Monday, April 30, 2007

Sickly or infirm

Okay, so is it completely obvious that I am a house-bound invalid? There was a time, not so long ago, that I couldn't bring myself to write in my blog more than once per week. Now, I see that I blog every single day (and then some!). Hope I'm not boring anyone out there too much with my sickly person ramblings.

Today is my wedding anniversary. It's been 19 years that Len and I have been legally attached to each other. Gasp all you want, we really are that old. I think I speak for us both when I say that we are very happy together and look forward to many more years of marital bliss. But, I've been a little sad today, because my fancy watch (10th anniversary gift from Len) and my wedding ring (15th anniversary) were damaged pretty badly in the accident. The watch still works -- we'll get a new band and have the watch part serviced -- but the ring is destroyed. The main diamond fell out in the accident (Len went back to the scene to look for it, but was unable to find it). Then, in the hospitql, when my hand was so swollen, the rest of the ring had to be cut off my finger. We still have the carcass, so maybe we can have it melted down to a new ring or something. I try not to think I'm that into the symbol of the thing, but the fact is I am. I loved my ring and what it represented, and I am truly sorry I no longer have it.

Today also marks five weeks since my accident. A few more weeks from now and I'll be in physical therapy, re-learning to walk. Every Monday is one week closer to normal.

Len is here at home, taking a final exam today. He downloaded the exam at 9 a.m. and will upload his answers by 5p.m. Ain't technology grand? I'm just sitting quietly on the living room sofa, blogging, knitting, and reading, while he is fulfilling his academic obligations. Cool.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Foot Cream Anyone?

Since my stay in the hospital, my feet have become absolutely grotesque. Not sure why the bottoms of my feet are all dried up, but if anyone has a suggestion for an intense foot moisturizing cream, I'd be open to it.

Comfort Zone

My ass hurts.

I don't mean to be so vulgar, but the fact is, my ass hurts.

I remember talking to my doctor the morning after the third surgery on my left pelvis, telling him how sore a particular spot was, when he pointed to his own rear end and asked if that's where it hurt. Yes, I said. He said simply,"Yes, well, we spent an awful lot of time there."

It still hurts there. Luckily, though, it seems most of my other pains are gone. My right knee is feeling pretty solid, and the incisions themselves aren't painful. My left foot is still numbish and tingly (or sparkly, as I described the sensation to Dr. Furie), but otherwise the real pain is isolated to my left hip. It's a deep, constant ache, and considering they spent several hours in there over the course of three surgeries, it seems only right that it still hurts.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Love in My Tummy

The first insurance statement came today regarding Dr.Furie's bills. Dr. Furie is my orthopedic surgeon and performed four surgeries on my legs. It's a hard statement to understand because it says things like "ineligible amount" and "approved amount" but since it also says "Member responsibility $0.00" after each of the four surgeries, I'm feeling reasonably confident that so far we don't owe anything. Whew! I believe the only bills we have left is from the hospital itself and my trauma doc, and for any follow-up care and those should covered, too. We'll have a deductible, for sure, but otherwise I think we are set. After years of hearing terrible stories about insurances not paying for things, I'm grateful that it seems I won't have similar troubles (knock on wood).

I was thinking recently about that old helmet I bought on eBay but never used because it was improperly advertised as DOT approved. Thank goodness I wasn't wearing that flimsy thing the day of my crash. I doubt anybody'd be reading my blog if I had been. It was cute, but not something that could protect my head in case of a real impact. I have a friend at work who rides a Harley with a non-approved helmet. I'm going to have a talk with him.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Shakes and fries

When I was in the hospital, I made a point to tell every new nurse and patient care person I met how important their job was and how much I appreciated their efforts. It takes a really special person to be a caregiver like that and I feel each and every one of those people contributed to my recovery in some important way. They checked my condition, medicated me, bathed me, counseled me when I was down, and seemed genuinely happy for me when I was released. Nursing is so much more than a job. It's a part of who those people are. Thanks again, 5th floor nursing staff at Atlanta Medical Center.

