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"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." ~Aristotle

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Monday, March 14, 2016

Even Less Sugar: Head Smashed In, Can I Help You?

Well hello, again, from the sprawling complex of Shadyside hospital, in downtown Pittsburgh.

Yesterday, I was having a bad morning. I had a week to prepare for, and felt super behind; laundry was piling up, the fridge was bare, all the paperwork ... oh, and some other things are brewing, but that's another post for another day ... 

Anyway, after getting us all to church (where Ian gave a prayer during service), I decided to reach out to friends and see if they would host my family for a few hours while I got my head on straight and my house somewhat in order. The last thing I needed was constant interruption to derail my energy and train of thoughts, and the last thing THEY needed was Angry Mommy, barking orders and insisting they go play in traffic. I know I make it sound like they're a torrent of needs, and that is far from true. Still, I was in such a crabby mood ....

Our friends were available! and graciously accepted my three for an afternoon of movies and munchies.

I got a Mocha at Starbucks and headed home. 

I should have known when I immediately flipped the coffee upside-down in the car it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  

I went in the house and grabbed a tablet of large paper and a fat marker. I made a page for the day and started to scrawl my to-dos, vowing to make the most of my day of energy and silence. I had about 30 items down, to do or delegate, when the phone rang.

"What's up, hon?"

"Well, Ian fell. He's okay, but he's bleeding, so you better come over."

"Where is he bleeding from?"

"His head."

My apologies to the residents of Beaver, PA, as I believe I broke a land-speed record to get those five blocks. Stop signs were ignored.

I arrived to see a pleasant-enough Ian sitting calmly on the stairs, blood splattered on his clothing, with a towel being held to his head. My kids were merrily watching the movie on the other side of the room. 

The towel was removed.

I am not a weak person. I do not have a weak stomach, and the sight of blood and head wounds obviously doesn't phase me much.

However, in that moment, pretty much the entire weight of the past 9? months of surgeries and infections came crashing down. 

The ONE thing he couldn't do - fall and hit his head - had been done. And right along the old incision site was a brand-new, deep wound.

WARNING: wound picture at the bottom of this post. 

So it was ambulance and vitals and arrangements for the kids and circling around to the house for the OSB (see post to follow) and off to the local ER. He had a CT scan, which showed "a spot" they felt COULD be blood, so they wanted to keep him overnight, staple his head, and observe him to be sure the spot wasn't active bleeding. 

They called his team in Pittsburgh, and as we can safely assume will always be the case, they wanted to see him in person. So it was another chariot ride to the city.

Of course, all of this took hours, and I'm sparing you the painful waiting.... and waiting... and waiting... (you're welcome).

At the new ER, doctors contacted Ian's neurosurgeon, who happened to be on call. He was able to evaluate and do the sewing up himself. The scans, upon review, didn't show anything NEW; over-cautiousness is never a bad thing, and thankfully it meant a reassuring visit from the "Main Guy" who himself stitched things up. 

Dr. A said that conditions were "not ideal," both in the amount of time the wound was exposed and the facilities in which he was forced to do the sewing, but that the wound itself looked good and because this time we aren't on extra chemo, wound healing should go more quickly.

So at around midnight we ended up in a suite on Floor 6 - waving hello to everyone there who knows us well. I went across the street to "sleep" at the Family House.

Today they say he'll probably head home. I won't ever hold them to that, but since it's a sew-up and wait-to-heal situation, it's at least possible. 

Antibiotics will be the rule of the day, to prevent OHMYGODINFECTIONAGAIN and we'll of course be in wound-care mode. But otherwise ... he's fine, we're fine ... just keeping things exciting around here. 



  1. You warned me, and now I believe you. That's sorta gross.

  2. Yep, that's a nasty would, alright! God bless you, are going to end up with permanent fight or flight syndrome if things keep going this way! Will be praying as always.....he's a fighter, fight he will

  3. prayers are going out to you and Ian and the kids.. Jesus is with you all, Jesus is a healer and I believe with all my heart that Jesus will take care of Ian, heal him..And Jesus is also taking care of the kids and you. Love you Rachel

  4. What on earth did he hit it on? We are praying for an infection free healing of the wound!