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Pow! A Life Changing Injury

Tim broke his pelvis on February 23, 2024, so it’s been a while since I’ve sent out a blog post for the farm. 

It was a Friday evening, and Tim was unloading ice chests of processed meat off of the back of his truck. I was unboxing trays for my brand new pasta machine when I heard a loud pop. Tim yelled. It sounded like one of the Yeti coolers fell to the driveway and broke. When I looked, all of the coolers were on the back of the truck and Tim was on the concrete. 

“I broke my hip!” I can still hear the sound.

It happened so fast, but his foot got wedged between two coolers and he lost balance. When he tried to step on the edge of the tail gate, he missed and slam-dunked himself onto the concrete driveway. We are thankful he didn't hit his head. I don't think the outcome would be as good. 

I ran for my phone and called 911. After explaining where we live and realizing I might have to leave Tim all alone to lead EMS to our home, we decided to dismiss the idea and call our daughter Whitney. 

She answered the phone and I said “I need you.” Within a few minutes she and Dustin were there to help. We placed a bedspread in the back of my Equinox, seats laid down. We managed to get Tim in the back with pillows and down the road I drove to South Austin. It was a painful trip for Tim.

All of our plans for the farm and the future were suddenly questionable. Without Tim, everything would change. I prayed the whole way, interrupted occasionally by two wrong turns because I can’t see well at night, and bumps in the road that caused agony for Tim.

The ER had a line. And once I got to the window, this little guy said he would help me get Tim inside. Tim weighed 220 pounds. “You are going to need some help,” I suggested. Three men came out and they all realized I was right. They used the bedspread as a stretcher to hoist him out. They helped him sit in a wheelchair which was pretty uncomfortable and took him inside.

Several x-rays and CT scans later, it was confirmed that Tim suffered a complete break in his hip socket. It was bad. They gave him some really good medicine for pain, and he was able to rest. 

We were in the emergency room all night. And we were sure Tim would need surgery. 

Much to our surprise, that was not the case. were moved into a room on Saturday, and could not believe our ears that the doctor on call felt this complete break would heal on its own without surgery. We could see an offset on the x-ray, but they said the offset would mend on its own. It also had multiple lines of fractures that were not broken all the way through. We were shocked.

They placed a bed alarm on Tim’s bed, which meant he could not move without setting it off. He was a fall risk, so I understand. But with my help, we let that buzzer ring when no one came to help him get to the bathroom. Tim used a hospital walker and was a bit shaky, but we made it.

Even more of a shock came on Sunday when they sent us home! There was no home health available for us because everyone nearby was completely booked and everyone farther away said it was too far. Without home health, it was just me and Tim.

They sent me down to a vending machine to buy a walker. Read that again. They sent me down to a vending machine to buy a walker. Who knew there were vending machines for things like that.

We were able to borrow a wheelchair from our church.

And on Sunday, February 25, just two days after his fall, Tim and I were home realizing how unfortunate we chose to have bathroom doors that were only two-foot wide. We married young, and built a house with two foot doors to save a little money. Now I see a remodel in our future because wheelchairs and walkers cannot go through such a small doorway. We did not have an accessible shower or bathtub. So sponge baths were the only thing we could do.

I was now the nurse, giving Tim blood thinner shots in his stomach twice per day to avoid a clot. I had a schedule of medicines that were time specific day and night. And for the first time in 42 years, I had to bring coffee to Tim instead of the other way around.

I was now the only farmer that could feed all the animals and do all the daily chores. Tim was a good instructor, and I got stronger.

Thank God that we both have understanding bosses and jobs that allow us to work from home. By Monday, we were both doing as well as we could to keep up with everything at home and at work. We are grateful to our co-workers for picking up the slack. 

Meanwhile, I kept The Shelf stocked in La Grange, and delivered farm orders, which gave me a break from the day to day chores. There are hundreds of little things that we just “do” on a day to day basis. But here are a few noteworthy events that we feel made the list for possible blog posts in the future.

February 29 - Two water leaks outside, had to call Dustin for help. The bathtub faucet came off in my hand, and Tim coached me to replace it.

March 3 - Tim turned 65. St Paul Serbin PTLS Chili Supper

March 4 - Whitney,  Dustin, Max, Jolee & John planted the Spring garden

March 5 - Tim and I caught a terrible cough & cold from the ER. Tim ran a fever, discovered broken rib

March 6 - I moved 2 steers into the feed pen by myself.

March 14 - I made pasta in my new machine for the first time and loved it

March 20 - Cousins Lorie & Doug helped haul a calf for processing

March 26 - Eggs for hatching delivered to first graders at St Paul Serbin.

April 1 - Hatching Eggs for Thorndale children picked up

April 2 - I picked up the beef from the processor

April 4 - Tim’s first day of Physical Therapy

April 6 - We watched Gable play baseball and rented a hotel room with a roll in shower

April 14 - Neighbors' bull-calves were in our pasture and I got them penned. One charged me and jumped over me. Thank you for my safety, God.

April 28 - Tim & I loaded and hauled a steer for processing. First time Tim drove

April 29 - Tim returned to work at the office.

April 30 - I returned to work at the office.

May 5 - Another bull-calf from the neighbors’ was in our pasture and Dustin came to help

Thank you to everyone who helped when we needed it. Most of all, thank you to our church family at St. Paul Serbin, friends, family and acquaintances who knew we needed prayers. They worked. Tim progressed from a wheelchair to a walker. Then he started using a cane. And now he is able to walk without a cane and on occasion, he has shown us that he can even jog. He is released from the surgeon to do all of the things that he feels strong enough to do. God is so good and now we request prayers of thanksgiving for God’s mercy and grace that has been showered upon us. 

Thank you for reading our story and for all you do to show support for our small family farm.


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