Sunday, August 31, 2008

Jared's Neck-Breaking Adventure



So I figured that I owed everyone an explanation for all the pictures that showed up on facebook all of a sudden. So here is the story of what happened with my neck. I am just going to put mostly facts here; I plan to write an entry of my thoughts and feelings for this whole adventure. Let’s hope that comes soon. So, here’s how it went down…

Thursday August 28, 2008 was supposed to be our last day in Hawaii. We decided to go to a beach nearby after checking out of our hotel. This beach had the best waves of any beach we had been to yet. I immediately went out into the waves and started trying to body surf. I was relatively new at this sport, since I really wasn’t sure how to body surf exactly. My first clue that I shouldn’t have been there was that it seemed that I was the only non-local in the water at that time. I also should have caught the hint after a few waves really took me for a ride under the water and drove me all around. I figured that I would eventually figure out the technique seeing as I had caught a few waves in for a good ride. Then I was early on a huge wave that picked me off my feet and slammed me to the ground. I thought I hit on top of my head, but since the bruise is on the upper part of my forehead I think that must be where I hit. When I hit there was a crunch that I both felt and heard. There was an instant feeling that went down my right arm like my funny bone had been hit - hard. I got to my feet after the wave had past and tried to stumble into shore when I got nailed by the next wave. After I got to my feet again I hurried to the shore holding my neck.

The lifeguards came out to me right away. They made me lay down so they could assess my situation. They checked my limbs and decided I was mostly okay but they really thought I should go to the hospital. After I told them five times that I wasn’t going they had me sign a refuse treatment form and then let me go. I went and lay down on the beach for a while. My neck hurt pretty badly and my right arm was really tingling. So I called my brother Dan to find out what he thought of the situation. He thought because my arm had the funny feeling that there was something up with my nerves and I should get it checked out. So I called my dad for the insurance information and then decided to go to the hospital. I went to let the lifeguard know that I was going to the hospital and he said he didn’t want me to drive there. He had me lay down and they put a neck brace on me and called an ambulance. They had me strapped to the body board by the time the medics got there. That started my ten hours of being mostly strapped to a body board.

In the emergency room I was chillin there with Laura Haber. We told them that we were trying to catch a flight that night. They did their best to run the tests to get me out on time. They took some X-rays and then they did a CT-Scan. I lay there for a while hoping they would let me go soon when Dr. Yu came in and said, “I am glad we did the CT-Scan, because the X-rays showed that everything was fine, but the CT-Scan showed that you have a broken neck.” I said, “Are you kidding?” Then he went on with technical stuff that I didn’t pay much attention to. I had a broken neck.

He told me they were going to send me to the trauma unit in Honolulu. So I got a backpack with my stuff in it and Laura got a bag with her necessities. They put me on a different board (I guess the beach lifeguards wanted theirs back). I then went to the airport in another ambulance and they put me on a very small plane. Laura was really worried about flying on such a small plane. I told her that it was going to be just fine. It would be a fun plane ride. The plane ride was mostly fun except my lower back and tailbone were really starting to hurt from being strapped to a back board for so long.

After the landing of the plane and my ambulance ride to hospital they put me in a large room and there were people all around me. I got asked all the same questions all over again and the ER Doctor told me what to expect. He said I would get am MRI and a CT-Scan done and then the next day the neurosurgeon would look at my results and make recommendations. He said that there were still many options that might happen to me and prepared me for those. There was a guy named Frank would was a social worker who brought Laura Haber to a room and came and tried to make me feel good about myself. He called my dad and let me talk to him.

I went to give a try at the MRI machine at about 11:30 pm. I was supposed to lay still for forty five minutes or so while they scanned my whole body. My lower back hurt so badly from being strapped to a board for so long that I couldn’t sit still. The technician pulled me out of the machine after ten minutes and gave me some pain killers and told me that if I couldn’t sit still then I would have to have the scan done the next day. I really wanted to be done with this ASAP so I willed up all the will power that I had left and told him to put me back in the machine. My whole body was aching and just wanted to move, but I wouldn’t let myself move. After almost half an hour it was getting so bad I almost gave up and told him to scan me the next day. Then Stairway to Heaven came on my headphones. I had requested this song and I knew that I could stay still as long as this song was playing, because Stairway makes everything better. I was able to get through the song then he told me I had five minutes left, so I was able to survive the last five minutes.

They gave me more painkillers after I got out of the machine which didn’t do anything– same as the first time they tried painkillers. After the CT-Scan they brought me to a room and put me in a bed. It was so comfortable! They even let me lay on my side! I lay there for a long night with many thoughts going through my head. I slept less than twenty minutes all night, I am sure. Laura came in my room about 7:00 am. I didn’t realize how grateful I was that she came with me until she walked in the room that morning. So we began the waiting for the doctors to come in and let me know what was up.

After killing time as much as possible with trying to sleep and talking a team of doctors came in the room and told me that they weren’t the real doctor that was in charge of me but they had talked with him. They said he looked at my results and I would probably just wear a neck brace for six weeks and then call it good. That was such a relief. After that info they let me get up a go for a walk and use the bathroom (what a relief). They also let me eat food; it had been a long time since I had eaten anything.

We waited until the doctor came and told me what I could and couldn’t do for the next six weeks. He then said I could go soon. They unhooked the IV (finally) and I just chilled until they gave me all the release materials. Laura and I hung out on the front lawn of the hospital and I talked to some people on the phone. We then went to the airport to finally end our crazy adventure. Laura gave me her first class ticket and she sat back in coach. I tried to sleep that night on the plane and I think I got maybe an hour or two of sleep. Once I got home and gave my mother a hug I felt the crazy adventure was finally over. I gave Laura a hug and tried to thank her and apologize for what she had gone through in the past couple days. I then went home and I am now trying to adjust to my new life.

8 comments:

Janice said...

Jared, I am so glad you are alright! I do think you should have your neck looked at again, just to be sure. We love you and wish you a speedy recovery.
Aunt Janice

Jeff said...

Hardcore! Again, I say Hardcore!

Mary said...

I am glad you are doing better! We were really worried when we received a call from Matt's mom (your Aunt Janice) last week to tell us what happened. I hope that once the neck brace comes off then that will be the end of all physical consequences of your "Neck-Breaking Adventure"!!!

Moonsahra said...

Yikes! I'm glad to hear that things look like they'll. It sounds like your adventures will have to be of a different sort for a while. Get feeling better!

Maria said...

Wow! . . . I'm speechless. When are you going to come around Alta with your neck brace? You truly are hardcore. Although I admit I was hoping for a slightly more intense story about how you broke your neck . . .

Kelli Brewer said...

They put me on a different board (I guess the beach lifeguards wanted theirs back).

This made me giggle. Glad you're okay and welcome home!

James said...

It brings me massive quantities of happiness to know that you are okay (okay meaning not dead). I'm sorry that you Mom got this chance to say I told you so. Remember, I believe in you!

Josie said...

oh my gosh! Glad you're okay!

It's always on the last day of vacation, too...