My name is Desiree, and boy let me tell you… I got a story to tell.
This was me on May 22nd 2011. Looking back I still can’t believe it’s already been almost a year. I was at our local Dillon’s when my life changed forever. A week before this image was taken I found out I was pregnant with a viable pregnancy (I had a miscarriage on New Year’s Day 2011. How awesome?).
My husband and I decided to stop by the grocery store before a storm was going to arrive to pick up something to make for dinner. We only lived two blocks away. What was suppose to be a 20 minute stop turned into an hour. Right as we were getting ready to check out (I had to make sure I had Red Velvet Cheesecake ice cream. Because who doesn’t like Red Velvet? ) the manager of the store came over their intercom to warn us of a tornado warning, and that we needed to go to the produce cooler. Boy was I pissed. I was pissed at myself for staying at the store too long and I was irritated that I had to leave my carefully selected grocery items in front of the check out. My husband looked at me and said “Don’t worry about the groceries. If they’re here when this is over then we’ll be ok. If they’re not here then that’s ok too.”
When we got into produce cooler we were crammed with multiple people. I was standing in front of my husband. He was trying to comfort me. A little backstory on me.. I’m afraid of storms. At that point in May I finally got myself where I really respected Mother Nature’s fury. I remember a few people bringing their shopping carts in the cooler. That really irritated. We stood around, and waited. The manager came into the produce cooler and warned us all that a tornado was confirmed on the ground. Everyone began to panic. Before the tornado hit I was looking around at my surroundings. Right above me was an air conditioning unit. In front of me was a produce rack filled with fresh raspberries. I looked at my husband, scared, and asked him if we’re going to be ok. He reassured me we will get out of this.
Suddenly my ears popped, the lights flickered, and then all hell broke loose.
I can’t remember everything that exactly happened. I ended up going to my knees to cover my stomach. My husband was still in front of me. We kept looking at each other yelling “I love you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I love you.” It was loud, and I felt the building being ripped apart. The tornado came in two waves. When it was over I could feel rain, and hail pelting me. The employees were checking on everyone to see if they were ok. I looked at Matthew, relieved we were ok, and then tried to get up.
I couldn’t get up. I. Was. Stuck.
The hour or so before I was rescued are a bit of a blur. It’s probably because I was dying. I was stuck underneath thousands of pounds of steel, and concrete. To this day my husband will not tell me what was on top of me. I was the only one in the building who got stuck and needed rescue.
My husband is my hero. If it wasn’t for him my son and I would not be alive. He did what he could to try to lift the weight off of me. He made sure no one would step over what was on top of me. It was an emergency situation. If any of the weight on top of me shifted it would have crushed everyone else. He also helped the fire fighters when they eventually arrived. While I was in the hospital my doctor referred to me as Atlus.
A fire department finally showed up to help me. I later learned in a news article they were originally not going to rescue me. They were going to a fire at a school next to the grocery store. If it wasn’t for a tree taking down power lines they would have never came. It took what seemed like hours but they were barely able to get me out. Their equipment was failing from all of the weight on top of me. They were only able to lift the debris on top of me about an inch.
The weight of the world was literally lifted off of me. I felt GREAT. There was just one problem: I couldn’t feel my legs anymore. I couldn’t MOVE my legs.
I ended up at a local hospital. Have you seen zombie movies? Imagine that in a hospital. The place reeked of death. There was a person beside me literally dying.I started bleeding while I was in the trauma room. Without any ultrasounds done I was told I had a miscarriage.
At that point I wasn’t quite sure what exactly happened. The nurses in the hospital were saying that our town was completely wiped out. I waited until the following morning before I was discharged. That’s right. I was discharged with a miscarriage. When I explained to the doctors I couldn’t walk I was told I was simply too traumatized to walk: I wanted to be in the hospital.
First of all. I HATE hospitals. Remember my comment about zombie movies? That’s my reason.
I decided to listen to them though. Although I couldn’t walk I wanted to believe them. I was discharged in nothing but a hospital gown. My clothes? They were cut off of me. I lost my glasses in my rubble. I was bleeding, still, and they didn’t give me a pad to soak the blood. My poor beloved parents, bless their soul, were able to finally find my husband and I. They took us to their house which is an hour away from where we use to live. I had to be brought into their house via EMT since I couldn’t walk. When I got to my parents house I decided to get a second opinion when I fell trying to get out of a recliner and could not get up.
I ended up at another hospital getting a second opinion. It was a good thing I did.
The good news: I was still pregnant. Yay!
The bad news: I was facing potential kidney failure. The bleeding was coming from my very badly bruised kidney.
I was in the hospital for a week afterwards. I had to have a catheter so they could constantly run fluids into my kidney. If it didn’t get better I would have looked at treatment for kidney failure. Luck finally started to go my way: My kidney was completely healed a week later. The doctors said it was because I was pregnant, and overweight that myself and my son survived the entire ordeal.
So you may be wondering. What exactly is this blog about? Well for one: I need an outlet to talk about my daily life as a new mother, and living with PSTD. As we speak I am now being treated for depression, and PSTD. I am in therapy now on a regular basis. My pregnancy was filled with complication after complication. I ended up with gestational diabetes, and hypertension which turned into pre-eclampsia. I also had a couple bouts of UTIs. I also suffered an epidural headache after I delivered my son. I also want to keep this journey as a record to give to my son. If you take a look around my blog I have my son’s birth story available as well.
I hope you will all take this journey with me as I learn how to cope with life after such a traumatic event. I am only 25 but at times I feel so fragile, insecure. I don’t want to be like this for me son. I never thought I’d end up in multiple newspapers, online blogs, TV interviews, and even a book.