Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas 2014

Christmas was a bit unorthodox.

As a matter of fact, there was a night that we were leaving the hospital, trying to beat the clock to get home for call, that Maddox asked how Santa was going to know what they wanted this year, since we hadn't seen him.
In all years past, our visit to Santa has been in the middle of the day at Bass Pro... free, no waits, and the same jolly/ friendly fella from the year previous.
With Maddox being in school however, family dates in the middle day are now extinct.
Santa came to Maddox's school but the flu kept us away that day.
So Lance decided that we could detour a bit and "run by" the mall for a pic.
It was the eve of Christmas eve and apparently "dog hour" too so the line wrapped through the Christmas tower, along side the rentable strollers, past the play area, and down to the ice-cream kiosk.
Over and over, we heard the people with the dogs complain that there were kids in the "dog hour" but we ignored them... and I bit my tongue.
Mostly because I was busy hopping in and out of line-- slipping into shoe stores-- to call patients back... and also because it seemed too obvious to to tell them that their dog actually had no idea that Christmas was 24 hours away-- however my kids did.
An hour and a half later, we made it to Santa...
who was the type of guy I'd rather my kids not lap upon... and certainly not for $30.
But what do you do?
We had invested 90 minutes of our lives before we even laid eyes upon the man and no where had I seen that there was only one $30 package to choose from.  Take it or leave it.
So we took it...
and they took our $30...
and Santa didn't even ask them what they wanted.
Luckily the boys each had only one request, so they ran back over to tell him and the camera guy snapped a pic.
$30 well spent.

We spent Christmas Eve at Nana's, with presents, great food and mimosas.
We had 4 places that we were suppose to be at that day, but sometimes being an adult is getting to say, "we are doing the best we can..." and that's what we did.

We swung out to the hospital after Nana's.
The kids still have not been able to go back in Dave's room, so Lance and I rotate time in the waiting room --and I can not praise them enough.
As we were leaving the hospital that night, my sister spotted Santa and Mrs Clause coming out of the parking garage.
They came over to the cars and talked to the boys.
They told them how proud of them that he was and how much they had grown since last year.
He dug into his sack and pulled them each out a Hotwheels Car and Mrs Clause gave them each a candy cane.
Maddox asked them where they parked the sleigh and B was shocked that he still gave him a toy since he had been so rude to our elf.
(he hated when she would land on his toys so he would dump her off without touching her-- as to not steal her magic for Maddox, but still keep her grubby hands off his junk!)

The ride home was pretty magical.
Maddox spotted bright lights with red nosed the entire ride home.
He saw him land on Cook Children's Hospital, and he wanted to get home quick since he knew he was already in Texas.

The real Santa dozed off sometime before midnight and Mrs Clause had hell getting him back up.
I miss the days where a waking child wouldn't have been a complete disaster because my heart raced with the panic of a burglar while we worked our magic.
I hung a bell on his door, moved a huge toy in the doorway and hopped back and forth from the living room to the hall while holding my breath and tiptoeing with every move.
Lance thought he was going to put the basketball goal together for a surprise reveal, then realized there was too many pieces, then realized he couldn't fit it all back in the box without it looking like we bought it at a garage sale, so he settled for a backboard and rim.

I always feel weird about posting our kids' Christmas presents.
Guilty, or embarrassed kind of, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
Reality is that we don't even spend a fraction of what the majority of our friends do...
but I still hate knowing that mine got more than they needed when many woke up that day to none.

With that said, Christmas morning was as magical as I could have hoped.
Maddox ran in, immediately ranting about every toy of Beckham's.
"Paw Patrol! Playdough! Nerf gun! Beckham is going to love this!!"
I moved him over to his section where he held back his real feelings of disappointment when he whispered, "Momma, Santa accidentally brought the wrong Skylanders, but I still love it."  (it was the one for an Xbox rather than the one for the tablet)
I promised that we could get it fixed and he went on to look at his other gifts...

We woke Beckham and they looked through their stockings and then opened their 3 outfits from us.
Lance said that he thought there was another present missing from us and pulled out a final gift to open together.

Maddox has mentioned over and over that he wanted to spend his money on an Xbox but I have swept the issue away, hating for him to spend such a big chunk of his savings on that.
When the Black Friday ads came out and I saw that Walmart was going to have them half off, I started asking him if he wanted to ask Santa for it.
He didn't.
He said it was too expensive so he would ask for the Skylanders set to play on our iPad.
He got Skyanders and Disney Infinity both (another Black Friday steal) and a Christmas Miracle when Lance and I came through with the Xbox!!

It was such an awesome moment of pure joy!!  I am glad we did it!!

