Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday May 31st 2009: 3 weeks post-accident

As I was getting ready to sit down and update the blog, I realized I didn't post anything yesterday. I also was thinking to myself, "Hmm, this was a really low key weekend and there is not a whole lot to write about." But it just dawned on me; exactly 3 weeks ago at this exact time (7:30 pm) I was a sobbing, anxious, hysterical mess and felt as though the weight of the world had just come crashing down upon me. And now here I sit on the couch, relaxed, and feeling ready to take on tomorrow. I am sure every Sunday may be like this, but for this I am grateful. It helps to put life into perspective and remind you how you can feel so low one day, where you are thinking, "How am I going to get through this?" and then with just some patience, support, and the passing of time, you realize how far you have come.

The big event of the weekend was that Will got new glasses today! So now he can see much better and start to read some of the educational stuff he has to learn. ( I know he is REALLY excited about that- yeah right ;) As some of you know, Will usually wears contacts, but he had some eye injuries from the accident (bleed & increased pressure on the right, and a scratched cornea & infection on the left) Since he hasn't been able to wear contacts he has been wearing his old glasses which have an outdated prescription. He's had a new prescription since the end of January, but never got it filled (typical man). Last night the frames of his old glasses broke, so I spent the afternoon at Lens Crafters and was able to get his new prescription into new frames. (Thank you Lens Crafters!) Will has been COMPLAINING non-stop about not being able to see....wonder what he will find to complain about next? Oh wait I know...speech therapy (his nemesis).

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday May 29th 2009: Will "stood"

Today, Will got to "stand" during PT. I was sad to have missed it and therefore have no picture! They strapped him to a table (think Frankenstein) and then tilted the table up. He said it felt kind of good, but also kind of weird & scary. He did get slightly dizzy and drop his blood pressure. Ok pop quiz- remember I mentioned earlier about orthostatic hypotension? Have you ever gone from lying down and then standing up quickly and get a head rush or feel faint? That's what it is. It is caused by gravity-induced blood pooling in the lower extremities. The effect is you do not get sufficient blood flow back up to your brain, so you get dizzy. For you and I this is a rare occurrence, but for someone with a spinal cord injury (SCI) this is very common during the acute period since the nervous system is altered and cannot regulate the blood vessels in the body to "squeeze." This is why you may notice in some of the pictures that Will is wearing ace wraps or white compression stockings on his legs. These sexy things help prevent the blood pooling in his lower body. He also wears a binder around his belly & chest to continue to help with the squeezing of blood up to his head. He actually likes the chest binder because it is helping to splint his broken ribs. We also went to the cafeteria today for lunch. Will gets a "meal ticket" which is good for one entree, two sides, and a drink. Well this being his first time there, he did not know this and proceeded to fill up his tray with A LOT of food. It was really funny- he even had 2 desserts and a side of wings. The cashier said to him, "This must be your first time." (And she let the extra food slide :) The boy can eat! Tomorrow is a very light day and then Sunday is a day off. I am going to run in a local 10k tomorrow and then will ride on Sunday morning with a few girls on the Silver Comet trail which is an old railroad bed that is now paved. It is 60 miles out and goes all the way to Alabama! Next week will be very busy and possibly intense. Tuesday Will goes to see a neuro-opthamologist, Wednesday our folks are flying in, and then Thursday is the big medical conference where his entire team will go over all his injuries and give us more answers.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday May 28th 2009: Cookout & Cornhole

OT for Will today consisted of participating in a cookout. Not too sure he was thrilled about it. He had to "work" in the kitchen, cutting up watermelon and hamburger buns and then do some clean up. He and a few other patients played some volleyball and a round of cornhole - not by his choice though ;) He is still having to restrict his fluids and still has the Foley catheter which has put a damper on things. His primary nurse, Marcia, gave him a firm talking to this afternoon. Will is going to have to learn to take on some more responsibility for himself which can be hard for him, especially given the situation. Everyday is a new journey...tomorrow is a VERY full day for Will. OT, PT, TR (therapeutic recreation), lunch in the cafeteria....






Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wednesday May 27th 2009: First Shower!

Life keeps rolling on down here in GA. Will had his first shower today- he said it felt AMAZING! (Imagine how you would feel if you hadn't showered in 17 days!) We both went on to have productive mornings. Will had OT & PT. He practiced some more transfers with the slide board, practiced getting himself dressed, and also started to work on bathroom transfers. I went to the gym and got a run in and then went to a yoga class. The yoga class was great- it was for patients and families- there was even a therapy dog there! After lunch Will hit the gym to do some upper body strengthening and I sat in the garden for a little bit. Will then joined me for about an hour. When we sit in the garden we chat, but as you can see from the picture below (and as some of know quite well...Will loves his "Crackberry" :) Where would we be without cell phones, blackberries, pagers, emails??? Oh that's right, 1980 :) Anyways, we also got a visit from one of the research coordinators and Will has agreed to take part in 2 different studies here. One study will look at Shepherd's best practices (along with 4 other hospitals in the US) and the other study will look at Shepherd's current assessment tool versus another tool that 2 different hospitals (Univ. of CA and a hospital in Israel) are recommending. This evening I got out for a bike ride with 3 other women (one is a PT at Shepherd). Shepherd is very close to the swanky part of Atlanta called "Buckhead" We passed some very beautiful Southern homes.

Will's friends are in the process of putting together a fundraising event in Chatham. I don't want to spoil the name of the event so I will wait until all the details are finalized :) The funds raised will help cover the costs of things that are not covered by insurance (certain equipment, travel costs, etc) I will post more details when I get the final word on everything. I am still trying to fight a battle with the insurance company. To make a long story short- we had to pay out of pocket to fly Will down here. As you can guess it was not cheap- to be exact it was $10,900. His insurance company approved his admission to Shepherd and will cover him while he is here, but they would not cover the transport here because "it was not an emergency." They only cover emergency transportation. Well how the hell was he supposed to get here? It's maddening and very frustrating. Anybody know someone who works for an insurance company? If you do, please let me know! Tomorrow is a phone appointment with social security...just another thing I don't understand! All the paperwork can really be overwhelming! I was glad today was pretty much a "paperwork free" day :)










Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday May 26th 2009: ?? Diabetes Insipidus ??

No, this is not what you are thinking...Will does NOT have diabetes...what he may have is something called diabetes insipidus or "DI." Today was a challenging day, not a bad day by any means, but there were a few bumps in the road. He had speech therapy this morning which will definitely be his least favorite therapy because it's all memory and brain work outs to help with his brain injury. For instance, a few exercises he did today was to name as many states, foods, and animals all within one minute for each category. He also had to provide "yes or no" answers to questions like, "Does a tree have more leaves than a bush?" "Is your chin above your neck?" He also had to provide detailed answers to questions like, "What would you do if you were out to dinner and you had left your wallet at home?" "What would you do if your car ran out of gas?"

Anyways...back to the "DI" thing. He has been having high amounts of urine every time he gets catheterized. He is putting out way more than he is taking in. When you have a brain injury sometimes you develop "DI." Part of your brain (the pituitary gland) produces a hormone known as anti-diuretic hormone (ADH). With DI, ADH does not get produced and your body starts to put out large amounts of unconcentrated urine. This can be dangerous. Will also has low sodium levels yesterday and today which can also be dangerous. The nurses and docs are on top of everything though. He is on a 24 hour fluid restriction (he can only have 1.5 liters to drink for the next 24 hours). He is also taking salt tablets and having his labs and urine monitored frequently. He also had to have a Foley catheter re-inserted. We will know more in the morning if he truly has "DI."

