Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Crash

So, it has been a little over eight weeks since Jeff had a normal day at the track turn into a nightmare. I am truly amazed at how quickly he has recovered, but not surprised because of the help of many friends and family that prayed and fasted for a full recovery for him. He is back to normal and has been for the last couple weeks, (besides the fact he still has a good 10 pounds to gain back) I am grateful he is back and doing great.

August 18, 2010 will not be a day that is easily forgotten for me. I was going to Idaho to help at an arenacross race. Jeff and I had decided that I just go and he would stay home and watch the kids because Ashley had softball practice and we didn't want to haul everyone up there and have to try and keep them entertained while I was helping. It was about 12:45 and I was just getting ready to leave. Ashley was going to watch the kids until Jeff got home from the track, so I was just leaving some final instructions before heading out the door. I gave Ash a hug and started walkind out the door when I get the phone call.

"Tami, it's Beau from the track."

"Beau, why are you calling me?" I knew exactly what the call was about. He didn't have to tell me.

"Jeff has crashed."

"I'm leaving right now, I'll be there soon", was my response.

I jumped in the car and headed to the track. I thought I should feel mad, but I wasn't, not one bit. Just worried, I hoped it was nothing really serious. I called my friend, but just got her voicemail. I left a message and also sent her a text. I knew she would understand, her son races dirtbikes and has been injured more than once. It's the life of motocross, it's not a matter of if, but when.

I got to the track in about 7 minutes. I pulled up to where Jeff and his friends were parked. His friends had got him and his bike off the track and he was just sitting in a chair. His face was ashen, not a bit of color in it and he is having a very hard time breathing. Jeff had come up short on a jump and hit the throttle to hopefully correct it, but it didn't work. He flew over the handlebars and fell hard. I wanted to call an ambulance, but he wouldn't let me. His friends had wanted to call an ambulance as well, but he told them "No" too. His friends were worried, I could tell on all of their faces. They tell me to go to IMC in Murray. We somehow manage to get him into the car and I tell Jeff that I'm taking him to the ER. He tells me he would just rather go to the Instacare, I veto that call and figure it's probably faster to go to LDS and it would be more convenient from our house. That didn't end going really well. It ended up taking about a half hour to get to LDS because of construction. I just felt terrible for Jeff and all he could say was, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry."

We finally get there and they get him right back. They get some pain meds in him, then take him to go get xrays. By the time he gets back to the room he's still having a rough time breathing and was in a lot of pain. We had to wait about 30 minutes before the Dr. came in to tell us that he had a "bunch" of broken ribs, a broken collar bone, some of his labs looked a little worrisome the doctor thought there could be some organ damage to the kidney or liver, but his biggest concern was the pneumothorax. Jeff's lung had been punctured most likely by one of the broken ribs and he needed to get a chest tube inserted before his lung completely collapsed. LDS hospital was no longer a trauma hospital, so they were going to have to transfer him by ambulance to IMC in Murray. I really wish I would have listened to his friends, would have saved us a lot of time and probably would have saved Jeff from a lot of pain. By the time we had gotten to the hospital and by the time the ambulance had arrived to transport him, it had been about 3 hours. I had felt pretty calm for the most part, but did break down out in the waiting room a bit after the Dr. shared his news with us. I did feel a little better because it didn't seem like the ER was in a huge hurray to get Jeff to IMC. We waited about an hour and a half for the ambulance to show up. Once the EMT's got there, the shock from the accident had definitely worn off and Jeff was in terrible pain. When the EMT's put the neck brace on Jeff and then tried to get him on the gurney, it was like they were torturing him. It was horrible. Jeff was pass the groaning and swearing, the screaming started and then the tears. Jeff never cries and it was horrible to have to witness and not be able to do a thing about it. Jeff's parents had made it by then and unfortunately had to witness it as well. All three of us were pretty upset. It finally to 12mg of morphine to get Jeff settled enough get him on the gurney. Jeff wanted me to go with him in the ambulance, so Jeff's mom took car of my car. They also went and picked up the kids and took them so we didn't have to worry about them. I'm sure it was so hard for them to be away from Jeff, but I'm so grateful they took that worry away for me. The morphine still wasn't strong enough to knock Jeff completely out, but was able to rest a bit on the ride.

Twenty minutes later, we make it to IMC. They take Jeff into the trauma wing and as we are walking down the hall, I see about 12 doctors, fully robed, with masks and gloves just waiting outside the door to one of the rooms.

"Are you waiting for us?" I didn't realize I had said it outloud.

"Is this Jeff Harris? Yes, we're waiting for him." The EMT's wheeled Jeff into the room and all of those waiting doctors swarmed in on him. I had to sit down, I got really light headed, it hit me, things were bad.

I sat outside the room and tried to gather my thoughts, but I was scared. A girl came over to me and introduced herself as a social worker. She explained that it was all standard procedure with IMC being a trauma center. Normally family members aren't with patients when they are brought in so they don't see what happens initially. Doctors are called from every specialty so they can determine the injuries of the patient and treat ASAP. Thank goodness for that social worker, she calmed me immediately. I overheard a doctor order CT scans, but then also said they needed to get the chest tube in right away. I knew I had been strong enough, I knew there was no way I could be around when they did that. I knew Jeff would be awake when they inserted it and I didn't want to be around when it happened. I know, I should have been stronger, however I didn't want them to have another patient on their hands when I passed out. I excused myself and asked directions to the cafeteria. I realized it was 6:30 and I hadn't eaten since breakfast.

I didn't like not knowing. It's hard not being in control. So many things were swirling in my mind. I could only sit and wait, there were no other options. My phone had been ringing off the hook. News definitely travels fast. Maybe because I posted a little note about being with my broken honey in the ER on facebook. Regardless, people were worried, people cared. I already had gotten a call from my visiting teacher asking what she could do to help. Anyway, I returned some calls and was grateful to be able to do something while I waited. It was about an hour later before they let me back into the room, he had his chest tube in and was calm. He still felt pain quite a bit, but was handling it well. The doctor let us know that Jeff had broken at least 8 ribs that he could see, had a broken collar bone, and a partially collapsed lung. The labs weren't a concern anymore, but Jeff would definitely be spending some time in the hospital.

1 comment:

Jeppson's said...

Holy crap.... So glad to here he is doing Well. Now he owes you a great Vaction for all this worry:)