Friday, August 20, 2010


Many of you know about the events of the past few weeks. For those who don’t, and for review, I’m listing the events in chronological order below. If this is too tedious, skip to the comments below.

Saturday July 24 - Don fell off a 6’ ladder while washing the back of the motorhome.


His left wrist and left heel were broken. There’s no emergency medical facility on Minot AFB where we were spending the weekend before visiting friends of his in Carrington. So I somehow got him into the car and took him to Trinity Hospital in Minot, ND 16+ miles away.

Sunday July 25 – Don ‘crashed’ with low BP and POS (oxygen saturation) and was taken to ICU.

Monday July 26 - Surgery was scheduled for the a.m., but was delayed until Tuesday to get him stabilized.

Tuesday July 27 – Surgery to reposition broken pieces of his heel and insert two steel pin in his wrists, no scalpels, no sutures – cast on leg, splint on wrist.

Wednesday July 28 – Nurses helped Don walk down the hall using a walker equipped with a cradle for his injured arm, so he wouldn’t put pressure on it.



Thursday July 29 – Don was moved from the hospital to the Rehab facility and had 7 days of physical therapy and occupational therapy, totaling 3 hours per day in 4 sessions.

Friday July 30 – He was moved down the hall into an apartment in the Rehab facility…


…with complete kitchen plus washer and dryer.


I did our laundry over the weekend! By this time, I was getting tired of the 33-mile round trip (sometimes twice or more per day) from the AFB, but was glad I didn’t have to go to the public laundromat again, where all the oil rig workers wash their gritty work clothes and leave residue in the washers and dryers. (I generally hate laundromats and prefer to use our on-board Splendide washer/dryer.)


Monday August 2 – I brought the motorhome to a parking lot across the street from the Rehab facility so Don could learn to get up the 6 steps and move around inside the motorhome in a wheelchair, including getting to the potty, shower and bed. He passed all tests, putting weight only on his right foot, right hand/arm and left elbow. Made it up the steps on his a** and sat in the passenger seat. I pulled the wheelchair up backwards.


Wednesday August 4 – Don’s birthday. I brought veal marsala dinners from an Italian restaurant and flowers and a card. We ate the celebration dinner in his apartment dining area. Forgot to get a photo of the dinner and flowers, but these are flowers from friends.


Thursday August 5 – He was released to come home to our site at Minot AFB FamCamp (30 amps and water).


Before signing the release, however, the surgeon ordered further surgery on the wrist.

Saturday August 7 – Surgery to implant a steel “T” in the wrist, 12 stitches, splint, lots of post surgery pain that was finally controlled later. One more night in the hospital to get the pain under control.

Sunday August 8 – Home again for good, we hope.


Wednesday August 11 – Moved to Swenson’s RV Park in Minot, closer to hospital, rehab, doctor’s offices, shopping, restaurants, etc. With 50 amps and full hookups, we can now run both a/c’s during hot humid weather, use washer/dryer on board, and be more comfortable.


Monday August 16 – Splint was removed from wrist, got a removable splint and PT was scheduled for 3 times/wk. Making progress.


Friday August 20 – Stitches removed from wrist. Continuing to do well in PT. Spirits up and looking forward to finalizing this chapter of our lives in 2 weeks or less.


So, that’s the chronology. Here’s the perspective.

Our daily life has obviously changed, and our outlook is different than before the accident. Travel plans had to be canceled or revised. We’re thankful for the positives – we still have each other and are still living the full-time RV life.

We’ve been fortunate to run into several people we know. Bob & Gretchen, Ken & Sherry, Bob, Terry & Sandy, Tom & Pat, Lonnie & Becky (on their way now) – all Escapees – have either ‘happened’ upon us or made specific plans to stop by. All the hugs and offers of help have raised our spirits. Phone calls, Facebook messages and emails from other concerned friends (Nancy, Carol, Larry, Dennis, Carol, Lisa, Pat, Ken, Sherry, ZoAnn, Jan, Betsy, Betty, Donna, Caroline, Sue, Dixie, Marty, Ken, Nick, Steve, Sharon, Susie, Susan, Sue, Steeve, Liz, Maryanne, Allyson, Nancy, Dave, Charley, Jim, Craig, Liz, Suzy, Jerry, Beth, Dick, Jack and countless others) have kept in touch to help us know they’re thinking of us.

Accidents or medical emergencies can change your life, and create a small or large blip, but what matters is how you look at your world. Waking up every morning, breathing fresh air, planning our ‘outings’ which include PT sessions, doctor visits, an exploring drive in a part of town we haven’t seen, maybe lunch or dinner at a new restaurant, trips to Wal-Mart, visiting local interests and events. Thanking God that Don wasn’t hurt worse and that we can look forward to the day when he’ll be healed and whole again.

Sometimes we fall into a mild depression, feeling sorry for ourselves, or merely bored and suffering from “hitch itch.” After all, we had to cancel plans to meet our good friends Dennis and Carol Hill in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to go kayaking. They are now in Elkhart, IN, along with several other friends….. reporting their fun on blogs, and we keep thinking we should be there, too. And we’re missing the Gypsy Journal Rally and the Escapade and the VCR Reunion, all in Indiana. Or maybe we’ll be able to catch up with some of it, depending on when Don’s doctor releases him, and whether he has a walking cast/boot and able to put partial weight on the left foot and be rid of the wheelchair.

On the other hand, we’ve had so many emails, Facebook postings, phone calls and visits from friends and family. It’s great to know there are people out there thinking of us, praying for our well-being. We are humbled by the response. Thank you, one and all! We feel the love and send it right back!