For those of you curious as to what has been going on, things have been crazy in this household. It has been a period of five months now, and the family continues to work through a very complex recovery process. So, here’s the beginning to how I was injured, what resulted from the injury, and how we are pushing forward… back towards greatness.
26 July 2015:
Much progress has been made with my team during this week’s training exercise. Everyone recieved some good training; several of the young leaders received some much needed mentorship; and we got to shoot the hell out of some machine guns—we were on fire and overall pleased with the outcome. It’s time to head home for an early birthday celebration, our boys are turning 8 and 11 this week!The following morning at home, I was feeling great. I remember planning out the day in my head: do some yard-work, get some good breakfast, work on some fitness, and take the family out somewhere nice. Mission accomplished! That is, until the fitness part.
One of our biggest goals has always been to build ourselves our own gym. Not only to train ourselves, but to help others who are curious is well. We managed to create a pretty nice set up: Olympic weight set, squat rack, kettle bells, sandbags, pull-up bar, and even a set of Olympic rings! This is where the problem started. Not only was the stuff set up by me (i’m not necessarily an expert builder), I had taken the materials are used for granted. This is specially dangerous because of the ring set up.
To be honest, the rest of the story can be quite a blur. However, through some intense investigation by my wife, and repeated questioning by the ER doctors, neurosurgeons, nurse practitioners, and-the-like, we were able to finally paint a picture of what went down in the garage. I remember going in excited about hanging the rings back up. My friend and I had just finished painting the walls, and staining the garage floor—it was time to break it in! This is where things got blurry… I remember hanging the rings up, stepping down the step letter, then, blank____ what followed was snippets of blurred vision, and confusion. I remember seeing mostly white, almost as if you’re looking down a tunnel, and peering into my washing machine. I wanted to vomit badly! According to my wife, I cried out her name from the base of the stairs. The sound of my voice worried her, she suspected I had to re-injured my lower back (I have a long history of lower back pain). Somehow, I made it up the stairs, and into the bedroom. She asked what was wrong, and all I can do is ask repeatedly if I had hit my head. She told me that I asked her over and over again, “Did I hit my head?” I remember laying on the bed face down, and crying hysterically. All of a sudden, I began speaking to her in only Spanish. This definitely weirded her out since we typically only do it when we’re talking adult business around our boys.
After questioning me, and examining the baseball sized lump on my head, the crying, the Spanish, all things pointed toward me needing to go to the hospital. I was being stubborn… I asked for tissue to blow my nose. When we saw the tissue is filled with both mucus, and blood, we knew it was serious. When we got to the hospital, I only remember sitting in the waiting area, and almost drooling out of the mouth from the pain. The doctors in the ER ordered a CT scan of my skull. When they read us the results, I really started to worry.I had fractured my skull in three different places (this was due to the sheer strength of the impact), and there was blood coming from the area in between my brain, in the actual membrane that surrounds it. This is what the doctors called a subarachnoid hemorrhage. I was immediately evacuated to another facility where I was to be seen by a neurosurgeon—the possibility of surgery was now on the table. When I arrived, the team of doctors came in and they each bombarded me with questions about what happened. At this point, I wasn’t all that sure. I knew I was in the garage, and that I was going to try my first muscle up since the completion of the paint job. But I don’t remember actually doing it! With the help of my wife (she followed the ambulance in her truck), we determined the most likely scenario—at mid hip thrust, the “anchor” that the rings were attached to on my ceiling broke, and my melon came screaming down to the concrete. The kipped muscle-up is a very violent movement (I probably wont be doing those for awhile). If this was the case, my head would have been at least 5 feet from the ground when it came crashing down.
“I knew we would be staying in the hospital at the point so I ran home to leave my house key on the porch so the boys could come up from the neighbor’s house to get an overnight bag. There was no way I would have been able to calmly explain at the moment what was going on. I knew I had a 30 minute drive to the hospital Erick was transferring to and in those moments I cried my eyes out. When I arrived, with the utmost composure handed the valet my keys.”
The darkest week
After examining the scans, the neurosurgeon decided not to operate immediately. They wanted to wait to see if the blood would continue to come out, or if it would reabsorb into my body. They wanted to avoid having to split open my dome at all costs (for this, I am very grateful). However, the days that followed were a medically-infused dazes where I consumed no food (I couldn’t even hold in my water) and I had a horrible case of vertigo. My time in the hospital did have some beautiful moments, however. For one, my wife and children were amazing, and supported me like I can’t even describe. But the most warming moment was when I woke to the sight of my wonderful mother-in-law, who upon notification of my injury, booked a plane to fly in town to assist my wife. Also, many of my young soldiers came by to visit. This put many things in perspective for me (I will touch on these in the future).
After three days, a lot of drugs, and FINALLY a good meal, I was released from the hospital.
Little did I know, things will get much worse before they would get any better.
Make the effort, do your part. This is what we’re all about.
Fight on, Friends! – The Warrior Family
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