For those of you that don’t know, I was in a pretty bad car wreck just over a week ago. I blacked out while driving and found my way to some trees. In the process, I got some bumps and bruises and shards of glass here and there, all basically minor. I also managed to break my jaw in two places, which is pretty major, and therefore I now have I wired jaw for the next 6-8 weeks, yielding an all liquid diet and constantly clenched teeth. I will definitely blog about what I can remember from my accident (I was in and out for most all of the evacuation and transport) but I thought for now I would share lessons from one week being wired shut.
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1. Just the thought of biting into a juicy hamburger will scare you. Later, after about my 300th serving of soup, I am sure the hamburger will be my heart’s desire, but for now, the idea of extending my mandible and chomping down on something like that gets me fearful.
2. Yawning is every bit as terrifying as you might imagine it to be. A casual yawn turns into a 6 sec nightmare as the lower part of my jaw tries to naturally separate from the top, to which it is very securely wired. When this happens, I have found myself squeaking out some sort of unintelligible prayer and flapping my hands next to my face. Fortunately, it passes quickly, and at a yawn’s conclusion, I don’t know whether to cry tears of pain or of laughter.
3. Throwing up when the opening from your esophagus to the rest of the world is blocked by wired together teeth is extremely more terrifying than you might imagine it to be. This one doesn’t need to much explanation, and I doubt you really want details. Suffice it to say, I’ve done it twice and hope not to do it again in the remaining weeks.
4. Getting cold, resulting in chills, is highly inadvisable. This happened one night in the hospital, and the uncontrollable chattering of a broken jaw that that is wired shut is excruciating. Then, the pain and fear from the cold chills resulted in nervous shakes throughout my body, unsteady hands, tears, and ultimately a dose of morphine in my IV. After my first shower when I got home, I felt myself getting cold and immediately cried. Fortunately, we were able to warm me up before I had to experience the chills again.
5. Amidst all the pain, there will be lots of unbelievable blessings. You will see an image of your car and know that only God could have spared you from what should have been death. The police officer that was the first responder will give your husband his personal cell so that he can receive a report on you. People 5 counties away will manage to get dinner on your front porch. The glasses that you lost in the wreck will be replaced for free from your optometrist friends. Your mailbox will be flooded with gift cards to places that serve smoothies. Friends will watch your kids and love them fully. Your mother-in-law, when told the strawberry Ensure that you had in the hospital wasn’t that bad, will clear out Wal-Mart of their supply. Your brother will take off work to be with you, hold your hand. When you cry, and you say that all this seems too hard, your mom will cusp your hand, look you in the eyes with her beautiful blue ones, and speak to you that she taught you to be a strong woman, just like her momma taught her to be, and you will know that she speaks the truth. Your brother-in-law will mow your yard. Your sister-in-law will come immediately to the hospital with dinner for your hungry husband. Every family member’s pastor, including all the ones from your church, will come, driving out of their way, to pray with and for you. From the west coast, your brother will send a funny card to make you smile, along with yummy smoothie recipes. People that are strangers to you but friends to those you love will bring creamy soups from Trader Joe’s. The best man from your wedding will show up unexpectedly and suddenly make you bawl like a baby. Your phone will consistently receive texts of scripture, requests to help, prayer, and support. Your children will bring you flowers, rub your hair, and smile uncertain smiles that are still filled with hope and love.
Your husband will utterly amaze you, pray over you, cry over you, hold you up, awake in the middle of the night, wait on you hand and foot, carry all the family’s burdens and not falter. He will help rub off the IV stickiness, he will scour at a nurse that does something wrong, he will send out Facebook updates to everyone letting them know your condition, he will truly and ultimately be your helpmate and love of your life, cause he will be the walking embodiment of proving the line he said 10 years ago of “for better or for worse.”
Close friends, distant friends, strangers, family and people in-between will pray beautiful prayers, and you will feel them, covet them, echo them, and know that your God hears them. You will know God hears them because you are still alive, and even thought things are not perfect, you fully know that things could have been much, much worse, and you’ve been blessed to live another day, and so has your sweet unborn baby that you carry inside; and that is one miracle no one can deny.