Archive for the ‘Personal Issues’ Category

Why am I asking for assistance?   Leave a comment

So… since the response to my flailing attempt to raise funds has been sparse.  I guess it’s like, “Hey, we all got problems.. why should we help YOU?”  I figure I should provide a reason or few, as to why:

  1. You have 16 chances to win with one $5 entry.
  2. I am on Social Security, and if I could take a job to get this done I would.. really I promise you I would.
  3. My monthly income on said disability is a lousy $14 more than I could make to get Legal Aid.
  4. I have tried to get Pro Bono attorney assistance to no avail.
  5. I am destashing on Ravelry as well, and did so last month to buy most of the prizes on the raffle.  No response whatsoever to my current destash post and I lowered prices.
  6. I am also going through (what’s left of it) my belongings this month and holding a Yard Sale.

I’m really trying people.  I’m busting my butt, and “things” just keep happening to set me back.. all vehicles in my household are currently broken, bills that I didn’t know exhole made are showing up, bank accounts are frozen… yada yada yada.  I’m not just asking for a handout here – I’m offering prizes…

I’m trying not to get discouraged, but its a tough cookie to eat.  Yes, I know I made this mess… I just need to start fixing the problems I created one at a time, and this one takes priority over all the rest.



Posted July 9, 2011 by Connected Threads in Personal Issues

Independence Day Fundraiser   4 comments

I am holding a fundraiser/raffle with prizes to fund my divorce.  Previous posts will explain how I made this mess.  A fellow member hosted such a raffle to help with her foreclosure and was successful, so I thought I would give this a try~~

There are 16 Prize Packages.  Each is worth between $30 and $60 retail.  Most packages have been made from my yarn/book stash.  I also have had donations of prizes from kind individuals and businesses, and will list the donors with the prizes where applicable.

Winners will be chosen by random number generator on August 1st.  Numbers are assigned on my google spreadsheet as entries come in.  Please leave me a way to contact you should you win.  Winners will also be posted on this blog and will have 3 days to respond or their prize will be sent to the next winner on the list.  Entries cost $5, packages will be assigned as follows:  Winner #1 will get first package choice, Winner #2 second – and so on. One $5 increment equals an entry .

One $5 increment equals an entry .

Update – My attempt to do this via Chip-in has resulted in yet another adaptation… I cannot link my PayPal account to a bank account that does not belong to me, and currently am working to pay off negative balances due to “exhole” emptying and abusing joint accounts. As of now, I cannot accept Chip-in donations without a “verified” Paypal account, but I can receive funds for Gifts, goods and services straight to Paypal… Therefore, the way to donate has changed as follows:

To enter, submit your donations to my Paypal account: Use the box “Gift” under the “Personal” tab, and in the notes section please annotate your 3 favorite prize packages, should you win.  

Response has been so amazing and people have been so kind, as of this weekend 7/16/2011 through the end of the contest, I would like to offer an additonal way to enter… I’m aware that not everyone has an extra $5 to just donate to my cause, but some of you may know someone who is.  Therefore, if you refer anyone who makes a cash funded entry, and they annotate your name in the “notes” section of their PayPal payment – YOU will also be entered FOR FREE!! This goes for previously entered contestants as well as those who have not been entered, or have been unable to contribute themselves.  I want everyone possible to have a chance at these prizes!! 

I appreciate you all so very much… and I will update this page with totals as entries come in right here.

Update – I am so excited!!  This morning 7/12 – we crested the $100 mark! 

Update for 7/16 – I can’t tell you all how honored I am that you are willing to extend a helping hand!!  The kindness of individuals has touched my heart, and I will never forget that there are still those who are willing to reach out and grab my hand to boost me up the ladder I’m voraciously climbing to get out of this hole.  Today the fund is up to nearly $150!!

Update 7/17 – Over the $150 mark (via destash) come to if you want to help me destash.. (Ravname:  Indulgence)I’m saying goodbye to the yarns that I have no time to give attention to in the near future, and sacrificing some things to ease my conscience asking you all to give of yourselves.  I have plenty of yarn to keep me knitting forever (well, not forever – but for quite a while), and I can always trade to replace anything I find I really did need, or wait until I can afford it again. 

