Tuesday, January 6, 2009

It's Billy Day!

That's right, folks. I said Billy day. No, this is not the day we brought Billy HOME from the hospital....It's the day he was taken IN to the hospital 3 years ago today.

On January 6, 2006, after spending the early morning with me after my night shift at the hospital, Bill-boy was heading in to Friends University for a basketball practice. He was the JV head coach and assistant varsity there at the time. Before he had left the house, we discussed setting up doctor and dentist appointments for him. He had only recently become "insured" as of January 1st, thanks to my work's insurance plan. After he left home, I called to set up those routine "haven't seen a doctor or a dentist in awhile" appointments. After getting dates set, I tried to call Billy back to let him know when he was supposed to go in. I called and he didn't answer. I thought, "That's weird...Maybe he's on another line." Called again a few minutes later and still no answer and I thought, "He's probably already at practice and won't answer his phone. I'll call him back later." No biggie, right? WRONG! Well, I settled in to bed to get a few hours sleep (I came off a 12+ hour shift a few hours earlier and was dog-tired). I dozed off, but miraculously heard my cell phone ring. It was Stubby (Billy's dad) saying that Billy had been in an accident and that I needed to get to Via Christi Hospital NOW. Talk about an eye-opener! The only thing the State Trooper had told him was that Billy had been in an accident on Kellogg and 135th and that he was unconscious but his vitals were okay at this time.

Now I'm thinking that this is just a bad dream.

Stubby assures me that this is not a dream and tells me to get to the hospital. I jump out of bed, throw on the scrubs that I wore the night before, get in my car and drive the longest 30 minutes of my life downtown to the hospital, calling my mom on the way. From here on out, everything was a blur. They had already moved Billy from the Trauma Unit and into the SICU (Surgical Intensive Care Unit). When I was allowed into his room, I was met by some 12 year old Doogie Howser Medical Student stitching up my husband's face. Not a great first impression. As a nurse, my eyes filtered the room and found other alarming signs (beside ol' Doogie), such as an ET tube with ventilator attached, Miami-J neck collar, limb restraints, Propofol IV drip and a badly beaten and bruised husband.


Allow me to backtrack just a bit and try to explain how the accident occurred. Billy was stopped at the sign on 135th St (facing south) at US-54, AKA Kellogg, getting ready to turn left (east) through both lanes of traffic. A Kellogg west-bound moving semi-truck was approaching his intersection and was signaling to turn at 135th. The semi slowed and started making his wide turn. Billy thought the other lanes were clear and proceeded to advance the 2 lanes across Kellogg....until his advance was halted. You see, the turning semi-truck had blocked the view of the OTHER SEMI in the lane next to it. That semi TRUCKED Billy's little green Mustang going about 65 mph, and neither driver ever saw it coming.



Wichita Police Department, Wichita Fire Department, Kansas Highway Patrol, and Sedgwick County EMS all responded and were able to put out the fire that started in the Mustang, get Billy extricated, immobilized and to the hospital as a Level I trauma. FYI - sometimes patients with traumatic head injuries are also combative (unbeknownst to them, of course) and need to be sedated/restrained for their safety and for their caregiver's safety. Due to Billy's aggressiveness in the ER, they had to restrain, sedate, paralyze and intubate him. I think everyone in the room breathed a little easier after that! Plus, they needed him still for all the xrays and CT scans.

So, like I said before, they had already moved him upstairs to his room by the time I arrived to the hospital. The surgical residents and attending came to talk to me. They said Billy had sustained an intraparenchymal hemorrhage (brain bleed) in the accident, as evidenced by the CT scan taken in the ER. They wanted to place a "bolt" in his head by drilling through his skull so they could measure intracranial pressure (an increased pressure might also be causing some of the combativeness). I consented for the procedure. His pressures remained stable throughout his time in the SICU until Billy broke free of his HARD LEATHER RESTRAINTS and ripped the device out of his skull. . After that little episode, they decided they didn't need the monitor in after all.

To make a very long story shorter, we were able to take Billy home a little over a week later. He was still very disoriented and said some GOOFY stuff (we wrote down some of the crazy things he said while in the hospital and after he got home just so we could poke fun at him later when he was fully recovered). It took a little while, but he made a full recovery and we're so thankful that he is still around to be the wonderful husband and loving father that he is today....even IF Ryno still calls him "Scatter Platter" when he says some off-the-wall random comment!


He may be a nutty fruitcake, but that's part of his charm!


He still likes to play video games.....
And rock Guitar Hero with family and friends until his fingers bleed.

