Accident-Prone Auntie Em
Posted by auntiem10 on May 30, 2011
I have been in the hospital for the past five days. Thankfully, it has nothing to do with our babies! They are growing and doing very well.
Last Wednesday, I was showering before work as usual. I slipped on a small amount of body soap, my injured knee gave out on me, and the rest is history. I fell onto both knees, dislocating BOTH of them in the process, and then helplessly flopped onto my belly, half in and half out of the shower. My belly was resting on the sharp metal grooves that hold our shower doors in place, and all I could think was that I would miscarry our babies. Thank goodness my husband was home, and he came running when he heard my screams. My right shoulder was also injured, so I was unable to drag myself out of the shower. The hubby ran to call an ambulance, and firemen/paramedics arrived a short time later. I was totally naked from being in the shower, but my hubby covered me with a blanket. The firemen and paramedics worked together to get me out of the shower and onto the stretcher. It was honestly one of the most excruciating 15 minutes of my life, and not knowing whether our babies were okay made it a billion times worse.
At the hospital, the staff took x-rays. While we were waiting for the radiologist’s report, the freaking tornado sirens in our city were sounding. I seriously thought I was in the middle of a nightmare! I’m sure many of you read about the devastation in Joplin, Missouri–not all that far from where I live–so the sirens were extra scary. The hospital residents were evacuated into hallways, but we were in a concrete emergency bay, and the decision was made that we were safe and could stay put. I was relieved when the sirens were turned off, but that sense of relief faded when the doctor returned with the news about my x-rays.
I broke THREE bones–my fibula bone in my left ankle, my femur bone in my left leg, and my humerus in my right shoulder. Not to mention the fact that my right kneecap was swollen from the dislocation, and my left kneecap was still dislocated. No wonder I was unable to drag myself out of the shower! A doppler ultrasound found two strong heartbeats, so that was overwhelmingly wonderful, but we did not know if one or both of our babies may have suffered trauma in this accident. The decision was quickly made to transfer me to the hospital where my perinatologist’s office is located so that the babies could receive the best possible care. After a slight mishap during which I was transferred to the wrong hospital (and then loaded back up in the ambulance and taken to the correct hospital), I got settled into my room. And I have been here ever since.
After an MRI and another series of x-rays, the orthopedic surgerons determined that I needed surgery on my left leg. First, though, we had an in-depth ultrasound to look at our babies. Thank God, they looked absolutely wonderful. No evidence of fractures or bowed limbs, and a blood test that checked whether fetal blood had spilled into my blood (which sometimes happens in a trauma) was negative. Thank you, Jesus. Every day I’ve been here, we’ve had either an ultrasound or at the very least, a doppler, and the heartbeats have continued to be nice and healthy in the 150+ range. There is an entire team of OBs and perinatologists paying close attention to our twins, and they are all very pleased.
So on Saturday morning, our babies made it through their first surgery. My kneecap was realigned, bone fragments were removed, and torn tissue/ligaments/tendons were cleaned up. I was wheeled into the OR just after listening to our babies’ heartbeats on the doppler, and I woke up in recovery to our babies looking healthy on the ultrasound screen. Thank goodness, thank goodness, thank goodness.
I need more surgeries someday, but not while pregnant or while our babies are completely dependent on us. My shoulder is only going to heal up to a point, but because I broke off a chunk of it, it’ll never be 100% right without surgery. Also, it’s been determined that my knees are in terrible shape and I need quite a major surgery on both knees to realign my entire leg. This involves breaking both of my femurs and will require a very lengthy recovery. OUCH. The surgery I had on Saturday will hold me over until this more major surgery, but I will have to be more careful with my knees until then. Ugh.
The recovery for this surgery may last up until our babies make it into the world, so I have my work cut out for me over the next few months! I’ll probably be released from the hospital in the next few days, when I can transfer from a bed to a wheelchair. I can’t really bear weight on crutches or a walker until my broken shoulder heals, so I’m pretty immobile currently. It’s going to be a rough immediate future, especially since my belly will just be growing bigger as I go through physical therapy and struggle to get well. But above everything else, I am just so utterly thankful that our twins made it through this ordeal. We are very, very fortunate.