NOTE:  From today 7/23 to the end of the contest, all orders on my destash over $5 will be shipped free to US addresses, AND all orders over $10 will be 20% off!!

 This will get done – I will be free from this jerk, and I will continue to move forward in my life.  Yes, it’s a pretty big obstacle to get around on the road of my life, but that’s why I drive a 4×4 right? (when it runs anyway :smiling:

I have a goal of $1k… that’s what it will cost to do this with an attorney – but if I can get the $400 it will take to file – I will make an attempt to “do it yourself”… I am stunned at the kindness and generosity of people.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Thank you all for the overwhelming response, I am truly grateful, and best of luck to all the entrants!!

I would greatly appreciate any sharing of this contest you might do with others… I can use all the help I can get, and they can WIN PRIZES!  Post on your Facebook, share in your Ravelry groups… anything that will help me get out of the bed I made myself.


And now (Drum roll please…)  the prizes!!!

Spinner's Package #1

Sun Shinin'” Batt donated by Dingbattz on Etsy (3 1/8 oz.), 4 oz. Handpainted Wool Roving from Arizona, and a Tour De Fleece Orifice Hook handmade and donated by FiberJewels on Etsy

Sock Lovers Package

Handmade custom Project Bag donated by Kmessier on Ravelry (in colors of your choice – shipped separately), 2 sk JL Vinca Superwash Sock, 2 sk Knit Picks Imagination Handpainted Sock Yarn in “Seven Dwarves” colorway, 1 sk Wool ‘n Weave by Tracey Shuch Wool/Nylon Blend – 300 yards.

The Perfect Row Counter/Stitch Marker Set

Donated by FiberJewels on Etsy:  The Perfect Row Counter/Stitch Marker Set in Black Onyx/Red Agate for needles up to Size 11, with bonus A-F Stitch Marker set for up to size 6 needles.  This is truly the Perfect Row Counter, and I would love to have one with every project!!

Spinner's Love #2

Beautiful Art Batt from Atomheart on Etsy, and 100+ yards of Wool Pencil Roving

Blue Mutt Handspun

Beautiful Handspun by Blue Mutt’s Designs in “Violets”, 250 yds each skein.

Handspun, Sari Silk, and Yarnplay

1 skein Handspun yarn, Correspun Merino/Bamboo blend, 4oz/50 yd – Super Bulky~4-5WPI donated by Raggamuphinz on Etsy, with 2 balls Purple Sari Silk Recycled blend and Yarnplay Book

Closely Knit Book and 8 Sk Katia Diana

Closely Knit Book, and 8 skeins of Katia Diana

Tahki Cotton Classic - 7 skeins Bright Yellow

7 gorgeous sunny yellow skeins of Tahki (by Stacey Charles) Cotton Classic yarn, donated by AbbyNormal on Ravelry, perfect for a nice summery knit!

Romantic Style, Rowan Kid Classic, and MALABRIGO Lace

Romantic Style Book, 4 skeins Rowan Kid Classic, and a skein of Malbrigo Lace Baby Merino in Cosecha colorway donated by AbbyNormal on Ravelry

Crocheter's Delight

Crochet That Fits Book, 3 skeins of Cascade Quatro (one is caked)

Multi-talented Fiber Artist Package

For those of us that use hooks and sticks, here is a package!  9 skeins of Schenemyer Nomatta Balino, and the book Knitting Loves Crochet

Filatura Di Crosa Multicolor

This is such pretty yarn, I wish I could keep it!  Offered is 6 skeins of Filatura Di Crosa Multicolor for your favorite Mohair-like project!

Rare Noro Hoto Pure Silk, and a little Lily

OK… who doesn’t love NORO??  Here are 8 skeins of Noro Hoto – Pure Silk (6 in Dark Blue, 2 in Pale Blue), and 2 skeins of Noro Lily Cotton in Aqua and a summer green.

10 skeins Katia Danubio

10 SKEINS!!  Surely enough Danubio to make something special!

Vintage Phentex Sweater Kit and Bonus Ironstone

Here is a Vintage Phentex Mohair Sweater Kit with 4 patterns, and to spice it up – or just in case you see more than one pattern you love – 4 skeins of Ironstone Herb Garden to make the next one from!

Sensation~al Package

Last but not least… this package contains 4 skeins of Joanne’s Sensations Licorice, and 4 skeins of Casual Boucle.