Other than these events, he also had PT this afternoon. Or I should say I had PT. He didn't have to work out too much today, but Blair did start doing some education with him and myself. She talked to him about 2 common and possibly life threatening conditions that can occur with spinal cord injuries. The first being autonomic dysreflexia and the second being orthostatic hypotension. (Given that it's almost my bedtime I am not going to go into detail here and I will do a separate post in the near future about these conditions.) After Blair did some education, she took us outside and taught me how to get his chair up over curbs and also how to get him up and down stairs. Doing the stairs is a 2 man job and is something you cannot do by yourself. I will soon get checked off to get a "push pass" which means Will is allowed "off-campus" as far as he can push himself as long as I go with him. The next step is for him to get a "day pass" so we can go out in my car for an outing. Next week he will start working on how to transfer himself in and out of my car. His transfer are slowly coming along. He is slightly impaired due to all his rib fractures. It's just very painful for him to do any movement (and as you can imagine, moving is the name of the game down here!) We did have one very scary moment this morning. He was sitting up on the edge of the bed during his OT session and he lost his balance and just fell completely backward on the bed. His head came VERY close to hitting the bed rail and I thought we were about to face a 2nd brain injury! Both he and I had to collect ourselves before the session continued. SCARY!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Monday May 25th 2009: Memorial Day

Another good day for Will. He had some PT this morning- did some upper body work and also started to learn how to transfer himself from the wheelchair to the bed using a wooden slide board. Once he masters this he will not have to be lifted out of bed anymore. It's more work for him, but is the first step to independence! We hung out in the garden again today and Will met another guy close to his own age. We had a good time talking to him and his family. Later this afternoon Will got a new roommate. He is middle aged and is paralyzed due to Guillian Barre syndrome. This is a rare inflammatory disorder of the peripheral nerves. The body basically damages its own nerve cells. Will just sent me a text message to say that his new roommie snores alot! I had a nice break this morning and met one of the occupational therapists for a bike ride and a run. Tomorrow starts a full day of therapy for Will.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Magic Bullett, Weight Shifts, IC.

These are 3 of Will's daily highlights - NOT! Because Will is paralyzed from the waist down he does not have control of his bladder or bowel. Nor does he have the ability to shift his weight around with his legs or butt. Every quadriplegic and paraplegic has to get on a "bowel/bladder program." This just means the person needs medication and manual help emptying their bowels & bladders. Will's bowel program is a suppository called "Magic Bullett." (insert laugh/giggle here... ) He gets this once a day (in the evening) to help him poop. Every 4 hours he has to "IC" This stands for "intermittent cath." Before coming to Shepherd he had a Foley catheter in his bladder, but they are not good to leave in because of high urinary tract infection risk. So he has a nurse "IC" him every 4 hours. They go up into his bladder with a small catheter so he can pee. He will soon learn to do this to himself. The other extremely important part of Will's day is weight shifts. While he is in his wheelchair he has to do these every 30 minutes. This is to prevent skin breakdown on his butt. He has to wear a timer which beeps every 30 minutes to remind him to do a weight shift. He has to stop, put the brakes on his chair, and use his arms to raise himself up off the seat for a full minute. The timer beeps again after 1 minute passes. He has already shown that he is getting stronger with these. They are not easy since has a broken scapula and broken ribs on both sides. He is out of his "turtle shell" brace and into a much fancier, more comfortable brace called a "Jewett brace." He will still have to wear his cervical collar for a few more weeks. We are looking forward to having a "medical conference" this week with his doctor. His doctor is Brock Bowman and he will go over every single injury and discuss his medical status. We will probably have a few answers to some questions at that time.

Today was Will's best day so far. He got to sleep in late since there is no therapy on Sunday. He & I went outside to the garden for some fresh air. He said it was good to get outside and of course he spent some time on his Blackberry. His appetite is also getting better. Tomorrow he only has about an hour of therapy since it is a holiday, but then on Tuesday the full 3 hour schedule starts. He is going to be whipped by the end of next week! He can't wait until the staples in his back come out (from where they did surgery) so that he can take a shower! He also cannot wait to go to the eye doctor on Thursday to get a new prescription filled so that he can see. Right now he is wearing his old glasses and he can;t really read or see the TV. So that has been frustrating!










Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday May 22nd 2009: First time out of bed!

