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.