Grieving the loss of me

by Terri
(Airdrie Alberta Canada)

A few days after the accident

A few days after the accident

On December 9th 2009 I was on my way to work, in my Suzuki sidekick, and skidded on ice, sliding from the merging lane of the southbound lanes to the middle northbound lane, where I hit a semi truck which spit me back out to the median. I hit the truck so hard I knocked the tires off the axle, popped 3 tires and took two with me when it spit me out.

It took many people to rescue me from my vehicle, two good Samaritans, many paramedics and a rescue copter. It took about 45 mins to get me out of the vehicle. I was conscious the whole time.

When I arrived at the hospital, they called my husband and after he arrived I was put to sleep for my x-rays, surgeries and tests. I dislocated my left ankle, which they repaired and put three screws in; broke both femurs, which they had to screw a plate to each one; damaged my knees, which they had to clean out (surgically); broke my right hip, which they had to put a large pin into; broke the front and back of my pelvis, forcing them to put a plate on the front and a large screw in the back; broke 6-7 ribs; bruised both my lungs which meant I had to have breathing/feeding tubes for 13 days; broke a bone at the base of my skull, which meant I had to wear a neck brace for 13 weeks; blew out my right eye socket. forcing a plastic surgeon to piece it back together and put a plastic shield in to hold it. I was in hospital for 5 weeks, in rehabilitation for 13 weeks, but finally came home April 1st 2010.

While in the hospital I was so drugged I did not have a mind to process what my situation was. When I was transferred to the rehab, I finally started to process my predicament and stayed in a happy mood, but fell apart very easy. I would drop a book and cry, sit with a friend and laugh then cry myself to sleep. I was waiting for the nightmare to stop, for someone to wake me up.

When I came home it all hit me how bad things really were. I felt angry, stressed and like I was a burden despite being told I was not. No one visited me, so I felt no one cared. I tried to piece things together because I had no memory of the accident, so I met the two good Samaritans, the first responding officer and the helicopter pilots and parametric. Thanks to them I am alive and am able to understand what happened.

On my 34th birthday, July 6th, I was talking to a councilor on the phone who explained that the reason I was still hurt, angry and feeling so alone is because I am in the grieving process...I was so surprised I couldn't speak.

It took a few days for me to see what she meant. I had lost my freedom, independence and the old me. I was too angry to see what I was angry for. That finally gave me the strength to process what my situation was. I would have no permanent injuries, but I would always have the scars and always be different, but why was that a bad thing?

Yes the accident was bad and the injuries were bad, but not as bad as they could have been. I am still working on getting my strength back but I will never be the old me, I am a new person with a new perspective on life. I have two great kids and an awesome husband that remembers the old me, but I hope to prove to them I am a new and better me!

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Dec 07, 2013
Another update
by: Terri

It has almost been 4 years. Over 20 broken bones, 10 surgeries and years of healing... I am a walking/talking Miracle. I have a big limp when I dont use a cane, but other than that I am living. 4X4ing, working, traveling, driving, and trying to live to the fullest!

My daughter is 20, my son is 10, my hubby and I are 37 and we are all doing really well!

Thank you for reading and thank you for taking a moment to reflect!

Mar 15, 2011
An update
by: Terri

On February 17th 2011 I had surgery on My left femur to repair it due to it not healing on its own. I worked damn hard to get to a point that I could walk with canes and even one cane on occasion, now I'm feather weight bearing only and back in a wheelchair for 2 months. I keep being told that I should be glad its not as bad as last time, I should be happy im almost done and I should not be so angry. But I am angry, I am disappointed and I am sad that I am still stuck, 15 months later, waiting to get better.
I am excited I may be done in a few months and can move on, but worried it wont happen. I am waiting for something else to come up. I so just want to move on, close this chapter of my life and be able to say I was once in a car accident and am a survivor. Im just tired of this, Its been 15 long months...