On my last day, I asked Lou, one of my Patient Care Associates (PCA) how long people generally stay. She replied they had just released someone that week who had been there three months. He was sent to a nursing home, where he'll live out his life. He was hit by a car while on his bicycle and the car's driver was never caught. He was in his 30s. Lou then told me a crazy story about her friend whose foot was broken when a car swerved around her at a stop sign. The car's tires ran over her foot. Think how close that car had to be to her!

I asked another nurse if she had ever been hospitalized and she had in 2000 after a serious car accident resulted in serious internal injuries. She spent six months at Atlanta Medical Center and was so inspired by the experience, went on to nursing school and now works for the same hospital where she spent all those months recovering.

Eddie was one of my night nurses. He came in one night to find me sitting at the edge of my bed, trying to get to a chair in the room. Instead of hollering at me for such stupid behavior, he actually helped me to the chair. Then he and that night's PCA changed my bed sheets and rearranged some things to make me more comfortable. He was one of my favorite nurses.

Patients can be pretty unruly I imagine. All those drugs I was on really made me wacky, that's sure.

Non Sequitur
I haven't had coffee since March 26 and I don't yet miss it. I've had some caffeinated beverages, like a Coke-cola or the like, but not many. And since Len makes my food, it is generally dressed more in the way he prefers, like no sugar or Splenda in cereal, etc., so I haven't even had sugar or substitutes for weeks. I'm not drinking enough water -- trying to cut back on bathroom breaks, frankly, but as soon as I can do the bathroom on my own I'll cause a drought.

I try not to think about Scully because I'll miss her too much. I know she is having a nice extended visit with her cousins and that she is very well cared for, so that is enough for now. But I really do miss that crazy dog. Devon reminds me every day why she isn't here, though. He never fails to jump on a particularly sensitive spot and cause me great pain. At 13 lbs, that's something I can handle. But now that Scully is tipping the scales at 66.5 lbs, she'd send me back to the hospital if she did that to me!

Thanks, Suzy and Clark, for taking her in. It means so much that you've done that for us.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Step by Step, Inch by Inch

I can't seem to regulate my body temperature, I'm always roasting. Or cold. Or hot in one spot, cold in another. I guess this must be what menopause is like. Thank you, but no. Hot hands and cold arms are not fun!

I've been out of the hospital a full week as of today, and I'm feeling better each day. My wrists are really getting tired and achy since I use my arms so much to maneuver around, though. My scabs are disappearing (I don't even want to think about where they may have gone) and nearly all the bruising is gone. My next big milestone, I think, is getting the staples removed from my hip and getting to have a real shower. Using washcloths has worked fairly well, but it's just not the same. I dream about clean water running freely over my face!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Here in the South, a good deal of stock is put in the Lord and how He works, so a lot of folks have been telling me that He has bigger plans for me and that I should be looking at the positives that have and will come out of this accident. I'm not a religious person, but I do agree that it's really important to look at the positives in everything. Dwelling on the negatives only gets me down and I could use some happy thoughts. So here goes...
Hopefully, I'll become more patient. I do have a tendency to think, "When this or that happens, life will be so much better." So, living in the moment will be good for me.
I've learned that Len is a wonderful caregiver. He needs some lessons on proper foot rubs, but otherwise he's outstanding and I couldn't ask for a better nurse.
After having strangers poking at me for the last several weeks, I've become much less body modest. Doubt I'll ever be an exotic dancer, but maybe I'll enjoy going to the beach more. I've got hundreds of staple scars on my legs. people will notice those before my cellulite.
Folks I haven't talked to in ages have been calling to wish me well in my recovery. How nice is that!?!? I've missed my old friends and this has helped re-connect us!
I'll be much more observant of my surroundings. I won't miss those turns and I'll live more carefully. I don't want to lose my fearlessness, so I'll just say I'll be more careful.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Daytime TV Sucks

I've really been slow to readjust to life at home since returning from the hospital. I've been in a lot of pain and have been having anxiety over the accident and what it's done to me. Feeling pretty sorry for myself. Not cool, I know, but there it is.

Today is the first day I've felt so-called normal in a while. I've still got pain, and my left foot is swelling so much I still can't use the wheel chair, so I'm stuck on the sofa with my feet propped up on pillows. But, my spirits are high and I'm finally seeing that this is a temporary problem that I simply need to overcome. My old, happy self is beginning to reemerge.

