Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Update on Brandilyn

"It was a bright winter day and the sky was blue, up over a hill a snowmobile flew, then another and another and then ... not another".

This is Brandilyn's husband, Mark, reporting to you from behind the master's computer while my world class author and all around great wife is on an undercover assignment in the local hospital gathering insights for her next novel and, while she is at it, recovering from some rather major foot surgery. Here's a synopsis.

Friday evening our son Brandon called and suggested that we do an outing Sunday afternoon. We left it up to him to decide exactly what it would be. Saturday he called to say that he had arranged for the "snowmobiling outing of a lifetime" in the beautiful North Idaho mountains. Some of his friends were planning a trip, had extra snowmobiles and invited us to join in. I was eager and Brandilyn was, let's say, thoughtful. She is not a cold weather person and does not revel in winter sports—especially ones that involve speed and heights. Brandon and I suggested to her that snowmobiles can be driven slowly and that heights are simply not as issue. She relented and actually got into the idea. Then she learned that one of the gals going on the trip is a "Seatbelt Suspense" fan and was delighted at the prospect of meeting Brandilyn. Well this "cemented" the deal as we argued that she had an obligation to her fan to join in. The stage was set.

Sunday arrived and the weather was beautiful. Brandon's friends were very nice. Our group included six people, riding five snowmobiles. Brandilyn and I rode tandem. All was going well and Brandilyn was getting into the swing of it. When we stopped for a rest, our son Brandon offered to double up with his girl friend and let Brandilyn ride by herself—something she accepted without reservation. We took off again and Brandilyn was scooting along at a very respectable pace and handling the snowmobile quite nicely. We stopped for lunch and enjoyed the spectacular scenery. Afterwards, our host and guide suggested that we take a particular trail. It rapidly turned out to be one that was very narrow and un-groomed. We were in single file with a number of sleds in front and Brandilyn and I towards the rear. Here comes the inciting incident....

We came upon some very steep little hills that were so close together that as soon as you get to the bottom of one, you have to start climbing the next. It was in the "saddle" between two hills that Brandilyn leaned in the wrong direction, accelerated by mistake and rolled over her entire snowmobile, throwing herself completely off and into the snow—a perfect five point landing if I do say so myself. Being right behind, I quickly ran to her and found that she had hurt her foot while departing from the sled. I kept my cool, however, and took her picture so she can relive the moment years from now.

She was in pain—and I mean real pain. The process of digging her out while not touching her foot and then getting the snowmobile free took quite a long time. Then the trip out took two hours as she had to be driven very slowly to minimize the pain caused by bumps on the trail. Once back in the car, pulling her boot off caused screams of pain only second to what I observed when she was giving birth to our kids.

We were in complete denial that anything was terribly wrong. We were saying that this "sprained" ankle would be on the mend in no time—in spite of the fact that she was in constant pain and the ankle was the size of a large melon. Once home, we called a neighbor who is a retired ER doc and asked him to check it out. While waiting for him to arrive, she was flat on her back sounding like nothing was wrong and carrying on a conversation with her sister, whose daughter had just been married that very day. Our doc friend arrives and took one look at her foot and told us to get to the hospital immediately—things were not looking promising.

At the hospital, she was quickly diagnosed as being very badly hurt—a broken fibula (about a centimeter distance between the two pieces) and torn ligaments on her tibia. Not the kind of injury that can be treated with a splint. They performed surgery last night and I arrived home after tending to her as she came out of anesthesia—about 10:30 pm. The surgery was a complete success. She is still in a great deal of pain and managing it with medication. I expect that they will discharge her tomorrow or the next day. Recovery will take 4-6 weeks before she can put full weight on the foot, and we don't know how long before she can run again. But when she does, we are expecting great things as she now has a bionic foot.

Needless to say this was all a very traumatic event for Brandilyn. Her spirits were extraordinary. She maintained a great sense of humor and continuously asked questions of the folks at the hospital. I watched her as she scanned the environment, taking in details that would some day appear in one of her novels. Of course, today after surgery, she was not taking much of anything in.

We have no idea how God will use this event in our lives, but I am sure it will be for some good. Perhaps I will have the opportunity to post the next blog and I may share with you other stories about how Brandilyn's loving husband is coping with feeling like a real horse's behind for ever letting her go out there and hurt herself in the first place.

God bless,

Brandilyn's husband—Mark

Read Part 3


Karen Wevick said...

Thank you for your update Mark. Try not to feel too bad, after all Brandilyn is her mother's daughter and Mama Ruth hasn't stopped adventuring yet. You all are in my prayers.


Nicole said...

Hey, I think writing must run in the family, huh?

And you're right, somehow God will use it for good. Good thing she loves you so much. :)

Audra said...


You have definitely passed some writerly talent to Mark. The descriptions had me cringing and laughing.

I'm praying you heal quickly and without too much pain.

So, will we be seeing any snowmobile action in future novels? Death by Snowmobile? :)

Robin Caroll said...

Awww, I'm praying for B! But I have to admit, I can so "see" the whole accident.

Debra said...

First of all, I'm so sorry to hear about Brandilyn's accident. I'm praying for her... and for you.

Secondly, life isn't fair. Two writers in one family. Sheesh. Did you ever consider writing a book yourself?

Thirdly, my husband will now have to get rid of his snowmobile. No more racing on Rabbit Ears Pass for him. I now have ammunition... your article and the dangers of snowmobiling. Which of course, he will reject as he loads his snowmobile up for another jaunt over the hills and through the woods to grandmother's house... er um... Rabbit Ears Pass he goes.

Seriously, I pray that all goes well and for a speedy recovery.

Debra Ullrick

margie said...

