Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Guest Post: Words from Mom, part 7

Here is another long overdue installment from my guest post series authored by my mom. 

Did you miss her previous posts? Catch up at the links below!
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
September 17, 2008, Josh's 21st birthday, should have been an exciting time for him, finally legal age to go drink in the bars. He was living in Des Moines working at Stella's Diner as a cook, something he loves to do, he was doing his army reserve weekends at Camp Dodge and was preparing for special training in the future.  He was looking forward to a trip to Florida the following week with Mollie and his Dad.  Little did we know that it would be months later before they would make that trip. 

When I called Josh that day, which was on a Wednesday that year, to wish him a happy birthday, I didn't know how close we would come to losing him.

Thursday, September18 started out as a normal day.  Dennis got up and went to work, I followed my normal routine trying to get some things done at home.  I had to work that afternoon/evening and was planning to go to Des Moines early the next morning to get Kaydin.  Mollie had a wedding that weekend and the following Monday was when Josh, Mollie and Dennis were to leave for their Florida trip.  So I went to work and left to come back home at the end of the shift around 11:00pm.  I always keep my phone on vibrate at work and often forget to turn the volume back up.  When I got home and found 14 missed calls from Mollie (Dennis also had 8 missed calls he was in bed and his phone was on the charger in the kitchen), I knew something was wrong.  When I called Mollie back I learned that Josh had gotten hurt at work. She didn't have much information but did say that it didn't seem serious that he had a cut of some kind, but they were keeping him overnight to check him out further in the morning. Obviously as a mother I wanted to be there serious or not.  I was due to go get Kaydin anyway so after waking up Dennis and explaining what little I knew to him, I left for Des Moines promising Dennis I would call him when I got there and found out what had happened.  

I went straight to Broadlawns Hospital where Josh had been taken, arriving there at about 3:00am.  When I got to Josh's room, I realized his injury was far worse than we first thought.  He was in a lot of pain and complained about not being able to pee, I got the nurse and she used a straight cath to relieve him.  From the look on her face when she came out of the room, I knew things were going from bad to worse.  When I asked her what was wrong, the only thing she could say was "it came out all blood"  I demanded that she call the doctor, I was told that the doctor would be there soon.  I kept asking for the doctor just to be told the same thing.  About an hour later the doctor finally arrive and after examining Josh again stated that they were planning to do exploratory surgery on him.  I called Dennis and Mollie, giving them the little information I knew at that point.  Dennis planned to leave work and was headed to Des Moines.  So Josh went into surgery for the first time that day.  After the surgery the doctor stated that they did not know the extent of Josh's injuries, and that they were planning on doing more testing, a CAT scan and a cystogram test. Mollie had the wedding to attend, she really couldn't get out of it since she was part of the bridal party. She dropped Kaydin off at the hospital.  Dennis arrived with Mollie and we waited for the testing to be done so we could get the results.  The doctor stated that they were not sure how bad Josh's injuries were. Mollie's best friend, Kristyn, came to get Kaydin. Things were getting so crazy and we didn't want her to be at the hospital at that time.  She was only just 20 months old at the time. She loves her uncle Joshie and didn't need to see him that way.

We had Josh transferred to Iowa Methodist there in Des Moines. They had the specialist on staff that we needed to determine the extent of Josh's injuries and give him the care he required. We knew that Josh's injuries were serious, and when we arrived at Iowa Methodist saw how busy their ER was, I was worried. But they were waiting for us with a room ready and then we were told the news about the tests that had been done.  Because of the fall at the restaurant, Josh had two tears in his colon and two holes in his bladder, one going in from the back and the other coming out the front.  The doctor informed us that they had no idea how he was still alive with such injuries and he had been bleeding internally for over 21 hours.

Next:  Josh goes into another surgery.
I remember getting the phone call that Josh was in the hospital. I think it was around 10:00pm. Tim and I were in the beginning of our relationship, he had just left not too long ago from my house. After I talked to Josh I let him know I would be there to see him and figure out what was going on. At that time he thought he would be going home shortly. I couldn't get a hold of Tim to come back and watch Kaydin while I ran to the hospital so I packed her up and brought her with me.  When I got there Josh let me know they were actually going to keep him overnight to check things out further in the morning. He was laying on his stomach, in a lot of pain, but we actually laughed about the whole situation. I stayed for awhile with him and then left to get Kaydin back home. His girlfriend at the time was there with him so that made me feel better that he wouldn't be there alone. I finally talked to mom and let her know the deal and that she could just come in the morning, but as I know even better now, I couldn't keep her away. The next morning I honestly can't remember all the details. Dad obviously came into town and I went to the hospital to drop Kaydin off. I didn't even get to go in to see Josh, I had to get on the road for my friend Rachel's wedding. I was driving up with our friend Adam Tucker and needed to meet him for our 4 hour trip to Decorah. When I pulled up in front of the hospital and Mom came out she hugged me just sobbing and worried. I still didn't understand how serious the situation was and really felt no worries. I tried to comfort her and she was happy Dad was now there. I hated to leave but couldn't skip out on a wedding where I was a part of the wedding party. The next few weeks were long, tiring, and a scary time for our family.