Len showed me what was left of my old scooter key this morning and I freaked out a little bit. I really need to wait to view the artifacts of the accident until after I'm walking, I think. I'm still too close to it, I guess. I really didn't expect the emotional stuff I've been feeling: Nightmares, anxiety, fear, over-dependence on Len. Oh, and I can't bear to watch hospital dramas on TV. Actually, any kind of violence on TV throws me into a fearful frame of mind. I'm surprised about this, but I'll get over it eventually. In the meantime, I just need to heal.

My calve muscles are completely atrophied so I need to continue losing weight or I'll break my legs all over again when I try to walk again! I have no idea how much weight I've lost since I can't stand on a scale, but the pictures Len took throughout this ordeal show a clearly dwindling Megan. Like my friend, Kitty, said to me in the hospital: At least I'll get something good out of this accident!

Some people have asked that I explain what happened and where I stand today, so here goes:

On March 26, a little after 5p.m., I was on my scooter on my way to Target to pick up a package of my favorite underwear (sorry if that's too much information) before going to my second job at the best yarn store in the South, Knitch, when I missed my turn onto Rocky Ford Road and in an instant made a terrible mistake and ran head-on into an SUV. Scooter vs. SUV: SUV won. Both Len and I think the SUV driver and I tried to avoid the collision and the SUV clipped my left hip, likely breaking my pelvis, and knocking me off the bike. The SUV and driver were unhurt, thankfully. A doctor and a nurse stopped to help and the nurse found my cell and called "home" from the accident scene and I actually spoke to Len from the wreckage (of course I don't remember it). Len caught up with me at the emergency room at Atlanta Medical Center where I was still attached to the sandwich boards and neck brace yelling that I was hit by an SUV, why wasn't anyone helping me. Thankfully, they administered painkillers early and I have no recollection of this verbal rampage.

I spent 3 1/2 weeks in the hospital: Underwent one knee surgery to repair my right tibia just under my knee; three surgeries on my left pelvis to rebuild what was left; and a small surgery to prevent strokes and other unfortunate things during my stay in the hospital. My left foot has what is called "foot drop," which means I can't lift my toes or ankle, and I wear an extraordinarily heavy boot on that foot to prevent permanent damage to my heal cord. When I am walking again, the doctors believe I'll regain control over that foot. I do exercises all the time to help re-teach my toes to lift, but have had no luck so far. If, when I go to stand in 4-6 weeks and I still feel pain in my left hip, they'll do a full-on hip replacement. Cross your fingers, toes, eyelids, whatever that I don't need more surgery!

I'm still not comfortable with the gory details of the accident and not just ready to publish the series of pictures. They are pretty hard to view, so when I do get to publishing those images, I'll make a big note at the top of the page.

I'm tired now, so I'll come back to this in a day or two. I do actually have a few really funny stories I'd like to share, it wasn't all bad.

Friday, April 20, 2007

I'm Home!

I returned home last night and it's great to be here. I still in a fair amount of pain and not really up to writing in the blog, but will do the best I can.

Thank you to everyone who visited and sent flowers and other forms of well-wishing. I can't tell you how important you all are to me. It meant so much to hear from you all.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Buh Bye

It looks like Megan may be coming home tomorrow. How can I tell? She only has two toilets in her room. It's been fun blogging for her, but like a responsible adult she'll take away the keys, and luckily before I drove the Porsche into the pool.

I ordered a fancy portable wheelchair ramp that still has not arrived, so I had to build a temporary wheelchair ramp today. Hey Fred, I hate Lowes too, but where else do you buy wood? I have no time for dumbassory.

Devon's been crying himself to sleep every night without Megan. He'll be happy when she returns. Megan will not be happy, I think he put on a pound while she was away. She is so proud of his key.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Megan is getting better every day. She's off the pain pump now. Yesterday her family from Tallahassee visited, and today her brothers John and Frank wheeled her outside in a wheelcahir. That was her first time outside in three weeks, so she enjoyed it, and luckily it was nice weather here in the morning. I saw her doctor today. He is understandably hesitant to predict when Megan's confinement will end, but he seemed to think it will be soon.

