Two days ago I had to call the ambulance services because my husband woke up screaming in terror because he couldn’t feel or move his legs.
A few days before he had injured his back overextending, reaching and twisting while replacing a bookshelf at work.
Turns out that actions caused a slipped disc and shattered part of his vertebrae.
For a seven foot tall man, he’s got a very long but very thin, narrow spine, like a child’s, the neurosurgeon said.
Two days after the injury I took him to the doctor for pain relief but we didn’t realise it was so serious. The doc made sure I understood that if it got worse, to get him to the hospital. It was Sunday morning when he woke up and I had to call triple zero.
So one ambulance showed up and appraised him and it turned out because he couldn’t walk, they couldn’t get him on their stretcher and into their ambulance.
So they called another ambulance, a SPECIAL OPERATIONS one.
Then they had to get him into it.
He’s a big guy. He managed to crawl with no feeling in his legs to the kitchen, then the four ambos working together made a sort of slippery slide out of plastic sheeting and got him to lie down on a hoverboard filled with air and dragged him to the ambulance.
Still unable to use his legs, they tipped him onto a hoverjack and filled it with air, lifting him about 4 feet off the ground, then he rolled onto the stretcher, which they then loaded into the ambulance.
My husband woke up at 6.15am screaming in terror and we took off for the hospital at about 7.45am.
So the ambulance took him to accident and emergency.
One young female doctor looked at him and appraised his legs, then her boss the senior doctor came over and did the same thing. He said he was really worried and wanted to get a CT scan right away, but the CT machine wasn’t big enough for my husband. So he spent the morning ringing every city in Australia to see if thy would take him. The only problem was if the CT machine was too small (did I mention my husband’s shoulders are literally the width of a door?) then the flying doctors couldn’t get him on board, so he was also hunting for a military aircraft to fly him to the right hospital.
Then the neurosurgeons finally got out of theatre and came to see him and explained the damage could be PERMANENT which FUCKING TERRIFIED ME. And they didn’t want to wait possibly weeks for a military aircraft so there was a team of staff working on making the CT scan machine accessible.
Then they decided they would try an X ray.
I’d been at the hospital since 8am and it was now 2pm.
I had to go home to shower and accept a grocery delivery.
My mum, whom I have complained about A LOT, was a complete fucking angel and was with me all day, and stayed with my husband as they took him away for an x ray at 2pm.
The x ray didn’t show them clearly what they wanted to see. They were sure they knew which discs and where on the spin to operate but the x ray had to show them where it was. So the surgery was going to be half exploratory.
They took him away at 3.30pm right as I was telling the grocery delivery guy my problem and he told me his dad had the same operation and had a full recovery.
So then my mum came to my house and took me home to hers and we rang the hospital every hour on the hour to find out if he was out of surgery.
Finally at 9.30pm I asked my mum to take me home because I needed access to my car in the morning to go to the hospital.
At 10pm I called for the last time and the lady on the switchboard took pity on me because his status had been ‘in theatre’ for so long, so she put me through to recovery-
-AND HE WAS THERE
and had been there for about an hour and a half fml.
Still no feeling or movement in the lower part of his legs but at least the pain was gone.
He’s still in hospital now and might be for Christmas
did I mention fuck my life?
but he is getting better every day.
Seriously, fuck 2016.