Thursday, October 4, 2018

Small Town Living

Yesterday saw me in another van traveling to the doctors office for a critical set of x rays to determine how much healing has taken place and whether or not I can stand at all on my legs.  It was a day of self centered anxiety seeing me unable to concentrate and nervously chasing Facebook and Adventure Rider my preferred motorcycle forum (!). Thank God for the mindless nonsense of short entries on Facebook in my current state of isolation! I decided to write a thank you note to the life savers at Trauma Star. I got 200 likes in 12 hours which blew me away and makes me glad our air ambulance is  so popular. 

The other thing that blew me away was how many people had participated in some way.  Two people were at Square Grouper and saw the wreck and checked in. One woman about whom I remembered nothing actually did hold my hand and talk to me. 

Nikki also told me she was surprised when I started laughing saying I figured I’d really have to call out sick that night.  I don’t think you’re expected to crack a funny in extremis. I have no memory. Weird. But in the big picture this is less about me and more about the community in which I live. Can you immagine so much outpouring of decency for a complete stranger?  I really do feel blessed to live in the Keys.  This incident has brought that home most vividly.

By two o’clock I was on my way to Doctor Quinnans office.  They took x rays only after the office strong man picked me up under my armpits and raised me vertically out of my chair and plonked me on the x ray table. Utterly astonishing when it is done as easily as you or I putting grocery bags on the counter. Dr Quinnan studied the before and after pictures.

I know nothing about surgery except I do know that man is a bloody genius. He said my wounds were bad. I was split open like a chicken and where my pelvis was supposed to join there was a two inch gap as my legs cartwheeling pulled the two sides apart. Check out the ironmongery inside me knitting me together: 

That pin at the top limits the amount of weight I can bear on my wholly uninjured left leg - irony!  My injured right is supported by numerous pins and screws and plates and can thus support weight as tolerated by me. Excellent! We have reason now for the insurance company to let me stay to continue and expand my excellent physical therapy. That discussion happens today so expect tomorrow to hear about that in excruciatingly boring detail. I apologize for all this stuff about me but unfortunately this is my life at the moment. 

I am looking forward to the next phase hopefully still in this first rate rehab in Cutler Bay. I hope you will stick along for the ride even though this isn’t Key West content. I shall be happy to get back to that whenever I can believe me. I am more grateful than you know for your words of support and general kindness. 
In regards to my wife Layne she is a private person and prefers not to be grist for my mill here but she knows I love and appreciate her kindness to me in this time. It may be worth noting over the 24 years of marriage arthritis has put her in the hospital numerous times so at the moment our rôles are reversed. Plus yesterday the passenger window in the the car stopped cooperating. The Ford dealer couldn’t help but they inspected the window and gave Layne the part numbers required to get it to go up and down again. She passed them on to Oily’s on Stock Island and the window motor should be fixed by Friday. How about that? No husband necessary!

Onward and upward! 


Doug Bennett said...

I had forgot that I forgot until you mentioned it. Fifty-two years ago I had an 'accident' while in the service and don't remember it. The Doctor later told we it was a body defense to protect itself from something it didn't want to remember. I still can't remember it. Very glad you are healing. Isn't the body's ability to repair itself kind of remarkable.

David Masse said...

Pardon the dark humour, but that’s definitely a step in the right direction. All that metal will get knitted into your bones like one of those tree trunks that absorb obstacles in their path. It’s literally true in this case that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

We just returned from Greece and the jet lag is playing havoc with my sleep patterns. Catching up with your blog provided an outlet for misplaced wakefulness.

My very best wishes for continued success in rehab.

Lisa Wolters said...

Excellent news! Carry on with your healing and great care!

Conchscooter said...

Dear Doug: I will walk up to your house before New Year’s Eve. Dear David: glad my agony helps you pass the time. Actually I’m not in agony, it’s been an interesting experience . dear Lisa I will keep on keeping on.

gina in alabama said...

Excellent news! You are on your way! You are still in our thoughts and prayers as you progress on your journey. Alabama is pretty in spring, maybe a visit to Barber to see the new season's exhibits would be therapeutic.

MyamuhNative said...

Onward to recovery!!
Can't tell you how many times I checked in here yesterday in case there was an update. Sent many Fuzzies and some Furries from our menagerie too.
Happy to hear things went well.

Don't worry about not writing about Key West.
All your writings , no matter what their content,are worth a read.
I wish I had had someone like you writing about the trials I was going to go thru years ago. It would have made things easier.
Your experiences will surely help many folks.

Anonymous said...

holy cats, dude! you're going to set off all the airport metal detectors from now on. :-) Still thinking good thoughts your way about the insurance/rehab/etc.

CeliaB said...

We're really happy that you can continue to focus on your rehab with the excellent staff there and not have to waste time and energy on the insurance companies. Besides you get to have chocolate espressos there. :-)

Cindy said...

Excellent! And that X-ray would make a good Halloween decoration.

Unknown said...

I have been trying to figure out how to send you my horrors at your accident and happiness that you are on your way (slowly, I know) to recovery. We connected in FB a year or so ago, but I no longer have a FB page (ate too much time out of my life!). I fractured my arm and injured my shoulder almost 2 years ago. I called physical therapy my torture session, but the therapists were really wonderful. Docs told me that I probably would never do the backstroke again, but I worked hard at PT and fooled them all. I hope you heal as well as I did (yours is much, much worse) and are walking with your fur baby soon. I send good thoughts for your recovery every time I read your blog. Best wishes and keep on with your happiness growth!

Conchscooter said...

Thank you for your comments. I am utterly spent today as it’s the first time I have used my legs to stand on in weeks.
That and all yesterday’s travels. I could sleep the day away. Best wishes.

David Masse said...

Michael I can’t believe the progress you are making, it really is very impressive.

I haven’t been riding much of late but I am keeoing my eyes doubly peeled, covering the horn and the brakes. I realize that but for the grace of God, anyone of us could find themselves face to face with the same hazard that sent you flying.

It’s a sobering thought indeed.

Keep up the hard work.

Anonymous said...

I’m so happy to hear that you are getting such excellent care. Certainly looks challenging. Think of you often through the day. Keep doing what you’re doing. Best thoughts, Michigan.

Sewing OCD said...

I started reading your blog due to my love of the keys and my persistent fantasy of moving there. I've been following everyday since reading about your accident. It's a sobering reminder of the fragility of health. The things we often take for granted, like walking a dog, suddenly become great goals to be achieved. I work in healthcare (and used to work for a rehab) and you're the type of patient that we hope for. Providing care is challenging, and we often encounter patients with low motivation. You're the patient that makes us love our work. Stay motivated and know someone in Ohio is rooting for you!

Doug Bennett said...

As someone has already mentioned, the metal detectors are going to go wild. I went to get a new Social Security card yesterday and it went off and they had to wand both knees and my ankle. In The Dominican Republic they wanted to take me to another room to strip search me. I told them to strip search me in the middle of the room with everybody watching and they let me go.

Conchscooter said...

Hey! I have an application for handicapped parking with my wife who will take it to the DMV so when I get out of here I can help screw up downtown parking in Key West. Pretty cool huh? I’m hoping I’ll be on a walker by then. TSA will have to wait. But I have been naked in front of so many strangers here I’m used to it. This morning my nurse and I were having a conversation as she stuck my daily needle in my stomach. Hospital reality is different.

Doug Bennett said...

Florida has a law that a 50% Disabled Veteran can get a Handicapped tag. I get so pissed when the scooters park in the space between handicapped parking spots.

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