Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Not So Lazy River!

My computer has been enjoying an extended stay
at Geek Squad.
We finally got it back a few days ago
and I've been thinking of a way to pull the last week or so into
one interesting blog post.
We've been very busy with VBS this past week.
I was the photographer for VBS this year and I have about
500 photos to edit and host for all of the families to enjoy.
We took a family trip to Kayak Point last week and I have
some awesome shots from that day
that I want to share.
But sometimes life takes an unexpected turn
and all of your plans just fizzle out.
One of those "unexpected turns" happened to me yesterday.
My boys have been tubing down a local river all summer
and were very excited to take David and I along yesterday.
There is not a raft to be found in Snohomish county
because of our record breaking heat wave,
so we each got a twin air mattress to float down the river with.
We were enjoying ourselves so much.
It was like a giant lazy river with gentle rapids.
I was telling David how fun I thought it was and how great
these memories were for the boys.
We stopped at several spots so they could jump off of
large rocks, over hanging tree branches or well placed rope swings.
I was already making plans to do this a few more times over David's
two week leave period.
The boys were about 50 yards ahead of me as we headed
toward the waterfall.
David had pushed me ahead, so he was about 50 yards behind me.
The boys told us to go to the right side of the falls.
I could see them going down the falls and coming back up to do it again
and I tried to position myself to go over the falls
in the same spot where I had seen them do it.
I was off by about 4 feet.
As I approached the falls, I raised up on the mattress
just a bit to see where I was headed.
I heard my boys screams at the same time
that I saw the rusty steel wall rising up from the surface of the water by about 3 feet.
But by then it was too late and I was already being swept forward
by the waterfall.
In an instant I felt my mouth and cheek hit the wall
and then I was caught in the swirling water between the wall and the falls.
I was being pushed downward by all of the water falling on top of me.
I remember reaching my arms out to try to feel the wall and trying to find the side of
it so that I could swim out,
but the water was too heavy on top of me.
Part of me wanted to just give up and give in to the swirling dizziness
in my head,
but a stronger part of me kept my arms flailing an my feet kicking.
I remember thinking, "just a few more seconds and you'll break the surface."
and when those seconds passed,
I would tell myself again,
"You're almost there, just a few more seconds."
It was Jason's (my brother) birthday and I remember thinking
"You can't die on Jason's birthday!"
The instant I broke the surface I took a huge breath
and I heard Zachary and Michael shouting,
"We're here mom, we've got you."
I felt both of their strong arms around me.
I was so dizzy and disoriented.
I was so exhausted I could not kick anymore and I let my head fall back
on one of their shoulders and they guided me to the shore.
I heard them screaming back at their Dad who was approaching the falls my now.
They warned him away from where I had gone over and
he was soon on shore with me.
A stranger handed me a part of their t-shirt that they had ripped off and filled with ice.
Someone else told me to keep pressure on my bleeding lip
and I heard someone else telling David how far we still had to float down the river
to get to the next outlet where we could get to our car.
A lady looked at my lip and tried to describe for me
what damage she saw.
She said that I had scared them all to death because
I didn't resurface for so long.
I saw Zach standing across the beach with his hands on his head
his back to me.
He later told me that he and Michael both thought I was gone.
Michael put me into his raft which was a blow up boat.
He held onto the side and started kicking to get us to the next outlet.
He kicked for 45 minutes straight.
My back ached, my shoulders hurt, I could feel my chipped teeth with my tongue,
my lips were so swollen I could not talk and my body was shivering with shock.
We finally reached the outlet and made it home to drop the boys off
and then on to the ER.
I absolutely hate IV's because I am such a hard stick,
and true to form, it took three attempts before they could get one in.
They pumped pain meds and fluids into me and gave me a tetanus shot.
The cat scan revealed a slight fracture in my left cheek bone
that we'll follow up on next week with an ENT.
I have a sizeable cut where my upper lip meets my gums which should heal
on it's own pretty quickly.
My teeth will be fixed next week once the swelling goes down.
My back ache should also get better with time and if it doesn't,
I will go in for an MRI.
I am very, very lucky to be alive.
I hit just the right spot at just the right speed and fought with just
enough strength to still be here today.
I could have been knocked unconscious and tossed below that waterfall
for too long before the boys got to me.
I could have hit that wall with my throat or my skull and would
have far more life threatening issues to deal with.
I'm so thankful to be typing this right now.
I'm in very good hands.
David is so good at taking care of me and everything else that needs
to be done so I can rest.
I slept on the couch last night so that I could be elevated enough
in case my lip started bleeding again overnight.
Michael slept on an air mattress right beside me and got up at 3 am to change
my ice pack.
I am a very lucky girl who thankfully has alot more life to live!
Here are some photos from today.
This is an improvement in swelling from yesterday when it looked
like I had a lemon in my left cheek.
The bruising is much worse though but as expected.

