the hanged man


Hi, I’m Ian, or at least that’s the body I still inhabit. I lay here in my house tonight, the first time in almost two weeks. The person that walked out of here back then is not exactly the person who came back.

I still need to take two breaths for each sentence, and even walking across the room is difficult, so I’m going to save all the grisly details until Monday. And afterwards, I promise not to make this blog all about one subject, even if that one subject wanted to kill me.


But here’s one thing I need to tell all of you: every email, every text, every note, and every story contributed to me laying here tonight with no tubes sticking out of my body. I never thought such a thing possible, either that it would be so emotionally affecting, or that so many of you would care, but it is true. Even when I was read the list of Facebook “likes” or a wish from someone I have never met, it was real, it helped actually.

I am humbled beyond adjectives by all of you. I’m humbled by my wife’s writing on these pages, many entries I could only read fully days after they were posted. I’m humbled by the doctors who saved me, and the nurses who assuaged me. And a tiny bit of me is proud of my own body for beating back the visiting team, late in the third quarter.

It takes a village, to be sure, but this one had many villages, spread throughout the country like bronchioles, and while my lungs heal, I’m sending out a low hum of love to all of you everywhere.


41 thoughts on “the hanged man

  1. Kmeelyon

    I am so glad you are out of danger, Ian. I even had my mom praying for you. And last night, I had the most vivid dreams about you. It was bizarre since you and never met (I don’t think) when we were at Chapel Hill. But we were hanging out last night and you were better, and I was happy. Every day, I’ve woken up and checked for updates about you and every night, I’ve looked for a blog post. Sending your lungs more healing and oxygen. Love, love.

  2. Brandy

    I have not been plugged into to social media the past few weeks and missed that you were so ill! You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers! Wishing you a speedy recovery!!!

  3. Emily D

    I love you, Ian! Even though you are making my cry right here at my desk at work. I am so, so thankful you are on the mend.

  4. Stephen

    Hey man, good work getting through it. I pretty much know how it is. I had a very similar experience last year. I know how much it sucks to lie there in the hospital for days, nearly hopeless and how much the support really helps. Take care, man. I’m glad you are back – Akin

  5. Jo-elle

    Dear god Ian I had no idea, I missed all of this and I am so thankful from afar that you, like Mary Tyler Moore, are going to make it after all! Whew!

  6. Julie

    Glad to hear you are home!! Please take it slow and let those lungs heal at a nice steady pace. Have a great weekend with Tessa and Lucy!

  7. Annie

    Chapel Hill itself seems to celebrate today, with that Carolina blue sky shining impossibly bright and clear, the air gentle and perfect in that way it can only feel right here in the heart of our ancestral home. And you can guarantee that tonight someone will be doing shots of Schnapps, too. I love and cherish you beyond what could ever be expressed here. Gratitude immeasurable.

  8. Katie in NC

    welcome back (and I am happy to take one for the team and do celebratory shots of schnapps in Chapel Hill tonight)

  9. Steve Heller

    Geez, Ian, just learned about this today, and so glad that I get to enter at the part when you’re already having a reasonably good landing (i.e., back at home, and, if not “all better” at least a heckuva lot better). Good luck recuperating.

  10. m.e.

    Glad you are getting how loved and loveable you are…and I bet even a bit skinnier! All good!
    Take care. Enjoy your baby steps. The body doesn’t lie and is the temple of your soul.
    Mary Ellen

  11. Jamie

    Hi Ian,
    Heard about this late in the game when, thankfully, things had improved. So glad you’re on the mend!
    Love to you & your family-
    Jamie “Backseat Charlie” “Fong”

  12. Lara

    Welcome back! Tessa did a wonderful job keeping us all informed (and inspired), but it is your blog and it is a great relief to see you writing it again. Now don’t scare us like that again!

  13. Bob

    Best wishes for a full recovery, Ian. And once you’re well, please stay that way, as I look forward to many years of insights and dyspeptic rants.

  14. Lana

    Thank you for getting better and coming home to your family Ian. This was very scary to watch from afar, and I am just very, very relieved. All the best, Lana

  15. Kelly Wachowicz

    Hi Ian love! You may have surmised over the years that I’m not much of a blog reader much less a blog poster – but I couldnt’ not send a note to you now to say welcome home and we can’t wait to see you! We have in our own way prayed for you every day for the past two weeks and I am so happy and humbled that you we have you back…..Talk to you soon sweets – Asa can’t wait to see ‘Uncle Ian’.
    Love Kelly and Asa

  16. Anne

    You built this online community, Ian. To whatever extent it helped save your life, you yourself were the architect of recovery.
    I’m very glad I’m here at Xtcian. And I’m much gladder that you’re still here among the living, wondering, grousing, aching, exulting multitudes.


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