My first broken bone is a good excuse to get back into the blogging, no? I thought so, too. I believe many of you already know how it happened, but just in case here is the short version: I got charged by an out-of-control dog at the dog park, it knocked me into the air, I came down really hard, and now I have a compression fracture in my L-1 vertebra. And in case you are wondering, it sucks.
When this initially happened I had many thoughts in quick succession: Why did that dog charge me? I like dogs, dogs like me, why didn’t that dog like me? How embarrassing to get knocked over at the park. Man, this hurts. I need to get up now and walk it off. Okay, I can’t get up just yet, I’ll just roll over. Wow, this really hurts. Oh shit, we are probably going to have to go straight home and Cooper hasn’t even had a chance to play yet. Those people are asking me if I’m okay, am I okay? No, nope, I don’t think I’m okay. Man, this is really, really starting to hurt bad. Where’s Cooper? Someone get Cooper. Okay, the pain is getting worse, I can’t move. I need to call Brian. Someone needs to call an ambulance. Did someone get Cooper? Are his ears back or are they up? They’re back? Oh no. Ow. Ow. OW. OW.
At the ER they discovered that I had a compression fracture in my L-1, so I had to be transferred to another hospital, the trauma center, where the neurosurgeons are. I narrowly avoided having my clothes cut off me when I arrived at the trauma center (I was like, “Please! I like these pants and it’s so hard to find clothes that fit!”). I got a catheter (sucky, but not as sucky as it sounds). I spent one night in the 24-hr observation unit, and then I moved into the penthouse suite for another few nights. “Penthouse suite” is code for “a corner room up in the 9th floor neurology unit,” and I’m willing to bet it was the nicest hospital room I’ll ever see. I was happy to have my own room (all the rooms on that floor are private, wow!) and lots of windows. I couldn’t see anything out the windows except sky because I had to lay down in bed, but I was grateful for the light. The staff were very friendly. The food was horrible. Every time they brought me a meal I felt like someone was trying to kill me.
Brian brought Dylan to visit me everyday for a couple of hours, and it was heartbreaking. After being jacked up on fentanyl, hydromorphone (Dilaudid is the brand name, and this wonder drug that totally eliminated my appendicitis pain a few years ago just barely took the edge off my broken back pain. Breaking your back hurts worse than having appendicitis, just FYI), and morphine I couldn’t breastfeed Dylan. It was so, so sad to see my beautiful baby get hungry and then watch him drink a bottle instead of cuddling up in my arms to nurse. Being separated from Dylan was by far the worst part of the hospital stay. I cried every day when they left, it was just so sad to see them walk out and know that I had to spend another night alone in the hospital, apart from my baby.
While this whole situation generally just sucks in a million ways, I have tried my hardest to stay positive. Here are some of the silver lining thoughts I’ve been cycling through my brain in an effort to prevent lots of feeling sorry for myself: Although it is going to take a long time, I will most likely make a full recovery. It’s a good thing I wasn’t holding Dylan when I got run down. Thank God it was me and not Cooper who got hurt. It’s good that Brian had this opportunity to bond with Dylan (seriously, those two are like, tight), because he wouldn’t have with me around; he is an even more amazing dad than before. I’m so lucky I didn’t have a spinal cord injury or head injury. I’m so lucky I have such wonderful friends and family who have called, emailed, sent flowers, and in the case of Brian’s mom and my dad, flown down here to help while we line up long-term assistance since my injury has left me unable to care for Dylan. I’d rather have a broken back and have so many great people in my life than be healthy and lonely and unloved. Also, thank God we are not in Seattle! Yes, I’d rather have a broken back in Austin than a healthy back in Seattle. Who knows, if we had stayed there I might’ve died from depression by now anyway!
So, I’m just trying to stay focused on the positive thoughts and the day-to-day of recovering. This means lots of nursing Dylan (still working on getting my milk supply back since it dropped while I was wasting away in the hospital, despite frequent pumping), eating right (and a lot!), taking lots of supplements to encourage the bone to rebuild, and of course following the doctor’s orders about wearing my back brace and restricting my movement and activity. Time seems to be passing very slowly now, it feels like I’ll never be out of the brace and strong enough to hold Dylan again, but I know that eventually I will. I am looking forward to the day when my body barely has a memory of this incident and I feel stronger and more vibrant than ever!