Another night on the Graveyard Shift

January 17th, 2011 by Conor

Two pretty comical things have happened over tonights shift.

1) Happened a little before the graveyard actually started. My mom suggested that Danny would really want the leg warmers that the nurses have been using on him when he is able to leave this place. She was stoked about how “cool” they were. I couldn’t have agreed any less. So, I actually held one up in the air and looked over Danny’s way as I asked him “Hey Danny are you gonna want these things when you get out of this place?” His eyebrows came together and he slowly and methodically shook his head back and fourth as if to say Helllllll noooooo. The whole room errupted at Dannys reaction. Hard to say if he was trying to be funny or if he was just responding to the question. Either way it was funny. Now we are going to have to keep them just because the reaction was so funny.

2) The sweathshirt that I borrowed from Danny and have so proudly worn finally became an issue today. Michelle was standing on the side of the bed when Danny pointed over at the sweatshirt. I pointed back at him to which he methodically turned his palm up with a subtle look of frustration. It was because I was wearing HIS sweatshirt. When I show up tomorrow I plan on giving him the sweatshirt back. Although this one was not as “laugh out loud” to the group, Michelle and I both got a big kick out of it. Danny always gets annoyed when I borrow his stuff. To us, his annoyance was funny because it was a clever way of showing us that he is still the same old Danny. He’s barely even coming out of this mess and he already can’t wait to get his steeze back.

A lot has happened in the last 24 hours. Just like I expected it’s a pretty hard for Danny. We are sort of at an in between stage emotionally. My Mom, Dad, Michelle and I are getting excited about the progress the improving condition of Danny. He on the other hand is beginning to realize that something bad happened. Something very bad. Several times now he has looked me in the eye for roughly 20-30 seconds before a tear slowly forms out of the corner of his eye. It is very hard to watch. We ask him if he is in pain and request him to do a thumbs up if he is. No such luck. He is just bummed out. Plain and simple. It must be a very hard time for him. It’s tough because I know they have to wake him up to be able to asses his neurological responses, but it’s difficult because every time they do it he is sad. It’s like finding out over and over that something went really wrong.

I don’t think he is quite able to figure out much of what happened just that something happened. He has rubbed his right hand over all the stitches a bunch of times but seems more irritated that there is something in his hair then knowledgeable of what is actually going on.

Danny is into the music! I have put together some playlists of some of his more mellower favorite tracks. He seems to enjoy them. I asked him if he wanted to listen to music and he gave me a nice slow nod. When he is awake and alert it is 50/50 whether it is a good time to play music or not. Sometimes he just looks a little too sad to really play an upbeat track that would normally put him into snowboarding mood.

Another night down. Wondering how many more there will be.

Love ya Danny.


4 Responses to “Another night on the Graveyard Shift”

  1. James Bryson Says:

    Hey Conor, I wanted to send my best wishes to Danny, you and your family. You all will be in my prayers. Stay strong bro.

  2. Alyssa Says:

    I am recovering from a TBI myself at 27, so maybe I can give you some insight as to how Danny might be feeling. It’s especially tough mentally. I would listen to the news and start bawling. Just a negative thought would bring a tear like: “I didn’t feed my fish”. In the first few weeks it’s hard to communicate, which doesn’t help because you have all this emotion stuck in you. Realizing slowly that your life has been flipped, and not being able to express yourself is the worst feeling I’ve ever felt. I never thought my handwritting couldn’t get worse, it did. That’s when I could hold a pen finally. I recomend coloring. As stupid as it sounds, simply picking colors helped release some of the pent-up anxiety and also helped calm the tremors in my fingers.

    I will also give you a warning…be prepared for heated arguments when he can communicate. I am so thankful I am blessed with such a loving family, because we had some big ones.

    With the loving support of family and friends, therapy, and strength he will get through this. It will take patience, which I didn’t have until now. Sadly there is no speeding on the road to recovery.

  3. KathyEla Says:

    Thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family….Remember you boys from years ago at lori learn’s house! Every day will be a struggle for everyone but trust it will get better – god be with you all….

  4. Carol Says:

    Hey Conor…thanks for being such an incredible advocate for your brother and for being the eyes, ears and heart for those of us who love Danny but can’t be with him right now.
    It takes incredible love and courage to do what you are doing now and your big, crazy family is with you all the way.
    Keep the faith…

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