February 27, 2011
Papa didn’t exhibit any scary life threatening indicators like vomiting, headache or loss of consciousness after the accident. A full body x-ray was done and we had to wait for the result. Precious minutes passed. I couldn’t bear seeing him in neck brace, eyes staring at us and telling about how the accident happened over and over again. He’s been an athlete (playing lawn tennis) regularly for more than 30 years now and he told me that when he was thrown into mid-air by the speeding car, he was alert and “planned” how to strategically land to minimize possible injuries.
And I think his strategy might have saved his life.
He had a huge contusion in his head, bruise on his left elbow and pain in his left hip and waist but miraculously, no fractures were found, including in his skull. It was too good to be true so the neuro-surgeon asked for a more comprehensive CT scan.
I can’t remember how hard I prayed outside the laboratory. I was alone. My husband had left the hospital to fetch my mom at home.
NOTHING SHORT OF A MIRACLE
With the circumstances surrounding his accident, it nothing short of a miracle that all his bones were fine and there is no damage to his brain. My papa’s been a fighter and survivor all his life. He’s strong will kept the family together during difficult times in the past. I know he won’t give up that easily.
3 HOURS AFTER THE ACCIDENT
The doctors told us if papa was not feeling any vomiting or nausea or headache, we can go home (unbelievable but true, especially when you see he still has a huge bump on his head). The nurse removed his neck brace and head support and asked him to sit on the bed. He felt fine and I was wiping away happy tears. Just then, a minutes later, papa screamed that he was dizzy and his body stiffened and shivered.
We called for help (screamed on top of my lungs!) and doctors rushed. When they arrived, papa was already ok, albeit very shocked about what had happened. Sudden surge of blood pressure triggered a tonic-clonic seizure. Our fears are not erased yet.
We were asked to stay for 24 hours observation.
Papa was shaken about what happened. He refused to sleep thinking he might never wake up if he did. He kept himself busy by flexing his fingers and toes repeatedly. He kept asking me questions, trying to hold long conversations. His mind was sharp as usual. However he doesn’t want to be left alone and trauma set in. He started asking, “Can we really rely on their testing machines here?” or “What if there was an error?”.
No amount of reassurance stopped his questions.
While watching him in the hospital, I couldn’t rest. Anything could happen with head injuries and that seizure that he had, I was so afraid it’ll come again. My mom was with him and I went home anxiously at 3 am because Pristine was not feeling well at home. Of course I couldn’t sleep well at home.
THE MORNING AFTER
I got up after 4 hours and readied Pristine so we can go back to the hospital. I did not get any call from my mom with updates. I called her over and over but her battery was low. I hate being put in the dark.
When I arrived at the hospital, papa is still the same – coherent, conscious and this time, eating properly, drinking lots of water and passing urine normally. The contusion on his head also subsided greatly.
18 HOURS AFTER THE ACCIDENT
A team of neuro-surgeon came to see the ‘miracle patient’. Papa was talking to them like how he does, injecting jokes here and there. The doctor gave us permission to be discharged from the hospital.
He was asked to sit, stand, walk a bit which he did slowly. We went home at 3pm.
RESTING AT HOME
Papa is now resting at home, only feeling dizzy when he rests his head on the bed. We have propped it up with pillows so he’ll get a good incline. He’s sleeping and eating well. As of this writing, it’s been 4 days since the accident and I think he is doing good.
Next: How the accident happened and where do we go from here.