Two years ago, at about this time, I was driving home from visiting my friend in Buckner, MO when all of a sudden I felt really sick, nausea, clammy, panic feeling and I immediately said, “No, God, I can’t be sick I have 3 more hours to drive to get home”. I had an odd feeling because my husband wasn’t returning calls, which is not like him. Even more unlike my sweetie, who dislikes texting, was a one word text.
About an hour out from home I stopped at the McDonald’s in Cassville for a potty stop and decided to get a Hot Mocha cappuccino and I remember saying to myself “You will regret this caffeine later” and distinctly hearing, “No you won’t”.
I drove the final hour home to be greeted in our driveway by Bill’s best friend, Jim. He uttered words no wife wants to hear “Bill is ok but we need to get to the Mercy ER now”. On the way over Jim said Bill had an accident and possibly cut off his pinky finger. We got to the hospital as he was about to leave, by ambulance, to go to a bigger hospital to have emergency surgery. He was smiling and laughing-I figure he was either drugged up pretty good or was doing what he does, putting on a brave face for me. They drove off as I drove his truck home and Jim then drove me to the hospital where the surgery would take place in Harrison. Got there just before he was rolled into surgery at 9:30pm. The surgeon promised to save what he could but was fairly certain he would be amputating the pinky and ring fingers on his left hand.
What I didn’t know then was that Bill’s push stick broke and the table saw blade mangled two fingers and cut about 90% through the middle and index fingers on an angle cutting nerves,muscles and tendons. Exactly at the same time I suddenly felt sick, clammy and anxious on my way home. Yes, when we got married God join us and two became one. It was a long 2 1/2 hours later when the surgeon came out and said he had to remove two fingers and was hopeful the other two would heal. With Bill in recovery I went home and tried to get some rest.
The next day I went to bring him home and the first time I saw his hand, all wrapped up, I was stunned. It made it all real. The fingers were gone. He was in good spirits and, as usual, he simply said we will get through this.
What I learned later was that when the accident occurred he had the focus to go in the house, get a clean shop rag, wrap his hand, clean up the blood on the saw, floor and where ever he found it, let the dogs out, fed the dogs and then pondered how to get to the hospital. His final decision was to drive himself. Living in the country he felt he could get himself there quicker. He will tell you he cleaned up the blood so it would not upset me. I don’t know anyone with that much where with all in a time of stress. Must have been his Marine training Hoorah!!
That day is one of several that have been life changing for us. At first he couldn’t dress himself, tie his shoes, cut his meat, so much he couldn’t do. Bandage changes several times a day. The VA determined he didn’t need occupational therapy so he knew it would be up to himself to get mobility in the remaining fingers. With do diligence he has been able to get his fingers to bend enough that he can hold things between them and his thumb, somewhat like a claw. I think I will always need to wait, as I hand him something, for him to say “ok, I’ve got it”. Today he is unable to work but is able to, ever so slowly, do most of what he could do before as far as taking care of himself and some things he likes to do in his shop. Some things he will probably never be able to do again. I am his helper when he is not able to do something and it is something I am able to do. We truly are each others helpmate.
We have learned a lot since this accident. We are very intentional about how we do things. We thank God for his protection and our lives. While neither of us is able to work we know that God provides all our needs in the most amazing ways.
Looking back over these two years I am in awe at how God watches over us and guides us through the difficult days. We are closer today, we are stronger in spirit. We are very blessed!!