May 19th of this year, I was at an intersection at a red light on my way to a home to get a cake to go to a birthday party. My foot fell off the gas and I came out into the intersection. I got t-boned by a big dodge deisal doing 70 mph. It crushed the front end of my Toyota Camry. The class of the drivers side window shattered, cutting open my face and splitting open my eyelid. My seat was pushed all the way to the passenger seat, through the center console and blood was everywhere. I hit the side pf the car hard and it managed to not roll, going through the street and down an embankment.
My four year old brother was with me at the time, buckled up in his car seat in the middle of the backseat. The backseat wasn't hit at all. The only thing that happened to him was bruising on his chest due to his seatbelt keeping him secure.
When the ambulance showed twenty minutes later, they took their sweet ass time getting to the car because no one could have survived that. People who had pulled over had heard my little brother screaming for me and broke the window to pull him out of the car, keeping him out of the way.
The emts had to jaws of life me out of the vehicle which room another 20 minutes. When they finally reached me, I had a heart beat and so they began to resuscitate me to help me breathe.
I went to UMC trauma ward after they got me free from the vehicle. My brother tried to tell them my name which is Alethia and he said as much but because it's such an odd name they thought he was saying it wrong. So I was marked as Grace Doe at the hospital.
Instead of calling my husband to let him know what had happened, they called my grandparents who then called my mother. She called my husband, asking if he was on the way to the hospital but he didn't know what had happened. So he rushed off to the hospital. They had to identify me because they didn't have my name.
At the hospital, my mom and husband stayed with me day and night. My husbands work gave him two seems off so he could stay with me. The after that was up, he went to work but came after to stay the afternoon. And night while my mom stayed during the day.
The urologist told my husband to pull the plug because my brain injury was so bad and brain injuries don't heal. They took ct scans of my head everyday to keep check on it and then my brain started healing itself which is supposedly impossible.
While it was trying to heal, I would have neuro storms where my body would tense up real bad. Due to the posturing, my muscles locked giving me drop foot. Which is where my feet were completely flat on the bed. You could see my knee, then the top of my foot and it didn't look like I had heels.
Because he doctors didn't see me surviving, I only received physical therapy once a week for about half an hour where they would come on and move my arms and legs. But not nearly enough.
Because of the dropfoot, they put special boots on my feet to return them back to normal but since the nurses had no direction on them they left them on for twelve hours. Do to my drop foot and posturing, the ball of my foot was pressing so hard into the boot that I received pressure ulcers because of it.
My mom took my little brother to the doctor afterwards and he was perfectly fine aside from the slight bruising. But he felt it was his fault because he couldn't help me. No four year old should feel that way.
After two months of my husband wishing horribly bad that I'd wake up, I finally did. His worst fear being that I wouldn't know who he was. At the time, I had a trach in my throat, helping me breathe so I couldn't speak.
They gave me a speaking plug and for a week I wouldn't speak to him. I spoke to the nurses and my mom so he thought I didn't know who he was. But then I started speaking to him and he was so happy.
I was able to remember people but the last year is like gone from my memory. We moved and went on vacation and I don't remember it. Small things are coming back and what I do remember I remember being in the other house before the one were in now but that's just my brain putting things into memories to make them whole.
After actually waking up, I didn't really wake up until I was in the next hospital. Then I could remember what happened the day before and who had came for a visit. I was starting to get physical therapy which was tough and hurt but I was still bed bound.
After a month of that or like half two weeks of truly being awake, I was moved to a rehabilitation facility and hospital. I did physical therapy everyday, two hours a day.
Because of the posturing, my hands were in constant fists almost. Stuck that way because the muscles were so tight. But thanks to stretching, even though it hurt to all hell, my right hand went back to normal. My left, being the impact side was still fingers curled but not as bad as before.
I was able to move my legs which meant I wasn't paralyzed just couldn't walk because of the foot drop. And we did a lot of sitting leg excersizes to stretch and regain my muscles. They even had me stand between the parallel bars which I had to have one person pick me up to my feet while someone else pushed my butt forward because I had no balance and was slightly unable to pull my hips forward. I was also on my tip toes due to the foot drop which hurt immensely. And with the way my musclea had shrank and moved, my thigh muscle had moved under my kneecap causing me tremendous pain which was what made bending and stretching my leg painful, but I breathed through it and am able to bed my knees so much farther then I was able. Still can't touch my butt with my heel but we're working on it.
Two weeks after getting to the rehabilitation facility a case manage from my insurance came to me to inform me that they only pay for fourteen days do I had to leave the next day. She told me that I could go to a nursing home where I would reveive rahab once a week for a little more than half an hour.
She asked where I would like to go and I said home. She was like im who would take care of you? You can't walk. I said that I'd like to go home when I was able to so I needed to stay there. But she said I couldn't so I started to cry. Why the hell was she talking to me? With the brain injury? I told her to call my husband and she asked for his number but I didn't remember it.
My mom came in after she left to me crying and I told her what happened. She was pisses to say the least. She went off to find her and to yell at her for coming to me of all people.
I managed to get another week and and when she came back to talk to my physical therapists about my progress and getting another week she said it was a good chance I'd get it. But I did not.
The day I was to leave, my doctor didn't even know I was leaving. Nor did my therapists, even though the case manager had supposedly told them I was.
That day, on September 5th, I went home. I was unable to really care for myself so my husband called work and even though he had no more paid time off he told them that he needed to stay home to care for me. His GM gave him the time paid, because he'd ask about me and my progress and because my husband is such a hard worker.
We were given a list of physical therapists that took my insurance, so we called and made an appointment. I needed physical for my legs and feet and occupational for my left hand. Although, when I got home, I slept with my fingers entwined to stretch them out. It worked really well, and I had to sleep on my back because I still had my feeding tube in because the last hospital I was at couldn't take ot out. So, I had it for two weeks until it was pulled out. And it was literally pulled out. The end had been pulled free from my stomach when I had been moved in the hospital so it was just chilling in between the tissue. The dr even said yeah that's not in your stomach. Swell. Take it out then, please.
After that, I started therapy. My therapist were brutal and harsh but I need that. My physical therapist gave me a walker and told me to walk. Because my husband was helping me stand at home often, I had more balance and was able to walk, even on my tip toes.
The occupational therapist helped with my hand and shoulder which I had limited motion in because I had broken my left collar bone also. Since I was posturing so bad, it would click and snap during the healing process so loud people could hear it, it healed awkward. Like one side on top of the other slightly.
But with their help, I'm actually able to lift my arm straight up and reach behind my head to put my hair up. I no longer need occupational therapy, being comfortable with the strength and use of my hand, so, last week I was discharged from that.
I had went to a podiatrist to see if he could help with my feet and he said the only fix is surgery. Meaning they'd have to cut open my leg and cut the muscle from my bone. Then screw metal rods into my bones and I'd have to wear a halo cast which is unweight bearing. How would I get to the bathroom?
We said we wanted another opinion but glad we have options. But if I can do anything else, I don't want the surgery. I really don't.
The husband called a foot splint guy and he came out and measured me for splints. He said unless I have bone issues as well, which according to my Xrays my bones are fine, the splints will work. My insurance doesn't cover them but they are giving us a payment plan because they're $300 a month to rent. I get my splints this week.
Being home has been good for me. I've learned how to use the bathroom on my own and I walk a lot with the walker. And I have balance. Only thing left is getting my feet back to normal. I get frustrated and because of the brain injury, it's super easy for me to get emotional but, one day at a time. I got this. And I'll keep you updated.