I write this sitting in a Neuro trauma ICU waiting room. At approximately this time last Monday I got the news that no one wants to get. My dad had had an accident. He had been cutting a tree on his property. The tree didn’t fall exactly where he planned, and he didn’t get out of the way fast enough. He was being airlifted to a trauma center. Of course, I immediately dropped everything and drove two hours to the hospital terrified of what I would hear when I got there. I prepared myself for the worst. I don’t think I’ve ever prayed so fervently in all my life (except when my husband had to have emergency surgery). I was almost relieved when I was told he just had a skull fracture and a small subdural hematoma and no other injuries; however, we spent nearly a week waiting for him to wake up not knowing if he ever would.
He did wake up yesterday, and today he was extubated and attempting to talk some and wants to go home! It’s going to be a little while before that happens though.
Spending a week in the neuro trauma ICU is a vivid lesson on the fragility of life. I’ve seen gunshot victims, knifing victims, car accident victims and another tree cutting accident victim that is much more injured than dad. Dad’s ICU neighbor is a 20-something young man who started having strokes for some yet-to-be-determined reason.
It will take some time and rest to fully process how this week has affected me, but I know I will walk away from this experience with an entirety new perspective on some things. I know for certain that what was a big deal to me at 3:00 p.m. last Monday is not such a big deal to me today.