I guess I can live with that.
Because without him, there would never have been a "Santa Claus with the Quads" picture for us......Or any babies at all.
I'm so thankful the Lord had other plans for Billy Joe Graf that day 3 years ago. And WHAT A SET OF PLANS THEY WERE!!!
Since his accident, Billy has said he can't be killed because he's Superman. It's hard to argue against when you've see him walk away from that kind of accident with no more than a few small scars on his left cheek.


Billy, you ARE my Superman and I thank God everyday for allowing me another day to put up with all your shenanigans! I can't imagine my life without you.

Love,
Moni

34 comments:

jag said...

Oh man! That's some story lady! Celebrating Billy Day right along with you. Of course, everytime Ry doesn't answer his cell I'll probably freak out, but thanks for sharing. This is worth celebrating for sure!

Anonymous said...

Whoa! Thanks for sharing. I sure am glad we can celebrate Billy Day!

Anonymous said...

You guys are a beautiful witness of having trust in God. Thank you!
Love, UT

Anonymous said...

Since your baby dolls will be reading this some day, I want them to know how ominous the day, week, months were after the accident. As corny as it sounds, it was a very spiritual experience for many/all of us. Within hours, your dad and mom's families and friends were crammed into a large waiting room. The whole city was joined in prayers for the young husband and coach they heard about on the radio and television. I have never witnessed such an outpouring of love and heartfelt connection. The waiting room throughout the week was always filled with people (and food). Your mom, although she seldom left your dad's side, showed a quiet strength that always gave us hope. How she survived the week was a miracle in itself. And your many relatives ... yes, even Uncle Ryan, were constantly holding each other up. Words can't describe the awesome miracle we were privileged to witness. Great Aunt GGr

Charity Donovan said...

Uggggh...only a wife's WORST nightmare! I am so glad that everything turned out well! You were QUADRUPLE blessed because it was all MEANT TO BE! God always has a plan for us...I'm so glad that we are all able to read about & be apart of your awesome family! Tell the Scatter Platter that next time he decides to do something crazy...to NOT do it on my birthday!!! lol!

Suzanne said...

holy COW! what an amazing story--i totally connected during the part where the nurse in you started scanning the room. such habit to scan a hospital room in any situation--tells you alot about what the heck is going on. how scary to see all that stuff in there (not to mention, good 'ole doogie, MD- grrr)!!! sheesh. i am SOOOOO glad billy boy is ok! God had MUCH bigger plans that you or he ever imagined!!! blessings to you guys!!!

Anonymous said...

I remember that day well I had just seen him the evening before the wreck and am VERY GRATEFUL Billy is still here for us to celebrate Billy Day!!!


Stacy

Andrea said...

Glad we are able to celebrate Billy day! I won't forget that day either. Scary! So glad God chose to protect you and keep you:) Pretty amazing....Not just a car hitting you at 65mph but a SEMI. Love you guys! Thanks for the post. Andrea

Stephanie said...

Wow...how scary. Happy Billy Day!!
I'm so glad he is ok now...those pics are AWFUL! God is good!

The Carlsons said...

uff! after seeing those pics of his crushed mustang i'd say that the Lord DEFINITELY protected and had bigger plans for billy! praise God for keeping him safe and healthy, then and the years after.

it's totally a "billy day" today! you two should go out and celebrate :)
-fellow quad mom of GGGG and a 4.5yo boy

Anonymous said...

Wow, amazing that he survived ! Happy Billy Day! My hubby has the same "Superman" complex, he fell 205 feet into a 4 ft pool and walked away with 3 broke ribs and a punctured lung, 8 yrs ago. God Is So Good!!!
Your babies are adorable!

Anonymous said...

Billy Day... I thought everyday was Billy day? Good Googly Moogly! I guess that explains why the good die young. Just kidding... I can joke about that since your still here! If a Semi can't kill you... I know a measly not to mention terrible not humerous joke won't. This joke was not intended to upset anyone... you just got to know Billy and I's relationship.

On a more serious note its hard to imagine 3 years ago this happened. Boy, was that one of the most difficult and trying times in my life! I just thank the lucky stars that the lord decided it wasn't your time. The week you were in the hospital seemed like a eternity! I couldn't imagine life without my brother, my best friend, not to mention my Favorite Scatter Platter! If you recall I was in Boston at the time and talk about an emotional roller coaster! If I knew Bill was going to be fine, he probably wouldn't have made out like a bandit from Cheers with gifts from me!

Bill... you are my idol! Some people might say it is time to find a different one, but not me! Being a loving Father, husband, son, and brother...I look up to you! Yes I know... not just because I am five foot! I figure I would just say it first before someone else busted my chops.

