Monday, July 7, 2008

Life...........and a Level One Trauma........the Details

Last night, when Dave came flying into the house to tell me he'd found our daughter,Lindsay, unconscious next to the Arabian horse barn, the words no sooner left his lips than I asked Dave if he'd dialed 911. I heard him saying that Lindsay was awake and calling for her "Mommy" and that was all he could think about so he'd come to get me. As I headed for the barn, I called out to Dave, "Call 911 now!"

That feeling of dread knowing that some day this day would come when Lindsay was injured by the horses walked with me as I sorted through the possibilities. With Lindsay already having extensive brain trauma from her cancer (that story begins here A Baby Boomer Dreams of Arabian Horses Part 13)
I knew that she was more susceptible to brain trauma than someone who had never experienced a concussion or other brain trauma before. That fact doubled my anxiety about what I might find when I reached the barn.

Behind me I heard Dave coming back out of the house so I turned to confirm he had indeed called 911. Dave wasn't holding a phone and again when queried about placing the call responded in the negative. He couldn't think of anything but Lindsay lying out there alone.

So I reached for my cell phone and dialed those ominous but necessary numbers. Imagine my surprise when they began extensively quizzing me on my location before they even asked me what the emergency was. My poor mind raced with the craziness of the world........I needed help for my daughter not all this red tape.

In hind sight I know because I was calling from a cell they had to have my location to even know where to dispatch my call. But at the time this step just turned the anxiety up volumes for me. My mind raced............I just wanted to know that someone was coming..........

I finally was patched through to an operator who would be in direct contact with the unit being sent to our location. I gave her the location information again followed by the nature of the call. From there I relayed the few details I knew. Lindsay had been knocked unconscious by a horse or horses. She had been out for no more than a few minutes. I had not found her and wouldn't know anymore than that until I reached my daughter.

It's at times like this I can appreciate the fact that I am dissociative. My feelings were pushed back behind some wall so I could do what I had to do. When I reached Lindsay I reassured her that help was on the way. Then checked her pupils for equalness and reactivity as I continued to feed information to the dispatcher on Lindsay's condition.

My daughter was awake but unresponsive. She just lay there crying.........not moving a muscle......just crying.....not even an acknowledgement that she could hear my voice. Her eyes were open and dirt covered her face, so much dirt even the streaming tears weren't making a path.

I also filled the dispatcher in on my daughter's history including the fact that there is no bone in the back lower part of her protection if she was slammed onto the back of her head.

I even had the where with all to pass on the information there was easier access through the barn gate. The dispatcher requested someone go to the road to flag the emergency unit down. Looking at Lindsay and Dave, I reassured both that help was on the way. I would go to the road to flag them down.

I had it together, I looked like I was in control, as some other part of me deep inside crashed and crumbled into a heap just like my husband. This was too much to bear but I pushed myself up to that road opening the gates wide enough to accommodate an emergency vehicle. Then I waited at the road.

I've said before that I am not a patient person. Under circumstances like these, that patience gets even thinner. As I looked down the road I wondered how long I would have to stand there waiting before help come. Looking back at Dave sitting with Lindsay on the ground, my heart could not take much waiting. I couldn't imagine I could hold it together for long with nothing to do but wait.

It was then I heard the siren in the distance. It was not far off. In no time at all I saw the ladder truck turning down our road. I looked directly at them waving my arms. I can't even tell you how I know they acknowledged me but thankfully they did.

I was able to leave my post and race back to be by Lindsay's side. The firemen parked the rig out on the road. . Back with Lindsay and Dave I watched as the crew went to gathering their equipment. Lindsay whimpered softly and Dave was stone silent.

When that unit came towards us it seemed like a swarm of locusts washing over the scene. I don't know how many firemen and women were on that truck but they all descended upon us. Not far behind them came the Medic Unit with it's complete crew as well. They backed that unit right into my pasture as close as they could get to the small paddock where Lindsay lay.

