Thoughts from the Graveyard Shift

January 11th, 2011 by Conor

I am getting used to nearly all of it. How could I possibly be used to this? I have even become used to seeing my brother with tubes and tape all over him. I am somehow used to the stitches and the odd way that they zig zag around his skull. There is one thing that constantly reminds me how real this all is… the sound of the respirator. Each time Danny exhales the respirator makes a faint weezing sound. It sounds like a cry for life. Danny and I both have pretty severe asthma and if it is acting up, our lungs make a sound that is nearly the same. That sound triggers a feeling of incredible discomfort. That is the only part of this that I will never get used to.

I have always been a bit of a night owl but this new schedule is another thing all together. The last two days I have gone to sleep at about 6:30 AM and slept till 3 PM. Sunset is my sunrise. I eat 3-5 times a day and am excited when I sleep more than 4 hours.

I wonder what the first thing Danny will say is. The other thing that I can’t help but wondering is how Danny is going to feel when he wakes up from all this. All 3,000 people that have been visiting this website are going to be so happy, yet, the journey will only be beginning for Danny. I can’t imagine waking up to hear the news of what happened to me and that weeks have passed while I was sleeping.

Dad just showed up for the morning shift. He is starting to cramp our style here a little on the graveyard shift! Just Kidding dad, just thought it would be funny to not tell you this in person but instead write it and have you read it once we are gone. Everything is fine with the crossover, don’t over analyze this! It was a joke.

I LOVE my friends and family! You are all amazing. I still can’t get over the overwhelming support from everyone.

I LOVE you Danny. Pull through this one dood. You got it!


Michelle Loves Cheetos

January 11th, 2011 by Conor

We decided that 10 votes was enough and that it was OK to for us to tap into the Junk Food Tree. By we I mean Michelle… I have yet to tap.

Decisions, Decisions.

January 11th, 2011 by Conor

We here at the graveyard shift are faced with an unusual predicament. A generous donation of snack food came in today from a good friend Bobby Brennick. Most of the food options here at the hospital are no longer options. If we begin to pick off the tree it will lose its aesthetic and the soul warming effect it might have on Danny when he begins to wake up. On the other hand if we pick at it, we will be happy and therefore more able to transfer our positive energy to Danny. What to do…

[polldaddy poll=4369685]

7 Days.

January 10th, 2011 by Conor

It has been 7 days now since this happened. I can’t believe it has already been 7 days. Danny come back soon. We all love and miss you.


4th Shift. Thoughts.

January 10th, 2011 by Conor

Obviously this injury has changed Danny’s life– no secret there. It has also significantly changed Michelles, my Moms, Dads and my life as well. Our lives are on hold here in Great Falls, Montana. We are all fully committed to seeing Danny open his eyes again and progress back to normal. I have no idea where my life will go after that. I am willing to help in anyway I can. It’s crazy to think how much one moment will have such a great impact on my life.

I have all my friends from all my life with me right now. Friends from each aspect and all years of my life are reaching out to connect with me about what is going on. On top of that Danny’s friends are reaching out to me too. It’s crazy to imagine having all these friends at one time. I can’t imagine trying to make a dinner plan right now.

Michelle hasn’t showered today and is wearing the same clothes as yesterday. I’m surprised that isn’t waking Danny up.

Epic Hugs… You know, the kind of hug that you give a friend or loved one when you haven’t seen them in a long time. I consider that a Epic Hug. This style of hug can also be reserved for deeply emotional times like we are going through right now. I wonder how many Epic Hugs Danny will be giving/receiving when he gets out of this mess. Probably an Epic amount.

Michelle, Danny and I are like a surgical gang. No, I am not trying to say that our bond is so tight that it is like we have been surgically woven together. To date, the 3 of us have had a total of 15 surgeries. That is too many.

Been very busy adding stickers to the website and getting the shirts ready to go out. My thoughts were distracted tonight but great things are happening.

Love ya Danny!

3rd Graveyard Shift

January 9th, 2011 by Conor

Michelle thinks that the ICP (Intracranial Pressure) # is related to how much Danny loves her. Everytime she walks away she watches, anxiously, for the number to go up. It’s actually equal parts cute and funny. I made her laugh when I called her out on it.