I know sometimes we agree to disagree and sometimes we don't see eye to eye! (which we never will because of my Five foot stature), but I do respect you and Love you! You are the best brother anybody could ever ask for!

Happy Billy Day

Love your lil Bro!
Ryno

PS... I love the fact you stuck it right up the Grim Reaper's A$$!

Tubre Quads said...

Sheesh Bill, why don't you just give a girl a heart attack...and I'm not talking about from your striking good looks :) Moni - I bet you were freaked out! I remeber you telling me that story when I was there, but those pictures are CRAZY!

Yeah for Billy Day! So glad you are here buddy. Who would I make fun of when Saban runs his mouth and then gets beat by Utah (IN LOUISIANA) if you weren't...oh, the horror!

My hat is off to Ryno for his excellent comment! Very sweet, very funny and very heartfelt...way to geaux Ryno!

Love yall,
Jac

The Murray Crew said...

Thankful for EACH of your lives...God is faithful!

The Murray Crew said...

Thankful for EACH of your lives...God is faithful!

Hilary said...

God id good!! thankful he was there watching over Billy!!

Ashley Dave and Lexi said...

After going through that, Billy sure deserves his own day. What an amazing story...scatter platter and all! :)

I have no idea where Lexi learned to text and drive. I've told her numerous times to always keep her eyes on the road.

Anonymous said...

FWGNFL said....

Billy Boy, Billy Boy, I can't imagine life without ya.

Happy Billy Day (1 day late)

Andria said...

Good lord, I had no idea you married Superman??? What a story Moni! You tell it like it was yesterday. Incredible!

Happy Billy Day! Does he get another Billy Day when he came home? Wow, the Lord has started to work miracles already for you guys.

Anonymous said...

BIG hugs and kisses. I love you both!
xoxo,

Courtney

Anonymous said...

First the Tubre's one-year video, now Billy Day. Then Ryno's comments. Are you all conspiring to make me cry this week?

Kidding aside, your story is very inspiring.

~Sarah

EMO said...

Yeah for Billy day. I remember getting the phone call from my mom that Billy (my cousin) had been in an awful accident. I was 9 months pregnant at the time and my baby shower was the next day. I am sooo glad that everything turned out so well. I loved hearing some of the silly things that he was saying. It sure lightened the mood.
Love
Erin

Anonymous said...

Well, that post was awesome, Monica. That was the most awful day of my life. I remember it like it was yesterday, and I remember sitting outside the SICU doors on the ground by myself crying because they made me leave his room. I thank God every day that I still have my brother. My two brothers are my two best friends, and I can't imagine my life without either of them. I Thank God that He has blessed my family and I with so many wonderful blessings and miracles. I love you Billy! And like Ryno said, you really are a great brother and such an amazing person to look up to!

Love,
Your Favorite Sister, Lainie

And Monica, you are the most amazing sister-in-law too!! I just wanted to remind you!

Joan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joan said...

OMG I had never know that this had happen! Looking at the car, I would had been afraid a fatality had occurred . Just another reminder at how good God is!!

Happy New year!
Joan, Sacramento Ca

Shelia said...

Moni, I almost forgot about that. The story (or many versions of it) were flying around the ER in no time. Guess everyone's prayers really paid off... for at least four good reasons! Happy Billy Day!

pookie said...

what a pious day! god bless bill on his miraculous recovery. i see the spermies weren't damaged at all in that accident hehe!

Moni Graf said...

Ooooh! Good word usage there for "pious", Pookie!

And yes, we are very thankful Billy's boys can still swim upstream instead of just circles.

Moni

Anonymous said...

I still think you two should write a book. You would keep your readers captivated!
That WAS a very scary time. Don't pull anything like that again, Billy!
Love you all!
Budda

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday Charity!

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, Billy amazing story.......

Anonymous said...

We have been a truly blessed family over the last several years. Every day I thank God for all of my many blessings, and I thank God that he gave each of you to me for this lifetime. Just reading the post brought back all of the emotions and thoughts of that day, week, time. Mike and I still look at each other and think WOW how lucky we are to have been given so many blessings. We have the greatest families and are surrounded by the most loving of friends and extended families. Thank you all for all of your support. Love you, Grandma Vicki Thank you God for giving us Billy Day to celebrate.

The Gerwer Babies said...

Terrifying.. yet AMAZING story! its those times that really pull two people together i think!
Way to be tough Billy! Keep rockin the guitar hero!
XOXO

Squiggle Wiggle & Maggers Moo said...

Amazing!!! You all really are a bunch of walking miracles. It is nice to have miracles around to remind us there really is something greater than ourselves. God Bless. Moni, well written prose. You both always right so well I just enjoy reading your blog.
The College Hill Girls
Sarah