Note:  I do reserve the right to add prize packages until the contest closes.. as some donations of prizes have not been received yet.  So check back… there may be more!

I also would invite anyone with questions to comment here.. I will respond asap.  I would also like to communicate with those participating my utmost gratitude for your assistance.  I’m doing a Yard Sale this month, as well as destashing to collect as much toward this end as possible.  I also have a broken truck, so I need to fund that with any leftover donations.

PLEASE leave me contact information with your donation/entry!!  Email, FB page, Ravelry name… some way to get in touch with you to select your prizes, should one of your “top 3” you sent with your entry should already be assigned.

Just a few “fine print” details: If you choose to participate, you are giving a gift toward my Divorce Fund.  You are not receiving anything in return. After all donations/gifts are received, I will present those that donated prizes with a “thank-you gift”.  Recipients will be chosen by a random drawing on August 1, 2011, they will be notified via the email address shown through their Paypal gift.  Winners will also be posted to this blog.  Winners will have 1 week to respond to request for a mailing address, if there is no response, an alternate winner will be chosen.  Yarn prizes will be mailed by August 15th, with Delivery Confirmation.

Who the hell am I supposed to BE now?   Leave a comment

During the first few months after becoming widowed, I was a shell.  I couldn’t knit, read, focus on TV or a movie, even checking emails, or taking phone calls was excruciating.  I think I didn’t want to be reminded that I was alive at all.  During this time I saw a psychic because there was no resolution with the accident reconstruction, and I needed to be sure that it was an accident.  I was so afraid that my illnesses, and his recovery from an accident in 2004 that killed 4 people, and almost ruined his life with survivor’s guilt were enough to make him want out.  Losing his job the Friday before the wreck was devastating for him, and he had been drinking – going to the bar after work – since we moved to Oregon in 2006.  I didn’t want to think it, but I pondered whether he just decided to end it all.

I didn’t tell her anything, at all.  When I sat down, she said, “You lost your husband, and he’s here.  He’s Earthbound, and he refuses to move on until he knows you are safe.”  Whoa.  I was paying attention.  I asked outright, “Did he take his own life?”  She responded with “He says ‘no’, but it was about choices”.  I didn’t know what that meant at the time, but over the years I have pieced together lots of information, some factual – some spiritual – some subjective.  He chose not to pick me up that day for the ride because in the dream he had, it was me who died – I went over the top of him when he hit that wire and landed in the middle of the highway with a broken neck.  He chose not to remain in his body and try to recover.  He chose to die on his dream bike – a Custom American Ironhorse Classic.  He chose to take that ride, to exactly the spot he knew he would wreck if the dream came to reality.  He did choose.  I don’t blame him really.. though I’m still mad as hell that he left me here.

In June, one of my friends was going to the coast with a friend of hers from out-of-state.  “A girls getaway” she called it.  They were renting a cabin overlooking the beach at Whaleshead – really nice, with a jacuzzi on the deck, kitchen, bedroom, living room, and loft.  She invited me and my youngest daughter to go.  She begged me to do something, anything to just get out of the house – she was very concerned about me moving along in my grief – and didn’t want me to isolate.  I didn’t want to.  I fought it – hard.  It had only been a couple of months, and it was going to be a “party” kind of thing, going out to the bar (ugh) and drinking – what would normally be “fun” once in a while.  I did not want to go to a bar, nor did I want to have any fun, and I’ve never been a fan of the alcohol buzz anyway, much less the ensuing hangover, or vomiting.  I was convinced by my best friend (and youngest daughter) that it would be good for me.  “You don’t even have to GO out, if you don’t want to.  It’s a cabin mom, across from the ocean.  If you aren’t ready to go to a bar, don’t.  You can stay in the cabin when we go and do just what you are doing here – absolutely nothing – but the view will be awesome” she goaded.  I went.  I went to the bar.  I drank Patron.  I got drunk, got sick all night, got that hangover I was anticipating, and had to drive an hour home with it.  It was not fun – well, hanging out with all the girls was fun.  Bar – not fun.  But it got me out, and it was good.  It was a start anyway.

