Gratitude in Motion: A True Story of Hope, Determination, and the Everyday Heroes Around Us by Colleen Kelly Alexander

Gratitude in Motion: A True Story of Hope, Determination, and the Everyday Heroes Around Us by Colleen Kelly Alexander

Author:Colleen Kelly Alexander
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Self-Help, Motivational & Inspirational, Biography & Autobiography, Women, Body; Mind & Spirit, Inspiration & Personal Growth, Health & Fitness, Exercise, Sports
Publisher: Center Street
Published: 2018-01-15T23:00:00+00:00

Chapter 12

You’ve Got to Be Kidding Me

Y​OU HAVE TO LET me go home by Christmas,” I begged my caseworker. My depression was mounting; I couldn’t listen to patients groan or handle the smells of hospital waste much longer.

“About forty percent of your body is still open wounds. I think that’s too soon,” she said. They wanted me to stay in the facility at least another month.

“I don’t. I need to be home. Sean knows how to do the wound changes and I can have nursing care at home as often as I need it.”

“We’ll see” was all she would promise.

I had a good feeling about it, though. I knew from what all the doctors and nurses were telling me that I was healing much faster than expected and with few complications. Especially considering that I had an autoimmune disorder and a previous brain surgery, it was truly remarkable, and I was just starting to appreciate it.

Then came the day that my therapist Robyn had promised would happen: In the physical therapy room, she stood behind me holding my wound vac in one hand, my catheter bag in her pocket, and my heart rate monitor in her other pocket, and managed to maintain my wheelchair as my safety net as I slowly inched step by step across the floor with my walker. I could barely look up to see the progress; I was just so focused on not passing out. My back wounds seeped from underneath my dressings onto the floor and my head started to tingle with weakness. Down I went, back into my wheelchair. A blood pressure cuff was quickly wrapped around my arm and I heard a tender voice saying, “You did it, Colleen…It’s okay, we got you. You did it…all the way across the room!”

I slept the remainder of the day, with the exception of wound changes, and I dreamed of running. The funny part was that I didn’t even like running. I looked at it as a means to an end; I was a cyclist who wanted to do triathlons, so I had to run. But now that I couldn’t, I fantasized about it all the time. Someday I was going to run again.

Less than a week before Christmas, I got a terrific surprise: my discharge papers.

The papers listed my diagnosis and follow-up instructions. The space for “primary diagnosis” ran a little long:

Degloving injury to left thigh from labia majora to left knee

Multiple pelvic fractures

Rectal injury

Sacrospinous injury

Extensive soft tissue hematoma

Acute blood loss anemia

Electrolyte imbalance

Ventilator-acquired pneumonia

Metabolic acidosis


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