Praying for all of you, and especially Brandilyn as she recovers. Wow! Your description of the entire adventure has given me added reasons not to be coerced into such an activity myself! LOL Unfortunately, I have an equally persuasive son and husband :). So we'll see.

Heal quickly, Brandilyn!

D. Gudger said...

Before everyone swears of snowmobiling (I don't own one, only been once and loved it), traumatic injuries can happen doing the most mundane activities such as walking on a sidewalk :).

I think its so cool Brandilyn did something her son loves to do. Don't feel bad, Mark. BTW - good storytelling!

karen said...

Thank you for the update. The descriptions were so vivid that I almost felt I was there!

I have this scene in the back of my head - it is the beginning chapter of a book. The character has just landed in the hospital where he/she witnesses some strange events going on.........

C.J. Darlington said...

Thanks so much for the very thorough update, Mark. We appreciate it. Hopefully Brandilyn is feeling better soon. Hospitals aren't fun. :(

Ernie W. said...

Mark, where's your novel? Great detail, at the same time keeping us in suspense.


Margo Carmichael said...

Wow, it's like I clicked on a Window and saw the video. Well-done, Mark.

Brandilyn, so sorry for your mishap. Praying it will heal up quickly and you'll soon be back in one piece, scaring us to pieces again.

Hugs and blessings~

Nancy LeSac said...

Take it from someone who's been laid up for a couple weeks with a ruptured plantar plate in my foot (left, thank the good Lord. I can still drive.) - God can truly use this time for good. Prop up your leg and turn on your computer. (Or, not, if God is calling you to quietly listen. Maybe now's a great time for a good read?) I've been amazed at the writing I've accomplished, and the contacts I've made. I pray God will completely and rapidly heal your leg. I hope you met some really good nurses while in the hospital - I'm an RN in labor and delivery, so I always hope my fellow nurses have made a positive impact on others. - Nancy

Lynetta said...

Brandilyn, I'm so sorry you're hurt. Many prayers for a speedy recovery and thankfulness that you didn't hurt your typing fingers :-) Blessings!

Tina said...

What an Adventurous Woman! God Bless You Brandilyn. Get well soon!

Mirtika said...

Thank you for the detailed and interesting account of the mishap.

Brandilyn, you heal up! You're missed! (Even if Mark is a terrific blog post writer.)


Pam Meyers said...

Hey, Mark, you can sub for Brandilyn any time.
Brandilyn, you are in my prayers. Although Mark had me laughing with his descriptions, I know how painful that is. But your accident sure beats mine when I fell off a curb last year and fractured my foot. A snow mobile sounds much more adventurous!!

Feel better!


Tiff/Amber Miller said...

Mark, I agree with the others, you can step into Brandilyn's shoes anytime and post. Ok, whenever she'll *let* you. :)

Brandilyn, so sorry to hear about the accident. I know being laid up and not able to get out and get going is killing you, but praise God the injury wasn't more serious and the surgery was a success.

Looking forward to the full story, embellishments and all, and hearing of a full and speedy recovery.

You and your family are in my prayers.

rose mccauley said...

Dear Brandilyn, prayers for a speedy recovery and lots of pampered care by your talented husband. Love, rose

Sally Bradley said...

Ow, ow, ow. Mark, thanks for the details. Brandilyn, we all pray your ankle heals quickly.

Anonymous said...

Brandilyn, Honey, when you hurt, I hurt. I am not sure of the connection between your foot and my stomach, but I had a stomach ache and didn't go to lunch today. Maybe I need some of your drip. I and the whole family are praying for you and hope your pain gets lesss feal soon. If you need me, I will come, hold your hand, read you a story, and bake an apple pie. Love you so much, Mom

eileen said...

BC-get better quickly. Can't wait to read the ER series you'll surely hatch.

Mark-fine job! We appreciate your update and care of "our" girl.

Susanne said...

You're a pretty good storyteller yourself there, Brandilynn's hubby.

Glad to hear the surgery went well. Hope Brandilyn gets through the recovery quickly.

Tricia Goyer said...

Brandilyn, I'm praying for you! Also, Mark ... when will your book come out?


Richard Mabry said...

Mark, thanks for keeping us posted. I know how you feel--really I do. Been there (sort of). But when in your entire marriage have you ever been able to talk Brandilyn out of anything? I thought so.

Brandilyn, best wishes for a speedy and pain-free recovery, with enough material for that medical thriller. (I'm available to consult). And remember, just keep pushing that button--morphine is cheap, and there's more where this came from.

Angela Breidenbach said...

Dear Brandilynn and Mark,
I'm so glad you are doing better. I'm sorry for the pain you are experiencing. I will pray for you. But Brandilynn, your hubby can write! He had me hanging on for the next word through the whole post! Thank you Mark for thinking of all of Brandilynn's friends and fans through this ordeal.

donna fleisher said...

Hang in there, Mark and Brandilyn!! At least your cabinets will get a break for a little while. : )

SolShine7 said...

Mark, thanks for sharing. I'm glad the surgery went well. And I'm praying for the both of you.

Becky said...

Mark, your account of the accident was riveting. But I don't think you need to feel responsible in any way. Me thinks Brandilyn would have taken a stand against the trip/ride/soloing if she really wanted to.

Ironic that she ended up hurt, but of course that could have happened on one of her runs too.


Pat said...

Mark, so good to hear your "voice" again. I haven't dropped by for awhile, but got the word from Jacqueline today. You did an awesome job of describing the event. I'm sure Brandilyn can put you to work.

And Brandilyn dear, what an ordeal. I'm sure you feel you don't have time for this, but we know God will use it. Grab your laptop and write on your back. We're praying for you.