Incidentally, I had a 2 week argument with my late husband from the grave before this… about my wedding ring.  I was still wearing it, and had no intentions of taking it off.  His statement to me was this, “What kind of guy are you going to meet wearing a wedding ring?  Some cheating, creepy piece of shit?  What if you do meet someone and he sees your ring, and you miss a chance to get to know someone awesome?”  Well, I was not into meeting anyone, piece of shit, or Prince Charming… but he was right.  I took it off.  I had wondered when the time would be for that anyway – six months, a year?  I guess the whole thing just happens when it happens.

I started going to the local bars (2 of them) with my daughter for Karaoke a couple of times a month, eventually a couple of times a week.  I didn’t have anything else to do, and singing is my outlet for emotion.  I was very emotional – on the inside.  I started incessantly doing.  I woke up with a plan, and laid my head on the pillow each night (or sometimes morning) exhausted.  I was doing any possible thing to stop myself from thinking about my situation.  I was using diversionary behavior to blot out my reality.  I was in Lollipop Land, and not all of the flavors were palatable.   Some of those suckers were nasty.  One night in the bar, the cutest guy started hitting on me.  I was not used to this… as a matter of fact, I was so in love with my husband, that if people had been hitting on me previous to this night – I was oblivious.  The guy was young, but I figured at least 21 (we WERE in a bar, right?) and he wanted me.  I needed release, and I took him home, we did not sleep in my bed (oh no way).  The sex was sex.  That’s it.  The guy was nice enough, but like me at 47 gonna be with a 20-year-old?  My baby boy turned 18 the next day.

Yes, I forgot, when I was bringing some KID home, that my son was turning into an adult the next day.  I was not in my right mind… and this shit continued for months.  I dated a 26-year-old loser after that, and then a guy my age that was so needy I convinced myself to get the fuck out.  Quick.

I realized this on my trip to see my birthmom and brother in Reno.  I had never been on a car trip alone before.  I had never met any other birth family members other than my mother and brother, and it was my Uncle’s 50th Wedding Anniversary party that weekend in Sacramento.  My birth mom really wanted me there.  She wanted to present me to the family.  She had given me up for adoption when she was just 15, and I finally met her in 2005.  Once.  I didn’t realize it until I was driving home… but this trip was something really cathartic for me.  I felt like part of the hole in my spirit was filling up.  I had faces, names, and numbers of all kinds of people with my DNA running through their bodies!!  I was especially tickled with the fact that all us LaPlant’s have the same laugh!  These people looked like me, and even had similar mannerisms.  I was astonished.  I was happy I went, and it was good for me.

I didn’t want to ever date again, and I’m not good at it.  I’m terminally monogamous.  But, I was distracting myself from reality, big time!  I was partying and running all over the place, traveling at a whim, going to concerts, just whatever I felt like doing to keep me from doing what I should have been doing, which was finding out who I was.  It would take years for me to do that.. and I wanted not to feel!  I medicated myself with food, men, and dabbled in a little coke even, every once in a while that first few months.  I just didn’t want to face my reality on any level.

I came very close to breathing water in the jacuzzi the morning after Russ died, and he said “Not if you ever want to see ME again, you won’t”.  I guess that was pretty clear, and the thought left relatively quickly.  Thank goodness.  I had no idea how to be me.  I was married the first time at 17.  I was a mother at 18.  I was a daughter, an aunt, a neighbor and a friend.  I was a part of another human being – till death do us part – and I didn’t want to be apart, nor did I know how to just be a part – without the whole.

I have to do everything the hard way.  I have to learn by fucking up.  It’s always been this way… all my life.  I met with many opportunities to find myself sooner than I did.. but that would have meant succumbing to this new reality I did not want to live in, and admitting that I didn’t know how to do it alone.  I should have gotten counseling, went to support groups – anything but what I was doing.  I didn’t.  You will see what that cost me as I continue this saga in my next post.


Posted June 24, 2011 by Connected Threads in Personal Issues

Becoming a member of a club nobody wants to join   Leave a comment

So, I became a widow – at 47 – on April 22, 2008 at 3:38am.  I was going through all the motions, dealing with the Funeral Home, the Organ Donation things, Memorial plans, Life Insurance, Police, Investigators, Attorneys, the house and family/friends that just wouldn’t seem to leave me alone for any length of time.  I was oblivious to reality.  It was as if I was walking around in another dimension, when I could function at all.