Feb 22, 2011
Tears of Joy, Pain & Grattitude To Be Alive
by: Donkey Whisperer

Hello,

I found your site just now and tears are running down my face as I feel everything you wrote. On April 13, 2010 I was riding as a passenger with my GOD mother when she ran a stop sign we have no idea why. A semi truck carrying a full load of cow poop slammed into my side of the passenger door.

I still fight to get well and I am grateful to be alive but I grieve to be the person I was; pain free and able to ride my horse and Mammoth donkey. Everything I do now is hard and painful and pain is unbearable every day I thank GOD to be alive and for my outstanding husband and all the angels (human medical) people who have helped me and continue to help me heal.

My injuries were
8 broken ribs some in four places
collapsed lung
Internal bleeding - 4 tubes to remove blood placed in between broken ribs
grade v kidney tear - stint installed
pelvis collapsed 3 large screws installed
broken collar bone
sprained right foot
brain injury worried I would have short term memory loss or inability to think speak
More stuff im sure
pain in lower back daily, feet go numb and lower back pain unbearable
Rib pain is finally gone

I believe GOD wants us to reach out and share the miracles he creates and you received a miracle of life too!

GOD bless you and your family, two and four legs!

http://www.donkeywhisperer.com

Aug 03, 2010
KEEP SMILING YOU ARE WORTH IT!!!!!!
by: DIANE

THE OLD YOU WAS A GREAT PERSON, ALWAYS SMILING WHEN YOU CAME BY YOUR DADS WORK. IF THE NEW YOU IS GOING TO BE BETTER THAN THE OLD YOU, YOU ARE GOING TO BE ONE AWESOME PERSON WITH A SUPER HUSBAND AND KIDS. WHEN YOU ARE FEELING DOWN, REACH OUT AND TALK WITH ONE OF US.

YOU SURVIVED THAT ACCIDENT FOR A REASON, TO TEACH THE REST OF US THAT LIFE IS WORTH LIVING AND TO SHOW YOU JUST HOW MANY PEOPLE REALLY CARE ABOUT YOU, EVEN WHEN YOU THINK YOU ARE ALONE, WE ARE THERE THINKING GREAT THOUGHTS ABOUT YOU. WE JUST NEED TO REMEMBER TO TELL YOU MORE OFTEN.
KEEP SMILING WONDERFUL PERSON.

Aug 02, 2010
My Hero
by: Terri's Mom

You are my hero!!! I am so proud that you have continued to fight to overcome all of this. You have from the instant the accident occurred proven your will to survive against all odds. I also feel your sadness at what you have lost but I thank everyday that I still have you in my life. I know it has been a struggle for you to come back from all these injuries but you are an amazing strong determined woman and should be proud of who you are!! I love you. Your Dad and I are very proud of you!

Aug 02, 2010
You are a survivor!!
by: Your Sister!

Terri, Mine Pissy, you are one of the most courageous, strongest, most beautiful women I've ever had the pleasure to know and love! You are an inspiration!! Your courage through this whole thing has given many people, including myself, a clearer out-look on life!

Terri, you chose to live that day! You've made a conscious choice to live everyday. You NEVER ONCE gave up...For that and so much more, you're my hero!

I love you with all my heart and soul and will be forever grateful you're Mine Pissy!!

Aug 01, 2010
Terri
by: Cathy & Stephen

Terri, we are so proud of you with the strength you have shown in your recovery. You have inspired so many people including myself (Cathy) in my recovery. Whenever I felt sorry for myself, I would go on facebook and check up on you. I would think, if Terri can do it, so can I. Thank you for your updates and progress reports. Continue to celebrate the new you. You deserve it dear. Love you girl.

Aug 01, 2010
prayers
by: Anonymous

My thoughts and prayer are with you.

Jul 31, 2010
Survival
by: Michele

Thank you for sharing you story. My niece went through a life changing auto accident and to this day she doesn't remember anything between the time she left my parents house to waking up in the hospital 3 hours later. The police were talkng with her at the scene. She has no memory of the accident or how she was injured. This was 4 years ago. We are blessed that she lived. Take it one day at a time and embrace your new life with the changes. Prayers are going out to you for peace.

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