Friday, January 1, 2010
The Bone-Breaking Leavenworth Trip of 2009 Part III
The next morning was a nice one, slightly overcast but calm, everyone staggered to life and began showering and prepping for the wedding, which was planned for around one that afternoon.
Rob and I had a shopping list of things we needed to get in town, so we decided to all go in and eat breakfast at Sandy's Waffle haus and get it done bright and early. Rob had come over the night before wearing just his pajama pants, so he and I decided to dash across the road and grab his jeans while our brothers finished getting ready.
As we pulled out of the driveway, I looked both ways. There was a truck coming, but it was quite a ways down the road. I said something inconsequential to Rob and started across the road.
After that, I only remember impressions, little flashes for a while. Seeing the truck, far closer than before and moving fast. There was no horn, no squealing brakes. Being shaken in the car, rattled like dice. The airbags deploying in an instant, buffeting us. Strontium punched by the pickup, just ahead of my driver's side door, pushing us sideways and forward, the bumper wrapping itself around a pine tree 50 feet from where we were hit.
Rob was out of the car almost immediately, staggering around. I remember trying to move my right arm away from my side, reach for him. The muscle moved and I could feel something grinding in my upper arm but my forearm stayed perfectly still. I couldn't see anything, my glasses were up on the dash and everywhere else was obscured by the deflated airbags. Everything felt okay, but I felt shaken up, disoriented and dizzy. Someone, the man driving the truck popped his head in to check on us, running around frantically. Turns out he was an emt, local. I later learned that he'd bounced off of us, wrapping his truck violently around a different tree, but he was fine. Rob was still wandering outside, passerbys attempting to help him. I heard Lindsay's voice, full of fear and dread. I tried to call for her, but could only scratch any noise.
A legit EMT arrived, joined me in the passenger seat, talked to me as things started to coalesce. I asked him for my glasses and he slid them carefully onto my face, the plastic frames miraculously un-scratched. I still couldn't move my arm and like a flood, pain started up, running up and down my arm, seeping into my shoulder and back. I tried not to scream, grunting in agony. The EMT carefully lifted my arm, I could feel the bones in my upper arm sag, scraping and grinding. I explained to him where it hurt, but I was either unclear or he misunderstood me, carefully splinting the forearm instead. I grabbed the splinted arm and pulled it close, straightening the upper arm, alleviating some of the pain. Lindsay was outside the front window, her eyes tearing up. I smiled at her and stuck my tongue out at her, let her know I was okay. They sliced off my leather jacket and glove, the cold air shocking against my skin.
They took Rob away in an ambulance, the sirens sounding muffled in the car. I was trapped, the driver's side door too smashed to even attempt to open, so they summoned the jaws of life. They covered me in a blanket, protecting me from any glass as the machine angerly tore pieces of my car apart. Things went blurry again as they moved me, an odd sort of shaky unreality as the trees rattled overhead as the poor EMTs carried me to the ambulance.
The whole time, I held my arm, my hand slick with sweat trying desperately not to lose my grip, striving to keep my shattered and unsplinted arm from falling to my side. They drugged me, things faded in and out and I caught snippets of conversation, they were taking me to Wenatchee because Leavenworth couldn't handle me, the EMT talking reassuringly to me and Lindsay, that odd, motion camera feeling of being rolled through a hospital, not able to see anything but lights, faces and equipment occasionally looming overhead.
After that, things got a bit clearer. A lot of time was spent in the ER, dozing, answering a few questions, trying to explain to the nurse why they'd cast my lower arm and not the bone that was broken, I was x-rayed, cat-scanned, poked and prodded. Everyone there was extremely friendly, professional and smart. I had my arm splinted, a very, very painful thing, after a while, the nurse and I walked the halls, I was painfully aware of my bare love handles peeking from below the splint, then I was glad that my bare love handles were the greatest of my problems, it could have been much worse.
In the end, I'd badly bruised or fractured a few ribs, I had a passel of random bruises and my right Humerus bone was shattered, broken cleanly in at least five places. (The nature of my injury and the way I was strapped to board made it hard to be certain) Other than that, I was stiff and still pretty freaked out, but alive.
We called someone to come get us from Wenatchee, stopping in at a Walgreens there, where we dealt with an extremely rude RX Tech, picking up some pills and some random food, then headed back to Leavenworth. We stopped in at the hospital to see Rob, who had a gnarly black eye and 3 broken ribs. The accident had also aggravated some arthritis on his spine from a previous injury. He was pretty out of it, expressing the hope that I felt better than him, which I'm fairly certain I did not, but I was at least more cogent than he was. We all headed back to the lodge after that, where I sat carefully and let the percoset do it's thing.
My brother grilled ribs for dinner, a sly dig at our broken bodies and finally, I drifted to sleep in the bed, the disastrous day over, but the trip/ordeal far from finished...