I would be lying if I said I didn’t think about what life would be like if Paul hadn’t taken his motorbike to work that day. Would I still be working in aged care? Would we have moved back to mum’s anyway? Maybe our financial troubles would have eased. I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today. The person I am today is very different. I am surrounded by a sensational bunch of people. I have the best group of friends. I have grown spiritually, mentally and know my purpose in life. I am more confident but with a pinch of anxiety, responsible yet tastefully improper. I am getting better at self- reflection and tactful criticism. I choose my words carefully and love abundantly. I was pretty awesome back then, but now, I’m a SUPERSTAR. It takes big balls- or, more accurately, a good vagina and a set of boobs, to turn one’s life and the life of one’s entire family around. Im only at the beginning…
Let me tell you about that fateful Friday. The one that will be forever etched in my mind. I kissed Paul goodbye, loaded kids into the car and headed to mum’s. It was a typical day at work- mountains of paperwork to complete and client’s to visit. I usually touched base with Paul at some stage during the day. I could always tell how busy he was with the way he answered the phone. If I got a short, breathless “Hello?” he was definitely busy, rushing, unable to talk. But a long, drawn out, happy, “Hi Hunny Bunny,” then he was good to chat. This time I got neither one. He must have been busy.
As lunchtime drew close, I headed to my client’s home, still no call back, no text message, nothing. I continued with my day. On my way home, I tried one more time. No answer. Annoyed and not wanting to go back to the office, I opted to go straight to mum’s, pick up the kids and do some work from home. My phone rings. Now, when you answer your phone and the person who has called you asks “Who’s this?” Im generally not going to be overly pleasant or accommodating, especially when its a female calling me from my husband’s phone. The initial part of that conversation is a little blur. I do remember stopping short as I was about to tell this female to “piss off and put Paul on the phone”. Of course it was Paul playing a trick on me. I wouldn’t put it past him to have one of the admin girls answer his phone just to get on my nerves.
“How do you know Paul?” she asks. Seriously lady? You’re calling his wife on his phone. FFS.
“I’m his wife.” Now, imagine me saying that, deliberately pronouncing every word with a millisecond pause between each word for emphasis. The female voice turns away and I can just barely hear her say to someone “its the wife.” Oh crap. What has he done?
“Hello. This is Constable Sexyvoice. Your husband has been involved in an accident. He is being transported to hospital.” Constable Sexyvoice confirmed that Paul was alive (because that’s all I really needed to know otherwise I was going to kill him myself) so I headed over to hospital. I was surprisingly calm, not shocked, not panicking. In fact, I was thinking, Good! serves him right for being stupid on the road. That damn motorbike has surely taught him a lesson to leave the bike rides for the occasional weekend, not for everyday riding to work. It did not occur to me, not even once, that he would be fighting for his life at that very moment.
As I headed over, I thought about the last accident he had on his motorbike. It had been at least two years prior. He slid on a wet, slippery road, came off his bike, nearly colliding with a truck at a roundabout. People stopped to check if he was ok. But he decided he would go to work as normal. Chose to tell me about it at the end of the day. Over dinner. He refused to get checked out by a doctor. He was absolutely fine. It didn’t deter him that one in five people die of shock!
As you can see, I thought he was simply taking my advice from a couple of years ago and getting checked out. A few cuts and bruises, maybe some broken bones. He was always complaining he needed a holiday. Well, there you go, Pauly, a forced holiday complete with paid accommodation and food.
I called mum to let her know I would be at hospital with Paul and to sort the kids out. One of the ED surgeons called requesting my consent for urgent trauma laparotomy. I had no idea what I was consenting to but I figured someone would explain in to me in layman’s terms at some stage. I was usually pretty good with medical jargon but this was beyond my comprehension (many months later I found out it was open abdominal surgery.) It wasn’t until I arrived at the Emergency Department that I was told he was in surgery and in a critical condition. Say what now?
When I finally went in to see him at midnight, laying in the hospital bed in ICU, attached to a life support machine, his dad by my side, it finally dawned on me that I may end up a widow after all. I screamed my lungs out the whole way home that night.
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