Wow, these last few months have been crazy! I know many of you have asked where I have been and why I haven’t posted in awhile. Well, as you see above, at the beginning of February my husband was injured on the Job. He is an Ironworker and was putting a 10,000 LB staircase in place. The staircase fell and crushed his toes on his right foot. Warning: While to photos in this post are only x-rays, Please use caution while viewing them.
February 3rd around 8 am our lives changed forever. I was making breakfast for monkey man and myself and my phone rang. It wasn’t unusual for my husband to call me around this time and I thought no big deal, he is probably just asking me to run an errand or asking me to bring by lunch later. I answered it and as he responded my heart dropped. “You’re going to need to call my parents and get to the hospital right away. Don’t worry, it’s just my foot, but it is bad, really bad.” I could hear in his voice just how bad it was in the first couple of words. My husband is never one to get scared, but I could hear the fear mixed into the pain in his voice. I had so many questions but I knew now wasn’t the time.
I quickly called my mother in law and told her the conversation that just happen and called my mother to leave work and take monkey man for the day.
I called my boss explained I wouldn’t be into work that afternoon and took off to my mom’s to drop off monkey man before heading to the hospital.
When I arrived in emergency, I headed back to his room and nothing could have prepared me for what I saw. My husband on a hospital bed, agony in his face. I looked down at his legs and one of them was in a cardboard splint. Blood was dripping out of the box and onto the floor.
Nurses came in to get his information from me. They brought the x-ray machine into the room and took x-rays of his foot. They preceded to take vitals and give him more pain meds. Eventually a Dr. came in with his x-ray and there was a messy break straight across all of his toes.
They sent a surgeon in to talk to us and we were informed he would need to have pins and screws placed in all his toes in order to attempt to save them. Since my husband had eaten that morning we would, unfortunately, have to wait until night for them to do the surgery.
Over the next 6 hours, my husband was given an extremely large number of narcotics to attempt to bring his pain below an 8 on the pain scale. After every shot, he received some relief until 15 minutes later when the pain returned.
That night we sat in the waiting room as he underwent a 3-hour surgery. Afterwards, the surgeon explained that stringing together his bones was like sewing together rice crisps. My husband spent 4 days in the hospital. We were released and followed up with the surgeon several times.
Almost one month later my husband had all 4 of his little toes removed from his right foot. He underwent 20 treatments in a hyperbaric chamber where he was locked in for 2 hours. He has had to have dead black skin cut from his foot and still has pins and screws in his big toe that the bone is not healing.
He has struggled to deal with the new reality that will be his life. He will never be able to do his job that he loved again. He will most likely walk with a limp, struggle to walk without shoes on, wear two different size shoes, and have arthritic joints in his foot.
Our journey with this is far from over, and we are still working to get through it.
Some things that I was not prepared for:
1. How difficult and time consuming dealing with workman’s comp is.
Every appointment we have a case manager that comes with us. She encourages the workman’s comp company to approve things based on what the doctors say.
2. How much our life would change.
My husband crushed his right foot. He is not able to drive, not able to walk, has two different doctors every week and for awhile was going to his hyperbaric chamber treatments every day for 2-4 hours. He was not able to do things for himself. Our entire schedule revolved around his needs and his getting better.
3. How long it would take for life to go back to normal.
It has been almost 4 months and we are nowhere near being done with this process.
4. That we would need to file a lawsuit against workman’s comp to get my husband his money that he will need in order to cover a lifetime of problems he will have with his foot.
My husband will need custom orthotics made for every pair of shoes he ever owns as well as a prosthetic to go in and make his foot fit right and not slide around. He will need to buy two pairs of shoes always instead of just one because his feet are two different sizes. He has to learn and possibly go back to school in order to do a new job since he will not be able to return to his old one.
5. That we would have to pay our bills on credit cards.
We quickly learned that his being injured would result in him not making anywhere near the amount he was. We quickly ate through our savings and started having to use credit cards.
6. That I would miss so much work.
My husband has had a total of 3 surgeries on his foot. Over 20 doctors appointments. He has been in the hospital for a total of 7 days. He has had to be taken to and from his hyperbaric chamber treatments 5 days a week for 4 weeks.
7. That I would have to learn to change his bandages.
My husband still has open wounds and his bandages have to be changed every day. Bandages are shipped to our house and I have to clean his wounds and change the bandages.
8. How much more work I would have to do.
My husband can no longer carry things around, he is on crutches which make it impossible. I now have to do all of the household work, all of the driving, all of the parenting, all of the cooking, all of the laundry, and all of the errands.
9. How many phone calls I would have to make and take.
Everything we have to do involving his treatment requires at least 5 phone calls. Every medications, doctors appointment, hyperbaric, bandages, wheelchair, crutches, shower chair, bone stimulator, switch of pharmacy because one didn’t have his pain meds in stock (this has happened 10 times), Change of appointment, surgery, hospital stay, and surgery prep requires anywhere from 5-50 phone calls.
10. The Changes it has made in our marriage.
When you take your wedding vows, you never think about the extent that they mean. For better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, until death do us parts, every vow we made was tested these last few months. There have been times where we have been at our worse, we are deffinfintly poorer, he might not have been sick, but he was not in great shape. The one that effected me and him the most is how close he could have got to that last vow. My husband could have easily been crushed by that stair case and we both thank God every day that that was not his plan. We have made the choice to have this bring us closer together when frankly the stress was enough to pull us apart.
The most important part of this that I have learned is that you have a choice to make when your spouse gets hurt. You can choose to hold it together, push through, serve them, and choose to not let this make you hateful, stressed, or want to run. Or you can choose to let it destroy your marriage. We made the choice to be there for each other. We made the choice to learn to love each other more from this. We made the choice that we will put each other first and we will both be responsible for what the other one needs to be happy. By not focusing on what makes us happy and instead focusing on what would make the other happy, we have both ended up happier and more in love with each other for making us happy. We have looked for the happiness and the good in this situation and our marriage is better than we have been together for the last 8 years we have known each other at a time that has been the hardest part of our marriage.
What was the most difficult thing to happen in your marriage or relationship?