This week I had some weird parking deck encounters. Tuesday night I helped a woman who looked like she fell down the stairs get to her car. She had a big tear in her pant leg and hurt her ankle. I suggested to her companions that they take her back to the ER, rather than come back tomorrow, but they left anyway. And today as I was leaving, a guy who looked kind of stoned asked me if the the hospital would look at someone who didn't have any ID. I told him give it a try, they probably won't turn away anyone without at least a quick look to determine how seriously you are hurt. The woman in the back seat looked like she was in pain, I hope she's OK.

Has anyone ever seen the evening parking deck woman not talking on the phone?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Dewey Beats Truman!

And my previous headline wasn't very good either. Megan had a long surgery today, she didn't get wheeled back to her room until almost midnight. She had a stray bone fragment and a screw in the wrong place, and then she got some more metal. Her surgeon thinks this is the last one though.

Megan about burst into tears when she realized what time it was. She said "F*@%, I missed Lost again." If you happen to have the last three episodes of Lost on DVD I think she would appreciate you loaning them to her.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Surgery Complete

Megan was wheeled back into her room last night about 7pm. Surgery went well, the Frankenstein traction pin is out of her leg. She was pretty doped up last night. Her doctor said the hip rebuilding went well, she has some more metal in there now.

It was a really busy day there, lots of crashes, so Megan was lower on the OR list. There was some really bad crash last night, three helicopters came in in less than an hour while I was waiting.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Bunny Gone Wild

Megan waited all day yesterday for her turn in the operating room. There was a lot of trauma in front of her, helicopters landing all day. Holidays can be crazy, whether it is the Easter Bunny on a shooting spree or a family feud over the last slice of ham.

In the recovery room Megan was parked near a guy who was fresh out of another operating room. He was getting cranky about having to pee. One of the nurses was calming him down, another nurse said "he was like that the last time he was shot."

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Pin Up

Megan's leg is back in place. She has several breaks in her pelvis, and several pieces. The two main pins that hold it together are OK, but the plate that held the smaller pieces together came undone, then her leg slipped out of its joint. Today she had the leg put back in place and stabilized with traction including a big bar through her leg again. Tomorrow afternoon it is back to OR to put in another plate to help the one already there. She'll probably be in the hospital all week.

Second Time Around

Megan's hip came out of place. She went to the ICU tonight to have it popped back in. That did not work, so Sunday morning she is going to OR to try again, where she has better anesthesia so a better chance of success. There is some chance it will not work and she will have surgery tomorrow. Either way, she will have the pin through her leg again for traction, then another hip surgery for more hardware later this week. It looks like another week in the hospital.

Suzy and Clark are here this weekend to take Scully away. Megan does not need that crazy dog jumping up on her until she recovers. I hope that Scully doesn't teach Chloe and Bonnie any bad tricks while she's there.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Coming Home?

Megan thinks she has met all the requirements for her release. She has not seen her doctor yet, but she may be coming home tomorrow.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Wheels Of Fire

I saw Megan in a wheelchair today for the first time. She's looking good and hurting less. She has a set of objectives she must perform before they will release her, but I don't know what they are. She ought to be back to knitting in no time.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Don't Trust a Woman On Drugs

At least that's what Megan said tonight. She's out of surgery and looking good. She was hurting a lot, but maybe it wasn't so bad ( well, easy for me to say, huh?). She said the pain was 4 (out of 10), and in the emergency room last week it was 8, so that is surely better. With surgery out of the way, it is all recovery. Before surgery she was able to get in a wheelchair. It may be a few days until she's in a wheelchair again, but she'll be back. She claims she's a certified wheelchair instructor.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Out Of Bed

Megan just called to tell me that she got out of bed last night (with assistance of course) and sat in a chair. She sounds pretty good. She said she might have surgery today, but I'm not counting on it.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Next Surgery

Is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. Megan is looking less swollen today, but still bruised.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Fear and Loathing In Atlanta

Megan had a change in medication today, going from the pump to a solid oral dosage. It takes about a half an hour for the drugs to kick in, then she's channeling Hunter S. Thompson. There are bugs on the wall, whippet-sized alligators in her bed, and I'm wearing a penguin suit. The doctor is in.