I had to pick up the ashes, and ordered bracelets/pendants for all the kids with compartments for ashes, so they could keep their dad with them all the time.  I bought a small blown glass urn, in green (his favorite color) for some of the remains, and made plans to send a cup of ashes off through the funeral home to have a Lifegem (diamond from ashes) made.  I had to wait for the insurance settlement to pay for all of this stuff, and did so as soon as it came.’

The organ donation organization sent me cards/letters about and from recipients for what felt like forever, and thank you notes.  There was always something in the mail I received from them directing me to counseling which I never took advantage of.

The memorial was beautiful.  Just a group of people who loved him.  Friends and family barbecuing down by the river at the Lumber Mill Company park.  We had pictures of him, and family set up on a table.  A microphone, and a guitarist to accompany my rendition of Freebird.  As I sang, balloons were signed and grouped together to release (my balloon was in my hand, already scripted with my message to him) at the moment when the lyrics stop and the music speeds up.  The bouquet of balloons and mine, traveled separately until almost to the sun (visually speaking), when my balloon caught up to it, and they all reached the sun together.  It was a good day.  I made it through without any public sobbing, and it was good to see how many people he had impacted in such a short time here in Oregon.

Up Up and Away

Fly n High

Reaching the sun together

The Life Insurance people came and we did paperwork right at the house.. the settlement came within a few short days.  It wasn’t enough to pay off the house, as we had planned when we bought it in Arizona for the one we built there, and we never increased it when we built the new one.  I knew I had to make some decisions quickly as far as where I was going to live since I am disabled on a pension that would not cover even the house payment.. but couldn’t deal with it right then.

I had to deal with the Oregon State Police.. not only to beg and plead for them to do a complete accident reconstruction (which they did not) and to investigate further what made him move to the side of the road.  They did a simple accident investigation.  They found the presence of alcohol.  They left it at that.   I requisitioned a copy of the 911 recording and had to travel all over Southern Oregon (It was like a wild goose chase – each place sent me to another, each jurisdiction said it would be available at another level – like they didn’t WANT me to have it).  I played it before I sent it on to the attorney.. there were 3 calls, not one – as the police report had said – yet another fishy thing about all of this.

I had contacted an attorney when Russ was still comatose, through BAMM (Bikers Against Motorcycle Manslaughter) at the suggestion of his parents, and he came down from Eugene the following week, meet my daughter and me at the accident scene and took pictures of every inch of the site.  He also loaded up the bike from the wrecking yard and put it in his storage facility for the investigator to go over.  There was absolutely no doubt that Russ was responding to some sort of road hazard, and the small amount of alcohol in his bloodstream did not contribute in any way to the accident or impair his ability to maneuver – as evidenced by the length of controlled skid he left on the side of the road.  His expert riding ability was also a factor, as he had raced Desert Motocross, and test rode for Harley Davidson.  No response from anyone to the ad in the paper looking for witnesses, though there were 3 calls to 911 – nobody was talking about who was on the road at the time of the accident besides Russ.  The eventually full investigation solidified the idea that someone left the scene, but the insurance company (motorcycle insurance) could not pay a Phantom Vehicle claim without a witness to the effect that another car/truck had been involved.  This attorney would not let me give him a dime.  Not even storage fees.  He is a true angel.

All of these things I needed focus to be able to deal with.. and I had none.  I didn’t know which end was up, or what to do next.  I did nothing.  Literally, nothing – after I dealt with the things that HAD to be done, for 2 full months.  I woke up every day either already in tears, or about to cry – knowing when I opened my eyes that it was not all just a bad dream.  This, was my reality.  I was alone.  I was scared.  I was abandoned.  I was numb.  I would walk down the hall to the kitchen, make a cappuccino, take it to the end table next to my spot on the couch by the fireplace and sit there.  Staring either out the french doors to the woods out behind the backyard fence, or the round stick-on wall protector that prevented the handle from putting a hole in the wall.  All day.  The television would usually be on if someone else was home, but I never focused on it… I didn’t even hear the noise coming from it most of the time.  People would come by, bring food, try to say/do the things they needed to do in order to feel like they DID something – some effort to do the right thing – though there is/was nothing they could do.  I felt like no one in the universe knew what I was going through.  My kids lost their dad, but I lost a spouse.  His parents lost a son, his sister a brother.. many people lost a friend.. but I was different.  I not only lost my husband, I gained a title – a label – that I never wanted to wear.