Will had a GREAT day! He had a low key morning, but this afternoon was very busy with PT & OT, getting fit with his new brace, and meeting his neuropsychologist. His PT, Blair, got him up to his wheelchair with a sling lift. He was up for about 4 hours in the wheelchair and he is EXHAUSTED! He also got his schedule, so he will have an idea when all his therapy times are and whatever else he has to do. I have LOTS to write about but I am cutting it short since Ty (my hubby) is just arriving with my car/bike/stuff. Will try to write a longer post by the end of this weekend. Will has asked me to include some highlights....prepare yourself for some immature/bathroom humor......rectal exams... ;) All the lovely things that come with having a spinal cord injury......just another reason to be careful (wear your helmet, buckle your seat belt, all the things your mother told you to do!) Happy & Safe Memorial Day Weekend to y'all!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Contact Info

Will's mailing address:

Will Archibald
c/o Shepherd Center
2020 Peachtree, NW
Atlanta, GA
30309-1465

Emi's cell # (617)680-8078
email: emarchibald@yahoo.com















Thursday May 21st 2009: Arrival @ Shepherd

What a day! Up & at 'em early this morning in Boston and in the blink of an eye Will & I found ourselves on the ground in Atlanta a little bit after noontime. We had an amazing Air Ambulance crew and what a crazy experience it was to cram all of us in the leer jet alongside Will on the stretcher. Thank goodness the flight was uneventful. The jet ascended and descended very quickly which was cool & scary all at the same time. We did have a bumpy descent and I held on the best I could ;) .... I don't like to fly ;) Will did fine with flight....a few thumbs up from him along the way, as it was too loud to really talk to one another. Once we arrived at Shepherd we were greeted by so many wonderful, friendly people. It is clear they try and make you feel "at home." Will had a full gamut of x-rays, measurements, exams, and interviews. I was whisked away to have a tour and get oriented to my "penthouse" apartment. The facility is beautiful and there are endless support services/resources available. It really shows that they are #1 in the country and we feel very lucky to be here. I knew I would see A LOT of disabled, young people here, but I didn't realize how hard the reality of it all would hit. I did lose it in the hallway and 2 different people stopped to offer their gentle support. I am definitely going to use their family support services. This is a very different environment than the ICU and I know I will grow accustomed to it after some time. After I got settled, I headed back to be with Will and we met his physical therapist and his speech therapist. Some of you may wonder why he has a speech therapist. His speech is ok, but because he has a brain injury his memory & concentration are slightly impaired and that is what the speech therapist will help him with. Will has been assigned to the "dual diagnosis team" so he will have help with not only the spinal cord injury, but also with the brain injury. His roommates are a bit older, maybe in their 40's, but both of them came in not being able to move much or walk and they have both made excellent progress after 4-6 weeks. I know Will will make awesome progress because he is very motivated to work hard. He will work up to 3 hours of PT/OT a day. His PT (Blair) measured him for his wheelchair today and she hopes to get him right into a manual chair as opposed to a power chair. I got to take a peek at the gym & pool (both of which I can use too!) And his nurse put my name & number on some bulletin board so I can get hooked up with all the runners/bikers at the center. I already got one call from one of the admissions coordinators who said she would love to run & bike with me. Will is slowly getting back on his Blackberry, but I will have it with me during the day. He can have visitors, but the best time for visitors is on the weekend. I will post another entry with his mailing address and my phone number & email address for those of you that do not have it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wednesday May 20th 2009:

Off to Atlanta tomorrow!! We leave BMC at 7:30 am. Sorry for a short post but it's been a very busy day....next update will be from Atlanta!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday evening May 19th 2009:

Will, you are making WICKED awesome progress :) You are ready to go to Atlanta as soon as we get through some very minor red tape. We thought we may be leaving tomorrow but now that is on hold so we are looking at possibly leaving Thursday. Today you sat up in the chair position and rocked out in your TLSO brace ("turtle shell"). You had a TON of friends visit and your buddies helped give you a little haircut. You are eating ok and apparently you had an omelet for breakfast :) You seem pumped up to go to Shepherd and "get things going." Nice. I like the motivation! I will need some butt kicking too so I can get back on the Hawaii Ironman training horse :) We'll see you tomorrow and I know you will have more friends visiting too :)

You've come along way dude...





