What now?

February 7th, 2011 by MIchelle

On Friday night the nurse walked in to let Danny know that she could remove his IV. He looked hopeful, but skeptical because we weren’t 100% sure that Saturday would be the big day. Even though the IV was annoying and at times painful, Danny still asked her if there was any chance they would need to reinsert the IV on Saturday and if so he would like to keep it in. I looked at him with a smirk thinking that it might be a joke, but he was serious. We weren’t sure that he would be out until Saturday morning and once we got the news we were packing up the room and getting things situated for departure. We were actually completely ready to go about to walk out of the hospital with Danny until the nurse let us know that she needed to get the paper work before she could let us out of there. So we sat and waited for the official word and once they let us out, Danny carried his snowboard and we marched out of the PCU.

It seemed like it all happened so quick, looking back. One minute we didn’t know how long we would be staying in the hospital, then we thought we would be moving to an inpatient facility in Great Falls, next thing you know they say Danny can go home for further therapy, and all of the sudden we’re walking out of the hospital for the last time. I can’t even begin to explain how many emotions overwhelmed me that day. It felt like a dream again, just as it had when Conor called me on January third to tell me the news. What a wild adventure we have all been on.

David, Ellen, Conor, and Danny are all at the Doctors office right now for the last visit. Doctor Gorsuch is removing the last few staples in Danny’s head and maybe he will get his results back from a test he took yesterday. Gorsuch tested Danny with some sort of computerized quiz yesterday. It took thirty minutes and had to do with memory, answer speed, simple math, and other mind trick questions. One example of a question would be for Danny to pick the color shown on the screen, but the word BLUE is typed in green. The Doctor had never tested one of his patients with this particular test so he did the test on himself one day prior to Danny taking it. Danny has high hopes that he scored higher than his neurosurgeon.

Now I’m sitting here in room 303. It is still a room with a number on the door, but there are no loud beeps or blinking lights. There is no wall dispensing hand sanitizer near the entrance and the only curtains to be drawn are for the windows. I am much more relaxed here. Even though we have been doing the same thing here as we were in the PCU, it feels better. Danny will be heading home soon and Conor and I will be driving back to Tahoe. We’ll go our separate ways and I’ll try to pick up life where I left off. It won’t be easy, it will be strange.

On January third, before I got the call, I was looking forward to Danny coming home in a few days time. I was going to compete at Northstar in a slopestyle contest and coach at a camp at Squaw. The Shreddy Times crew and I were going to hike out to a couple of backcountry huts in the Sierras for some overnight adventures and shred some untouched Tahoe powder. I couldn’t wait. What now? We’ll say our temporary good byes to Danny, Ellen, and David and Conor and I will pack up for a 16 hour drive home. We’ll look into our rear view mirror as we drive away from Great Falls and wave goodbye to Montana for now. I’ll miss Danny like crazy and look forward to seeing my family and friends in Tahoe. I need some time to decompress and relax a little bit, but that thought is still on my mind…what now? Life is different. Life has changed. I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

In the meantime I will smile at the thought of Danny returning home. I will smile that he will be surrounded by more love and support. I will smile that he will finally get to eat at Glen Junction! Take care of him NH…I know you will.


9 Responses to “What now?”

  1. Annie Says:

    Michelle thank YOU for being soo good to Danny and his family. they will certainly be missing you just as much 🙂 don’t worry about what tomorrow will bring. an event like this makes us all realize that life is too short to worry. someting else could always happen so don’t try to plan too far in advance. live it up while you can 🙂 take care Michelle – it’s been my pleasure to hear your words of kindness and encouragement over the last month – Annie

  2. Laurie Trapasso Pochelon Says:

    Michelle, your posts have been so very helpful and touching. You are a kind soul. Best wishes in all you do and do a lot!!!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Michelle, thanks so much for all you’ve done and all you’l continue to do. It’s been an amazing and inspiring experience watching this unfold for you all over the last month. The picture of Danny walking out with his snowboard under his arm is something everyone tried to imagine. So happy for you all and wishing everyone strength, good luck and good health as this next transition unfolds. Best to you, Danny, Connor, the NH family and the Shreddy Crew.

  4. David Cole Says:

    Hey Michelle! I forgot to sign in! That last post was from “David Cole — friend since 5th grade of Danny’s Uncle David.” Another chance to wish all the best for all of you. DC

  5. Cathy (Brown)Surette Says:

    You’re right, life has changed. You’ve experienced that first hand. But, you did it!! You helped Danny improve by being you. The thousands of people that have read your words are now sending caring, supportive wishes your way. Know that you are thought of kindly by so many. A little time will help you decide what is next…and we all know that whatever you choose to do, you will do it with all your heart. 🙂

  6. Darlene Bailey Says:

    Know that all your posts& supporitive wishes has got Danny this far.you will all be together real soon. I only hope I get to meet you in North Conway.

  7. Mary B Says:

    What an amazing inspiration you, Conor and the rest of your family and friends have been. The power of support, positive energy, etc.. is a great reminder to slow down and embrace those around you. Lots of positive thoughts long into the future as life continues to shift….

  8. Kim Says:

    Michelle I know this has to be a hugely bittersweet moment for you. It must be so hard to pack up your things and move in a direction that is completely across the country from where Danny is headed. You have been an inspiration for many in your dedication to your friend and that will come back to you ten fold. Hang in there….good things are ahead for you. It’s that yin and yang part of life…you have lots of good karma surrounding you. 🙂

  9. LouAnne Parker Says:

    Looking forward to your return to Tahoe. We have missed you but have felt a connection through this sight and your post. Job well done. Drive safe and call us. Love you, mom

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