Friday, September 10, 2010
3 years ago from this time, my whole life changed! Aug 24, 2007, I was living in Clarksville, TN, and was stationed at Fort Campbell, KY. Which is 5 min away from Clarksville. I was working on a fuel truck. My unit was getting ready to go back to Iraq. I was changing over the water filters and having to kick the wrench to try to loosen up some of the screws. When I kicked the wrench I fell back hitting my back on a metal part on the top of the truck.
After I was done, we were waiting for the end of the week "Safety Formation" for our four day weekend. My back was just killing me, but I did not think it was serious at the time.
That night I was in tons of pain. In the morning, I went to "sick call." I sat in the waiting room just crying until they took me in. When I was finally seen, the doctor started giving me shots in the bottom, trying to ease the pain. Every half an hour, he came back asking me if I felt any better. Each time, my response was "No!" I think they thought I was faking the pain, so they sent me home.
That whole weekend, I was in tons of pain. All I could do was sleep. No pain meds were working. Then on Sunday morning, I woke up and I was tingly from the chest down. I knew something had to be very wrong, so I had my husband (my ex husband now- David) take me to the Army ER. I sat in the ER for about 4 long painful hours. Finally I was seen, and the doctor gave me a X-ray. The X-ray showed nothing wrong. So she told me to go home, gave me a temp profile, and said I had a pinched nerve in all the nerves on my spine from the T-5 down. Which sounded weird, but nothing I could do about it. She told me to come back to the hospital when I could no longer walk or had no reflexes.
I went home, and went back to bed. Again no medicine even came close to helping me. Little alone Loratab! I woke up to the sound of my phone ringing. I woke up and started walking across my room to go answer it. I took 2 steps, and fell. My legs were frozen in a straight position, and I no longer was able to walk.
David loaded me back into the car. It was hard to put me in the car, cause my knees did not want to bend. We went back to the hospital, and waited another 4 hours. During the time, I really needed to go to the bathroom. When I got on to the toilet, I was not able to pee! Needing to REALLY go to pee, and unable to, is an weird and scary experience.
When the doctor finally saw me, she gave me a CAT Scan. They still could not see that anything was wrong, but she knew that something was wrong. For the first time, I was taken seriously by that doctor. She gave me a catheter to help relief myself, which was great. But because the CAT scan showed nothing, she had no idea how to help me. She transfered me to Skyline Hospital in Nashville, TN, which was 45 minutes away. By this time, it was the middle of the night. So I was in and out of sleep.
The doctor at Skyline put me in an MRI very first thing. During the MRI she saw a Hematoma growing. She stopped the MRI in the middle of the scanning, and called the Emergency Surgeon. She told me, that if they waited about another hour or two, I would be paralyzed for life. So the ER surgeon came in, and did surgery.
When I woke up (Aug 27, 2010), I was a little grossed out, cause they were giving me a blood transfusion. I guess I lost a lot of blood. They also told me that they found Staff Infection in my blood. So I had to get a pic line, that stayed in my arms for months. Actually they had to switch arms at one time, cause it got infected, and I got a temperature of 106 degrees. I was uncontrollably shaking! The good thing about waking up, was my mom, sister and dad were there. They all flew from Utah. My mom was very worried, cause Jan 1999, me step dad was paralyzed from the T-5 down, and died of staff infection.
At that time, I could no move anything below my chest. I could not feel much below my chest. Slowly I started feeling things, but it was a tingly feeling. When I started feeling, my legs felt really heavy. They had me start trying to walk with a lot of help, and a walker. But I could only take a few steps at a time. It was scary just standing without holding something!
On Sept 11, 2007, I took my first steps without my walker. It was only a few steps, but I did it. It took a long time to get where I am now. When I first went home, I had a wheelchair and a walker. Then I was able to get around on a 4 prong cane. Then a one prong cane. Now I am using nothing, and get around very well. Most people have no idea that I ever had to relearn to walk. Now, I am permanently tingly from the chest down and my legs feel very heavy. I do not think that feeling will ever go away, even for 5 minutes. I do not have great balance, so I am unable to do anything that requires a lot balance, as of now. But I am happy how far I have came so far. Someday, I will be able to do more than now.
My doctor told me that it is 1 in a million chance of something like this happening to someone. Only 1 in 30 people are able to walk again. I wish I could do what I used to do, but I am happy where I am now.
Shortly after, in Oct 2007, my husband left me for another girl. Which I do not think would have happened if I was in this position. But it was a great blessing in the end. Cause now I am with Rocky. I am so glad I am married to Rocky. I have a great family that has helped me through this all. I meet Rocky shortly after, and Rocky has been the one to push me, and help me believe in myself to know that I can do anything I want to again!