Wednesday, June 21, 2023

It was fun till it wasn’t…

We’re home! Yes, you read that right. This is a long post so hold on tight. And here we go! We left Omaha about 8:30 Sunday morning and had a beautiful drive to Custer, South Dakota, not far from Mt. Rushmore. We had reservations at Fort Welikeit, about a mile outside of town. It's a beautiful campground that we have stayed in before. We started setting up the trailer. Dennis backed it in perfectly the first try. No back and forth involved. Score! I began the inside set up and my Hubby started outside. Then I hurried to make dinner because it was 6:00 and we hadn't eaten since about 10:00 am. Next thing I knew I heard a strange sound outside and stuck my head out the door and asked if he was alright. I heard a weak, "no". Uh-oh! 

But first, this is what we saw as we drove into the Black Hills around 5:00. Isn't it beautiful?

Before the Uh-oh....

The scene of the crime and a warning. If you have a queasy stomach at all...STOP reading. I'll write again later. Just don't look at the following photos. Okay? Here we go. Deep breath. (But really, we're mostly all Mom's and Grandma's on here and we've seen this kind of thing before.)

He came around the corner with his hand over his face and blood dripping down. Aren't those eyebrows craziness? I had just trimmed them about two weeks ago. Since this photo, they've received another trim! This photo is the proof that he ended up with 6 stitches total. One on the top right and 5 above his eye. Please ignore the fact that he hadn't shaved. We were supposed to be on vacation and he only shaves about every 3 days when on vacation! :-) It's his gift to himself.

And then there was his hand. Looks like a vampire bite with an extra hole for good measure! I sent these two photos to Mandy and asked her advice since she's our family medical professional. As an RN, her order was to go to the ER immediately.  Well, dinner was ready and he wasn't going anywhere until he ate. Remember that I said we were hungry. So I cut up his pork chop for him since he couldn't use his right hand at all. Then off to the Hospital we went. Would you believe that there was a hospital less than a mile away? I drove the beast of a truck there, even parked it between the lines and he went in. When they asked him what happened he said, "I fell down and went boom!" Seriously, he did. He never lost his sense of humor.  Actually what happened is that he stepped backwards off of the back of the tailgate of the truck. It's an F350 which is really, really tall. At 67 he doesn't bounce like he did at 5 years old. At least that's what he told the nurse.

A CT scan showed nothing seriously wrong in his head and that he really DOES have a brain. The ER doctor put a cast on his hand to hold it immobile after she saw the xrays and stitched up his head. And then the dreaded words..."You have to go back home for emergency surgery."  Noooooooooo. We only had one day of vacation!

The next two photos show his hand today at the orthopedic surgeons office.  It's a pretty green and blue. 

And guess what? Tomorrow he's having surgery to (hopefully), put an unknown number of pins in that thumb that's broken in several places and probably a few crushed small bones. I say hopefully because the surgeon said that until he gets inside the thumb to see it properly he doesn't know if it will be plates and screws or pins. He wants to do pins because they will come out in about six weeks where the plates and screws would stay in forever. That will be bad in the winters here with the cold. The surgery is expected to last a little over an hour.

Meanwhile, back in Custer, on Monday I got a crash course in hitching up the trailer, dumping tanks and putting all of the hoses, electrical and all outside stuff away and buttoning up everything on the outside. That's usually his job. Monday night I packed up everything in the trailer into the truck so we could just drop the camper at storage when we got back and go right home. The plan was to leave early in the morning Tuesday for the drive home. We were both too exhausted after driving all day Sunday, about 11 hours, the accident, ER visit, waking every two hours to check for concussion, etc., to try to attempt the trip on Monday. We sat around the campsite all day and just relaxed in the beauty of the campground. I also called our primary care doctor for a referral to the surgeon, made an appointment to get the stitches in his head out on Friday and make the appointment for the surgeon today. It was SO quiet. After packing everything up, (with Hubby supervising me), including hitching up the trailer, we went to bed early.
At 1:20 we woke up to the truck alarm going off. We shut it off as quickly as we could and thought, "well that was weird." Ten minutes later it did it again. Then again. It's never done that before. We decided we better scram fast if we didn't want to be shot for waking everyone up over and over at 1:30 am. We were dressed, the slide put in, stabilizers up and on the road in about ten minutes. At 1:45 a.m. After four hours of sleep total in about two nights. Oh joy. And my wonderful husband drove the entire way. With one hand. And in pain. Today he could barely move. His ribs are very painful, he must have hit them in the fall somehow.
We did make it back about 1:00 pm yesterday. Safely, thank the good Lord. The accident could have been so much worse if he had fallen the other direction and hit his head on the tongue of the trailer. Or broken a leg or hip. I wouldn't have been able to get him into the trailer or truck to get him home. God is good and I praise Him for all of His help. Our sweet son-in-law, Brad, volunteered to fly his Dad up to drive home with me in the truck while he would fly Dennis back home to avoid a painful trip. But no, Hubby wanted to prove he could drive his truck himself.
When we got home, while I unpacked everything from the truck, he took both keys to have the batteries changed. The alarm hasn't gone off since then, so it was just a low battery. I told him we need to get them changed every year at the same time to prevent this happening again. This morning when the alarm went off for us to get to his surgeons appointment on time, he thought in his dream that it was the truck alarm going off. Now THAT is the only funny thing to happen in the past several days.
He's 67 and has never had a broken bone before. The ER doctor told him that was a great track record and that she couldn't believe how good of health he's in. It was one of those freak accidents that just happen when you least expect it. 
He tells me that he's so proud of me for everything I've done the past few days. He knows how hard it is with my back. But gosh, it sure makes me appreciate him even more, and everything he does for us everyday. He gets so frustrated that I have to help him with so much. I don't mind. I love that man with all I have. Next to the Lord, he's the most important person in the world to me. 

