. I recently met a brain injury survivor with a similar story, and she is now, ten years later, a mother and wife. Eric is so unbelievable lucky to have you as his wife. Thank you for the updates, I am always wondering how Eric is doing. You and Eric are always in my thoughts.

  3. You have such amazing strength and patience and thank you so much for updating us on the very long road to recovery. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about you guys or check for an update. You are such an inspiration to so many people!

  4. Hello,

    Late June of this year will be three years since I was hit while riding my bicycle along Hwy 30. I am still “recovering” as is my dear wife, who like you Anna-Carin, is a victim as well.

    If Eric needs another sounding board for what it is like to have and process their own TBI, please let me know.

    The bullet at the top of my current daily checklist is BREATHE.

    Onward!

  5. Not sure if you are both in Seattle yet, if so I hope the transisition & move were as smooth as is possible in the given situation.

    I have been following the blog on & off from the beginning & as a previous spousal caregiver (though in no way a comparison to your situation ACE) I wanted to suggest some resources if you haven’t already looked at these.

    When the Man You Love Is Ill by Dr. Dorree Lynn & Florence Isaacs

    Surviving Your Spouse’s Chronic Illness By Chris McGonigle

    the Well Spouse Assosiation http://www.wellspouse.org/

    Great resources for insight from others living in similar situations. Self-care for the caregiver is the hardest thing, but you seem to be an expert in relishing even the small moments. So glad you got a chance to visit Sweden. My best to both you and Eric and the dogs too!

  6. Hey, just thinking about you two. We hope you have a good transition to the Seattle area. If you are ever back in town stop by and say hi. We would love to see you two.

  7. Just thought I’d pop in and tell you I still think about you both once in a while & hope you’re doing well.

    Cheers!!

    Tami


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