Once again we find ourselves in need of thoughts, prayers, positive vibes, crossed fingers – whatever you’ve got. I also wanted to get this down in a central location rather than sporadically throughout the comments of a Facebook status. It gets confusing after a while.
A little over 24 hours ago, Eddie was assaulted at a movie theatre. He’s currently in the hospital with four spinal fractures.
We decided to go and see The Avengers. We’ve been soaking up the movie-going experience since going to the movies would be a rare event for a while once Paisley is born. We thought about going on Sunday, we thought about going to the drive-in, but decided to go on Monday and wanted to treat ourselves to a very nice dine-in AMC theatre in the city.
There was a couple sitting behind us and the man kicked my chair pretty hard throughout the movie – repeatedly. About halfway through, I very politely asked him to stop. He said, “That’s what we call a mistake.” I said it had happened a lot and I’d appreciate it if he’d try to stop. At this particular theatre, seats are assigned (and it was packed), so moving wasn’t really an option.
When the movie ended, this man and his girlfriend slammed into my chair on their way out. I was mid-contraction. (Have been having a lot of sporadic ones lately.) They continued to say some pretty ugly things to me on their way out, so Eddie went to the lobby and verbally confronted him. And the guy went crazy.
Eddie doesn’t remember and I came out right after it happened, but what we gather from the employees is that the man punched Eddie (we think in the jaw), they locked in and picked each other up, and the man threw Eddie to the ground. The employee closest to the scene said he hit his head. The guy took off, Eddie tried to stand, and then collapsed. At some point he lost consciousness and lost memory of exactly what happened. That was when I came out to the lobby, saw him laid out on the floor, and my legs turned to Jell-O.
The guy took off and got away before the police were called. They searched for him by helicopter for a bit, but no luck. He and his girlfriend were parked in the parking garage, so I am pretty certain he hid until the police and paramedics cleared out.
Eddie was taken to the hospital by ambulance and an officer escorted me to the car so I could follow. The paramedics were unsure of a concussion, but had no idea how bad his back was at the time. Even at the hospital, it seemed like we were about to be discharged when the x-ray revealed four (4) spinal compression fractures, at T8, T9, T12, and L1. They admitted him to the main hospital and today he was measured for a custom brace that he’ll have to wear for 6-8 weeks IF healing goes according to plan. Surgery is generally not done on spinal compression fractures, but it’s not completely ruled out yet.
He’ll be discharged tomorrow once they’re done making his brace. Then he’ll probably need to spend as much time as possible flat on his back.
They did do a CT scan of his brain to see if there was any damage and it was unremarkable.
One of the (many) awful things about this is that he has been working his butt off to save enough money to take extra time off when Paisley is born. I’m talking 20-25 hours of overtime each week. At this point, I think it’ll be miraculous if he is able to get back to 40 hours right away. The brace he’ll be wearing is designed for him to stand or be on his back – not ideal for a sitting position (which is how he works). And because of the location of the fractures, the brace has to be long.
We also had a babymoon planned for next weekend to go to San Diego. A six-hour drive and all-day walk around Sea World is definitely not happening. (He wants to see how it goes before cancelling, but it’s definitely getting cancelled.)
This person was about 6’5″ and built like a professional football player. Eddie is 6’0 with a medium build. The field was nowhere near level and Eddie did not expect this to become violent. On one hand, I have a husband who isn’t afraid to stand up for me no matter how big the guy is. On the other, I have a husband who was the victim of assault by a man who clearly has violence issues. They still haven’t found him, but the report is being processed and a detective will be assigned shortly.
I’m trying to tell myself that it could have been so much worse – the guy could have had a knife or a gun. He could have killed Eddie. But thinking about that just makes it even more stressful and I’m pretty angry at the fact that this had to happen to him. It shouldn’t happen anyway – to anyone – but it just seems unnecessarily cruel that it happened to him.
However, we’re both pretty skilled in the art of getting back up. (Figuratively, at least.) This will be no exception. It is what it is now and we can’t undo it. The goal at this point is a speedy and complete recovery.
Paisley and I are fine, especially now that I’ve gotten some sleep and have been able to eat something after hours of my stomach being in knots. I’m at home and going to try and get some more before visiting hours are open again. The visitor chairs are definitely not designed for napping.