Friday, October 12, 2012

55 Days and Counting

Hi! I'm JenaeRenae and I was in a serious car wreck 55 days ago. I should have started this blog earlier, but I thought I would be getting better faster and it would be useless; boy was I wrong! So this is the story of my wreck and recovery so far and an introduction to my life. Don't worry, I'll keep the whining and complaining to a minimum.Warning: pictures will be on here; if you're squeamish, beware. All the posts won't be this long, but a LOT happened in 55 days...

Broken bones: at least 5
Surgery/procedure count: 8
Bruise count: a billion

I was hit basically head on and shattered my right ankle and dislocated my left (thank you, Jesus) elbow.
Surgery 1: External fixator on my ankle/lower leg and my left elbow popped back into place.

It looks way worse than it was. It was SOOOO heavy to move my leg!! LOL When it was wrapped up in the ace bandage it was so intimidating and scary, but this picture assured me I would be ok. Just so you know, those pins (as they call them) go through my heel and the others are screwed into my bones. It's gross, trust me, but worth it. Lets not forget about the "safety glass" that I'm STILL pulling out of my arms and hands!!!

Surgery 2: Fixing my left elbow. My socket had some shards that broke off so they were put back, a plate was screwed in, and an external fixator was put on/in. Also, my ulnar nerve was moved. Think hitting your funny bone times 30. OMG!! Ouch.
See how scary it looks all wrapped up?! Ick!!

This is much later, but it shows it out of all the wrapping.

My first time in the wheel chair where I was pushed to look out of the window. Two fixators makes getting up and out HARD work!!     
Surgery 3: Two days later... My amazing orthopedic surgeon put 3 plates and 24 screws in my ankle and took off the fixator. This was a 7 hour procedure He had to take out all of the shards and do everything else. This left me with a nerve in my left leg which is still odd.
I was released to a rehab center at this point for 2 weeks. Then the real horrible stuff happened. I went to an appointment to see my doctor and he admitted me to the hospital. Dun, dun, DUUUUUUN! As it turned out, one of sutures didn't heal properly and would need some help healing. Basically my stitches didn't close and when he took them out, my plate was exposed; yes, the one on my bone...

Surgery 4: Wound vac added to ankle, elbow loosened a bit to open towards me, and about 80-90 (an estimate) stitches removed. The picture for this one is gruesome, so I will not post it.

Procedure 5 and 6: Wound vac change. My elbow was popping out of the socket when my arm was extended. This meant the ex-fix would stay. I was a perfect candidate for Tommy John surgery. On the 6th one my surgeon decided to put in stitches and pull them all at once. The next day was baaaaaad. Wow.
Procedure 7: Consult with a plastic surgeon for a muscle flap which did not happen. Yay!!

So a few days later, I went home for my birthday!! 7 days later, here I am. I got my 8th procedure today.

Procedure 8: Wound vac change and he loosened my elbow to move out a bit. So bad news came with this procedure. My wound has a bit that is still open and is exposing the plate. I currently have a wound vac on one part of my leg and antibiotic beads in the open part. Also, a bacteria I have kills muscle flaps... Yay me. Now that we're all caught up, we'll talk about me.

Now about me. I knew the car was going to hit me before it did.The first thing I noticed was my left arm wouldn't move. I could also feel the bones in right leg move. My radio console had popped out and I pushed it back in. Then I tried not to bleed on my car. Ha! My car was sooo totaled (see pic above). I was crying and screaming at people to help me and get me out of the car.Next, I started talking to myself and calming myself down. When the firemen pulled me out of the car, I said, "I should've taken that weight loss thing seriously." They all laughed. When I get uncomfortable, I crack jokes. I was rushed to one hospital and they stabilized me. I was then sent to a different hospital that I would have been Care Flited to if it wasn't lightning; as it was, I was sent via ambulance. I know what you're thinking: WOW! Two ambulances in one day?! Yep, sure did.

Emotions: I am like a pregnant woman with all the crying I've been doing! Someone recently said that I am grieving. They were right, I am. I am grieving that I am young and am missing out on my life. I am grieving that I have to learn how to walk again. I am grieving that my whole life has changed. I am grieving that I can't be there for my youth. I am grieving. You'll hear more about this when I go day by day from now on. Right now, my arm weighs a TON because he loosened my ex-fix. Also, we didn't bring my yellow foam pillow for my leg and these regular pillows are KILLING me!!! I'm typing this with mostly my right hand. When I went home, I stopped taking the pain pills and found I could bear it. Yay me!

Day 55: Get blood drawn at 7am and my antibiotic via IV. Then, get up at 10:30 to go to pre-op. Go thru everything and sit. And sit. And sit. Until FINALLY I went in. Most of the nurses in pre-op know me by now, so that's nice. I think they should name it after me for having so many surgeries. Ha! When I was done, I got my bad news and was sent to my room. Then I decided I needed to write (type) and started this blog. So here it goes; here's a lovely peak into my day-to-day life on the road to recovery.


  1. Jenny, I realize you have been through a lot and in reading your recovery (and repeat experiences) I know that God is with you and has been every day (even before all of this). I am thankful to Him, after seeing your car pic, that you have been able to come out on the plus side as it could've been the worst! I know you love Him and trust Him in all you do and I want you to know that He has a reason for all of this. I am so glad to have you as a friend and I know you will get better. I am also glad to know you can survive without pain meds (they never did anything for me and I went through major surgery in '03 and ditched the pain meds four days after). Yes, there are times you'll need them, but God will give you His strength and endurance (and has been so far). Keep a smile on your face, my dear, and mourn for the reasons. It'll all work out in His time.

  2. Jenny, what a blessing you are. Thanks for sharing your journey with us and allowing us the opportunity to both grieve with you and celebrate your recovery with you. You are growing stronger--more than just physically--every single day. I know what a challenge this is for you (remind me to share my brother's story with you one day; his recovery took a long time as well).

    Please know you have our prayer and love.
    --Kristin W.

  3. Lifting you up in prayer, along with our whole congregation.
    Pastor Harrell
    First United Methodist Grandview

  4. I am so excited you created this! Although I try to be there as much as possible, there will be things I missed. I want you put everything you've got into this blog, and into trying to recover. I know it has already been an extremely long journey, and that you have a long road of recovery ahead of you. But I want you to remember what you've been through and finish strong. I know you can pull through this and I am 100% there ALL THE WAY!!!

  5. i just cried and cried and cried. I can feel rivulets of water coming down in my soul. It's so traumatic. There's so much trauma. You may really wonder if you will ever be the same person again. But, God has always seen who you are, even before this terrible car wreck and He loves you and knows you as you are to Him: His daughter. His beloved daughter full of grace and truth. May God give back to you 100-fold after the pain you've been through and set all your beautiful life on the Solid Rock. May His angels charge over you and bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. May He hear you from heaven. Call on His Name.