Sunday, January 9, 2011

What Happened?

First off I wanna thank everyone who sent their well wishes, thoughts and prayers my way. The outpouring of support was overwhelming.

For those of you who are curious as to what happened to me last week, here's a rundown of events. The reason I'm making a blog post about this is so I don't have to repeat it to everyone who asks me because after a while it gets exhausting. Part of my recovery is to take it easy, and this includes not talking too much.

I've been working on rebuilding Detached Sound these past few weeks with my friends Chris and Jeb from Halflit Halo. We're nearly finished at this point, just down to sanding and painting - and now patching a man-sized hole in the ceiling. In fact that's kind of the origin of the entire accident. We had recently patched some old holes in the ceiling, and on Monday I went up in the attic to install some insulation over the newly installed sheetrock. I guess I miscalculated where I was while I was up there, and leaned across a piece of sheetrock that instantly gave way. I fell 8 feet down from the attic, head first into the concrete below.

From the moment I realized I was falling until I hit the ground was almost instant. The room spun around me really fast for a few seconds, and I felt like I was still falling even though I was laying still. Once the spinning subsided, I took a deep breath and realized something wasn't right. I was sweating profusely, had trouble breathing, and there was this tremendous pain in my head. I carefully checked my pocket to see if my phone had made it through the fall, and once I discovered it was miraculously still in tact, I called 911 immediately.

I guess I had enough of my wits about me to describe to the 911 operator what had happened, where I was, and how they could find me. I've very fortunate that my phone was saved and that I was conscious, because I had been working alone in a house that's vacant and I wasn't expecting anybody to arrive for several more hours. I got off the phone with 911, called my wife, and waited for the paramedics.

Once they arrived they immediately began working on me : checking my reflexes, vision, and extremities. They put me in a neck brace and strapped me to a backboard, and the next thing I knew a team of doctors and nurses were greeting me at Chippenham Medical Center. Within moments, I was getting my first CT scan, which later revealed the extent of my injuries. I had bleeding on both sides of the brain. While the blood wasn't putting any pressure on the brain, it was surrounding it, and if the condition worsened brain surgery would be imminent.

After 8 hours in the ER, a room in the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit at Johnston-Willis Medical Center opened, and I was transferred there via ambulance. After another CT scan, I was greeted by my family, who had driven down from NoVA to be with me. The second CT scan found the bleeds slowing and I was finally able to take off the painful neck brace I had been wearing for over 8 hours.

The first couple of days in the ICU I couldn't hold down much food or move really, but at least the morphine helped with the pain. Slowly I was starting to eat a little bit, although I was still suffering from the side-effects of head trauma: headaches, nausea, limited mobility, and pain. As the days passed I was moved out of ICU into the regular Nuero unit, where I was able to manage my pain with percocet, walk with assistance, and eat. I was discharged from JW Friday morning. It's nice to be home but I'm still on bedrest for at least another week. I have another CT scan and follow ups with the neurologist this week and we'll see what happens after that. Just taking it one day at a time.

Here's a video I took on my phone while I was in the ICU, slightly drugged up

Here's the spot where I fell

Here's the spot I fell from

And here's what I saw right before I fell, ugh