The first thing I noticed while in the ambulance was how bright it was. There were also so many people inside. Each of them doing something different for me. There was someone cutting my clothing off of me, while another started an IV with pain medication. I requested oxygen because I was having difficulty breathing. I was asked a million questions. My name, age, medications, and allergies. They talked about my children — trying to distract me from reality, and the immense amount of pain searing throughout my body. Everyone was moving so quickly. I kept asking how my condition was, but of course they wouldn’t tell me. All I was told was, “you’re talking, so that’s good!” I just wanted honesty. I wanted the facts…but it was too soon to tell.I asked how much longer until we arrived at the hospital. I felt like I was in a race against time. The sooner I was there, the sooner I could be saved.
I remember hearing someone call to notify the hospital that I would be arriving, so they would be fully prepared.
As soon as we pulled up to the emergency room entrance, the ambulance doors flew open. I was rushed into the ER. I remember hearing someone say, “33 year old female with Osteogenesis Imperfecta.” It was just like you see it on TV.
If I thought there were a lot of people in the ambulance, there were probably triple the amount in the ER. All for me.
When you think you’re dying, you do everything you can to make sure the people who are in charge of saving your life see you as an actual person. I cannot tell you how many times I told them I’m a mom with two little boys who needed their mommy to survive. I begged. I pleaded, to please save my life. I needed them to see ME.
It wasn’t long before Jared was by my side. He told me Lincoln and Avery were both fine, and that they were with hospital staff. I can only imagine how confused and scared they were. He told me my parents and brother were on their way.
I had x-rays, a cat scan, and an MRI of my entire body. I remember telling them that I had a rod in my back and right femur before they put me into the MRI. They said it was still okay. I guess desperate times call for desperate measures?
I remember having x-ray after x-ray. Having my body being moved around in different positions. Being in so much pain. Knowing I still had so much more pain to go through. Knowing if somehow miraculously I pulled through, the painful recovery that would be ahead of me. I thought to myself, “This is when people give up. This is when they close their eyes and just let go. How easy it would be to do just that.”
That’s as far as I let those thoughts go. I refused to close my eyes, despite how heavy my eyelids were. I was ready to embrace all the pain that I would have yet to endure. I even remember thinking that I didn’t care if I was paralyzed. I just wanted to live. To be a mom to my sweet boys. Anything that I was faced with, I could deal with. I just couldn’t let go. I couldn’t die.
It wasn’t long after that I met my neurosurgeon. The chief of neurosurgery. My very own Derek Shepherd. I remember him coming right up to my head and speaking calmly to me. He told me I broke my neck. I asked him just how bad it was, and he said “very bad.” I immediately had such respect for this person because of his honesty. He said, “it’s very bad, but here’s what we’re going to do to fix it.” He was confident. He had a plan and he was determined.
Some time passed and my parents arrived. I remember seeing my mom, and how terrible I felt. I kept apologizing to her. She looked at me like I was crazy, saying I had nothing to apologize for — but I knew how she felt. I knew how scared she was. I had all those same feelings before I knew Lincoln and Avery were okay. I was petrified of losing both of my babies — and I’m her baby. No parent wants to lose their child. Ever. I really don’t think there’s anything that could be worse than losing your child. She was incredibly brave, and didn’t shed a single tear — at least not in front of me. I admired her strength, because I knew she was crumbling inside.
The next thing I remember is my neurosurgeon wheeling my stretcher into the operating room. He told me he was going to do my first neck surgery. I remember replying, “Let’s do it,” Before I drifted off to sleep.