October 1, 2000. A day that for me lives forever etched in my brain.
And the intervening 5 weeks after that also remain etched...what I can recall through the drugged stupor I was in for the first week of that anyway, and about everything since.
I'll attempt to go through the first two days each as I either remember it or was told that it all happened, then continue with a recap of what I do recall of this time period.
October 1, 2000
I went to church as I normally do on a Sunday. And yes, I remember it being Sunday. Anyway, I recall several people asking me if I was okay; my shoulder had been hurting and I told them so. But then...it got worse. I began turning blue. I wasn't getting oxygen and I didn't even know it.
I was run to the pastor's office while they called my mom down from the 9am service. After minutes of discussion, I was rushed to Children's Hospital in Cincinnati (I was 15 at this time). As soon as my mom got me to the ER, I remember staring up at lights, and that was it. Nothing after that registers from that day in my own personal memory. I was later told I coded, or went into cardiac arrest, for about 10 minutes that Sunday morning. They did emergency surgery and discovered I had ruptured both bowel and bladder, which had allowed large amounts of toxins to be released into my blood. That had choked off the oxygen supply, which explained why I had turned blue.
I was still in a fog. I don't remember much of anything, except that church staff came to see me in the hospital. I was extremely weak at this point. Meanwhile, back in Florence, massive amounts of information were being sent out about my condition. At Ockerman Middle School, my sister and brother spread the word. At the Boone County Bus Garage, when word was received I was in the hospital, somehow, someway, they found out just how critical I was, and this was passed on to Boone County High School, which I attended. The word went around the school like a wildfire.
I continued to drift in and out of consciousness until October 7. At that point I began to slowly come back to life. Additional visitors came to see me, including a few of Boone County High's staff. Steve Horstmeyer, who was then at LOCAL12(then branded as 12News, WKRC-TV) and is now at WXIX-TV 19(and by the way, this is one of only TWO media references you'll get in this blog, I promise), also came for a visit. I was released October 13. I also received a LOT of cards and well-wishes.
I was home schooled during this period. Continued to receive visitors to my home here in Florence, and also received I don't know how many cards and things from fellow students both at BCHS and OMS. (AUTHOR'S NOTE: One of these even contained about 50 dollars)By 10/21, I was beginning to target October 31 as my comeback date.
October 30-November 6
On October 30, I made an appearance on 12News First at Four (second and final media reference) following a doctor's appointment, to tour their studio. This came about because of a personal interest in meteorology that, as WIXY will tell you, continues to this very moment. This was to test my physical endurance. The question wasn't if I was a tough guy, I knew I was that. The question was: Could I handle being out of the house for 8 hours? The answer: Yes, I could and I was ready for a return to routine. I returned to BCHS the next day, Halloween, and was greeted with an unbelievable welcome back. My fellow students didn't let me forget how much they were glad to see me and that I had returned in one piece. This continued for almost a full week before I had a...
...setback. I had to be hospitalized again. This time, it was for a bowel obstruction which had to be flushed out, I would return on the 16th, and that was that.
Special Note: If I had never taken the time to thank you for the well wishes...I am now. I know - I am HORRIBLE at this stuff. But, I do mean this from the bottom of my heart. Especially those of you who I went to school with in that time period of my life.
Christmas at the Log Cabin
4 months ago