The Day After The New Nose

Not for the squeamish but … here is a picture of Billy Bob post Kevin Bacon’s nose job. Now if a reality TV star gets a new nose, he/she “vacations” in some exotic locale. B on the other hand heads for good ole China Grove and the couch in our den. He may never forgive me for this but I know he’ll always love me. And I’ll always love him. 

Warning graphic pic follows:

As always, more to come.

New Nose Day

At this point we were living at SAMMC.  There almost every day.  On 4/14, the day before the new nose day, they replaced the cast on his right wrist and set a follow up apppointment in two weeks.  

This was written at 3 pm on 4/15/14. 

Today sucked! And yes I already told myself it could be worse and it could be but … that does not take away from the fact that today blew chunks! Arrived promptly at 5:45 am for the 7 am closed nasal reduction. There were three other patients for the same (or similar) thing and only one surgical team. This time he drew the short straw and was 3rd of the three. Billy Bob was taken back at the time he should have been leaving. We just got home … will be a rough couple of days. But I am done with my pity party because we are home and for the moment he is pain free. Happy Tax Day one and all, enjoy the remainder of your day! 
Then later that night I wrote:
For those of you who talked to Billy Bob tonight he won’t likely remember your conversation tomorrow. He’s still feeling no pain. So might not be a rough couple of days after all. Thanks to the miracle of modern medicine. I think I may have to hide his truck keys.

As always more to come. 

So Many Follow-Up Appointments 

Posts from April 7 & 8 2014


Good news today – ortho appointment buys Billy Bob another week! So far the cast is holding the set in place even though radial breaks have a tendency to slip and almost always require surgery. The intern who actually set the wrist in the ER got to see B today – he was extremely proud of himself for his handiwork as he should be. The intern’s boss – Dr. S agreed to the more conservative approach of watching and waiting. Since the swelling risk has decreased, they strengthened the cast removing the wiggle room initially left in case of swelling. Hoping that extra support will hold things just right. While surgery is still a possibility, the odds against it have improved. He’ll know more in a week.Still sunshine and roses around here! Have a great Monday everyone!
Next 4/8

OMF went well today. The Mr. had his H&P (History and Physical). We got there an hour early to find parking and because of the required yellow form. Yellow form you ask? Well that is a very strict requirement for each and every civilian visit. One will NOT be treated without a yellow form. The doctor must sign it after examination and then the patient must return it before leaving – no exceptions! Today the yellow form process took no time at all because Bully Bob now has his orange civilian card – good for six months. Who knew? And since our life is still all sunshine and roses, they took him right in and he got done before his actual appointment time. We assumed he’d just go back on 4/15 but nope, while he is lucky, it won’t be that easy.  

On 4/14 he’ll go to PAU in the morning and then see Dr. S in orthopedics that afternoon. I am still learning – PAU is simply Pre-Admission Unit where he’ll be assessed for what follows on 4/15 – hereby known as tax day aka new nose day or Kevin Bacon’s nose day ;). The PAU evaluation will take 2-3 hours. I said “WTH, he already had his H&P and this PAU stuff will take longer than the closed reduction. He has to be out before his orthopedic appointment because that is when they will tell him he won’t need surgery.” The clerk calmly responded, “don’t ask me I just schedule em ma’am” 
Me “searching for a good omen” hearing Lulu’s  voice “snap out of it”
I was reminded, it could be worse, it could ALWAYS be worse. So until next week (maybe longer), I am driving Mr. Daisy and we are already getting on each others nerves. Still feeling blessed and grateful but so ready to return to work.  
Have a terrific Tuesday one and all!

When Asked Is He Home?

From April 6, 2014

Yes he is home FB Friend.  

The first 24-48 hours are just watch and wait … nerve wracking. Once they ruled out brain injury, it was safe for him to come home. They tell us nothing but critical care happens over the weekends. Since he was upgraded from critical, they cut him loose Friday night. He goes back in Monday to finalize the plan for his wrist. Right now it is set and depending on how things are shaping up, he may just continue in the cast for 4-6 weeks. That is what we hope for. Though surgery is still a possibility – worst case scenario. Not to push our luck, but everything is roses and sunshine so far 😉 Right ?!?!?! So cast it is! I have decided!!!

The bruising is still shocking but the handsome ICU nurse prepared us well for what to expect in that regard. His skin tone changes daily – such pretty shades of purples and blues. The watermelon, then peach over his right eye is gone and the remaining swelling has subsided except for at the bridge of his nose. 

 He is not pain free, I can tell … despite him trying to hide it. He wants to do everything for himself and he is already going stir crazy but this time he can get around – not like when he hurt his back last year and he was immobile. These injuries are technically worse but the quality of life is so much better.  

 Who knew that hurting his back last year would be the main reason he is doing so well today? After that happened he got healthy. His attitude about things changed making him better able to deal with what’s happening now. Of course, one could argue if he never hurt his back in the first place that in itself would have changed the trajectory of all the events that followed. When a butterfly flaps his wings in New Mexico, there’s a hurricane in China. Quit flapping your wings Mr. Butterfly; Mr. Billy Bob has reached his quota for injuries in his lifetime!! Now, that’s waxing philosophical to say the least.

He was lucky, very lucky, everyone has said so and given what we witnessed in just 36 hours at SAMMC, we very much agree.

If squeamish don’t look 

This picture was taken about 7 pm on April 3, 2014. 

Right after, I stepped out into the ICU waiting room. I was alone and never felt more isolated. A kind older gentleman started to give me his seat. He said “we are family now. Please join us to pray for our loved ones”

I broke into tears and slowly melted down the wall into a puddle on the floor.  His wife came over and sat right next to me. 

