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Old 06-03-2013, 07:18 PM   #196
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An update?

Any updates on how your healing is proceeding?

Also, why don't the police subscribe to the ATGATT thinking. 3/4 helmets and short shirt sleeves seem to be the standard of protection for most motorcycle officers. I know you've got bullet proof armor to wear too, but it seems motorcycle cops are more likely to wreck than be shot and a full face helmet and some impact and abrasion protection would be smart.

Anyway, I hope you're healing well.
Originally Posted by summerinmaine
When you get too old to serve as a bad example, you can always give bad advice.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:57 PM   #197
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Thanks for the comments and questions, folks. It's just shy of being 21 months since the crash, and they are still struggling to put me back together. The lymphedema is being well managed, and the right femur shows that it has healed about as much as it is going to on its own (about 25-30%, according to the radiologist and surgeon). The plan is to admit me to Memorial Hermann right away, and conduct a series of three to four surgeries over a two week period.

The first procedure will involve going in and taking a deep tissue sample in the femur to culture and check for osteomyelitis. They'll deburr a sharp bone shard that appears on the x-rays, and place a quantity of antibiotic beads in the right places. They'll wrap up the leg but not close,wait a couple days, and if no infection is shown by the cultures, then they'll go back in, remove the two screws in the bone, do a bone graft, and deburr more if needed, then plate and screw the femur above and below the break. Those last few items may require more than one surgery to complete. Lastly, after a few days, the plastic surgeon will come and join the party and they'll close the whole thing up, with an eye to preserving the flap and transplant that was done before. If all goes well, it will result in a strong femur that will allow the surgeon to plan the next big step--lengthening the leg another three inches.

The lengthening process entails them going in and breaking the femur more proximally (further up the shaft), and reinstalling the Ilisarov device. Once in place, the hardware (a series of five or six nuts and bolts) gets adjusted 1/4 turn every six hours. Each 1/4 turn separates the two rings (and each side of the femur break) 1/4 millimeter, thus one full millimeter each day. Thus, the leg is actually lengthened by that amount each and every day until we get back to the desired length. At that point, the turning stops and the bone is allowed a period of consolidation and the result is new bone that is supposedly stronger than before. During at least the latter portions of the several months that the Ilisarov is in place, I'll be doing PT and learning to walk again, as the Ilisarov acts as an exoskeletal device carrying the structural forces. I am told that the lengthening phase is very painful, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

After I've got two good legs under me, then the surgeons will turn to my right shoulder and see what more can be done. I have a lot of deficits there and may or may not have suffered some nerve loss.

The left femur fracture was a simple fracture and was reduced during my initial surgeries, and a titanium plate and a series of screws are still in place. Likely the plate and pins will be removed eventually, as they cause me a good bit of discomfort.

Currently, I am still in a wheelchair but I manage to get to the local indoor range once or twice a week. I've had to teach myself how to shoot long guns right-handed, as I can't raise my right arm/hand enough to support the weapon; however, it has gone smoother than I imagined. My handgun skills were very rusty--even with the left hand, but the trigger time has been a huge boost. Both to the skillset and to my mental outlook. It is very difficult to keep rolling when you spend months and months in a holding pattern, but what choice have I? You take what comes and do the best you can. And then do better the next day . . .

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Old 06-10-2013, 06:07 PM   #198
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The femur lengthening procedure does not sound like fun, but you've persevered over some horrendous stuff already.

Keeping my fingers crossed for a clean culture. Good luck w/ the next stage.
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:35 PM   #199
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Sounds as if you have yet more intense surgeries, recovery and rehab yet to endure. I wish you luck and perseverence!

I'll be heading to the range to try to brush up on my now-rusty skills with rifle and handgun soon. I am hoping that my knee scooter and/or my hands free crutch will provide a suitable platform.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:27 PM   #200
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Sounds like your well on your way to kickin it. Mindset is everything, stay positive. And if you need anything i'm sure the collective power of the forum can make it happen for you.
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:20 PM   #201
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Best wishes Diesel! Remember, even in a wheelchair, it isn't how well you's how good you look (or your attitude). It is what it is and you've got it handled. Keep up the positive attitude.
Don't forget to ask the surgeon, in the O.R. to sign off on your timecard. When he looks confused, tell him you're just getting acknowledgement of your hours of credit to a surgical residency for med school later. Mine got a kick out of it....don't know what they did to me in response while I was out though.
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:54 PM   #202
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Best of luck, Diesel. You're in my thoughts -
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:24 AM   #203
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Wow, that is a lot of body renovations going on there.

