Admitted to HonorHealth John C. Lincoln Hospital, a Level 1 Trauma center for Phoenix in the HonorHealth network, I spent around nine days there, around half of those days being unconscious, in a series of three operations.
My sister was there early on, my father arrived from California about a day afterward, and stayed through most of the first few days. I came to around October 5th or so, and came out to my father as julie Anne. I was determine to let Dad know, just in case I didn’t make it out of the Trauma ICU. Fortunately, my body wasn’t ready to give up that easily, though I was in a tremendous amount of pain, and Dad took my coming out better than I thought and feared.
Facebook post from October 5, 2017: (Excerpt)
In related news, I did something I didn’t think I would have the courage to do. I came out to my father as Julie Anne.. I’m so glad I told him. He took a lot better than I thought. I am glad the years of hiding in fear are finally over. He’s doing his best to understand and accept me. I hope his stepmother accepts me as well.
A strong will to live, and watching the first six installments of Star Wars on TNT got me through that first full weekend after the accident. Sleep was more less whenever I could get it, with frequent vital sign checks, blood sugar monitoring, planning meals for the day, occasional visits by nurses for therapy, walking, getting used to using the bathroom, and dealing with being repositioned in bed, taking care to minimize the pain from cracked ribs.
After a few days, I was transferred to a regular patient room for a few days, until I was transferred to a rehabilitation hospital in Scottsdale. There, the real challenge began – physical and occupational therapy every weekday, in order to strengthen myself, so I could get around more, though I was still dealing with pain, and being stabilized with a TLSO brace to protect my ribs and back. I was also dealing with working on regaining range of motion and function in my right hand.
While in rehab, I took time on October 11, National Coming Out Day, to make a public Facebook post and come out to those who weren’t on my Facebook friends list. If anyone saw it from my boy Facebook, they haven’t let me know yet. ^_^;
My heartfelt thanks goes out to the surgeons, doctors, and nurses who cared for me, saved my life, and accepted me as Julie Anne. I’ve gained a lot of respect for healthcare in Phoenix, Arizona, especially at a time when it seems there are some factions in the United States who would like to see trans people legislated out of existence.
Next Time: Discharge from rehab, the journey home, and a month and half of recovery, and bonding with my father. Stay tuned!