Tuesday May 19th 2009:

Best day yet Will! You are are less confused today and I think you got some sleep last night. Mom & I talked to you on the phone early this morning and Mom, Dad, & I just got to the hospital about an hour ago. We are down in the lobby because physical and occupational therapy are evaluating you. We brought you Mom's 2 lb dumbbells and you were all about getting a workout in :) You voiced your concern to us about wasting muscle mass and you seem motivated and eager to get going to Atlanta to do rehab! Right now we are just waiting for the insurance stuff to get cleared and for your docs to give you the ok to leave. Your only acute medical issue is your clotting times. They may keep you at BMC until your blood is thin enough. You certainly do not need any more blood clots. If you have to stay, better safe than sorry and you will still get PT/OT while in the hospital. You still have sensation in your feet and you say you can move them, but no one has been witness to this. What is happening is your brain probably thinks you can move and you do have sensation down there. Even though you can't move now, these are all very hopeful signs! I think you are going to have lots of visitors today which I know will be great for you! If we are in Atlanta by this weekend, Ty will drive my car down and stay through Monday. We still can't believe this is all happening so quickly- and we are thrilled!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday May 18th 2009:

Hey Will, you are doing AWESOME! You are off oxygen, your drain in your back got pulled out today, AND you still have sensation in both your feet!! You say you want to move them too...all good stuff! You had some great visits today with friends...Pete Fox, Brett, Mikey P., Theresa, Katie Fitz. And you got some balloons from Jamie. I think you really enjoyed seeing your friends and I know they were really glad to see you. We all had some good laughs because you are still really confused. Hopefully you will clear up soon. Part of the problem is that you are sleep deprived and have been on very powerful medications. I know you are scared though and that you don't trust the doctors & nurses. Your nurse told me that you were yelling for me and that kinda ripped my heart out. It was VERY hard to leave you this afternoon, but I know you can be strong. You asked all your friends if they have seen the accident scene and I know you are wondering what happened because you don't remember any of it. Mom & Dad got the accident report today and I believe it says they think you were speeding...but you know what? That doesn't matter now. I told you today that we are going to just start over and take it day by day. You seemed to agree with me. I talked to you about going to Atlanta and you said you were ok with that. And you know what? We may leave as early as Thursday! CRAZY! Mom and I went over to the apartment tonight and stared packing some stuff for you. Mikey P. gave me a ride home and he told me about how he, Brett, & Tim have brainstormed about holding a fundraiser for you in June. Mike came in and talked to Mom & Dad about it and we think it's awesome your friends want to help out this way. What amazing friends you have. Tomorrow you are going to have lots of visitors!!! Mom, Dad, and I will be up in the morning to see you. We love you so very much and I hope you can sleep tonight.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Visitors:

Will can have visitors, but please keep in mind he is still in the ICU. Only 2-3 at a time are allowed. The nurses change shift from 7-8 am/pm and I would say the best time to visit is late morning/early afternoon. As he is still confused, he will not remember a lot right now. He is and will be very tired for awhile. I am hoping he will be out of the ICU by the end of the week, since his vitals have been rock stable. I will keep the updates coming as well. Thanks- Emi
Sunday night May 17th 2009:

Will, exactly one week ago our world came crashing down. Like we have all been saying, life changed in a nanosecond. Today, however, we have been able to breathe a small sigh of relief. You have had an AMAZING day. You are off the vent, you are more awake (although still pretty confused), you can see, AND you can feel me touching your feet! That is huge!!! You say that the feeling you have in your feet is kind of like pins & needles with some burning sensations. You actually cracked me up a few times because your personality has come out with the confusion. It's pretty funny. You said you have no memory of crashing and you are still not sure what has happened to you. You did admit to being nervous and you said you weren't sure if you were ever going to see Mom, Dad, or I again. ( I think you think you are dying- so that is kinda scary. We reassured you that you are doing awesome and that we are here with you.) You told me when I left today to come back first thing in the morning. My friend Kristyn came to visit (more so for me more than you :) You recognized her and said "Thanks for coming." This morning you were a bit agitated for your nurse Mallary and apparently you ripped your cervical collar off and threw it across the room. It has been frustrating for you to be restrained, so while I have been there I take your restraints off and intercept your hands when I need to. You did get started on a Heparin drip today to thin out your blood, so I am thinking maybe tomorrow you will transition back on your Coumadin. You did ask what happened to you so we told you that your broke your back and injured your spinal cord and that you can't walk right now. Not sure if you understood. I told you that you could have died and that your helmet saved your life. I told you that Rick & Auntie have been to visit you. We told you that all your friends have been asking for you and that you may have Mike & Brett visit tomorrow. I cannot even convey to you how wonderful it was to talk with you today and see you more awake without the vent. We love you so so much. Dad showed you a picture of Kelsey and you smiled and said, "Doggie" - that's our Will :)
Sunday May 17th 2009:

Will, your breathing tube is out! Yeah!!! I called the unit around 9:15 this morning and your nurse Mallary told me you were extubated. I said, "Shut up!" She says you are confused, but that you know that you are in the hospital. You may be confused for awhile, even a week or more. She also said the eye doctors were in the room with you this morning. We still don't know if you have had loss of vision. Mom, Dad, & I are running around here getting our stuff together so we can drive up and see you. I know I am very anxious to see you. Your hematocrit is stable today so you don't need any more blood. All good stuff! See you soon- we love you.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Saturday May 16th 2009:

Will, I can't believe it's been almost one week since your accident. Where have the days gone? You are still sedated on Propofol and Fentanyl drips (15 & 150 mcgs for us medical folks). You are still doing well on the vent, still on "pressure support" (down to 8/5) so you are doing most of the work yourself. You are still having fevers and you still have secretions in your lungs so the plan is to keep you on the vent for another day/night and MAYBE try to get your breathing tube out tomorrow. But I have a gut feeling you will hang onto it for another day or so. You are getting antibiotics so hopefully they will clear up the pneumonia. You most likely "aspirated" at the scene of the accident. This means that because you had a loss of consciousness some of your stomach contents may have gotten into your lungs. Respiratory complications are very common with spinal cord injury patients. This will most likely not be the last time you deal with pneumonia. Today you also had to have some blood transfusions. You dropped your hematocrit to 21. We hope you are not bleeding, you don't show any other signs of bleeding. Sometimes fluid will shift into your bloodstream and "dilute" your blood counts. Hopefully that is the explanation. You need to get back on a blood thinner but you can't be on one until it is sure that you are not bleeding. You have many different docs looking after you, including the hematologists who will make recommendations about how to manage your clotting times. The goal is to get you back on Coumadin when it is safe. Hopefully tomorrow your chest tube will come out. Today I was there and Auntie also came to see you and give me a ride back to the Cape. You did open your eyes a few times, but still did not want to follow any commands. I am hoping tomorrow you will be on less sedation. I washed your hands and put some Aveeno cream on them. I also finished trimming your toenails and I had a good laugh at myself because the clippings were flying all over the room- gross! :) You had some beautiful flowers in your room from your friend Liz. That's about it for today. I am back in Chatham tonight and I actually got out for a quick run which was very therapeutic. I ran into Edson while I was running towards Eastward Ho and we ran together for a bit and talked. It was good for me and he is thinking of you. Mom didn't sleep well last night so she went to bed pretty early tonight. Tomorrow Heidi is driving me back up to see you and I will spend the night in Somerville at my old apartment with my friends. Can't wait to see you tomorrow. We love you. - Emi

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday May 15th 2009:

Hey Wilbur, Itchy, Stumpy, Will (whatever nickname you want to hear)... Mom, Dad, & I were with you today. You had a good night last night, your surgery went well, they fused your spine from T6-L2 (don't quote me on that though b/c I am tired) You got measured for a brace that you will have to wear. You have had fevers and continue to have a temperature and the secretions in your lungs have grown out some bacteria so you are now getting antibiotics. You are still on the ventilator but today you were weaned to a different "mode" You are now on "pressure support" which means the vent is not giving you any breaths- you are doing the breathing but just getting some extra "oomph" with your breaths. You were doing a good good while I was there this afternoon and your blood gas showed that your oxygen level was good. Your broken ribs and pulmonary contusions will make weaning from the vent hard. But I know you can do it. You woke up a bit and had a coughing spell and I had your wrist restraints off so I could do some range of motion with your arms & hands. You tried to get your hands to your breathing tube so I put your restraints back on and tried to soothe you. You are getting some tube feeds through a small tube in your mouth that goes down to your stomach. You will kill me but I had asked if you have pooped yet- very important question! (And you haven't pooped yet- so I hope you will soon...I will explain why that is so important later ;) We met with the coordinator from the Shepherd Center in Atlanta and got a lot of wonderful information. It sounds like the perfect fit for you- the average age of the patients is 30. Check out www.shepherd.org You could transfer there as early as the end of next week. I will go with you if & when this happens. Rick came to visit today, as did Joyce when she picked me up. You were still sedated today and I saw you open those beautiful eyes a few times but you didn't want to follow any commands for me. I hope you will tomorrow! Speaking of eyes...you are getting multiple hourly eye drops and they have to be given 5 minutes apart and I think it drove the nurse crazy today :) Also...Mom trimmed your toenails and the nurse thanked me for bringing in your deodorant :) We love you very much and there are a TON of people sending thoughts & prayers..... see you tomorrow!
Friday May 15th 2009:

Will you had a stable night. Your nurse (Kathleen) told me last night around 10 pm that it was like you never even left to go to the OR. Your vitals were stable and she had thought maybe your respiratory status was a tad better. Mom, Dad, & I are getting ready to come up to the hospital. (Little side note of humor here- Dad is cursing at the downstairs toilet- it's clogged.) See you in a few hours buddy. Love, emi

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Medflight to Boston Medical Center

Will - you were flown to BMC Sunday evening and admitted to the Surgical ICU. You have multiple injuries, with the most concerning being your spine and spinal cord. You also have a small head bleed. You have not moved your legs at all and we have been told you will be a paraplegic. You do move both arms well with purposeful movement (you tried to pull your breathing tube out on Wed. while you were on the cat scan table). Your right eye got busted up pretty bad and they had to cut part of the side of it open to relieve the pressure. We have no idea if or what you can see. Mom & Dad drove up to Boston that night and they got to see you around midnight. Brett met Mom & Dad at the hospital and sat with them in the waiting room. Brett also got to see you while Mom & Dad were with you. Fitzy and her roommies also sat with Mom & Dad in the waiting room. It has been so wonderful to be so supported by your friends. Ty & I drove around like crazy people, ran through the Raleigh airport to try and get a flight. No luck on a Sunday night flight. We went to bed at 1 am and got up at 3 am so Ty's folks could drive us to the Fayettville airport.

Monday May 11th 2009: Mom & Dad were back with you after they crashed for a few hours in a hotel across the street. Ty & I flew into Logan and Joyce picked us up and drove us to see you. It was so odd to be back at BMC where I used to work. It was even more odd to go in there and be on "the other side." Before Ty & I got to see you I ran into one of your doc's (Reuben Azocar) in the hallway. I knew him very well when I worked there and I was so relieved to see him. He gave me a big hug and I just sobbed in his arms. Reuben sat with all of us and went over all your injuries. We then got to see you. I won't say much here...except that it was so AWESOME to see you open you beautiful eyes when we hollered at you. You wanted to open them more for Joyce, than you did for me. It figures- she's loud :) We did not stay long and headed down to the Cape. Ty stayed in Boston to do some business (he was scheduled to do work in Boston this week)

