Friday, March 7, 2008

I Came Away Alive

Tonight, I was happened upon a segment of a program on the National Geographic Channel ("I Came Away Alive") about a boy who suffered "internal decapitation."

From the looks of it, there is no question that his injury was much worse than mine. I would venture a guess that there are different levels of atlanto-occipital dislocation, or "internal decapitation." From the OR report from my surgery last November, the surgeon describes dislocation at the occipital condyles, or back of the Cspine/skull. I am wondering if there was still an attachment at the front (or if there ever is). Oh, there are always so many questions. I'll never know everything about what happened to me, even though my mind is hungry to know. More questions will always arise even after one may be answered.

Deep breath. So, what did I feel as I watched this program which really did a good job with graphics to show exactly what happened to this brave boy? Just a strong sense of awe. For, although his injury was more intense, this boy also was viewed immediately by people on the street; the EMTs were on the scene in 2 minutes. And a surgery (occipito cervical fusion) was performed almost right away.

In my case, I was alone with the horse. As I came to, I felt the electricity pulsing through my arms and legs. And I eventually stood up, finding myself unable to hold up my head whatsoever. I bent over at the waist to let my head hang down, and caught the horse and walked home.

After four days in the hospital, I was sent home with no home-nursing visits. No calls from the doctor. I had to hold the weight of my head with the palm of my hand in order to rise from bed or a chair. And I remember putting a hand on each side of my head and manually turning my neck and head when I wanted to turn over in bed. The doctors KNEW I had the 4 place C1 fracture, but they did not know I had the atlanto occipital dislocation. The facts still amaze me.

Sent home without a nurse, none. Left to my own devices. No doctor or nurse to call and check on me. Manually turning my head or lifting it in order to manuever my way through my days.

Why didn't I sever my spinal cord? Why didn't I render myself paralyzed or dead? Was it because I prayed so fervently from a deep place in my heart, as I fought to survive, "please, Lord, don't let me be paralyzed?"

Maybe you don't need doctors and surgeons and at-home nursing visits when you have Almighty God by your side? In fact, I am testament, I guess, that you don't!

But words escape me now, to convey to you, the reader, how it felt to sit in our dark living room and watch this program, knowing I had suffered much the same injury. Listening to the reporter tell of how most victims with this injury die. Words escape me. My heart beats a little bit faster and my breath comes more difficult. I don't need words. I exist in awe.


Zoe said...

"I don't need words. I exist in awe."


I agree.

Anonymous said...

Our God is an awesome God.

I am so thankful.


Anonymous said...

take care

By His Grace said...

And thank YOU, my friends!

caron said...

will the person who posted and suffered internal decap please contacgt me? I am a tv journalist working on stories of survivors from this type of injury.

Glenn said...

I have same.

Please contact me. I have same

Laura said...

Hi, I had this same injury and have never found anyone else who's survived it until reading the paper recently and subsequently coming across your blog. I too count my blessings, so much that happened should have meant 'lights off' but here I am able to type the tale.

By His Grace said...

Laura, I'd love to email with you, hear if you had a Jefferson Fracture or atlanto occipital dislocation or both, how it all happened! I have met a few others of us online, who have contacted me after reading this blog. That's not a lot really, when you think of it! my email is virginia bennett @embarqmail. com

you'll have to remove the spaces, one after virginia, one after bennett and one after the dot and before com.

hope to hear from you!