Sunday, April 17, 2011

#2 A long hard drive....

I was closing on the Virginia state line when I got off the phone with Kim.  I wasn’t completely sure where I was going, but I had pulled up directions on Google Maps and between trying to stay within the yellow lines I was looking for my next turn-off.  The drive itself was mostly a blur.  I talked idly with Dani and took several phone calls from people who helped me to piece together what had happened.  Hayley’s teacher was one of those calls.  I remember him saying that through his resources he found out that no one had left the scene of the accident in critical condition.  This eased my mind somewhat as I scrambled to make sense of it all. 

I never really found out until days later all the details, but at this point I knew Hayley was going fishing with a classmate in Falling Waters and while driving down Route 11, someone pulled out in front of them with no warning.  She was not at fault, nor was the driver and she had told me the truth.

That information swirled around in my mind while the scenery blurred past me somewhere along Route 7.  Then I received a call from Hayley’s surgeon.  Dr. Griffith had called to tell me what was going on and to get my permissions to proceed.  She explained the extent of Hayley’s injuries and said she needed to operate immediately and that they could not wait for me to get there.  She said Hayley was alert and talking, but she needed to get into her into surgery.   She further went on to tell me that Hayley was a smart girl and that she had gotten into the backseat of the car because the safety belt in the front was not operational…a cold chill went down my spine.  I told her to take good care of my baby, do what she saw necessary and I gave my blessing, while holding my breath.  I had to talk to other people to verify I was giving permission for surgery and other things that might arise.   

Once I got off the phone, I realized that I didn’t have them tell Hayley that I love her.  How could I forget that?  Would I get the chance to tell her?  Other images played in my mind, words the doctor had said; shredded intestines, not sure about her other organs, colostomy bag, blood transfusions, infection, abdominal muscles cut from pelvis, rare injury…. But she was talking, that had to be a good sign, right?  Why didn’t I tell her I loved her?

The phone wouldn’t stop ringing, Dani was getting anxious from the long drive, my phone kept shorting out, but at least I had some distractions.  Then right before the Dulles toll, I got another call from the hospital.  It was a nurse named Michelle; she was a pediatric nurse, who was calling for my permission for anesthesia.  I had to pull over at this point, because I wasn’t sure I would make the right turns if I was talking.  She was very nice and offered to call me back to make sure I was on the right path, and I will be damned if she didn’t.  I asked her to tell Hayley I loved her and she helped me to 495.  Within 30 minutes I was in sight of the hospital.

When I got off 495, I went the wrong way, didn’t get lost and was still within sight of the hospital.  Dani was hungry, so I pulled into an Exxon.  I let her go in and get something to eat and drink, while I pulled myself together.  I was suddenly terrified, shaking again.  I was so close and so scared of what was in store.  I kept beating down the negative thoughts that kept rearing their ugly head, but it was hard to do it alone. 

I got my cell phone out, hit my facebook application and for the first time ever hit the “locations” button and checked in at Inova Fairfax Hospital with a post that said, “Please pray for Hayley.” 

Within minutes, I was struck by a wave…..

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