Maddox bought each of us a gift from the Santa's Workshop at school, and we got to open our presents from him too.
A necklace for me.
A tape measure for Lance that reads DAD.
And a sticky guy for B.

My sister came over for breakfast and to play with the new toys and games.

For the first time in my life, we had no other place to go that day, so we spent the entire day in out pajamas, playing games-- Maddox showing us ball handling skills that we had no idea he even knew-- and breaking in the Xbox.

We have been back to the hospital twice since Christmas.
My kids got to play with their cousins so they were happy as clams.

Today is my dad's birthday.
We called and wished him a happy day and he said he was having one indeed.

David was placed in the care of an infectious disease doctor today, and had a pic line placed to help fight his infection more aggressively. 
The good news worth sharing is that he can wiggle more fingers today and has not had fever in 24 hours.
The bad news is that he is still producing infection despite IV antibiotics and antibiotic pearls placed directly in the wound and we still aren't sure if he will be released to Home Health to fight the infection and then bring him back to reattach the muscles and ligaments--
or do the repairs first, and release him to home after.

There is still a long road ahead.

And once they both come home,
We will have Christmas at Gigi's... pic line, traction and all! 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Tacky Christmas 2014

Saturday, December 20, 2014
We had our 6th annual tacky Christmas party.
It might have been the fifth-- because I think we missed a year-- but you get the idea.

I think we had 30 attendees this year, which was our biggest turn out yet.
We had food and drinks and a bonfire and of course, the annual white elephant gift exchange.
We set mom's vintage trailer up as a "photo booth", and took pictures out front.
Like all of the previous years, we laughed-- we told funny stories-- we embarrassed ourselves in the game-- and we winded it down about 1:00am.

Most of the party had left for the night and us girls were picking up the kitchen when we heard the Rangers start up.
Mom said, "Holly, they're getting on the Rangers."  I ignored her.  "Holly, you need to tell them that they don't need to be driving those Rangers."
"Mom, they're grown men... what do you think I can do about it?"  (the sentence that would soon haunt me.)
Mom kept sweeping and we kept talking, and she slipped out the back door to grab something outside.
From inside the house, we heard a scream.
Allison said, "was that mom?" and we all shuffled outside to see what was going on.

I don't remember much in detail because that's how my body handles stress.  But as I rounded the corner, I remember seeing David standing facing our friend Mark-- with Mark's arms underneath his shoulders to hold him up and Dave's head against Mark's.
Just beyond them was the Ranger with the headlights pointing straight up to the sky.

I remember screaming and cussing and grabbing my phone to call 911--
but then dropping my phone before they answered because I saw the exposed tissue, bone, and blood pouring out as if it were a faucet on a slow drip.

Mom was screaming, and people were running, and David was still calmly talking but his voice was faint and he kept closing his eyes.  I remember Mark asking him questions unrelated to the wreck and I yelled for a chair to sit him down.  David calmly gave orders, telling me to stop the blood, so I took my flannel shirt off to tie around the wound as a tourniquet.
Apparently I screamed at Wendy at one point to grab a sleeve and help me pull tighter... apparently I called a girl that I had never met before that night a name... apparently Wendy screamed in my face for me to chill out.... I yelled for my sister, just needing to know where she was... but I don't remember any of that.

Mom stayed on the phone with 911, and gave directions.

I keep my phone number blocked, because I take call so often-- however, I have done it for so long, most of my friends and family read "unknown" and "Holly" as one in the same.
I have no idea how, but 911 was still able to trace my call back to me and called me back.

I could tell David was getting shocky, as he started shaking all over, and it was hard to differentiate whether he was about to go out or if he just didn't want my mom to hear him so he kept saying my name to come close so he could direct orders in my ear... "its not tight enough..." so I took off my skirt and tied it on top of my shirt.  "the feeling is gone in my pinky and ring finger.... my middle finger is gone now too."  His color looked horrible and his voice was so calm and quiet that I honestly felt that we were going to lose him-- less from the gnarly wound-- but more the amount of blood loss.  I don't remember anyone crying-- not even mom... but I do remember panic, (specifically from us two) and everything being said in a scream.  I also remember thinking that Mark was so calm and in control and sober, despite his night with Fireball, directing everyone and keeping David focused on staying awake...  I also remember being embarrassed that all of this was happening in front of Lance's co-workers whom I didn't even know... and wanting Allison gone-- because sometimes in my head, she's still 8.

Wendy and I jumped in mom's car and headed down to try and meet the ambulance.
Lance and his friend Tyler were on Lance's Ranger at the end of the drive way to open the gate for them, and I cursed a crazy fury on him-- which led him not talking to me for 3 days following.