There were flashing lights, radios blaring and several conversations going on all at the same time as the crews communicated between themselves and kept the dispatcher informed. A part of me was looking down on this scene like it was some surreal scene from a movie, while another kept on being the only communicating party related to the daughter.

I was in control, methodically going through the paces of making sure these saviors had all the information they needed to make an accurate assessment of my already brain damaged child. I knew they would have difficulty knowing what they were looking at without understanding the extent of her original trauma. I was the only one in the position to give them that information. I had to hold it together despite the terror that was building up back behind that internal wall.

To be continued................

Part 2
Lindsay was not discharged from the hospital today but she was moved from the intensive care unit. She is dazed and extremely sleeply. I suspect they will not discharge her until those two things clear up.

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  1. "God's Rainbow"

    Rainbows appear after mighty storms,
    When things look their very worst,
    Just when the skies are darkest grey,
    Look for the rainbow first.

    The rainbow is a sign of God's promise,
    That He will guide us through any storm,
    That He will see us through all our troubles,
    No matter what their form.

    When you feel battered by life's storms,
    And you are filled with doubt and dismay;
    Just remember God's rainbow is coming---
    It's only a prayer away.

    ~Poem from an "Old Print Factory Inc." card~

  2. (((((Hugs)))))
    Oh MiKael
    Thinking and praying for you all


  3. Wow MiKael, I had no idea your daughter was so sick. I'm up to Part 15 reading about it and you are an extremely strong person to pull through this. I am glad to hear in advance there is a happy story at the end of all of this, but I cannot pull myself away from reading your story.

  4. Our thoughts are with you Mikael, sounds like things are going ok because she has been transferred out of ICU , Callie works in Childrens ICU and spends most of her time with head trauma and says kids are so resillient . Hope your little baby is home soon with you

    hugs to both you and Lyndsey


  5. I am sitting at my computer bawling. That is just so scary. And I and trained to work in crisis situations so I know exactly what you mean that you were cool on the outside but freaking out in your head. I think it makes things worse later because you don't allow yourself to feel the fear first time around. I hope Lindsay feels better and gets discharged soon.

  6. Glad to hear Lindsay is out of ICU, hope she recovers quickly. Waiting for help to arrive must have been the hardest thing to do, hang in there.

  7. MiKael, you will ALL be in our prayers until we hear Lindsey is home and safe where she belongs.

    911 is almost as much a pain in the rump as it is a help. I am REALLY greatfull that the EMS providers got to you that swiftly.

    You are One Tough Momma. Thats what it takes when one of our babies is hurt!! ;)

    Praying for you!

  8. Oh MiKael. I hope Lindsey is back home by now. Poor girl.

  9. OMG! What a terrifying situation to be in. Sounds like you are a trooper~as mom's we have to keep it together!

    Lindsey,you and your family are in our prayers. Praying for a speedy recovery!

    Glad to hear she is out of ICU. What a blessing!

  10. My heart is racing just reading this story. I am SO glad that you've already told us Lindsay is ok. Yes, she's still in the hospital and dazed, but that's a lot better than lying in the dirt crying. Poor girl! Thank goodness you and Dave were there and that emergency crews weren't far away. How did she fall?

  11. ((HUGS!!)) *wipes tears from eyes*

  12. I hate it when that happens with 911 when you call from a cell. It seems to take forever to get to the right operator.

    It's always amazing how well us Mom's can hold it together. I always collapse later, ok freak out afterwards lol. Tears, hyperventilating, the dizzies, I do it all afterwards. The Drs always ask, "Are we going to need to admit you too?"

    I'm glad she's doing better. I hope she can come home soon. Does she remember what happened at all?

    (((HUGS))) MiKael, hang in there! I'm just an email away if you need any help.

  13. MiKael, sending all best wishes for Lindsay's recovery and return home.

  14. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Lindsay and Dave. When one of our kids hurt we hurt twice as much for them. We would take their place any day of the week to spare them! You are one strong woman Mikael!

  15. I'm glad she's out of ICU. She's a fighter, so stay strong and have faith.