Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Month of August

While Bill was in the emergency room, our friends/neighbors righted his tractor and hauled it into our shed. Last week Bill and his friend ordered the parts to fix it -- I imagine they'll be working on it awhile ;-)! This first pic is of the wheel which we now think is what caused the accident -- it broke off the axle or whatever it is that keeps the wheel in place (I am mechanically challenged). The second picture shows the damage to the caution sign and the wheel on the left side, which was at the top right when I first got to the ditch. The third picture shows the seat and the bent up spring -- the seat is what caught Bill in the hip and thigh as he went off the back of the tractor. Notice the black steering wheel laying on the side -- it is bent and broken, plus the fireman had to cut the spokes out of it in order to free Bill's leg from under it.

So, Bill managed to survive, but then last Thursday night he had chest pains and nausea, so ended up back at the hospital overnight. They did a nuclear stress test the next day and his heart is okay -- can only think it's an esophageal thing. They did cut one of his blood pressure meds in half -- he does not have high blood pressure and I think too much med was making him dizzy. It's been a trying month. He is home again and went to see his doctor today and everything seems to be fine, again. We are getting to be on a first name basis with the Byron Fire Department/Ambulance though -- and that's okay because they are all great professionals and certainly set my mind at ease when I see them pull up.

A week after the accident, I left Bill to his own devices (with our friend/neighbor to keep an eye on him!), and Steph and I took the grandkids to the Milwaukee Zoo. We had a wonderful day. The first picture is Briana, AJ and Will (who did not want to have his picture taken!). Briana has the patience of Job with the boys. She is truly a blessing. I had to ride the skycar with her because she knew Mom wouldn't! It was actually fun -- even though I don't care for rides either.

This is AJ after having a blueberry slushy! He's 5, need I say more?
And this is Will, age 2 -- the climber. He has absolutely no fear and will climb on anything - never mind that on the other side of that wall was the pond. Grandma added a few gray hairs that day!
We did have a great time and hope that next summer we can plan an outing for every other week when Briana is home (she has to go to her mother's in the summer every other week).

And just to prove to myself that I have accomplished something quilty this month -- I finally finished block 8 of the Primitive Garden quilt!
Bill is back home and well.
Grandchildren -- they are so much fun.
I seem to be in a quilting slump, but enjoying reading and wasting time anyway.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Not much quilting getting done around here. But for the past week or so, I had been hoping to get some outside work done. So, Monday, after walking 3-1/2 miles at the Forest Preserve trails in the morning, then cleaning house, I decided to power wash the front porch again. I took the screens down and washed them and then did the porch and washed the windows too. Finished the job except for putting the screens back in. By this time it was almost 3 pm and I was more than ready for a shower. Before I went upstairs to take said shower, I went out to put the screens back in. I heard Bill calling from a ways off.
Bill had been mowing lawn, first with the lawn tractor, then with the big farm tractor -- he does the deep ditch across the road with the big tractor and the perimeter areas of the corn fields and the lane, etc. At first I thought he was calling JR, but JR was in the front yard looking at me and trying to figure out where Bill was, too. Finally, I heard Bill say my name and looked out through the trees and saw the small front wheel of the tractor sticking above the ditch across the road. (It's really a steep incline).

I took off running and as I got across the street and could see Bill pinned beneath the tractor, a car went by and I flagged them down (had no idea who they were). They stopped and the wife called 911 on her cell and the husband pulled a pad from his trunk to hold above Bill to shade him from the sun. Bill was lying face down on the ground with the steering wheel of his Allis Chalmers pinning his left leg to the ground. Keep in mind that my husband is 83 years old!
I know where God was on Monday -- out on a rural road outside of Byron, IL! The very excellent Byron Fire Department came in this order: 1st the chief in his car, followed immediately by the asst. chief in his car, two fire trucks and the ambulance, then the chaplain in his own car (and at that time they cancelled the LifeLine Helicopter because Bill was breathing and talking), and then a county sheriff's deputy arrived and in between all matter of friends, neighbors and passersby. There had to be at least a dozen firemen on the job between the trucks and the ambulance. They managed to use their extrication equipment to lift the tractor enough to cut the steering wheel and free Bill and get him into the ambulance.

So...the rest of Monday and all of Tuesday was spent at the hospital; they took x-ray after x-ray and ct scans right and left (and reported to me that yes, in fact, he does have a brain); he spent the night in the hospital, they did more x-rays and the upshot is...he has no broken bones. He is bruised, has a black eye on the left side as well as bruises on the left side of his face, and an huge bruise on his hip, which is the sorest part, even though the steering wheel pinned him just behind his left knee. The numerous xrays were because they kept seeing something on his femur, but finally determined it was an old injury (and Bill can only remember hurting that leg when he played high school football!). They sent him home yesterday with a walker and instructions not to put any weight on the leg. He's really sore, but really thankful he's alive, plus he feels really stupid! He's mowed that area countless times in the past 15 years and for some reason as he was on the slope, he turned down instead of up and knew immediately it was going over -- he attempted to jump off and that's probably what kept him from being crushed by the wheels, but he did get caught by the steering wheel. Today he switched to the crutches we have and that works better for staying off the leg than the walker. Thankfully, the bath on the main floor has a shower without a tub, so it's easier to access, and Kevin brought the shower chair out today so he can sit while he showers.

Sew... why am I showing pictures of the porch? Because today I went back and rewashed the windows and finally put the screens back! And I haven't gone out to look at the tractor yet. Our friend and neighbor righted it Monday afternoon and managed to haul it back to the shed. He and Bill will work on repairing it (one wheel is broken and the steering column and wheel needs to be replaced, along with the seat and who know what else!) when Bill feels up to it. And you know he'll be back out there mowing as soon as he can! And me... I'd settle for calmer times and maybe taking a stitch or two on one of my projects.

Obviously, I am so grateful he wasn't hurt worse or killed.
The Byron Fire Department -- they've been called out here at least a half dozen times -- usually for Bill's heart problems. They are totally professionals and I am very thankful we have them available.
The couple that stopped when I flagged them down -- they told me their names, but I can't for the life of me remember them -- but I am forever grateful they stopped.
Neighbors and friends.
Family -- the boys and their wives came to the hospital when I called and Steph was ready to drive all the way down with Will in tow, but we insisted she not come.
The staff at the hospital -- the trauma crew were not only efficient, but had a great sense of humor too.