You may have noticed my absence over the past two weeks here on Three Ladies, or maybe not and I’m just flattering myself. Either way, I thought it would be good to explain where I’ve been. I went home to my parents’ house in Kentucky for Easter and threw myself and my six month old daughter down the stairs. No really, I did.
Brian, Lilly and I went home to visit our families over the Easter weekend. Brian had to be back to work on Monday, so he came back home to Tennessee on Sunday night but since Steph and her family were visiting for the week from Texas, I decided for Lilly and I to stay behind until Tuesday so we could get in some more family time. Lilly and I had a great Monday hanging out with the family. I was planning to leave to come home on Tuesday. That was not to happen.
On Tuesday morning, Lilly woke up around 7:00 a.m. Since I knew my mom would be leaving for work soon and we wouldn’t see her anymore for the visit, I wanted to be sure to come downstairs to see her and start our day early. I carried Lilly down the hall of my parents upstairs. As I passed the room where Steph was staying, she opened the door carrying Declan. She was ready to come downstairs to start her day, too. So downstairs we went, I in front of her, each carrying our babies.
Half way down the stairs I felt my footing slip. My first thought, was, “Oh God, no!” I was carrying my fragile 6 month old baby and I instantly knew I had to move quickly to protect her. So I quickly shifted her to the front of my chest and held her body tight against me. I knew I’d be feeling the impact soon. When I hit, my head bounced off the bottom step and I could feel myself passing out and knew that when I did I wouldn’t be able to hold on to the baby anymore. I shouted to Steph, “Get Lilly!” and then there was just darkness.
When I regained consciousness the first sounds I heard were Lilly’s cries. I just knew I had hurt her badly. I figured I’d broken her arm or done even worse. Finally my vision cleared enough to see and I could see Steph standing over me holding her. My first words were really more like weakened screams. I kept asking over and over in my confusion, “Is Lilly ok?” My whole body hurt and I was very confused, but before I could succumb to that I had to know that Lilly was ok. After many pleads to know she was ok, and much reassurance that she was, she finally smiled and I understood that the cries I woke up to hear was just her fear from the fall. My next request was for Brian. But he was in Tennessee and Steph would have to call and break the news to him. This was all in a span of maybe a minute.
To say I was in rough shape would be an understatement. My mom and sister recount the event by saying that my eyes were literally going in opposite directions. My head was pounding. The world was spinning. My ears were ringing. I was confused. I kept asking over and over if Lilly was ok, even though I had already established that she was. I just couldn’t remember.
I landed with my body on the cold tile of my mom and dad’s kitchen and my head was resting on the bottom steps of the stairs I had just fallen down. Through my confusion, the only thing I knew for certain was that I hurt. I hurt badly! More specifically, my left shoulder was throbbing with pain unlike any I had ever felt before.
I laid in pain and listened to my mom and sister discuss what the next move for me would be. My mom is a nurse and knew immediately because of the trauma to my head that I had to get some help. They decided to take me to the ER. Lilly would stay with my brother-in-law, Colin, there at home until my in-laws could come and get her.
Colin helped me to the car where I laid across the back seat withering in pain and confusion. Steph drove frantically to the hospital. Mom sat in the back with me and talked to me, asking questions the whole way to ensure I stayed conscious. With each bump of the car, I cried harder. My shoulder and arm hurt so badly that I couldn’t control my moans of pain.
We finally arrived at the hospital and Steph parked in front of the ER and ran in to get some help. A large male nurse came and helped me out of the car and rushed me into the ER. Because I had lost consciousness, I was rushed into a trauma unit. Nurses and doctors gathered round me. Before I could wrap my mind around what was happening, they had lifted me on to the table, secured my neck in a cervical collar, and were cutting my clothes off of me. I was in so much pain it was difficult to respond to their questions. The questions from every direction did nothing to help my current state of confusion. With help from my mom and sister, we were able to explain what had happened.
X-rays were performed on my shoulder and arm and so too was a CT scan of my brain to ensure I hadn’t done any major damage. After the testing I was given some pain medication that helped to make the pain tolerable, though certainly not completely better. By this point, I was finally feeling more aware of everything that had happened. My confusion had subsided.
Finally, after the results of the scans were read, the doctor came in to share them with us. Thankfully, my head was ok. The CT showed nothing out of the ordinary and I only had a concussion. As for my shoulder, the x-ray showed a widening in the ligaments. The doctor explained that she believed I most likely had a tear in my tendon and I would need to follow up with an orthopedist. My arm was placed in a sling and I was released from the hospital with medicine to control the pain.
Just before I was released from the ER, Brian finally made it home from Tennessee. I’ve never been so relieved to see him. I was in terrible pain and just needed him with me to assure me it would all be ok. We also had some decisions to make. We have no family in Tennessee to help us care for Lilly. Brian’s job is very demanding, so there was no way he could take time off of work to take care of her. I could barely move my arm without wincing in pain. We decided it was in Lilly’s best interest for the two of us to stay behind in Kentucky so our families could help care for her.
So Brian went home that evening so he could be at work the next morning. I spent the next two days in a medicine induced fog and Lilly got to do some serious playing with her grandparents and cousins. I was also pretty demanding. I couldn’t even undress myself for a shower or redress afterwards. My sister and I share no secrets, but we especially don’t after all of her help that week. I owe her a million and ten.
Lilly is a wiggle-worm so holding her was rather difficult, which is why I was thankful for this opportunity to hold her through her nap and nap with her.
On Friday, Brian came back to KY to take me to see the orthopedist. The doctor examined my arm and told us that he didn’t think there were any major tears but an MRI would rule it out for sure. He recommended I continue to wear the sling for two to three more weeks and then follow up with him again in three weeks. Later on that afternoon I had the MRI. Let me tell you, an MRI is a terrible idea for someone who is as claustrophobic as I am. I had to talk myself out of panicking and crawling out of the tube. Also, the slightest movement can cause errors in the test results, so it’s imperative that you lie completely still. That is HARD, especially when your arm that is already in terrible pain must remain stretched out for 20 minutes! I was so very relieved when that machinery cut off. The nurse called that night to inform us of the good news that there were no major tears in my shoulder, but only a mild tear of one of my rotator cuff muscles.
We stayed around in Kentucky until Sunday evening where my family continued to take care of Lillian. I am blessed with a wonderful set of in-laws who came home with us that night to spend a few days to continue to help out with the baby. After they left, my awesome Daddy came down to help and then on Thursday evening my lovely mother came down to join us. So Lilly has gotten in some great time with her Mamaws and Papaws. Our parents have been a Godsend to us. I have no idea how we would have made it without them.
As for me, I continue to improve every single day. I am almost completely pain free now and am back to caring for Lilly a little more each day. I walk down the stairs with much more attention than before, that’s for sure. Overall, this has been a pretty stinky situation, but I know with certainty that it could have been so much worse. I thank God that my sweet baby escaped the incident without a single scratch and that I have such wonderful family in my life who will go out of their way to help us in our times of need.