Just a couple of days after writing about how turning 60 made me stop and ponder how well I am living life, loving, cherishing family, and vowing to do better, something happened that reinforced that lesson. Two weeks ago today, I got the news that my life-time friend Cindy had been in a horrible wreck. She and her husband Danny were on their way to Wichita to see Cindy’s dad who was in the hospital due to by-pass complications. The car going the opposite direction crossed the center line and hit her head-on. The other driver was pronounced dead at the hospital they were taken to. Cindy’s husband who was the passenger was left with minor injuries but Cindy was very critically injured. Her heart stopped at the small town hospital as they were waiting for the ambulance to transfer her to Wichita, but they were able to revive her. It stopped two more times in the ambulance, but again, thankfully, they were able to get it going. Once in Wichita, in the very hospital her Dad was a patient in, it stopped, she was revived, only to have it stop again. The attending doctor decided there was something wrong and they had to find out. She was opened up right there in the emergency room and a quarter size hole was discovered in her heart. All other injuries were forgotten as they repaired this devastating injury. Her cousin messaged me they were not expecting her to make the night and my heart broke in two. But my upbeat, positive, joyful friend proved them wrong! She did make it through the night, but the family was warned she was not and would not be out of the woods for a very long time.
All they were able to do the first few days was keep her alive and work to stabilize her. It was almost a week before they could safely do a cat scan to see the extent of her other injuries. Thankfully they found she had no internal active bleeding but they did find eight broken ribs, a broken pelvis, a broken hip, a broken femur and a huge hematoma in her pelvis. To this day, she has still not been stable enough to have the surgery to repair any of the broken bones. When they back off the sedation some, she will respond by squeezing their hands, wiggling her toes and trying to open her eyes. The doctor told them, this early in, her being able to understand and respond at all is a positive sign and literally miraculous in his eyes due to the amount of blood loss she suffered and her heart stopping five times. Her kidneys have been a concern and she now has dialysis several days a week to help them out. She started running a fever and it was found she had an infection in her lungs so she was given antibiotics. Controlling her blood pressure has been an ongoing battle. Yesterday her family, who understandably were getting scared and losing hope, had a nurse tell them she felt very good about the progress Cindy has made and feels very hopeful about her prognosis! I know they, and all of us who love her cling to and rejoice with each morsel of good news and progress. The entire rural area where we live is holding her and her family up in prayer. She is never far from any of our minds. I fully, in my heart expect her to make a full recovery. I told her family I can’t wait till she wakes up because I want to ask her if she saw heaven. Having died and come back five times in one day, I think there is a distinct possibility she has an amazing story to tell!
In the meantime, it has made me again think about the way I live my life, crossing to do lists off one by one each day. I know those things are important, I have to continue to do the day-to-day chores that life consist of. If I didn’t, we would live in chaos, but I think it is time to add reconnecting with people I care about to that list. I have enjoyed seeing friends occasionally, most times just in passing. Visits consist of small-talk, rarely, if ever, would I take the time to really find out what was going on in their life. Many of my old school friends, though I get to see pictures of their children and grandchildren on Facebook, do I know how many children they have, their names, what they do, where they work. I find it very sad how superficial I allowed my knowledge of my friends lives be. I allowed this to happen even though I still live in the same county, as do many of my once close friends, that we went to school in. And the population of said county is only around 5000 people. It isn’t like we are in a huge metropolis that would have made it near impossible to stay in better touch. After each class reunion, those of us who live close always spoke of how we need to get together more often, but we never did. Again, as I said in my last post, I plan to remedy this. I want to get in touch with each one of them and really listen and ask questions and find out the things that are important to them and let them know how very much each one of them mean to me. I want to make that “we need to get together” a reality. I daydream of us doing it with Cindy by our side, but I think I will get started early, so we can all plan a wonderful welcome home for her in the future. Keep fighting Cindy! Get well! So many people love you and are praying for you and we have a lot of catching up to do girl!!!!