Well, that's the saga of our first three days of vacation. I'm sorry to say I haven't had time to read any blogs since this happened, but hope I can catch up tomorrow night after the surgery. I'll update you all in a few days. And do you know that Dennis asked the surgeon today if we could still go to Montana and Washington and he immediately said, "Go"! So after his follow-up visit next week, if he's recovering well, we may drive the car to see Jamie and the kids in Montana and stay in hotels along the way instead of camping. Then we'll stay in the Queen Suite at our friends house in Spokane where we were going to camp in thier driveway. You wouldn't believe the set-up they built in their basement for Dennis to stay in when he was traveling back and forth for work when we first moved. We have some wonderful friends.

Well, if you're still with me for this novel, all I can say is thank you for being such patient and sweet friends. I'll be back soon.  Love to you all!

Blessings and love,


  1. Sending ALL the good wishes for speedy healing. You are blessed with an amazingly resilient husband and he is blessed with a wife with a good head on her shoulders!

  2. Oh my goodness, I am glad you all are getting through this. Glad you have such good friends as well, where you can stay.

  3. Oh, my....I just got The Mister fired up about maybe buying a small camper this morning so I am NOT showing him this post. What a bunch of ouchies. Poor guy. Poor you. I've had to do 100% of the work the both of us used to share for the past 8 weeks so I can certainly commiserate with what you have ahead. It's a very good thing you are tucked into your nice new condo. Trying to keep up the lawn by myself has been NO fun.
    Sending healing vibes to you both.

  4. Oh my goodness! That's wild. I'm so glad it isn't more serious and everything worked out in the end. Hope the healing is smooth from here on out.

  5. Oh no! Poor Dennis! Poor you! The photos didn't bother me. I've three children. I'm a former nanny and preschool teacher so I've seen it all. Let us know how everything went. I will put you on my prayer list.

  6. I read this earlier today but decided to read it again and comment. I finally woke up enough to get out of bed late. Weird. Sorry that Dennis had been injured from a fall. Hope and pray his surgery goes well. Hope your next trip goes well. You're are a great wife for your husband. I would do as much as I could but ask for help where you stayed at. God bless you both my friends 🙏 ❤️ 🌹

  7. Wow! That was amazing! Amazing that he wasn't hurt worse, praise God! Amazing that there was a hospital close by. Amazing that you were able to do all of that extra stuff like hooking up the trailer to the truck, etc., I don't think I could do that! Praise God things weren't worse, and also that you will still get to take your trip...but I hope he will rest up a bit first...(and you too!). Take care my friend. We will be praying.

  8. Yikes! So sorry to hear about Dennis's fall. Nice work in taking care of him and everything else! Let us know how the surgery goes; I'll be thinking of both of you. Hugs!

  9. Thank goodness and God that it was not worse! I hope the surgery goes well and Dennis is not in too much pain. What a quick end to your camping trip. Hopefully you can make up for it soon:)

  10. Oh dear, what a scary adventure you two had on your vacation. I admire that you managed to pack up and your hubby able to drive home using one hand. Let us know how the hand surgery went. I am praying for full healing for him. "He who dwells in the shelter of the most high will remain secure and rest in the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no enemy can withstand.]

  11. Oh Betsy, I'm so glad Dennis is okay. You two can be very proud of how you both work together to help each other.

  12. wow....what a shock to see and hear this. Here I was thinking of you two out on vacation having such a good time. I'm so sorry to hear about this mishap. Praying that all will go well with Dennis's healing so you can at least have a vacation again soon. God bless you both.

  13. Wowzerz! I sure wasn't expecting anything like this to pop up on your blog. I'm used to seeing way worse stuff than this... been caring for Jerry's lower left leg since 1993. He has a permanent dermatological condition because of working in a meat-packing plant. I'll spare you the details. I'm the one who cares for it and it doesn't bother me one bit. People always tell me I should have been a nurse or doctor. I'll write more on your post that's after this one... I read both before commenting on this first. // THANK YOU, LORD, FOR KEEPING DENNIS' INJURIES FROM BEING ANY WORSE THAN THEY ARE! AMEN! // Hugs! // P.S. You did EXCELLENT getting everything put back together on that truck and camper! Bravo, girl!

  14. Oh, my goodnesss! I can't believe it! On top of all the pain is disappointments but knowing God is in control, sure helps soften the blow....

  15. Oh my word! I had better not miss any of your posts as you never know what you 2 might get into. I'm so sorry this happened and on your first day of vacation. But like I always say, it could've been worse. Good for you to do all those things he usually does and thank goodness your back didn't go out. I will pray that all goes well and that he heals up just fine. So glad, you are able to still go on your other trip! Bless you both!

  16. Oh no, Betsy!! I'm so sorry this happened and that your vacation was cut so short. Wow. That's wonderful how you were able to do what needed to be done, though, and that Dennis came through surgery ok, and of course, that it all wasn't worse. Praying he'll have the patience to relax and heal and recover for however long it takes--I know that tends to be hard for most men, especially! Thinking of you both.... Debra