I became a widow… and I didn’t know what that was.  I was a long way from knowing what that meant back then.. and months, miles, and many tragedies away from knowing who I was, or where I was going to end up.

Posted June 22, 2011 by Connected Threads in Personal Issues

Tagged with , ,

The rest of hell week 2008   Leave a comment

The whole family crashed out in the waiting room, and the CCU nurse was kind enough to offer us a conference room to sleep in.  I had obtained a 4-year-old rescue Pomchi via Petfinders  just one month before, and my doctor had written me a prescription to take him with me everywhere as a “comfort animal”, as I already had PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and Panic/Anxiety Disorder even before this happened.  So the hospital even let me keep my little “Destiny” with me in there.

When I went in to check on him in the morning, there was no movement whatsoever, and his hands were cold.  The only thing moving or making noise in that room were the machines that were keeping his body alive.  When the doctor arrived that morning, he told us that.. as he suspected would happen, Russ’ ICP was very high, and he didn’t think he would die, but he didn’t think he would ever come out of the coma.  Close friends from Arizona drove all night, to bring my middle two children to us.  Russ’ mom and sister flew in later that day.  We had a huge group of people there, and later that afternoon, knowing it was going to be a long recovery, if any, I had the friends drive me the hour it took back to my house to get clothes/toiletries, and let the neighbor know what was going on.  We decided to take a ride out to the site of the accident… some 10 miles from home.

We had a hard time finding it, but finally did, when the neighbors noticed us driving back and forth… they showed us the exact location.  After all the discussion about what might have happened.. everyone else went in different directions back to the truck, and I stayed there for a bit alone.  As I began walking the skid marks, it began to snow.  Now, Russ knew of my love for snow.. and mind you – it was now April 17.  They were just flurries, but as they fell and I walked along I could feel Russ’ presence.  I was certain of it.. because I knew I did not feel his spirit in that room.. and I had been at his bedside for 2 other near fatal accidents since 1995.  With every step I took, there was a running commentary in Russ’ voice in my head, outlining every detail of the wreck.. down to the moment he felt he was “lifted” off the bike by what he referred to as “god”.  He said he never felt a thing, because when he reached a certain level of terror.. he was out of his body instantly… and as I sat there in shock about what I was hearing… he said this, “We were right, Lori – everything is connected… and hell is like being a dog on a chain who can only watch this connection from the outside.”

When we all got back to the house, I got my own vehicle.. and my daughter and me went to look at the motorcycle at the wrecking yard.  The guy there looked at me horrified and said, “are you sure?”  I was sure.  I have to know details to process such a shock.  The more information, the more I know what to do next.  The bike had a dent in the rear fender (bike went end over end and scraped the guy wire) and a rip in the back seat (where I would have been had he picked me up after the interview to go look at the fire he was riding to go see) and a broken handlebar and headlight.  Other than that, nothing.  I was astonished at the fact that my husband was in a coma without a scratch on him, and the bike was barely affected.

I went back to the hospital.  Family and friends got hotel rooms near the hospital… and we all waited some more.  Every single time I went in the CCU room, I felt no trace of Russ.. ever again in that room.  Each time I visited that room, the coldness in his body had migrated further up his arms.. and his spirit migrated farther away.  All reports from the doctor were the same – “we just have to wait”.  I called my doctor that afternoon and as soon as he heard what had happened, he said “which hospital?”  I told him and he said that there was a pharmacy across the street that he had called a prescription into for me.  I didn’t even ask what.  I just went and got it.  I was moving, and talking, and walking.. but I felt as if I was in a nightmare.  Things were so surreal.  The script was for tranquilizers, and I gladly began taking them, hoping I would not go insane if I did.

A few days later, (accident on Wednesday, this was Saturday) I began doing research.  News, television stations, attorneys, Sheriffs.. I found out that nobody knew what happened.. and the Highway Patrol was not going to do a complete accident reconstruction.  The attorney I found would not take a dime from me.  He hired an investigator for me out of his own pocket, came down and met me at the scene.  He took the bike to his storage in Eugene 175 miles away, and stored it for me for free.. and it was nearly a year later before I picked it up.  He was awesome!  He said it might be a good idea to place an ad in the paper asking for witnesses, and I did, with a picture of the bike.  No response, ever.

