Note After Hunter’s Accident

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It’s been a long six weeks. After 38 days of being at the hospital all day, crying, hoping, praying, laughing, crying, being frustrated, crying, and begging, it was good to get home! Of course, he was released (last Wednesday) in the middle of a raging blizzard so we were stuck in Denver, but the next day we drove the 150 miles in 4WD to get home.

As most of you know by now, my son Hunter was in a near-fatal motorcycle accident on September 20th and suffered a severe traumatic brain injury and extensive facial fractures. Now, six and a half weeks later, it is no less than miraculous how well he is doing. He is living here at home with Rich and I and he is getting stronger every single day. Although it will probably be a long time before Hunter is able to go home and work and drive, we are thrilled with his progress. Right now the big mission is to get Hunter stronger physically—he lost 25 pounds he couldn’t afford to lose while in the hospital and you can only imagine what 6 weeks in bed would do to your stamina. He has only been eating by mouth for a few days now and is still dealing with a lot of pain. In another two weeks he should be free of the stomach tube and the extensive hardware in his mouth (used to rebuild his now-titanium face).

Unfortunately, this current mission does not bode well for my five-pound challenge. I have never bought and fixed such fattening food in such copious amounts in my life. Everything I make is now high-calorie and the highest possible fat content. If I can, I add even more fat than the recipe calls for. And then, of course, if he does not eat it, well… I hate to waste it! Oh boy.

It’s been really hard to get back into a regular routine since we’ve been home. It’s sort of like waking up one day, at the age of 50 (when life starts getting really good), to find you suddenly have a toddler in the house. But please don’t misunderstand me, Hunter is not in any way acting like a toddler mentally, but taking care of a very sick person is quite time consuming! My time is not my own anymore and I find myself scrambling to find time to answer emails, get a run in or take a rare soak in the hot tub. I imagine many of you have had similar experiences. How’d you do it? Any words of wisdom?

In spite of my whining, I feel like things are getting back to normal, slowly but surely for me. I am ready to get back to work, start thinking and writing about horses and maybe even riding one. Who knows, maybe I’ll go clean a few stalls and really get my mind sorted out. Expect more from me now.

Best,

Julie

 

 

Days Turn Into Weeks After Hunter’s Accident

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Its hard to believe it has been almost three weeks since my sons motorcycle accident. I have been at the hospital all day every day and although at times each minute seems like an eternity, at other times I cannot believe it has already been 20 days. My life has turned upside-down and I am looking forward to some sense of normalcy returning. But every time I think of complaining, I think of what Hunter is enduring with stoic bravery.

Hunter had major surgery last Saturday to rebuild his very broken face. It took 10 hours and the results are remarkable. Other than some bruising and swelling and a not-so-pretty scar that goes eartoear, his face looks fantastic. The maxillofacial specialist, Dr. Daniel Esposito, and his team did incredible work. He showed me the post-surgery CT scan and although he face is full of titanium plates and screws, it is beautifully symmetrical. Hunters jaw will be wired shut for another week, then rubber bands after that. As long as he still has his jaws wired, hell need to stay on a trach, to protect access to his airway.

Although Hunter has struggled all week to climb out of the anesthesia and druginduced fog he has been in, today he is beginning to see some clear sky. They down-sized his trach today so that he is able to talk around italthough it is hard and very tiring for him. The good news is that he is able to put together words and sentencesno easy feat for a brain-injured patient.

In the next few days, we are hoping that Hunter will be moved from the ICU to the neuro floor. From there, hell move on to re-hab and I am hopeful that it will go well. Hes a very strong, brave and determined guy.

Hunter has received many kind cards every day, both from friends that are familiar to us and some that only know us through this blog or the TV show. In all cases, they mean a lot to both Hunter and me and I am very touched by your kindness, your stories and your encouragement. A very kind soul even sent me several books on coping with brain injury and I have been devouring them. Thank you so much.

I yearn to be at home again with my husband and my dogs at my side. I miss the smell of horses and the sweet sound of them chewing on hay. I miss watching them romp and play during their morning turnout and the sound of their beckoning at feed time. I know that day will come soon, when I get to go home. Next week, in fact, when I leave Hunter in the capable hands of my sister, nurse Cathy, while I go home to get my horse and gear and head up to Granby, CO, to teach a clinicthe yoga and riding retreat. If I ever needed yoga, its now! I cant wait to sit on a horse again.

I have managed to get some writing done and work on the promotion for the release of my new saddles  by Circle Y which are debuting this month. My newsletter will be out soonworking on these things has been a blessed distraction.

Until next time,

Julie