I was all excited on Saturday after I got home from work that I was going to get a "free" day off on Sunday simply because there was no clients for me to see. I spent the evening messing around and getting things in order for the Ward Christmas party. Around 10, my middle sister called and since I was almost asleep I let it go to voice-mail figuring I would call her back in the morning.
So I fell asleep...
...and woke up to a phone call on our home phone at 12:45 am.
It was Mike telling me that my youngest sister, Nancy had been in a car accident and had to be airlifted to Regions Hospital in St. Paul. Joe, my brother in law, came and picked me and the boys up to first drop the boys off with my in-laws and then to take me to the hospital.
It was there I learned Nancy had been in the passenger in a car that collided with a semi-truck trailer, going underneath the trailer, and the hitting the rear axel. I also learned that the driver didn't make it. We didn't know who the driver was or what Nancy was doing with him. But the accident had left my beautiful, talented sister in a medically induced coma and on a respirator because of a brain injury, a crack in her C3 vertebra, and a break in her left shoulder blade.
So we (mainly my middle sister, Maggie and I) have spent the past few days getting my parents from the airport, and running back and forth to the hospital, while trying to keep our lives as normal as possible for our kids.
As of today, Nancy is still in a medically induced coma. She had a drain placed into her skull to relieve the pressure in her skull from the excess fluid and blood from her brain injury. They were hopeful that they may be able to take it out tomorrow, but it's looking like it may have to stay in for another few days. Nancy has been fighting her sedation (both a good thing and a bad thing) which as meant changing the medications that are keeping her "under" which has messed with her blood pressure.
She has had a PICC line put in to help deliver medications, especially those to help with her blood pressure. and because she still has yet to prove she can follow directions enough for them to remove her off the respirator and take her out of her sedation - they put in a feeding tube to give her nutrition.
Nancy has full use of all her limbs and has followed some directions. However it seems to be sporadic and at times even sluggish. She does not like to be moved or really even messed with and on several occasions it has taken several staff members to hold her down while they increased her sedation.
The staff at Regions has been AMAZING and they are optimistic about her making a full recovery. However, until Nancy is able to follow directions and is taken off the sedation, we won't really know badly her brain was injured. We know she is somewhere in between being perfectly healthy and needing to relearn everything.
Her recovery will be a S.L.O.W. one. With many setbacks and hiccups. It will now be measured in years versus weeks or even months. The days are getting longer as we wait for her to heal enough to be taken out of the sedation. We're hoping it will be any day now, but it may still be a week or two away.
Please pray for my beautiful sister and for my parents as they deal with having to make tough decisions about her care. We have also started a Caringbridge.org website for Nancy if you would like to follow her story.