Danny was able to Move his left Hand, Right hand and wiggle toes on both feet just a couple of minutes ago. It’s amazing that such a basic life function can feel EPIC. Two weeks ago at the Dew Tour I was been bummed out that Danny ONLY wanted to do a 900 off the 65 foot long 3rd jump. Life twists and turns in a moment.

People in Montana are nice. Or I am nicer under these circumstances. Maybe it’s both.

I am sitting here filling out Tee shirt requests and I am overwhelmed by how many people already bought them. I can’t wait to proudly wear mine. I hope everyone sends pictures in of themselves wearing them. Danny you are the Bomb!

There are 3 places you can find me throughout my exciting new lifestyle.
1) Room 207 of the Great Falls Inn
2) Lobby of the 5th floor in the Benefis Hospital
3) Bedside in room 5109 in the ICU
Beautiful women of Great Falls, Montana… Now you know.

I don’t think I realized that the swollen matter on the lookers bedside left of Danny was going to wander it’s way down to his chin area. It’s somewhat hard to imagine how it will at some point work its way out of there. I sure hope it does.

It is 6:30 in the morning right now. I made it with Michelle’s help. Danny, please stay strong for the next 8 hours. I love you and I want to hang out again. Same time, same place tomorrow? I thought so.

— Conor

Thoughts From the Graveyard Shift

January 8th, 2011 by Conor

It’s midnight again and my shift just started. I am tired, this process is exhausting, but luckily, I have Michelle by my side for company.

There has been a lot of talk over the week about how patients in comas can hear a lot of what you do and that they can feel your presence. I really hope he doesn’t remember the nurse gently whispering into his ear “Danny, it’s time for your suppository.” Sorry Danny, but that was a great moment in my life. I now have a comeback that I can use for at least a month. So, if you could hurry up and wake up, I am anxious for you to resume your old ways of making fun of me.

I wonder how many friend requests Danny will have on Facebook when this is all done. I bet it will be a LOT.

For some reason I can’t stop smiling thinking about Ian Stacey sitting half way around the world in Australia with a shaved head in Danny’s honor. I hope others will follow your lead, you are a great friend to our whole family.

I really hate bragging but no question Toumarkine’s have the best laughs around. I’m looking forward to the next time I cry laughing with Danny about one thing or another– even though there is a good chance it will be at my expense.

Last night finally just caught up to me. I feel like I have never been this tired before. I will probably find a way to experience even higher levels of exhaustion over the weeks to come.

Until Tomorrow… Love you DCT. Stay strong. You’re the bomb!


Thoughts From the Graveyard Shift

January 7th, 2011 by Conor

Danny is lying down just 10 feet away from me yet I have never felt so far away from him. Each time I gaze up over the screen I hope he might just look over at me and tell me to give him back his sweatshirt. Until then, I will wear it proudly and anxiously await the opportunity to give it back to him.

It’s hard to imagine that I have somehow become used to seeing Danny like this. He has been in the ICU for three days now but it feels like it has been three years. It’s almost impossible to believe that my life is real right now.

I no longer reside in sunny Lake Tahoe, California. I have moved to the fifth floor of Benefis Hospital in Great Falls, Montana. I will be here until Danny tells me to leave.

Hearing the varied sounds that go with all the gadgets controlling his life is not something I will ever be totally comfortable with.

When I return to the snowboarding, I will have a helmet on, and will be “that guy” that tells my friends that they should have one on as well.

How in the world did this happen to MY brother?

Danny will now have wayyyyyy more badass scars than me, and he already got all the chicks.

It has been years since I have seen Danny with a shaved head. He looks way younger now.

I think that Iris, Paul, Mayo and Moss are headed back to Tahoe today. It sure has been amazing having them around. If you are lucky enough to know them or have them in your life then you already know what great people they are. Thanks you guys for being there for Danny, me and my family this week. I love you all.

I hope that Danny can somehow feel that I am in the room here with him.

Shift Change… Love you Danny.


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