Saturday, April 20, 2013

A List I Never Made (one year later)

It occurred to me that in at least one place out here I should have a list of the (physical) damage from the accident, in case I ever need it:

  • Collapsed left lung
  • Hole in my left side used to aerate the left lung, left a nice (itchy) scar.
  • Chipped tooth, left side.  Actually missing a chunk that Shirene patched.  She was pleased the patch seemed to take.
  • Hole in my knee - from Regions, they put a post through my left leg just above the knee to keep it straight so the hip would heal.  Was supposed to take five minutes, then they kicked my wife out of the room and it took an hour.  There's a scar on both sides were the post was.
  • Pain in my left knee - gotten better over time, but the knee actually has more of an ache than the hip ever does.  Feels I bit like I'd expect arthritis to feel.  Changing weather (see my last snow post) makes it worse.  Additionally, sometimes it itches like crazy (see the next bullet).
  • Nerve damage in my left leg originating from a post hole - see the last bullet about kicking my wife out of the room.  The nerve pain extends all the way up the leg and crosses to the other side as well as slightly down.  It absolutely starts at the post hole and sometimes I can feel it cross from the inner side of the leg through the leg to the post hole scar on the outside, and then start to radiate up and down on the inside from the scar.  Originally, in the hospital, they told me the pain I was feeling in some private spots was jock itch (there's a post related to that in the history - it was a problem), but that went away and left behind the nerve pain which was what I'd actually been complaining about, it just happened to live under the other issue.  Gotten a bit better over the course of a year, but retraining that nerve is slow and if I exercise a lot, the nerve is the first thing to complain.
  • 14 stitches, left side of my head, near the scar from my birthmark. Bit of scar tissue there, left side of the eye, but I worked it extensively while I was laying in bed recovering, so it's not as bad as it looked in the hospital pictures.
  • Brain swelling - no longer an issue (I hope), but it was there and there was concern. My mother, sister, and wife were constantly watching for changes due to brain damage.  Except for one toilet seat incident, I seem fine in that regard.
  • PTSD - my wife claims it's an issue.  I know what behaviors changed as a result of the accident, so I don't concur.  I know I slow down more for intersections than a normal person would.  I have to be able to see all the traffic coming.  I was paranoid about traffic before because of how often I ride a bicycle, but the accident took it up a notch.  Also ramped my paranoia about watching other people carefully so I'm not in an injury zone up a notch.  If you're in my space, I have a pretty close eye on your physical movements at all times.
  • The hip - I broke both my acetabulum and sacrum.  The acetabulum was patched with two plates to hold it all together.  The sacrum was left to heal.  The hip does well most days, but if I push the exercise I can feel it start to ache a bit.  Hence the training prior to RAGBRAI so I don't end up weeping in a corn field unable to pedal another stroke.
  • I almost forgot - there's a 14" scar on my left hip, rolls up toward my back across me bum.  I find it amusing in retrospect, because it looks very much like the outie version of the dent that was in the side of the Mustang.  I mirrored the damage to my car very well in a lot of respects.  Fun with metaphors!
  • Broken clavicle.  Healed very fast - the doctor said in part because of the head damage.  There's a link there that they don't understand.  When I feel off my bicycle on the ice about two weeks ago and hurt my wrist, it took me a while to notice that the ache extended up my arm and into my shoulder.  Same place where it was broken before.  Probably not a coincidence.
  • Me bum: Regions fed me all sorts of drugs to loosen my bowels while I was there to offset all the pain killers they were feeding me (e.g. narcotics).  Problem was, the nurses weren't actually checking the charts and wouldn't listen to me, so they didn't realize I was taking almost no pain killers whatsoever. The resulting side effects probably gave me the anal fissure I had to have surgery for only months later.   Surgery in that case was minimal, but it took six months to heal up.
  • Large foreign objects in my lungs - these are the two small hamburger type chunks Regions Hospital lost despite being asked to retain them after checking what they were.  I always said their process ability sucks - their recent dumping of the remains of two babies in the laundry (one of which they can't find yet) sort of proves out that point.
  • Glass in my mouth when I woke up - not damage, but if there were foreign "things" in my lungs, it's good to note they didn't get all the glass out in case they ever find a piece of safety glass in my lungs and don't know what it is.  "What's this?"  "Piece of a car..."
  • Pneumonia (or some such lung infection - my local doc took care of it).
I think that's most of it that I can remember if you leave out night sweats, etc., which are really just side effects of other issues and went away.  Some scratches and nicks here and there otherwise, but overall, I'm in pretty good shape given that laundry list.

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