Later that day one of the nurses noted that Dana (first on scene) had called the nurses station to check on him.  We found this very strange, because Dana had our cell numbers, and had said she would call us to see how he, and we were.

As I lay my head down on that couch for the 4th night.  I began to remember something that had happened the Friday night before the accident… Russ reached over me in his sleep (quick – like if you were putting your hand over a kid in the passenger seat of a car when you had to stop real fast) and it woke me up because he scratched my cheek.  I said “are you ok honey?”.. he said, “I was just trying to… oh nevermind, it was just a dream” and we went back to sleep.  I also remembered that the next morning.. he asked me to never let them put him on life support if he had another accident.  I said, “well, what if you are in a coma, and come back to me?”  He stated this, “Look, if I have brain damage, and I’m never going to communicate again, or be at least the mentality of a 12 year old… I don’t WANT to come back”.

Sunday was awful.  Our friends left, and went back to Arizona.. and everyone was losing hope.  We had developed a kind of schedule.. rotating people in the waiting room so there was always someone there to deal with any information, and nobody was farther than 10 minutes away at any given time.  The farthest I went was around and around the block with the dog, and the cigarettes I had started smoking again as soon as my youngest daughter arrived on day 2.  People began calling and trying to offer hope, but that body in the CCU continued to get colder, and there was no sign of Russ.

Monday brought visits from more friends, and a visit from Financial Services.. and the counselor on duty, who asked a stack of papers worth of questions about organ donation and such.  Telling me that since Russ was an organ donor, we would have to wait until he was entirely brain-dead for him to donate his heart.  That night I had a horrifying dream…

I had given up our beautiful custom-built house in Cave Junction, and moved into a small apartment to be close to the Long Term Care Facility where he had been put in Medford.  He was conscious now, but not able to communicate well at all.  I was trying to feed him lunch, and he slapped the spoon out of my hand.  He cussed me out as best he could in the garbled language I had come to understand about 1/3 of … and he looked at me with such hate!!  It literally broke my heart, and I woke up Tuesday crying, because I knew what I had to do.

When the doctor came in at 7am that morning, I asked him those pointed questions.. about whether he would ever communicate again if he woke up or be the mentality of a 12-year-old, as he had specified that Saturday before.  Both answers were “no, absolutely not”.  I took the entire family in the conference room that had become my home away from home, and told them that I wanted to turn the ventilator off.  Nobody objected, and his mother said that it would have to be my decision.  I called the doctor out from his room, and told him what I wanted to do.  People from everywhere began to call and show up… back and forth went the people.  The organ donation team was contacted, and surgery to harvest his organs after turning off life support was scheduled that night for 11pm.  Any family members that wanted to be there when he passed from this world were welcome.

His sister Lori, me, and both my daughters decided to be there.  The plane from the donation team was late, and we were all dressed in scrubs by 2am.Daughters

My friend came to wait with us, and brought sort of a little mini shrine, with candles, beads and a card… we lit the candle and she called her daughter, a musician, and she sang me this song while playing her guitar. more The InFaMous KarLa MoxLey HEAR THE EP!!! songs at Myspace Music It’s called Speak of you… and I cried and cried.. I still cry when I hear it.When we went down to the OR (we knew it was the morgue.. what OR is in the basement of a hospital?) and for the first time in nearly a week, I felt him… and he was warm.  Organ donation had provided me with a ceramic “heart within a heart” that each of us (Russ and I) held a portion of in our hands.  The ventilator was turned off at 3:38am.  His sister said, “I love you big brother” and he sighed once.  He sighed two more times, once with his oldest and youngest step (though he never treated them any different than if they were his own flesh and blood) daughters’ goodbyes and I love you’s.  Then they left me alone with him… I told him how much I loved him and that it was ok to go… and the heart monitor went flat… and he smiled.  He smiled the most wonderful peaceful smile I had ever seen.

I kissed him goodbye on the lips.. and left the room.  I was stoic… and he was gone.

