On the Mend, and So Thankful

I tend to be a private person, but I’ve had so many of you asking about me and praying for me, I figured y’all deserved an update on how I’m doing these days. Well, I’m doing a lot better than I was. I came home from the hospital Thursday, and that alone has lifted my spirits to new heights, to be able to be with my family in familiar surroundings, no longer tethered to tubes and IVs.

As I recently wrote on my personal blog, I’m very blessed to be here. I was driving to Starkville on Feb. 1 – for a basketball press conference – when the accident occurred. A guy in a white Ford decided to cross the highway and apparently never saw me. I swerved into the right lane but couldn’t avoid him. He T-boned me and sent me spinning down Highway 45. Once I realized I’d stopped in the middle of the road, I got the car to the shoulder. My entire left side was wracked with pain and blood filled my vision, and breathing was difficult. Thankfully, the first person to stop and help was a lady in scrubs; not sure exactly what she did or where she worked, but she kept me calm until the ambulance arrived. Wish I could find her and thank her.

(The guy who hit me called 911. He was unhurt as far as I know.)

My injuries: broken collarbone, cracked rib, lacerated spleen, bruised lung. Yet I seemed to be ready to go home a week after the wreck. Then, while watching the Super Bowl, I had sudden, sharp pains in my chest. Turned out to be a blood clot, and there was fluid build-up on my left lung. That required a lovely chest tube that I had for eight days. As one of the doctors later told me, “You’re very blessed that you’re not dead.”

I’ve come a long way since then. Despite being on blood thinners, my spleen is fine for now, although I can’t do anything too strenuous, not even wrestling with my son. My lung capacity isn’t 100 percent, but I can breathe just fine. The only thing really limiting me is this collarbone.

When will I be back to work? Not sure, but hopefully I won’t have to wait until the collarbone is healed (typically takes 6-8 weeks). At some point I’ll do what I can from a desk, and then get back into things full swing once i can drive again (and have a new car; my trusty little Honda Accord was totaled).

In my absence, guys like Parrish Alford, Paul Jones and Todd Vinyard have helped pick up the slack. And God bless my boss, John L. Pitts, who’s probably logging even more hours than usual because we’ve got two vacant copy desk positions we’re trying to fill.

My wonderful wife is nursing me back to full health, and I’m able to get around a good bit. I managed to make it to church yesterday; our friends there have been unbelievably supportive. They’ve watched/chauffeured our four kids and bring us supper every night.

The prayers and thoughts, though, are what have really strengthened me, more than anyone could imagine. I’ve heard from readers via Twitter, e-mail and the blog’s Facebook page. Rick Stansbury and Greg Byrne both called me soon after the accident to see how I was doing. My fellow beat writers have shown me what good friends they are. The Mississippi State community has truly been there for me. So thanks to all of you for caring, and know that God has used you in a mighty way during this difficult time.