A Series of Unfortunate Events
On the morning of November 1st, 2014, I received a phone call nobody ever wants. “This is the security guard at Lafayette General, your husband has been in an accident. He is in the ER here.” “Is he alive?” I asked. “Ma’am, I can’t really tell you anymore, but you should get to the hospital quickly,” he says.
The next hour and a half I can give you a recollection of chilling details. I have literally relived these moments a hundred times. I remember everything. I remember having to call Justin’s mom and tell her what was going on. I remember driving myself to the hospital, holding it together, but shaking. The moments I spent calling my mom, my sister, and praying the whole way there for Justin to be alive.
As I walked into the ER, I told them who I was and immediately had nurses talking to me and walking me back (I like to think this is because LGH is amazing, but I think it was the seriousness of the situation). The nurses with me take a left and start leading me to a private ER room (who even knew that was a thing?). Upon entering the room, all I see is glass everywhere. They remind me to watch my step. Then, I struggle to find Justin’s face because of all the tubes and gear. Finally, I get to him. His eyes are open. He’s breathing on his own. Thank you, Jesus. He looks at me and says, “Babe, they gave me a catheter, I told them it was my first time and to go easy on me.” Ha.
What We Learned
We learned so much from this experience. Thirteen days in the ICU and surgery recovery floor brings you to a whole new level of love and trust. There’s a reason “in sickness and in health” are in those vows we said. “In sickness” ain’t easy, but I am thankful we made it through. We learned how young and naive we were. We learned that while my husband saw taking care of finances and such as his role in our marriage, I should probably be in the loop a little bit. Nobody should have to wake their husband up and ask how to pay the electricity bill. I’m an I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T woman for Pete’s sake. We learned there were so many conversations that needed to be had, and we hadn’t had them. Here’s my list of the most important conversations you should have BEFORE tragedy strikes.
How to pay the frickin’ bills
I mean, everything is online these days. Know the logins. I keep a note in my phone, probably not the most secure way to do this, but if you want to login and pay a bill for me, go ahead. I’ll post the login in comments.
Know what money you have and where it is. Who has your 401K? How do I access our savings account? Who does our taxes?
Know your insurance company and what they will and will not pay for. You’re about to rack up a fat bill with them, to the tune of $500,000 or more. Call ‘em and let them know. Also, any life insurance policies you have should be known. Finally, we had an accident policy I didn’t even know we were paying. This policy paid us $15,000 because of the extensive injuries Justin had. If he weren’t able to tell me about this policy, we would have missed out on a huge chunk of change that kept us from debt, as he was out of work.
My husband is self employed. We are friends with his business partner, but I still need to know who to call and reach out to in the event of an emergency. You should at least have the secretary on speed dial to contact when something goes down. Bosses like to know why people don’t show up for work.
Finally, and probably most importantly. Know your partner’s death wishes. Do you want me to keep you alive forever? Do you want a DNR? Do you/we have a living will? Cremation? Donate your body to science? Do the grow tree casket thing? Huge funeral or just family? The list goes on and on. I know what I would want, but that may not be the wishes of my partner.
I’m thankful Justin is here today. He has made a mostly full recovery. Who needs a spleen anyway? He is here to help raise our children.