Six Months Later . . .

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by diesel1959, May 2, 2012.

  1. walstibsf

    walstibsf ADVENTURE-HOLIC

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    Diesel: long time listener, first time caller here. Not that you haven't been in our prayers. You have.

    I've always taught my kids that it takes the strongest of commitments to put on the blue everyday and live in the public service and public eye. To do it from a motorcycle takes even more brass.

    On the day you put it in the ditch, I can't begin to imagine the split second decisions you were forced to make. As a former Naval aviator, I would clearly and confidently say that you got 'er over the ocean before you ejected. That you took one for the team.

    My family wishes you all the best and Godspeed in your recovery.

    Thank you, Sir, for your service. We salute you!
  2. Ackme

    Ackme Tree Hugger

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    +1 :thumb Stay strong Diesel.
  3. diesel1959

    diesel1959 Been here awhile

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    Well, as of yesterday, all my leg wounds are officially closed. Healed. :D That was a most pleasant bit of news just prior to the new year.

    I'm still receiving treatments three times a week for the lymphedema but the swelling is mostly gone now. Here's hoping we can keep it that way and move back into the hands of the orthopedic surgeon.
  4. nickgindy

    nickgindy Doing it Wrong

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    Good news
  5. Kamala

    Kamala Long timer

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    Rock on Diesel! Long time reader but 1st response! Glad to read your last post! :clap
  6. AceRph

    AceRph Affluenza Free! Administrator

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    That's the way to end 2012 & start 2013! :thumb
  7. Bighead

    Bighead Adventurer

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    Good to hear Diesel. Started following your progress on 'Mud and have been bouncing back and forth between there and here.
  8. Gimpinator

    Gimpinator This is my Mom's cat

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    Congratulations on your accomplishment Diesel! Now I imagine the progress will become more meaningful to you.

    Best of luck in the new year. I should be done healing from my femur fracture in the next month or so.
  9. Queenie

    Queenie Adventurer

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    Great news Diesel! May the new year bring more healing and recovery!
  10. walstibsf

    walstibsf ADVENTURE-HOLIC

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    +1 Thanks for the update, Diesel. Keep up the good work!
  11. CHAPIN

    CHAPIN Been here awhile

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    You Sir know what you are talking about.

    My latest accident was just like the one you described, my fault and no other vehicles involved and in a curve I had ridden hundreds of times faster than the time I hit the pavement.

    You need to drive safe, plan and keep 100% concentration on the task, yet shit still happens.
  12. CHAPIN

    CHAPIN Been here awhile

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    Glad you are recovering well. Patience my friend.
  13. RAD3766

    RAD3766 0ld n00b

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    Diesel,
    How are you progressing in your recovery?
    Well I hope, as we all do. :ear
  14. sandsman

    sandsman I ride more than some and less than others.

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    Hey Diesel1959, just came across your thread today. I hope the healing process is coming along well. No matter how visible we try to make ourselves, it's the driver of the other vehicle that either sees us or doesn't see us (bikers). I got hurt on the job, tib/fib fracture, bad doctor, non union fracture. Had a really great dr that rebuilt the other drs mess. I never returned to work, the whole process took about 2 years. I am just a couple of weeks shy of my injury being 3 years old now. Funny, you never forget the day of the accident, it's just like a birthday of sorts. Mine is 6/6/2010, the day my life changed. We can always rethink our shoulda, coulda, woulda's, but we deal with reality of how to make the best of what we have left. Me, I added an extra wheel out on the side of the bike. Life is pretty good now days, I hope you get to that point. Going riding now.
  15. Mr_Snips

    Mr_Snips Husky BRAAAAAAAAP!

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    I read some of this. A lot of your injuries sound similar to what we have had in Afghanistan. Medicine has come a long way. If you don't mind me asking how did they go about repairing your femurs? The complex fracture of at least one makes me think plates and screws but all docs are a bit different.

    Also out of curiosity(idk if this was asked) I know you were wearing a 3/4 helmet. Is that mandated by your unit or is it something where you are aloud to pick your own gear with a specific criteria. Also what do you think caused the specific retention system of your helmet to fail other than blunt force?
  16. Dahveed

    Dahveed Sumo Biker!

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    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.
  17. diesel1959

    diesel1959 Been here awhile

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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 . . .
  18. AceRph

    AceRph Affluenza Free! Administrator

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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.
  19. Rex Nemo

    Rex Nemo horizon calling

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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.
  20. Mr_Snips

    Mr_Snips Husky BRAAAAAAAAP!

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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.