Sunday, November 10, 2013

What ExAcTlY Happened???

Warning:  I'm not really good at blog posts like this.  There's just nothing really entertaining about our current situation.  However, I know that so many of you want to know.......

Billy is currently sleeping.

He hasn't slept since Wednesday evening.  Since it's Sunday afternoon -- well -- you do the math...

I have really, really appreciated the literally hundreds of texts, and other messages.  There is no way I can respond to them all.  Some moments, I'm too overwhelmed to even click "like".  But, I am reading them.  And, I tell Billy about them.

If I ever doubted I have praying friends, all I have to do is listen to our voice mails.  Message after message of people praying.  We are listening.

Thursday evening, about midnight, Billy said he had a bad headache.

He has an old sports injury in his neck, causing a pinched nerve -- and gets a related headache a couple of times a month.  It's easily treated with over the counter meds.

This time, the meds weren't working and the pain was getting worse.

Around 1:45am I startled awake with Billy standing over me...

He very calmly said, "I need you to drive me to the E.R."

Billy has a very high pain tolerance.

Billy doesn't panic.  In 20 years, I'm not sure I've ever even seen him anxious.

That's more me.

He's the solid one.

At the E.R. the triage nurse says, "What's your pain on a scale of 1 - 10?"  He quietly and controlled says, "It's a 10.  No, an 11.  Actually, I think it's a 12."

I was keenly aware that this wasn't normal.

They treated him for a migraine.  No relief.

They talked about his pinched nerve.

Finally, the doctor says, "Let's do a CAT scan just to be safe."

Shortly thereafter the doctor comes in and sits close to me.

He is speaking in a low voice.

"Mrs. Ramsdell, it's good you came here.  There is bleeding in your husbands brain.  It could be a bleeding aneurysm, or something in that category.  I don't see the source of the bleeding and we don't treat this here.  I've already called the brain center in Denver.  There is no need for you to not stay calm.  Especially since they want to life flight Billy to the hospital and you'll need to drive there."

As if they were standing in the hall, just waiting for the doctor to get these words out, 6 new people immediately entered the room -- they introduce themselves as the pilot, his flight nurse, etc etc and a bunch of things I didn't hear.  One of their jobs was clearly to keep me focused and distracted.  Squaring my shoulders...explaining how it's important that I make the hour drive slowly and carefully because "I can't alter the outcome by driving crazy."

Driving crazy, huh.

They had me walk with Billy as they loaded him into the helicopter and helped me to my car as it took off.

As I shut the car door, I temporarily forgot what I was doing.  A minute or so later -- I breathed deep and said out loud, "Shanna!  Call Denise."

I called Billy's mom at 4 am and led off with, "No one has died, but..."

I woke Hosanna and we made the hour drive to Swedish Hospital in Denver, which just so happens to be recognized as one of the nations's top centers for neurotrama, and brain injuries.  I had never heard of it.

Enter...Facebook Status Updates...and you are pretty much up to date now.

His condition is considered serious, but stable.

They do neurological tests every hour.  He mostly passes.

He has a hard time keeping food down, can not walk, and even has a difficult time sitting up.

This afternoon, they decided to give him some anti anxiety meds -- and they have AT LEAST allowed him to sleep.

Sleep is the great equalizer.

Currently, they are still asking that he have no visitors.

He is sometimes allowed access to his phone and computer.

Please pray that he sleeps.  For the next couple of DAYS if possible.

As far as me and the kids are concerned...

We are dealing...because as you all rise to the occasion.  You do what you have to do.

Elizabeth has gone back to college.  I was REALLY thankful to have her here.

Hosanna and Ben lend their quiet strength from time to time, but mostly stay out of the way.

Victoria is very responsible, but feeling anxious and restless.  She desperately wants to help -- to bring life and joy.  It's hard for her not to be here every minute.

Best case scenario, Billy is looking at being in this ICU room for 14 days.  I do not believe that he is aware of this.  That's probably for the best.

When he is lucid, he automatically starts quoting scripture over himself.  When you get squeezed, what's in your comes out -- or so they say.  That's what's in him.  Today, I looked up and said, "You have A LOT of scripture memorized!"

Things could have been much, MUCH worse.  And, the doctors are certain they have no idea why this ever happens TO ANYONE.

On a positive note, the sarcastic center of B's brain is functioning just fine.  That was a close one.

I appreciate every prayer, every note, every meal -- and every gesture of kindness. We are thankful to be taken care of.

Many blessings,


  1. Thank you for your post. I am blessed to witness your faith and strength. I am in perpetual prayer for Billy, you and the kids. A post isn't the same as a hug...please give one to him for me. Get well!

  2. Thank you for the updates. If I'm awake in the middle of the night, it's likely I say a prayer for him. I can't imagine what you and your clan are going through right now. And, yes, his humor is still intact. That was obvious with the FB post he snuck in on, I believe, Saturday. And, yes, when we are bumped, it's what we've put inside that comes out.

  3. Praying for you all and here if you ever need anything ever!

  4. God bless you and your sweet family. I wake about 2-3 times a night, and, As I feed my littls one, I'm praying. For healing. For strength. For peace.

  5. We love the Ramsdell family....Praying for you all.