To Doug’s friends and well-wishers…
I visited Doug yesterday in neuro-ICU (9th floor Carilion Memorial) where he has been for 10 days now. His status has been upgraded from critical to serious. For those of you, like myself, who have been so concerned about him, wanting to let him know of our prayers and best wishes for him, I suppose the good news is that he has been so heavily medicated that he would not have been able to accept your kindness had you reached him by phone or email in his hospital bed.
I told Doug that he did not look good in purple – which is his primary color at this point, bruised extensively from the trauma of his accident. He opened one eye a few times in the short while I was there, but I don’t think he recognized me or was able to hear me, as he had just gotten a fresh dose of pain medication.
The head trauma injury seems to be resolving slowly. The temporal bone in front of the right ear was fractured, including the portion that forms part of the arch of the jaw. Because of damage to his airway, I think I heard Amy say he was on a respirator for a while, but is no longer. He does still have some lung congestion, and there’s always the risk of pneumonia, so he is on a maintenance dose of antibiotics, as you might expect.
Orthopedically, the left arm and right foot and ankle are fractured. His right arm and shoulder seem to be intact, and functionally, this is a good thing. I’m guessing it might be regaining a normal full-weight-bearing gait that will be the biggest obstacle to a return to full function.
I don’t pretend to know the full details of Doug’s condition from my brief visit and conversation with Amy yesterday. It seems certain that Doug is going to need our support through a long period of rehabilitation. I understand from Amy that a friend has offered the loan of his house, all on one level, that will make access much easier than home. But it is after Doug leaves the hospital that he and Amy will need the most help from us.
I’m sorry I don’t specifically remember visiting hours or Doug’s room number, but that information is available at the information desk at the hospital. Amy has not been able to check Doug’s Facebook page, though I told her that, at some point, it might do a world of good to have someone read aloud the long list of messages that have come to him over the last 10 days.
Thanks, Amy, for giving me permission to post this information to all those near and far who care about you and Doug. We are waiting in the wings. God speed.