Shocks to the system

There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt.


Want to frighten me beyond words,

beyond my ability to immediately process,

then tell me that one of my siblings has been flown to the Knoxville Trauma Center and is in Critical condition.

Yesterday I was doing laundry, and making breakfast, and sleeping late (which is unusual for me), and bee bopping along making my grocery list and listening to Jon Stewart and just generally enjoying my day off. Steven came home late Friday and we manged to sleep late for the first time in a while. And then I get this phone call…My brother had been in an accident.


Let me just repeat that for emphasis: My 22 year old, blonde haired, blue eyed, baby faced,kindhearted, baby brother was flown from Gatlinburg where he had been on a CYC retreat with a 1000 other people. All those other people went home just fine. My brother, bless him, ran into a pole. Yes, you heard me right, he was in a hurry, not paying attention, and so he ran into a low hanging pole. This sounds like no big deal right, and I almost guarantee on anyone else it wouldn’t be, but he then fell, hit his head, knocked himself out, and had a foaming at the mouth, convulsing seizure. Luckily there was a nurse right there who helped him and called 911.


At some point they intubated him, someone called my sister, who then called me. I think for the first 2 hours I was in shock. Luckily Steven was home and he helped me pack the car and get out the door and on the way to Knoxville which is a 4 to 5 hour drive from Florence btw. He had to call his supervisors because he still has to go back to Police Academy tomorrow and let them know that his brother in law was in critical condition. I called my boss and said something. I have no idea what at this point. And we got on the road. On the way there I heard things like, “he is waking him up” and “they are taking the intubation tube out” and  “he has a concussion but we still don’t know about the seizures”. None of that made any particular sense to me. I suppose my mind was not in the right place. I just knew I wanted to see with my own two eyes that he was breathing and until then nothing anyone said was going to make any sense.

So we traveled, and traveled, and traveled. You know it takes so much longer to get to a place than to come back from it. And then we were there and I was walking into a hospital room and looking at my baby brother in a hospital bed hooked up to several unpleasant machines with a swollen lip and staples in his head. He has never been hospitalized before. He is clumsy and he gets bruised up a lot, but he was in the hospital. My mind, which normally doesn’t have a hard time processing much of anything had a very hard time with that. In typical John fashion though he was in a good mood, making fun of himself and apologizing for everyone else’s inconvenience from his hospital stay.

I think it is safe to say that he is going to be ok now. He has a concussion and they have to run some tests, but he is ok. He is confined to a bed at the moment and still attached to several machines, but he will more than likely be fine. I may take a while to recover from the shock.

ImageHave a lovely day.




4 thoughts on “Shocks to the system

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