My lifesavers!
This might be a different story had they not been right there
to bring me to shore.

Thank you everyone for your prayers!!
Let the healing begin!!!


momy4him said...

becca i am so glad you are still here with us! God is not done with you yet girl!!!

Jenn~ said...

OMGosh Becca I am sitting here in tears for you. I am so so sorry that this happened to you, so glad that you had all your life savers close by when the accident happened... I can not imagine...but so so thankful because it could have been so much worse...rest,relax, and do not try to do to much. No concussion I hope??? Hugs....tons of them

Laura said...

I saw the pics on facebook and was already crying, hearing what happened made me cry even more, but if you weren't here to tell the story id be on the first flight out there. I am so glad that your alive, god is not ready for you to be welcomed into his arms yet. You have so much more to do on this earth. Thank god for your boys and your strength to keep fighting and pushing forward even in the pain you were in. If I had my doubts about god, they are gone now, there is a god, he was watching out for you and your still here. Get better soon, and keep resting. Lots of love to you.

Heidi Childs said...

OMG Becca. I am sitting here crying like a baby...what got me the most was Michael sleeping next to you & getting up to change your ice pack. That is something that not many teenagers would do. Becca, you are a wonderful mother & you have Amazing, beautiful, kind children. I am sure you are wearing your Angelina lips with pride knowing that you & your family can get through anything as long as you are together. I just adore you Cleary's....all of you!

Michelle said...

Oh my word! So sorry to hear of this! It's amazing how much you feel like you know someone just through reading a blog, but I definitely feel like I know you. I was just sick reading about this and I am so very glad to hear that you are on the road to recovery!

Mrs. J said...

So glad you're okay. Hope you heal quickly!

Cheryl said...

It's hard to read through tears you know. I'm so thankful that this had a 'happy' ending. You are SO fortunate to be alive. I'm so glad.

Keeling said...

Wow, that is so scary! I'll bet you are so proud of your boys for saving you...saying prayers that everything heals up well

Nancy said...

Rebecca, I'm speechless! I am glad you're okay, and what a blessing those boys are! You're right..God still has works for you to do. Praise His name! I'll be praying for you.

Cristie :) said...

Girl...everytime I started reading something about the boys I just started crying like a baby! I know that you are physically in pain right now...and I hear the scare in your words...but our kids, when they tear up and get up in the middle of the night to change ice packs...gosh...that just gets me! Quick recovery and prayers are sent your way! :)

Sandi Henderson said...

Goodness Becca- thank heavens. I'm so grateful that you obviously still have some work to do here. :) I'll keep your healing body in my prayers!


Abby*Lane said...

I have chills!! I am so thankful you are okay!! thank God they were there to pull you out!! Prayers for quick healing!

Mari said...

Becca...you are a daily inspiration to me. Praying for quick and painless healing. Hugs to you and your beautiful children!

CarrieS said...

Oh Becca... I'm so glad you are ok!! How scary to go through that though. I guess the bright side is that even all banged up, you look gorgeous!

Debbie said...

Lisa told me today to check in on you! I'm so sorry this happened. I hope you heal up quickly and am so thankful that everything turned out ok. The bruises will heal and the pain will go away! Big hugs to you!

The Fru-Gals said...

Wow!! So glad you are okay. Goes to show you how life can change in an instant. God Bless!!


Laurie said...

PTL you are alive! I saw the pics on FB and was stunned! You've been through it girl! Thank God you are okay!

The Perfect Trio said...

I read this through tears....I'm so glad you are ok!!! God's not done with you yet!