Friday, May 31, 2013

Day 2

This is what I wrote in my journal about Day 2 after Dallin's accident.

"Well these two days ran together since I haven’t gone to sleep at all. After I was alone it really started to hit me and I got super emotional. I called my mom balling. The nurse’s were so nice and got me warm blankets and food. The new nurse on today is named Michaela. She is really nice and is taking great care of Dallin. They took him down around 7:30AM to get another CT so we are waiting on Dr. Welling to come and analyze it. It’s about 9:10AM now and Clayton, Laura, and Tanner should be getting off their plane now and hopefully heading here. No one has been here since about 2AM, just me. And I will not leave. Now I just go and stand with him and talk to him and hold his hand. I laugh at his chipped toe nail because I’m always telling him he needs to trim them! I go through periods of feeling confident he will fight this and overcome it and will be fine. Then I have periods where I can’t breathe and realize there’s a chance he won’t wake up. I cannot live without him. I can’t. I won’t. I have a baby to think about, too. The nurse’s keep telling me I need to take care of myself and sleep and eat and yada yada yada. I am eating when I can and I am doing my best to take care of myself. But who cares about me when Dallin is laying there intubated with a brain monitor drilled in his skull. He’s restrained so if he becomes agitated he won’t yank anything out and he looks so weak there like if the machines stops working he’s gone.

 Dallin's boss, Dave, sent those two little stuffed lambs to show their love and support.

Devin and Teddi got here and I felt relieved. I asked him right away for a blessing. It was beautiful and brought peace. Dallin’s family got there shortly after and, of course, there was some initial shock. Dallin just looks terrible. The nurse explained some things and answered all of their questions. We then were asked to wait in a consultation room as the doctor checked him out and then would come to talk to us. We waited awhile and a social worker came in, a case manager, our nurse, and the Doctor. This Doctor told us this is a very serious catastrophic injury. It was nothing but bad bad bad. We should not have too much hope for recovery and that if he even wakes at all. Needless to say when they walked out we all fell apart bawling. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. My worst nightmare coming true before my eyes.  I went over to his room and there was Devin and Teddi and we all cried some more. We spent time with him, cried more, spent time, finally mom got there which was really nice. The Nero Surgeon Dr. Welling was ready to meet with us again with case manager, social worker, and nurse present. He said we have every reason to be “cautiously optimistic”.  He said that we still aren’t for sure on the shearing and that it will become evident as he is taken off the meds and we can check his nero responses. The area of the brain where the shearing may have occurred is in the mid brain and just above it. If it was lower at the brain stem yes that is catastrophic he said. The midbrain is still dangerous but nothing as condemning as the brain stem. He said Dallin’s intra cranial pressure has been doing marvelous and he doesn’t expect it to spike like previously thought. He even mentioned he might be taking the ICP monitor out in the next 24-36 hours. Good news. The biggest threat is the axonal diffusion/brain shear. Again, it will be a few days before we even try to take him off. Dr. Welling said he’s seen the whole spectrum of recoveries in these cases from vegetative state to fully functioning. He said no matter what though to expect the long haul. This could take many weeks to many months. He did say that in a bad case scenario that Dallin wasn’t waking up after three weeks or so he’d recommend we treat him intensely for the next three months before we even discuss other options.  After that meeting we all felt so much more hopeful. There weren’t any tears after that meeting we all felt determined. After a while that wore off. Maybe it was just being tired or just seeing Dallin struggle with getting his feeding tube in. The rest of the day is a blur. A lot of talking, spending time with Dallin.  Everything is still so unsure. No one knows what will happen.

Everyone insists I get sleep and eat and go lay down for awhile. So I came here to the Guest Inn. It’s very beautiful. I took a shower and not even sure how I was putting one foot in front of the other. I got dressed and came to the bed to start typing. I can’t handle these feelings inside. I can’t handle the possibility of Dallin not waking up. I need to call someone and the only person in the whole world I want to talk to is in the ICU and unresponsive. My dear sweet amazing perfect loving husband that only ever treated me like a queen and loved me more than any human has ever loved me. I sit on this bed and can’t stand the thought of getting in it without my husband cuddled up next to me. I have no peace in my soul.

Needless to say I left right away for the hospital. The nurse, Cory, was so kind and he moved Dallin’s bed over and pulled up my recliner chair right next to Dallin. He put the side rail down so I could get as close as possible to him. I was facing him and I could hold his hand. I felt calmer at this point just being with him and knowing if anything went wrong or changed I would be right there.  This was the best thing that has happened in the last 24 hours. Cory was so nice to talk to and he was really calm and concerned. There’s really just nothing we can predict at this time. There’s no way to tell what damage has been done, not until he starts waking up."

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dallin's Car Accident: Day 1

Of course I'm writing this after the incident, but it was on May 30, 2013 that Dallin was in a horrific car accident.

