F is for Fortitude on an Empty Stomach

“Well, our morning did not go as planned.”

I got that text from my mom Wednesday morning with the message that my dad had been hit by a car while my parents were bike riding in my hometown of Plymouth, Michigan.

Considering all of the rains (and snow) we’ve been experiencing in the Midwest this spring–and the fact that it was a rainy morning in Chicago, I was really surprised they were even out.

They had crossed a busy intersection when he was hit, and they had the right of way, so it is one of those situations that should not have happened, but it did. A driver was negligent and my father ended up on the receiving end of that negligence.

Life is definitely not going quite as planned this week.

So, Dad got hit and he fell onto his side, the side where he had hip replacement surgery 8 years ago. At 8AM–before breakfast. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident; my mom called 911; and the police, a fire truck, and an ambulance arrived to take care of the situation. The ambulance took my dad to the nearest hospital, St. Mary’s; the fire truck gave my mom and the bikes a lift home; and the police interviewed the driver and witnesses.

At St. Mary’s, my dad was in a lot of pain, mainly around his elbow and hip. No head injuries (he was wearing a helmet) and no blood, though, so there was that. The hip was the most concerning for everyone and after initial testing and x-rays, the local hospital was in touch with the University of Michigan Medical Center (where my dad had his hip replacement) to figure out if he should be transferred to U of M. After considerable back and forth, Dad was transferred to U of M in an ambulance.

At U of M, it was a roller coaster of X-rays, consultations with the surgeon (who performed the hip replacement surgery 8 years ago, which is super beneficial) and waiting around for decisions to be made. Lots of unknowns and uncharted paths, there. Elbow? Bruised. Hip area? Initially they thought the hip might be dislocated or shattered; however, instead, they found a fracture along the femur near the hip socket and concern that the replacement/prosthesis hip had been damaged.  And lots of hours where my dad was waiting around at U of M’s Emergency on an empty stomach and in pain, not knowing if the doctors would decide to operate.

Finally, by 5:00PM, a decision: surgery on Friday to replace the hip replacement and possibly fix the fracture. Major surgery, but something to focus on, a known. Something to plan around. Time to gather the troops.

Finally, time to eat and wait to be assigned a room.

Yep, no food ALL day. While my father was clear and alert, he was in a lot of pain, unable to sit up or stand or walk. Regardless, he was taking care of business, showing strength and tenacity. Fortitude.

People: look out for bikers and pedestrians when you are driving!!! My dad got hit by a car crossing Ann Arbor Rd on his bike yesterday morning and is at U of M hospital scheduled for surgery tomorrow. We can all do better!!!!!!

I stayed at work Wednesday (what a topsy turvy, emotional day that was!) and when I got the news about the Friday surgery, decided to work Thursday and head into Michigan after work. Packing for the trip was so discombobulated! I got word just before the dogs and I left Chicago that after plenty of back and forth, my dad’s surgeon had decided not to do surgery on Friday and instead wanted to let the fracture heal a few weeks and then re-evaluate. Yes!!!

I decided to still make the trip, though, and headed home. Over the past 20+ years of living in Chicago and driving back to Michigan, it has never taken me so long to make the trek back to the Detroit area without snow being involved! Construction, fog, rain, and a fuel tanker that had overturned earlier, all messed with my travel time!

Tanker Truck Rollover

I did make it to my parent’s house safe and sound, it just took awhile.

My mom and I headed back to the hospital Friday morning–after the surgeon almost changed his mind yet again about the surgery–and Dad was beginning to regain his confidence. When we arrived, he was working with his PT and OT and he was sitting up, able to stand (assisted) and taking his first shuffle steps. Pretty amazing how far he had come in 48 hours!

In the past 36 hours, Dad has continued making steady progress and getting stronger. The idea is that he will remain in the hospital over the weekend and then be released to rehab, rather than sent straight home. He’s been in positive spirits and is really happy with his U of Michigan care, as well as his roommate, a really nice guy named Michael.

Things are definitely looking up!













4 thoughts on “F is for Fortitude on an Empty Stomach

  1. OMG—I am so sorry!!! AGAIN!! That is terrible but I am glad your dad did not need emergency surgery! Seriously, all of you are due for some good luck some time!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: U is for Upbeat Update | Searching for EMWA

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