William Werner's Journal
Written Jul 19, 2011 11:33amHello everyone! Our son Samuel was born at Phoenix Baptist Hospital on Sunday, July 10th, at 12:41 pm. He is healthy, with blonde hair and dark blue eyes (we'll see if they stay that way). He is calm and quiet, his favorite activities being nursing and peeking around the room while being snuggled. His little toes and fingers and occasional gas-induced smiles are so perfect and we are all so in love with him.
Aurora loves him very much, even if the adjustment does sometimes involve a little jealousy. She is growing up and getting more and more beautiful with every passing minute, and for the most part loves being a big sister. When we talk to her about it, she says."I growing up, I gettin' bigger, and my hair gettin' taller!" (she recently got a hair cut and is still understanding longer vs taller). She pats me and says, "Baby brother not in your tummy anymore? He crawled out?" And whenever Samuel cries, she is extremely concerned about him.
Will wants to ensure that everyone knows how strong he is (he's sitting next to me with Samuel right now as we prepare our Tucson house for the move back here in August). He says he would like to thank BlueCross BlueShield for the personal trainer, aka his physical therapist, Suzanne. He loves physical therapy because he is using the time to really get strong and fit and regain the physical endurance he lost. He still takes his three therapies, but is considering quitting occupational because he finds that therapist to be extremely difficult without being very helpful, but that's another story.
Ultimately, most people who suffer an injury like this are not ever told, "You will make a full recovery," but Will was told this before he even left Craig Hospital. That seems to sum it up for us. He's a miracle and so lucky, not just in his recovery but in his wealth of friends and family. Thank you all so much.
Written Jun 22, 2011 7:35pm
We've been home for over a month now and everything is wonderful. Will and I are reunited with our daughter, which makes us both happier than anything. Between spending time with her and playing catch-up on life, we've been so busy that I haven't updated in quite some time.
Will is great; he is so well that occasionally I am able to forget anything happened. Being back in Phoenix and closer to all our loved ones has been a relieving and welcome change. Will got his cast off from his right wrist just over a week ago and has another appointment in six weeks to keep an eye on the healing. This bone is notoriously slow to heal, and he had to be on an anti-calcification drug for a month as well, which severely limited healing in his wrist during that time. Other than the splint on his wrist, I don't think anyone could know Will's been in any sort of accident at all. Some don't even believe it when we tell them! We recently encountered a worker at the post office who prodded Will about his accident after she saw his cast. She wasn't content with the information that he "took a bad fall" and was in the hospital for some time, but after trying to politely excuse ourselves for a bit, Will bluntly came out and told her, "I injured my brain . . . but I'm better now." She looked frustrated and I believe she thought we were pulling her leg (it probably didn't help that Will and I started chuckling immediately at how unbelievable the truth sounded even to our own ears), but what else was there to say?
Will and I spend much of our time marveling at how grateful we are for the life we continue to enjoy. We can't believe how lucky we are to still have each other, but we also can't believe the amazing support we've received from every possible source--family, friends, our educators, employers, industry professionals, medical professionals, and the extended family that we'll keep in touch with from Craig Hospital: patients and families healing there with us were yet another source of empathy and friendship that I never expected.
Our newest baby is due in less than three weeks, and we're busily preparing for his arrival and our later return to Tucson in August. Alongside these preparations, Will is doing some outpatient therapies through Barrows Neurological at St. Joe's. Therapists there were amazed at him when he walked through the door and raced through their various tests. I know Will gets a kick out of being impressive, and his recovery after this type of injury makes him just that.
Fortunately, the most difficult aspect about these therapies is answering the question, "Well, what do you want to get out of this therapy?" Will and I feel that we have everything to look forward to just as we did before the accident, and mostly anything that we want to "get" is continued patience while we wait to accomplish those goals that we were so close to attaining before. June 13th passed and we noted the day as not only the one month mark of discharge from Craig, but it was the original start date for Will's job with Newmont had he been able to graduate as anticipated. We are so grateful for all we have, but truth be told we focused for a long time on simply being released from the hospital so we could head back home. Once released, and increasingly as we neared home, we began fully realizing the hurdles involved in merely reintegrating ourselves into the lives we'd had to temporarily leave behind.
Fortunately, the next day was our wedding anniversary and very fun to celebrate. Each day gets us closer to becoming a family of four, to Will's graduation, and to moving back to Colorado (we're hoping Will can start his job in January), but for now we'll keep enjoying all that we have one day at a time.
Since we are no longer in the hospital, this will be the last update EXCEPT perhaps to announce the arrival of our son. :)
Written May 7, 2011 8:38pmI'm sorry to have gone so long without updating, but there is only good news to share:
Last week Will and I enjoyed spending more time in the Craig Apartments and outside of the hospital. On the last Friday in April, I had an ultrasound appointment in a connecting hospital's building, coordinated so that Will could come with me to finally find out the sex of our baby together. We had such a blast--and we're expecting a healthy baby boy around July 11th.
Will's stomach tube came out quickly and painlessly the morning of Tuesday, May 3rd. The small wound needed only a light bandage for about a day before it had healed itself sufficiently enough to go without any covering. Will no longer has to concern himself with only sleeping on his sides (this got difficult with his left side having so many broken ribs and his right side suffering from the painful hematoma).
Now, the hematoma has healed such that it hardly bothers Will at all. His body hasn't yet completely reabsorbed the blood, so Dr Winetraub has Will on an anti-calcification medicine to keep the blood from traveling upwards and calcifying. It is likely that Will won't need this medicine any longer by the time our discharge date rolls around this Friday. As it is, Will has been walking around in physical therapy for a couple of weeks. His therapists say that his range of motion is getting better and better.
Early last week, doctors determined he needed no assistance in his room (he is now officially "independent," though his previously "dependent" status arose more as the result of a policy on safety precaution rather than out of necessity). A patient's loved ones go through certain training throughout the recovery process, and one thing I've done is to be trained to walk with Will (again as a precaution--Will's too stubborn to let me help him walk, but thankfully he needs no help). Because of that training and our recently-earned Car Pass (meaning we're allowed to leave Craig together), Will and I were able to go out and tour a little of Downtown today.
The medicines he needs have dropped dramatically in dosage, some eliminated all together. The blood thinners are back on, but hopefully they'll be gone by our release date, too. Will's IVC filter came out Friday morning. This was the filter meant to catch any clots that might have formed in Will's blood before they could travel to his heart or lungs. Fortunately, the doctors decided he no longer needed it. He'll be checked via ultrasound for blood clots one last time before we leave. Dr. Alvarez, Will's hematologist, says he anticipates no further complications for Will in this area. Even Will's blood pressure has begun to reach normal levels.
This coming Wednesday, Will's right wrist will be re-examined. He's had his cast for a month. Most likely he'll get a new, slightly smaller one for another month yet.
We're focusing on the transition home now. We're lining up out-patient therapies and follow-up appointments, but looking forward to being home to see our daughter, our families, and our friends. This Friday should be our last day at Craig!