I will never forget this gesture. I will never forget what happened to his son. They were driving from Del Rio to San Antonio.  While passing an 18 wheeler a steel rod broke loose and went straight through the windshield hitting his son in the head.  A miracle his son was not decapitated.  Yet this man and his wife and extended family were faithful.  They had hope even as the circumstances were more dire than Billy Bob’s. 

This is why I asked for prayers for all those at SAMMC.  There but for the grace of God, go I.  Even now I pray for those at SAMMC today.  A prayer for faith, health and healing. 

As always, more to come. 

A Day Like Any Other Day … Until It Wasn’t 

I should have begun with this.  Posted after one of the worst days of my life.  Even then I needed to write out the demons.  I had started my day at 6 AM and it was now a little before midnight. The last minutes of April 3, 2014.

Hospitals are humbling places 
Especially the surgical ICU at San Antonio Military Medical Center or T2 SICU SAMMC

Billy Bob was in an accident at work today.  It was @ 12:30. I was in the plaza break room when I got the call from his cell phone.

“hey” silent … “hello, are you there?” … 

Kimbo was on the other end of the line

He’s having trouble getting the words out. “Jill it’s Kimbo, Billy had a fall and they are taking him to the ER. He is talking and we think he’ll be okay. Not sure which ER though so I’ll call you back and you can meet him there. I have his cell phone and wallet and I am going to the yard to give a statement” 

My worst fear realized … numb and on auto-pilot, threw my lunch back into my bag and went upstairs to log off. I got the call back from Kimbo and I was out the door …

Traumas only go to University or SAMMC and SAMMC was closer “first God moment” because SAMMC is truly the best.  Traumas are common; wounded warriors go there. 

What happened?!?!? no one really knows – at times like this minds do funny things – things too painful or shocking are forgotten – temporarily or permanently. So surreal – it is why it is called an ‘accident’ … pure random chance. 

Here is what I was told – 
While working at St. Anthony Hotel, he and Kimbo were asked to look at some molding on the ceiling for possible water damage and replacement. Billy was first to climb the rolling scaffold that was supposed to be locked into place. When he reached the top of the ladder at @ 10 ft off the ground, he grabbed the guard rail to hoist himself up. The guard rail gave way and he stared to fall. To keep his feet from getting tangled in the ladder and falling head first, they think he may have pushed off from the ladder – I imagine like a jump from a high diving board … he turned landing prone – like a belly flop with the force of the fall then shoving his face into the floor with very thin carpet over masonite underneath.
He did black out, blood everywhere, EMS arrived in less than 5 minutes. CT scans and hundreds of pictures later, he is lying in ICU with IV pain meds, his broken right wrist has been set and he has consistent monitoring of a small brain bleed. His nose is pulverized (doc’s words). Plus multiple face fractures. The watermelon over his right eye is now the size of a peach. It is shrinking in size – a very good sign.

Not to worry FB friends and family, brain bleeds are common – not to you or me but in the trauma biz. They usually stop on their own. And since he is not on blood thinners of any kind, prognosis is good.
I am learning something new, in traumas there are as many doctors as there are body parts injured … not a generalist in the bunch. Billy has four doctors. I love them all, they are blessings on earth.

Second God moment – Billy will heal. His back was not re-injured. Neck has been ruled out too. He can move and has feeling. And while I know he hurts; he is so very strong.

Please pray for all the patients at SICU SAMMC tonight, as Billy’s case was not even remotely the worst. There but for the grace of God go I. Daddy is right there with us pulling us through “it could be worse” It could ALWAYS be worse.

Princess Doesn’t Do Trash

Originally post to FB April 5, 2014.  His accident happened April 3, 2014.  He’s in incredible pain and he’s still thinking about his chores. 

Billy Bob “Oh Jill, I forgot, today you need to take down the trash, tomorrow is trash day” 

Me (thought bubble only, I did not say this :)) “what’s that got to do with me, Princess does not do trash!” Ha ha, hee hee, oh but now she does!!

As I walked down our long curved driveway I said a lil prayer of thanks that my two legs work and walking the big blue bin to the end of our drive did not hurt me at all. The weather is gorgeous, the sun is shining, the birds are singing and it is another day in paradise!!

New Category – Aftermath of the 2014 Fall

I used to write mini novellas on FB but now I’m exclusive to WordPress.  Or I try to be. FB aka Faux-book is not all that nice these days.  Rumor has it WP can be mean too but so far I’ve only experienced acceptance.

Three years ago was a really unique time for us.  Billy Bob more so than me.  I’m seeing lots of FB memories that I’d thought I’d share here. I just change real names to pseudonyms and wa-la!

As always, more to come.

The Power of Positive Thinking 

I wrote the following on FB three years ago today.  April 3 marked the anniversary of the day the mister almost died. This was posted two days after the BIG fall. 

I am even more convinced of the power of a positive attitude. Not in a crazy way like I can wish Billy Bob well. It’s just that being calm made everything easier and so far we have good news all around. From landing prone instead of an angle, the injuries were less than they otherwise would have been. Ruling out the back and neck at the beginning. Ruled out the brain bleed yesterday morning. Down to only two doctors – ortho for the wrist and OMF for his face. You laugh to power through things and he gets his new nose on 4/15! Tax day. I told the doc to make Billy Bob look like Kevin Bacon or some other age appropriate crush ;). Today I feel a bit guilty for keeping an appointment to get my roots done but not guilty enough to cancel – vanity or sanity – just trying to keep things as normal as possible. Thanks to each and every one of you. You are proof of life’s blessings on earth. Enjoy your day !

As always, more to come.