Tuesday May 12th 2009: Bethy drove me up to BMC and I stayed with you all day. You had an IVC filter placed and then you gave me a scare as you dropped your oxygen saturation to the 80's. So off for a stat chest CT you go to rule out a PE. They had a hard time getting peripheral IV access on you for the CT, but Reuben was able to finally get an IV in you. Your CT was negative. You have a clot in your right cephalic vein and then you clotted off your left radial a-line. Damn clotting deficiencies. Things are very complicated because they can't anti-coagulate you now and then your INR trended up so you had to have a bunch of plasma to correct it and thicken up your blood so you can have surgery. Big catch 22. I popped my Ipod in your ears and turned on some Coldplay for you to listen to. I have your Ipod but it's not cooperating with me :) I also brought some pictures to hang on your cork board in your room. Ty & I hung out with you and then we went to Quincy to spend the night with my friend.

Wednesday May 13th 2009: Stressful day. You became hypoxic so you had to go for another chest CT to rule a PE again. You also had a repeat head CT to evaluate your head injury. No PE and the head bleed is stable. I washed your face, hands,arms, legs, & toes. I did mouth care on you. Doing some basic care for you has helped me. Bethy came back up to Boston so she could visit and also so she could drive us home. You opened your eyes a bit for her, you also tried to lift up your head, AND you tried to pull out your breathing tube while you were on the cat scan table. I was glad to see this, but I know you are scared. I am glad you are on some medication right now to keep you sedated and to relieve any pain you may be having. I am pretty sure you were able to comprehend it was me there, because you squeezed my hand when I asked you to if you knew it was me. Let me tell you- you squeezed damn hard.

Thursday May 14th 2009: Mom, Dad, & I stayed home today. You went to the OR this morning to have a spinal fusion by Dr.Choo. It was a long day for you...you were in the OR for about 10 hours. My friend Lisa, you know her, she is a nurse on the floor where you will eventually go once you are ready to leave the ICU. She came to check on you last night at about 2 am. Mom, Dad, & I have been doing a lot of research about rehab and we want you to go to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA. It is the very best in the US for spinal cord injuries. Tomorrow we meet with the coordinator to talk about how we get you there when it is time.Do you remember Travis Roy? He went to Tabor with me and he was the BU hockey player who was 11 seconds into his shift and he went into the boards. Travis went to Shepherd. I have emailed him and hope to hear back soon. We also have been talking to Ty's old next door neighbors up in Keene. Their daughter, Kelly, had a diving accident and has been at Shepherd and Center IMT. Only wonderful things they had to say about both facilities. Kelly was originally a C4-C5 complete injury and she has regained some function to where she is more like a C7 injury. Very hopeful news! Can't wait to see you tomorrow! We love you! Love, Emi

May 10th, 7:00 pm

Will, I called you to say hi and see if you were headed home to have dinner with mom & dad since it was Mother's Day. I was surprised to hear another man's voice answer. He asked me who I was and I said, "This is Emi, his sister." "Well I am a policeman and your brother has just been in a serious motorcycle crash and we are airlifting him to Boston and who do we need to get in touch with?"

It is absolutely mind-numbing how life can change in just 1 nanosecond. Most of you know I am Will's sister, and a few of you know me very well. I wanted to start this blog as a way for all of Will's friends & family to keep updated on his condition and progress. I find writing to be cathartic and I hope this will help me grieve and cope with the situation.

There is a long, long, LONG road ahead and it is easy to be overwhelmed by the thought of Will's future. But I am so confident that Will can get through this. Will you are a strong guy, and you are even more stubborn. I know life has not always handed you the best cards, but none of that matters anymore. We are here for you in every way imaginable. You give me shit for running marathons and doing Ironman's .... but as I have tattooed on my left ankle: "Anything Is Possible." I hope that in October you will be there for me when I cross that finish line in Kona.

We all love you so very much and could not imagine life without you. Everyone you know is sending you strong thoughts and we will be here with you through it all. Day by day you will make it through.