Coyote 1 Husband 0

MenDana

 

When the fire department comes knocking on your door with your husband’s bicycle in two pieces, with no husband in sight and the first words out of the fireman’s mouth are, “He’s going to be okay…” it’s never a good sign.

I was getting ready to leave for a jog; my husband had left about 20 minutes before for an early bike ride to beat the heat.  I had planned to join him but I got up late so I didn’t ask him to wait for me.  When I opened the front door a huge fire truck was parked on my driveway, a young fireman asked for confirmation that this was indeed Mr. L&A’s address while two other men in uniform carried my husband’s broken bike to our garage, along with his shoes and sunglasses.  Again, no husband.

“He’s going to be okay.  Your husband hit a coyote going downhill on [naming our cross street]; he was being repetitive so we think he might have a concussion and we thought it would be better to get him checked out at the hospital. He’s on his way by ambulance now.”

Relying on the first words of the fireman I tried not to be too alarmed as I rushed to the hospital five miles away.  Cycling accidents are not uncommon in our neck of the woods and no car was involved after all…but knowing how steep our hill is and how easily one (namely my husband) could pick up speed, it gave me pause.  When I arrived at the hospital, all I could do was wait.  The emergency room staff was wonderful about keeping me informed but each delay for more tests when I was promised I’d be able to see him “in 15 minutes” raised the alarm bells inside me.

The good thing was that my husband was conscious and alert.  Knowing that I was waiting to see him, he made sure that the staff assured me that he was fine because he didn’t want me, in his words, to “freak out”.  It would be an hour before I was allowed into the trauma unit but not before I was prepped for the major road rash my husband suffered and oh, he has some broken ribs.

“How many?” I asked.

“Six” was the reply.

Because of all my worries about head trauma it never occurred to me to ask about other injuries.  It was at this point that all my composure went out the window and I fell apart.  My strong, invincible husband suffered major injuries–the worst news one could possibly hear.  He has always been such a careful cyclist, an excellent bike handler and has always encouraged a safety-first cycling mentality.  I pulled myself together before being escorted to the trauma unit but promptly fell apart again as soon as I spotted my husband on a gurney, cycling clothes half torn off by the pavement, bloody, with major open wounds all over.  The ironic thing was that he started to console me.  “I’ll be okay,” he said.  “They said we’ll still be able to go on our trip in August.”  As if I cared about the trip at that point.

I’m usually the strong one.  I’m the one who stays calm during a storm but seeing your husband so badly beaten up apparently can turn a grown woman into a blubbering little girl.  Not my finest hour.

 

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In a nutshell, my husband suffered a concussion, a bruised lung, a broken bone in his left hand and several broken ribs.  His bicycle broke in two pieces upon impact with the coyote (he was going downhill at about 35 mph) and his helmet split, absorbing the impact when he flew over his bike and crashed on the pavement. He rolled downhill for a while before finally stopping.

He was in the secondary intensive care unit for a couple of days because of the risk of pneumonia but the doctors all said that because of his overall good health, he is expected to recover completely.  As bad as all the injuries sound, we know that it could have been so much worse and we are so very thankful.

We are now on Week 2 of being at home.  I will admit that the first 24 hours were extremely challenging, for me and for my husband.  Because of the broken ribs he couldn’t sit up or lie down in bed without my help.  And since he has 80 pounds and eight inches on me, it has been no easy task.  Quickly we discovered ways to make things easier by using things around the house.  Our step stool was great for pushing himself further into the bed.  He would sit on the edge and push himself then I would swing his legs over to get the rest of his body in position. We used all our pillows in the house to keep him propped up and comfortable.  I had no idea what it would take to provide round-the-clock care but we have managed and with each day that has passed it has gotten easier…though not just a little tiring.

For the last few days he’s been able to get in and out of bed on his own, has increased mobility, has graduated to sitting on the chair in the living room and no longer needs to use his cane.  Follow up appointments with our doctors confirmed that my husband is recovering very well though they made him promise that he would not get back on the bike until all pain has gone away.

You might be curious to know what happened to the coyote.  This was actually my animal-loving husband’s first question at the hospital.  No one knows.  He ambled away from the scene and we both hope he survived.

The kitchen has been closed for the last two weeks but should be re-opening again soon.  It will be a good time to finally share the next installment of our trip last year and hopefully finish the series before we leave for this year’s trip at the end of August.  When I do start cooking again, I think the first thing on the list to make will be goodies for the fire department and all the people who were so kind and helpful throughout this frightening ordeal.

I want to thank everyone–friends, family and readers—for all your prayers and words of support.  I appreciate it so much!!! 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. So happy to hear that Dana is well on his way to recovery and that you’ll still be able to take your summer trip! Just wish I lived closer so I could bring you a big pot of soup and baked treats, of course. :)

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Laura, you are so sweet. That would have been so nice. Thank you so much for your prayers!

  2. Oh my goodness, I felt chills the entire time I read this. I’m so glad that he is on the mend and that it wasn’t any worse than it was. Hope you are both doing well!

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Thanks, Alison. We’re doing better each day. Life is close to getting back to normal. :)

  3. I’ve been thinking about you… SO glad to hear that he is getting better!!!! xoxo

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Kate, thanks so much. Happy to say that life is heading closer to being back to normal each day. xo :)

  4. Oh my! Glad for a good recovery! My husband is a cyclist and I am scared each time he is out on the road! He thinks me silly!

  5. Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry! I hope recover continues to improve and that this just brings you guys closer together. So thankful he’s OK!

