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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Why I love Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day used to be my least favorite holiday. Often, I was single on this holiday or if not single, I was in a relationship with someone who didn't appreciate me.

However, Valentine's Day is now one of my favorite days of the year. Not for the roses and chocolate or even the cute cards. It is one of my favorite days now because it is the anniversary of my life.

On Valentine's Day 2007, I was in a car accident. I was hit by a pick up truck with a snow plow. The plow came through my door and cut my leg in a 13 inch arch on my hip. I was taken to our local hospital where I received a CT and they discovered I had broken my left pelvis and my left 12th rib, lacerated my spleen and bruised my bladder. I was then transported to UMass Memorial in Worcester (which was a 23 mile trip). Once there, they proceeded to bring in an orthopedic surgeon who repaired my leg (which was essentially filleted). I wound up with 38 staples, a scar that resembles the seam where Barbie's leg is attached, scar tissue throughout my hip and thigh, a catheter for 6 weeks, bed rest for several days until my spleen stopped bleeding, and I had to teach my leg to work again since I severed the nerve which controls the stepping motion in three places.

I spent a week inpatient and then was sent home. (I was given the option of going to a nursing home since I had a catheter but since my daughter's birthday was in two days, I wanted to be home for her. Besides, they couldn't guarantee that the catheter would be able to come out even at the nursing home.)

This was a bad accident. I remember the sound of the crash and the sounds of them using the jaws of life to take off the driver's side door. I remember the feel of the door being removed from my leg since it had embedded itself into my leg. I distinctly remember when they pulled me out of the car all this big tough firemen and rescue guys looking at my leg and saying "Oh man" like it was something awful. I remember the nurses fighting for several hours to get my leg to stop bleeding. I remember them trying to get iv's into me and at one point, the table was inverted, my arms were draped over the sides and two phlebotomists were sitting under the table trying to find a vein.

I never lost consciousness even though the pull was there. Instead, I talked, mostly rambling nonsense about my daughter and when it looked like I was slipping away, the great EMTs pulled me back even when they were busy fighting for my life.

My guardian angel helped to keep me conscious as well. My Uncle Dave is my guardian angel. When Dave was 18 years old, he was in a motorcycle accident where he broke his spine and his arm. He remained conscious even when his body was bent backwards around a telephone poll. When the darkness began to beckon to me that Valentine's Day, I heard Dave's voice saying "If I could stay awake, then so can you" and I felt his presence with me.

When I broke my pelvis, I lost the ability to donate bone marrow (should the need ever arise). The question remains unanswered whether I will ever be able to carry a child in my womb again. I now need to wear a lift in my left shoe to make up for the fact that my left leg is shorter than the right. My pelvic bone is much larger on the left side since the bone healed bigger. My pelvic bone and hip joint give me a lot of pain and probably always will.

I have lost a lot because of my accident and there are a lot of changes that happened because of my accident. However, I have gained much from my accident as well.

I have gained the knowledge that no job is ever so important that you need to leave your house in a blizzard to get to. I learned that my sister is one of the greatest people in the world. I learned that nothing in life should be put off for tomorrow when your tomorrows are numbered.

Most importantly, I have gained another chance. Another chance to see my daughter grow into the amazing woman, I know she will be. Another chance to help her shop for prom dresses, wedding dresses, maternity clothes. Another chance to watch her walk across the stage at her high school and college graduations and a chance to see her walk down the aisle. Another chance to see her find her calling and follow it. Another chance to be her mother. For that, I am so thankful.

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

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