Posted June 17, 2011 by Connected Threads in Personal Issues

What began this tragic story   Leave a comment

April 11, 2008 – my husband finished building the 1st regenerating power plant in a Southern Oregon lumber mill, a temporary position and was laid off.  April 16th, he had an interview at 2:30pm to get on permanently.  We were all really stressed out.  He left on our Ironhorse Custom motorcycle to go to the interview 8 miles away.  When he didn’t return by 5pm, I called his cell, and there was no answer, so I left a message.  At 5;45, my home phone rang and the caller ID said it was his cell.  I answered, and the voice on the other end said, “We have a man here in the ER with this cell phone.. is he your husband?  The number we called said ‘home’.”  I said, “Yes.”  The person on the other end then asked me if I would mind speaking with the neurologist on duty.  The neurologist said, “Your husband has been in a serious motorcycle accident.  He is unresponsive, and the only one of his pupils is reactive, indicating severe head trauma.  He probably will not make it.  Do you EVEN want me to operate?”  As I slid down the wall in my kitchen in shock, I said, “Keep him alive until I get there.”

My daughter and grandchildren were visiting, and it seemed like it took forever for us to even leave the house.  We finally got everyone loaded in the car, and she called her husband to meet us at the hospital where he was Life-Flighted to 45 miles away.  He met us in the parking lot, and took control of the kids, and the next thing I remember was entering the hospital Critical Care Unit.

When I got into his room.. he was moving quite a bit, which I later learned was called “posturing”.  He had an Intracranial Pressure Monitor in his head, and was on a ventilator.  From there it was a waiting game.  He had suffered what is called a Sling-Shot brain injury.  He didn’t have a scratch on him.  There was no police officer there to explain the situation – the details of the accident.  Apparently, they had already left, or had never even gone to the hospital.  We didn’t know why he had wrecked.  A nurse we were speaking to later that day mentioned something about him hitting a tree, and then covered her mouth, as if to indicate that she had spoken out of turn.

That evening we were sitting in the waiting room, me and my daughter, and we were approached around 8pm, by a lady who asked us if we were the family of the gentleman who had wrecked his motorcycle on Highway 199 earlier that day.  We said yes.  She asked me, “Are you his wife?”  I responded that I was, and she asked, “Then who was the hysterical blond woman at the scene?”  We never did find out who she was, the blond woman, and will never know.  The lady who approached us at the hospital, Dana, was the first person on the scene.  She relayed this information:   She had tried to use her cell, but couldn’t get a signal, and walked across the highway to a nearby house to use a land line to call 911, while her husband stayed with mine.  The people in the house ran down the hill to the scene as well, and the phone continued to have signal at the scene so that they could talk to the dispatcher while trying to take direction from them as to how to help him.  His breathing was labored, and 911 was giving them instructions to move him, to help him breathe.  Just then a retired paramedic who was traveling to a destination about a mile and a half up the road was passing by and stopped, preventing the people from making a fatal mistake under the direction of the dispatcher, by moving him.  He had hit a guy wire holding up a telephone pole on the side of the road, after skidding nearly 100 feet on the right side of the shoulder, trying to shoot for a driveway to avoid some road hazard and didn’t see it.  His head impacted the wire, and he was ejected from the bike, landing against a tree about 7″ in diameter.  She said she had come upon the scene from the opposite direction and saw it before the dust had even settled.  She said a black SUV was stopped several feet down the road, headed in the same direction as my husband was, and then it left.  We exchanged numbers, and she left us with her condolences, saying she would call us later to check on his progress.

The hospital said that the reason they had pressed “home” on his cell to contact me, was that his wallet and him had been separated somehow, and they couldn’t identify him any other way.  We found out later that it was because the police had confiscated it at the scene because they smelled beer on his breath.  His blood alcohol level was .074, and was determined by my “Bikers Against Motorcycle Manslaughter (BAMM)” attorney’s reconstructive analyst not to be a factor in the accident.  Josephine County Sheriff’s Department sent a letter to my house, before he died, indicating that they were intending on pursuing DUII charges, should he live.  BAC level for drunk driving in Oregon is .08.. however, the policy of the State of Oregon is that “.08 is NOT a magic number” and they could DUII anyone they found to be incapacitated, no matter what their BAC level was.

This was day one, of what I now refer to as “hell week”, and I go through it every year.

Posted June 17, 2011 by Connected Threads in Personal Issues