  6. Oh my goodness I am so so sorry to hear that, but SO glad that he is on the road to recovery! How nerve racking! You are in my prayers and so glad he is OK.

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Thanks so much, Raven. It was definitely scary for me so I can only imagine what a nightmare for my husband as it was happening. Thanks so much for your prayers!

  7. Wow, that had to be so traumatic, so happy he’s on the mend!

  8. I get so frightened every time my hubby gets on his bike and count the minutes until each return. D’s recent accident was every wive’s nightmare – my heart beat so fast as I read your/his story! But I take comfort in that he is home safe with you and in your good care. Enjoy the time with him while the kitchen is closed, so glad you’ll be able to go on your trip next month :)

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Liren, you and I do the same thing. I always know which bike route D’s riding and know the exact time it takes to complete it. If he’s late, I start to worry. This came so out of the blue that it was the last thing on my mind when the fire dept came to the house. Very thankful for his quick recovery and for your prayers!!! :)

  9. He’s lucky to have you and your strength. GREG

  10. You both sound like amazing people to be so thankful to the fire department (love their first words) and concerned about the coyote.
    I’m glad permanent damage was not done, and hope you both (because caregivers need nurturing, too) continue to take it easy and don’t try too much too soon.

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Kirsten, thanks for your kind words. We really do wish we knew what happened to the coyote. If he was able to walk away from the scene we hope he wasn’t injured too badly (but hard to imagine that he wasn’t considering what happened to my husband). Happy to say my husband is getting better each day. Thanks so much! :)

  11. Thanks for the update Jean… I was relating your story to a biker friend of mine last week as he had mentioned coyotes darting out in front of him. We have lots around here.
    I’m glad your husband is doing better!! I’m crediting his quick recovery with the expert nursing care that I know he’s been receiving. And btw… where is your next trip??

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      You’re so sweet, Kim, thank you! I have newfound respect for nurses/caregivers–had absolutely no idea what it would be like once my husband got home but we managed somehow.

      I have had a mature buck cross the same road while going downhill on my bike. I’ve never forgotten it and it immediately put an end to my speeding downhill. Just thankful that my husband didn’t collide with a bigger animal.

      Next trip will be to the South of France again. We’re boring that way. We were considering trying a new place but we like that part of the world so much we decided to return. :)

  12. What a relief that your husband is okay. Another reminder of how important bike helmets are. Concentrate on what’s important. The blog can definitely wait.

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Laura, thanks so much! Starting to cook here and there again but nothing worthy of sharing on the blog. Happy to say that things are slowly returning to normal. :)

  13. I’m so sorry to hear that, but I’m glad your husband’s getting better. That would have freaked me out too…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  14. Thanks for checking in to let us know how you and your husband are doing. I’m glad to hear that the worst is over. Take your time getting back into normal mode – we will keep the stove light on for you. :)

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Thanks so much, Valerie! I’ve really missed baking. Hoping to be able to bake a treat or two in the coming week. :)

  15. Sweet Jean, so glad to hear your hubby is doing better and recovering. Gosh, that must have been horrifying for you… Sending thoughts your way!!! xoxo

  16. Thanks for the update Jean, I was so sorry to hear about Dana’s accident but I know he’s in very good hands and you’re right he was lucky! Looking forward to the opening of L&A kitchen, missed your posts ;). Have a wonderful weekend ;)

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      That’s so sweet, Patty, thank you. Really missing baking treats and putting together some fun dishes! Hoping to be able to make something blog-worthy much sooner than expected! xo :)

  17. How scary, Jean! I know your heart stopped when the fireman came to your door with Dana’s bike in two pieces. I’m so glad to hear that he is recovering and you two have you annual vacation to look forward to – the south of France will be an even more welcome respite after everything you two have been through. Sending healing thoughts for Dana and a big hug for you :)

  18. Oh no! I was going through my accumulated emails and saw your new post (I’ve been in Japan). And I just found about about Dana! I’m so sorry this happened to him. You must have been so scared! :( Hope he’s recovering fast. Thinking of you guys…

  19. Hi Jean – Just saw your Instagram and I’m glad to hear your hubby is doing well enough to get out of the house. What a horrible accident for both of you to have to go through! :( I hope he continues to recover quickly and that you’ll enjoy a nice relaxing well-deserved vacation… all healed! :) Take care!!!

  20. Hi Jean, I’m sorry about the accident and that was a scary moment but I’m glad your husband is recovering well. Like you, my wife is the same way as the stronger one and more calm going through the storm. I wish your husband complete and speedy recovery. :)

  21. Hoping hubby is well on his way to recovery! I am sure he is so happy to have you as his wife. We marry for better or worse, in sickness and health – you are certainly living up to your vows. Hope to see you soon! :-) Give our best to hubby!!!!

  22. That is so scary Jean and I’m so glad it worked out okay and that hubby is out and walking already. It’s horrible to watch our loved ones in that shape. I’ve had several close calls with both my husband and daughter and it really wears you out. Hoping you guys are able to go on your trip and that the coyote only got his ego bruised.
    -Gina-

  23. Wishing your husband a speedy recovery, Jean. It is certainly not an easy task to take care of a loved one who is ill or injured. It truly tests our patience and compassion for others. Looking forward to lunch with you soon :)

  24. Jean, what a story, I would have fallen apart too and I’m always the strong one too. I hope he continues to get better quickly. He was truly blessed to not have been hurt worse. I’m not a coyote lover since we have so many out here and they have gotten all my small animals except 3 cats that are pretty street smart. I know that coyotes have to eat too, just not my pets. Wishing your hubby pain free days ahead.

Trackbacks

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