It was a Sunday morning just like any other. We all actually slept in and I woke up first as usual. After having coffee and checking emails I woke up Larry and asked him what we were going to do for our Sunday Funday. He mentioned I call my boss from the gym to see what they were doing. I called Keith and he said he wanted to take his new motorcycle for a ride up around Montgomery. Larry decided to ride with him and they planned on meeting me and the girls at Wolfies on Lake Conroe after their ride. Larry got his bike cleaned and tuned up for the ride and Keith showed up and off they went. For some reason I felt uneasy about it but I blew it off because I am not a worrying type person.
The girls and I got dressed and went to Wolfies for lunch and to hang out until the guys got there. We waited a bit but finally got a good table. I was dieting for an upcoming show so I found a great Tuna salad to get and I was just taking my first bite when I saw Keith's wife walking into the restaurant talking on the phone. I called her name out and she walked over to me and handed me the phone. Keith said to me, Larry has been in an accident and he can't feel his legs. I just stood there and couldn't even speak. The girls were both hysterical trying to find out what was wrong. Once I got the news where he was being transported to I left to take Layci's friend home and we headed to College Station where he was taken.
I had no idea how bad anything was so I just stayed calm choosing to stay positive.
I will never forget walking into that ER and seeing him for the first time. I was in complete shock. I couldn't even cry yet. I asked him what was wrong and all he said is I'm paralyzed. I finally spoke with his neurologist and I asked him to give it to me like it was, I wanted to know how bad it was. Dr. Friedman looked at me and said, Mrs. Baird, it is bad as it can be. He said, your husband will never walk again and we will be lucky if I can get him to sit up with surgery. He had so many broken bones and a collapsed lung. He was bleeding inside from the lung and needed blood. I just stood there in disbelief. I could not believe this was happening and why?? My healthy young wonderful husband was laying there and would never walk again. What kind of cruel joke was that?
So many people showed up for the first few days and the day of his surgery I was overwhelmed with the response and outpouring of people who came to support us. Once he made it through the surgery I felt relieved that he was going to live and the rest would be dealt with as it came to us.
The first few hours after his surgery were the worst. He was in so much pain and I could barely see him that way without falling apart. I was having physical pain from seeing him hurt so much.
After almost 3 weeks of CCU we were moved to a rehab hospital and spent another 3 weeks there learning to adjust to our new life together. It was extremely hard and he was in a lot of pain throughout therapy. I had to learn to pick him up and move him, transfer him into a wheelchair, tub bench and into a car ( the scariest part yet) We managed to conquer those skills and were able to come home.
I'm not going to lie the first few weeks of being home just down right sucked. We moved into a rent house the first few weeks and he did NOT do well in a strange place. He had lost his legs, his job and his independence and his house. We had power struggles for a couple weeks and I was ready to throw in the towel. I had not been married for 20 years to have to do this now. I did not sign up for anything like this. WTH, and why? I also suffered from loss. I lost so much too and I was not happy about it to say the least. We both were going through the 5 stages of grief and were never on the same one at the same time. The first few times of giving him a bath in this tiny bath tub and my back not being strong yet was torture. I sat and cried and cried. Finally he said to me, girl you got to nut up and do this. I'm depending on you for everything. I realized I had always depended on him for everything and now the roles were reversed and I was not sure if I had what it took to be the strong one.
Larry told me he needed to go back home to our old house to heal. It was home to him and he needed to be there. I called up his brother and said we are going home I need help moving.
I would say immediately upon moving his attitude changed and I could see he felt comfort being home.
Things were on their way to getting better for us.
My girls have stayed very strong throughout all of this. I am so proud to be their mother. They have been there for me and I have been there for them.
I have changed in so many way since this happened. One is patience, I'm not sure I had any prior and now I would say I am one of the most patient people you will meet. I am completely selfless and I love my family more than I can ever say and I let all of them know it each and every day.
Two, I am physically stronger. I am able to do things I never thought I would be able to do. I have taken on his responsibilities as well as my own and I am doing quite well taking care of our household.
I will say there are days when I get completely frustrated with people or even our friends in general.
We are still here, Larry is still paralyzed and some days I want help. I want someone to bring us dinner or come help me clean my house, wash my car anything.... its just like when someone dies, people are there at first and then they go... and you are alone trying to figure out how you are going to manage. I am still at that stage in this. I am a woman and I am trying to do all of this alone and I wish people would still reach out to us. I have been burned by a few people and the rudeness of some floors me. From all of this I still remain positive and look forward to what is ahead. I love my husband in a way that I can't explain. He is my best friend and my lover. I am so thankful that I still have him here with me that I am able to look past everything that may trouble me and take it moment by moment. We are choosing to live a more simple life now with less money and less problems. I plan to lead by good example to my children and through my community. If one life is inspired or motivated by my experiences then I am fulfilling expectations I have set for myself.
On April 25, my life did change forever but I think there are so many good changes that I wouldn't go back to our old life. I am moving on and living.