Friday, November 7, 2008


Okay, I'll just come right out and say it: I was T-boned by a bus on Tuesday and have a type III odontoid fracture. I am now in a neck brace for 6 months but lucky to be alive and not paralyzed. I cannot even begin to explain all the thoughts and emotions that one goes through - from the coldly rational (wow, this is what it's like on a backboard, in a collar, in MRI) to the wildly emotional (DAMN DAMN DAMN, there goes the concert I was going to give, there goes the clinical study that was going to make JAMA, there goes the dressage show I'm ready for, and there goes vacation with the kids in the Carribean). But the one thing that is the MOST heartbreaking: not being able to scoop my kids up into a big bear hug.

Trying to be the optimist I'm struggling with what to do with months of non-physicality. Go ahead I think, perfect that Spanish, read all the library books, type up my diaries, catch up on all the movies - but somehow it pales in comparison to the dreams I was already embarking upon and achieving. And although I'll be home (always), I'll see the kids less because I won't be taking them to piano and swim and school and birthday parties like I usually do. But it's early yet - perhaps as a result, the kids and I will have more bonding time with the hubbie and our nuclear and extended family as well as friends may become closer still.

The weirdest thing is (harkening back to psych) that my schema of myself is slow to change. I keep having to remind myself that IF I move my neck the wrong way, or trip and fall, it could be disastrous. But it still doesn't seem real until in moments of sobbing I realize it is. Now excuse me while I go cry.


  1. I know it is tough, but take care of yourself now so you can enjoy all those moments of swimming and biking, etc later. Give yourself time to heal. That said, enjoy a good cry now and then.

    Best wishes to you. Remember you weren't paralysised so you will be dancing at your children's weddings.

  2. I'm so sorry to hear what you've been through. It must feel awful right now but YOU ARE ALIVE AND NOT PARALYZED.

    How wonderful is that?

  3. Thank the goodness you were not paralyzed. It'll stink, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Please know that you'll be in our thoughts and prayers.

  4. Man it is good news and bad news all wrapped up too closely to untwine. Praise God you were'nt more seriously injured. Dang that you were injured at all.

    I broke both elbows in June and the 4 months of confinement and subsequent surgery was awful but doable. Just ask for help when you need it.

    You are in my prayers.

  5. Wow, I wish you well. Please know that this community of Mothers in Medicine is here for you virtually (and actually if possible). Please continue to post about your healing ups and downs while being home in a brace, if indeed posting can be part of the therapeutic experience. Hang in there!

  6. Ugh, how awful. About 6 months into my residency, where all I saw was patients with spinal cord injury, I got into a serious car accident on the highway, and as my car spun out of control, all my patients flashed before my eyes. I remember sitting in my car with blood gushing down my face, testing to see if I could still move my legs. I got to experience that lovely backboard too... comfy, right? (And a head CT, but not an MRI.) But the only permanent damage I have is psychological.

  7. Hugs and prayers to you. As needed, please share your frustrations with us - that's why we're here!

  8. Artemis said it....hugs and prayers to you.

  9. Thank god you are alive and not paralyzed. You and your kids will get through these tough months. You, thankfully, have the rest of your life ahead of you now. Best wishes for the time to pass quickly!

  10. Take good care of yourself! There's a silver lining to this time - whether you become fluent in spanish, post daily on Mothers in Medicine (just kidding!) or just catch up on re-runs of True Blood or Mad Men - this is the opportunity to focus on yourself.
    Cyber flowers and warm wishes to you! Keep us in the loop of your progress.

  11. Oh wow, please please cry here anytime you need to. Laugh here, cry here ... let out any kind of frustration and let us help you to not feel alone in whatever kind of aloneness you feel.

    you've got my sincerest prayers.

    hugs and love


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