Fire trucks, and police cars, and first responders came first...
And soon behind them were the medics.
Wendy and I led them back to the house, where we found David out of his camping chair and sitting on the back of the fire truck.
I heard the fireman tell him that they wanted to fly him out but there was too much fog and then he immediately followed that statement up with, "you think you can walk to the truck?"
In the manner of how I handled everything post the accident, I F'bombed him but no one seemed to notice.  Careflight or walk?!?!  How are those two in the same sentence?!
In hindsight, I was running around in a little girl's tshirt, panty hose, boots, and screaming and cussing with every step... they had probably tuned me out by this point.
I also found out, after all of this, that Dave had just walked into the house to go the bathroom... not because anyone thought it was a good idea-- but because he was going to try and get there with or without them, so Mark got him there.

Mom and Allison and I hopped in the car to follow the truck.
In Rhome they kicked it up to 80 with lights and sirens.
None of us talked, except when they would stand up in the truck and mom would ask if we could see what was happening.
My phone rang, just as we went through Fossil Creek, and it was the Medic from inside the truck.  He told me that Dave was now stable and there was a trauma team waiting for us at JPS but wanted to warn us because it would be crazy.
Apparently that was another order from David, knowing we'd be worried-- but knowing better to call me over mom.

We made it to the hospital and dropped mom off at the door.
They moved us to a trauma waiting room and sent a chaplain in to update us.
Around 4:00, they let mom go back.
He had no pain meds, and she said a team of 8 doctors came in to reset his bone.  Apparently he went out at some point during this, and floored his oxygen.
Allison and I were moved out of our private waiting room back into the JPS ER waiting area, for a super long night, leaned against each other.
As soon as we dozed off the first time, the family who took our room were given apparent fatal news.  A crew of about 20 people started screaming and falling down and jumping and wailing in unison-- and Al and I were both jolted awake again and nervous.
From there, our dozings were mostly interrupted by officers knocking my feet to ground, thinking that we were ER squatters, asking me if my ride was there yet, quizzing to see if I actually knew a patient there, etc.
It almost got funny, because it was probably 6 different times--
I had thrown a pair of sweats over my tights, and traded my booties for Converse, but my scarf that I kept wrapping around my head to keep from touching the chair, plus my XL camo jacket gave the wrong impression.
I finally caught my reflection, and could only laugh.

By 8:00, they let Allison and I go back.
He was thrashing and moaning in pain, still without meds-- so we left.

Back home, Lance told me that the people who were still there-- swept, mopped, scrubbed blood, folded laundry and washed the rugs.  Half of them had never met my parents before that night.  I thought that was pretty incredible.

Allison and I went home to sleep a few hours and then we picked up my kids from my dad and Julie and went back.
The next day, Lance took us back to show us how it happened.  A play by play of where they were, the way David looked climbing out and Mark too-- who was a passenger when they rolled.

Mark stopped by the house on the 22nd, his birthday.
He was bruised and very sore-- but thankfully not hurt very bad.

Lance didn't take it easy, since he was right there-- and David isn't only his FIL... he's one of his best friends.
Every time he closed his eyes, the wreck played again-- and he admitted later that he honestly feared the worst.
Unfortunately, it took us reverting back to teenagers for a few days who barked with every breath, to finally get that out.

Allison finally cried when we broke the news to my kids.  I am made of chaos and she is directly the opposite, but seeing Beckham shake his head no in panic, did her in.

Mom is exhausted.  And hungrier than she'll admit.  She hasn't left but twice-- to run down the road to my Aunt Missy's and shower and comes right back... therefore she hasn't slept a solid sleep since last Friday and will probably never pull into a McDonalds again once this is all over.  She also got news that her dad has a mass on his lung, so her emotional scale has officially tipped.

My kids rolled with the punches, sitting in waiting rooms and settling for Face time since they're too young to go back.  Last night, leaving the hospital, they were even surprised with a visit from Santa and Mrs clause-- a little toy-- and some kind words... which totally made their Christmas Eve night!  We were able to follow flashing red lights in the sky, the entire drive home-- with play by play of his stops.

Dave has gone into surgery 3 times already, but so far only to clean and debris the wound.  He is still in severe pain (as to be expected) and runs fevers up to 103.  They ruled out a blood clot but are monitoring close for infection.
His oxygen bottoms out when he sleeps, so he is staying on oxygen... and mom is staying on monitor watch. 

There are still a few surgeries ahead for David, as they try to reattach all of his muscles and ligaments, and move a nerve from the back to the front.
From what mom told me, he is missing a part of his elbow that can't be man-made, so they do not anticipate that he will ever be able to straighten the arm again, and are hoping for 30% mobility after physical therapy... and these pins will probably stay in for the next 3 months.

he has a long road ahead...
But we are just thankful he's alive.