It started out as any other normal day. We both were off to work. I got home a little earlier than him and our plan that night was to help Uncle Kenny and Aunt Janalee pack and move some things. I was originally going to wait for Dallin and we'd go together, but he was going to be longer than expected so I drove myself and he met me there. Below is what I wrote the night of the accident.

"After spending some time over at Kenny and Janalee’s, Dallin and I were heading out. Dallin reminded me that we needed to go to the farm and feed our girls-the sheep. (Something we love to do together.) I thought he should take the car and I said I’d take the truck. We headed on our way to highway 89 as usual and Dallin was leading the way. We got in the middle turning lane and waited for our turn to cross the highway onto the farm driveway.  As Dallin turned I noticed he was cutting it awfully close. Before my eyes Dallin was struck by the oncoming vehicle (an SUV) going at least 60 mph. His car spun around, things falling apart. Right there in the middle of the road. I was shocked. I slammed the breaks. Turned off the car, got out and yelled “What is going on!” I was so worked up and didn’t know what to think. I saw the man from the vehicle that struck him jump out of his car and run around to the other side to grab his four year old daughter. Thank the Good Lord they were both completely fine. (Angry, understandably) All this happened in nano seconds, by the way. I mean I called 911 and handed it off to some lady and ran up to Dallin’s side of the car within maybe 4 seconds at the most. I saw him and his eyes were closed and he wasn’t moving. I tried to open the door but it was locked or jammed. I started banging on the window, Dallin! Dallin! Please wake up!! No response. I could see blood all over his face, but other than that there was no bones sticking out and I could see his chest rising and falling. (shallow breaths) I ran to the truck to get the keys remembering I had a spare for this car. I unlocked it and tried over and over again but the door wouldn’t budge. The passenger side of the vehicle was now non-existent. I went over to that side of the car and reached my hand in and touched his shoulder, Dallin, sweetheart, I’m right here. Are you okay? No response. People were jumping out of their car to help try and get the door open with no success.

The other car

The rest of what happened is a blur. I know within a few minutes EMS was there. (They were already close by.) They said he had a strong pulse so that was good. I just kept putting my hand to my mouth and crying. I remember calling my mom and Dallin’s mom and Kenny and Janalee. I remember a man was standing there and asked, Is this the boy that feeds the sheep? I said, Yes, he’s my husband and he works here for Dave and a man name Paryl lives right here. And he said, I am Paryl. I’d never been so grateful to have someone that knew my sweet Dallin right there. I needed him there. He put his arm around me. I remember policemen asking me about my truck and I gave them the keys to move it. Then there was a nice Assistant Fire Chief who offered to take me in his vehicle to the ER, leading the ambulance. They had to extricate him from the vehicle, cut it apart to get him out. They put him on the stretcher and I just remember feeling sick. We got in the vehicle and left.  I called Tara on the way. She didn’t answer so I tried TJ and let him know what was going on. Devin happened to be working with her that night. They got off work and jumped in the car and waited to hear from me where they needed to meet us. We got to the ER before him which made me nervous but the ambulance got there soon after. They intubated him right away, started him on propofol. He was absolutely non-respondent to any commands. They took him to get a CT scan and he had a seizure and then another 3 minutes later. I wasn’t in the room but heard about it later. Good thing I wasn’t because I was traumatized enough. They got him back in the ER room and tried to stabilize him. They called the med flight guys to come and one doctor told me things really didn’t look too bad and then the on-call neuro surgeon said it looked pretty serious. I wanted so badly to ride in the helicopter with him but everyone was telling me that wouldn’t be possible. They said med flights never let you come with. I started praying. I can’t imagine having to drive all the way to a hospital where my husband would be. Anything could happen. Kenny and Lance gave Dallin a sweet blessing just before med flight got there. Janalee was by my side the entire time. When med flight got there I asked the pilot (in desperation) if I could go with them. He said that he thought it’d be okay. There was one extra seat. He was very nice about it. I was so grateful for this tender mercy. They got him all ready. His body was so scratched up and his head had at least two large lacerations that continued to bleed. His body would start flexing and I guess his hands were in decorticate position and each pupil was responding differently. Both signs of brain damage. I got to hold his hand. I often clean things out of his ears (mostly out of habit) since he works on a farm and constantly has hay and dust in there. I automatically started cleaning the glass out of his ear.

On the way to the helicopter, Dallin coded in the middle of the parking lot. Kenny asked if we would lose him right here and Norm, his friend, reminded him of the blessing he just gave Dallin that said Dallin would live.

(This is Dallin in the helicopter)

The flight was a little traumatic. The monitor showed his oxygen levels dropping dramatically and his body would start to contract.  The nurse said the monitor wasn’t picking up his vitals right and he was doing okay. (That was reassuring) He was seizing almost the whole way. We landed and I could see Devin and Tara standing outside observing. I was comforted by the fact they were already there. They rushed him in and had me follow. Lots was going on. Switching him over to the hospital’s tubes and what not. I asked if I could have another person with me and they said okay. I asked for Tara since she’s an ER nurse and would be able to tell me exactly what they were doing. She came in and at first you could see the emotion hit her of seeing her brother lying there. After a couple moments she jumped into nurse mode and started telling me everything that was going on. 