Amazing how you are taking it in your stride and just getting on with it with an eye on the prize.

Best wishes fellow rider.

Originally Posted by C-Stain View Post
Best of luck, Diesel. You're in my thoughts -
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:04 AM   #204
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I stumbled across this thread and read through it this morning. Keep on keepin' on, man! You are in my thoughts.

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Old 06-20-2013, 05:47 PM   #205
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I generally don't read the threads here but every so often delve into one.

This thread is an testament to endurance that is for sure, a bit of wade through the posts of a few wankers, but in the end it even brought a tear to my eye. Diesel I hope things continue to improve for you and wish you all the best.

Being over the bonnet of a car before it is certainly a terrifying time when that car pulls out in front of you.



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Old 06-22-2013, 09:41 AM   #206
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Holy Shit. Admittedly I haven’t read this entire thread, but what I have read is pretty hellish. My heart goes out to you and your family. I somewhat understand what this is like.

On Feb 10 of this year I went head on with a drunk driver. We were both going about 50 mph. She was totally out of control and entered my lane. I was launched, according the police report, about 100 feet up the road. I was busted up pretty bad, but nothing compared to your story. Like you I owe my life to first responders and kind by-standers. I too was taken by helicopter.

I sustained a compound fracture to my right tibia, a shattered right fibula, broken sacrum, bilaterally shattered pelvis, broken right radius (my human anatomy has improved), punctured scrotum, and ended up with compromised vision. My left eye doesn’t work so well any longer. The Ophthalmologist has determined my vision damage is likely rooted in my brain rather than the eye. I was also bleeding internally, so the fact that I was in the ER approximately 30 minutes after the initial impact was very fortunate.

I have new found respect for health care workers, nurses in particular. I owe my life to many very amazing people.

I’m approaching 5 months since my accident and I’m walking and working part time, however I'm still undergoing physical therapy. When I look at the photo’s from the crash site taken by the CHP, I don’t understand how survived, let alone, made it through with no severe brain or spinal injuries. This fact really perplexes me.

My experience has proven to be extremely challenging mentally. I don’t understand how I made through. I write this not as a pissing contest, but to vent to someone who understands. I feel compelled to tell everyone I see about my accident, and when those I do tell respond trying to comfort me, I get angry. I want to yell – No you don’t “understand” or no you don’t “get it”. You have no idea. Anyways I’m ranting.

I was in shock when I read your first post, it really took me back to my accident. Again, my heart goes out to you. You have been dealing for almost 2 years with what sounds like more to go.

Stay strong.

EDIT: I should add, I was geared up. I also owe my life to my helmet and modern gear.
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:00 PM   #207
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NightGoat, it sounds like you and I are both living on "borrowed time", to an extent. And as you point out, BIG thanks are owed for the superb efforts of a lot of people using a lot of technology. I would urge you to collect your thoughts (as you seem to have done so well above), and start a new thread. Tell your story and see where the lessons apply. For me, this thread has been very cathartic and there's been at least a dozen times I've gone back and read the whole thread from start to finish--including remembering most of the posts that the mods/admins had to cut out. If you're like me, this thing plays over and over again in your mind and a faceplant thread can be of assistance in chronicling your path of progress and mindset.

Stay strong and keep getting stronger, amigo.

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Old 06-25-2013, 01:20 PM   #208
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Found out yesterday that what my surgeons meant by "as soon as possible" turns out to be no sooner than 25 July. This is most likely because my surgeries are classified as elective, rather than emergency. Pretty much everything else comes first and they've got to fit mine in when they can get a slot. I assure you, these procedures are not "elective", but I understand their point. It's just hard to wait, and wait, and wait some more.

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Old 06-26-2013, 05:09 PM   #209
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My surgeries went on every 3 months for 4 surgeries. At least I can walk again on that leg. 2011 was a hell of a year for me. Heal fast.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:05 PM   #210
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Originally Posted by sandsman View Post
My surgeries went on every 3 months for 4 surgeries. At least I can walk again on that leg. 2011 was a hell of a year for me. Heal fast.
Hell of a year. I've had 13 surgeries so far, and there will probably be at least seven more.

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