They got him up to ICU right away and we all had to wait. Brian and Kris, Devin and Teddi, Dad and Hikaru, Shintaro and Koto, Carol and Lance, and Tara were all there. It was so nice to have all the support. But it was heart wrenching to see their faces as they saw Dallin being wheeled up to ICU. It’s heartbreaking to see someone in that position, especially someone you love. The Neuro surgeon, Dr. Welling, came in an hour later to discuss what was going on. He noted the chance of axonal diffusion (which is very bad) he said it could turn out fine that they needed to monitor his cranial pressure. He said it would get worse before it got better. More waiting. Trauma surgeon said they stapled up his lacerations and everything else looks fine. More waiting. Dad and kids leave. Brian and Kris leave. Now just us Wengerts and Carol and Lance. Lance and Heidi got a bag together and had Lance bring it to me. She packed pajamas, makeup, snacks, laptop, phone charger, clothes. Awesome girl. So grateful.  Between all this speaking with mom and called Dallin’s boss Dave. Nurse comes in with paperwork. Carol and Lance go. Just us four. Finally we can go back and see Dallin. Seeing him is surreal. Five million tubes everywhere. How does he manage to still look so handsome.

Devin grabbed Dallin’s hand to give him a blessing of comfort. We all cried. And cried. Half of me is doing really well and able to listen to doctors and ask questions. The other half is falling apart. I look at him and it’s like I’m having the worst nightmare I could’ve imagined. I’m angry at him and just can’t wait for him to wake up so I can yell at him for doing this, for turning when he shouldn’t have. The other half wants to hold him sooo close and cuddle and take care of him forever."

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Camping Trip

First Stop: Grandparents

We were invited to go camping this weekend with Devin and Teddi and friends, Chad and Jessica. On our way down toward American Fork, we stopped by Grandma and Grandpa Allen's to get some supplies and to take some fun pictures for Uncle Paul. 

They are so cute! 

One of the funnest things we did on this camping trip was go jeeping up in the mountains. It was so intense! I  did get a little car sick, but after sitting in the front awhile it went away. We went on several hikes and all took turns making meals. Mmmmm Mmmm. 

All six of us squeezed in this tent to watch a scary movie at night. "The House at the End of the Street" By the time the movie was over it was soooo cold! 

Such a fun trip!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

Mother's Day Surprise

At this point, Dallin and I and a few family members are the only ones who know that we are expecting! The news came just in time for this very special Mother's Day. To make it even more special, I walked in our room this morning to be surprised by a beautiful breakfast, flowers, and my favorite candy. Talk about the sweetest husband in the world :)

Later that night I enjoyed a delicious creamy bacon and potato soup bread bowl meal made by Dally. 
What a sweetheart!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Weekend Adventures

Devin and Teddi come for a visit!

What a treat it was to have Devin and Teddi come for a visit. Since we were married only a month apart, we are at about the same place in our lives. We live about an hour and a half away so we don't get together as often as we'd like.

Visit to the Farm
Of course we needed to go feed our girls at the farm and it's fun to bring people to look at all the animals. Teddi is doing a good job feeding Retha and Dolly. We walked around the farm laughing at the noises that some of these goat make and jumping around to scare them-all in good fun. We love the animals.

Good Times

 Yes, this is Devin and Dallin with their wives hair draped around their face. 

This is Dallin and Devin doing some good ol' sock wrestling. I won't say who won (cough Dallin cough) but they both played well. :)

The Wind Caves
The next day we were off to hike the Wind Caves. It was a lot of fun!

Thursday, May 9, 2013



Dallin and I decided a bit ago that it felt like the right time to add to our little family, I mean a baby, not another lamb. 

I got up early this morning while Dallin was still in bed and decided to take a pregnancy test, even though I was pretty sure it'd be another negative result. When I saw the double lines I can't express my excitement and shock! I jumped up and down in the bathroom and couldn't stop smiling! I just about screamed! However, my mind started racing, as I wanted to tell Dallin in a fun way. I ran back upstairs happy as can be and Dallin had no clue why other than I was just happy to be married to him. (I was happy for that as well, of course.) We only had one working car at the time so Dallin dropped me off at work and I called Lance, my go-to man. He said he'd have a break at lunch time and could pick me up. Lance wasn't sure why, but it didn't matter. He came and got me and we ran to the store to pick out a little onesie that said, "My Dad is my Best Buddy." 

After Lance dropped me off at home I only had a few minutes before Dallin came home for lunch. I grabbed a little white gift bag and since I didn't have wrapping tissue I used tin foil and put the onesie and pregnancy test inside. When he got home I told him that I had been working on something for him and I wanted to see his reaction when he opened it. 

This video shows it all.

Dallin couldn't have been happier or more excited! One of those moments in life you never forget.