Good news this past Friday was that the doc said I could begin putting weight on the injured hip, up to about 10kg. Should have started playing with that down in rehab today, but...
Bad news is that I've developed pneumonia (hospital acquired pneumonia)!
Had some decent fever the previous weekend (38+), which was put down to possible flu or other bug, but then it persisted thru the week, usually low/mid 37 range. Annoying but not too bad. Then Friday about dinner it shot back up, and thank god for those butt pills! (If, in a hospital, you are ever offered a suppository for fever or pain, say 'yes', they work.)
This morning's tests confirmed it: screamingly high CRP, high WBC, and obvious white/obstruction on an x-ray.
I think they've caught this early, so no worries. I can eat, talk to anyone, have visitors, etc. No masks required or suggested. An IV tap is back in, and I'll get a bag of this twice a day for a week.
There are a couple other things I could ramble about a little.
Early on, maybe for the first two weeks, it seemed pretty easy to enter a kind of dream state. (And no narcotics for pain, so it wasn't that.) It really seemed that all I had to was close my eyes and my mind would be off and running. I would not be sleeping, but a lot of the stuff my mind bounced thru/across/around seemed very dreamlike. I was staring at ceilings a lot then, and also playing with floaters in my eyes--there might have been some sensory deprivation.
Another odd thing that I started out attributing to lying in bed 24/7 and not using muscles at all, were occasional almost full body spasms that were very painful. Imagine a leg cramp that lasts a few seconds that goes all the way up your body. In the middle of the night I'd be woken up by this huge pain like I was being tortured. I talked with my rehab people about it, and I think they added massage and certain exercises to try to relieve it.
So it's gone now, but one afterthought that I've since had is that my body was re-living the moment I hit the pavement (I remember before/after, but not the impact.) Yeah, while on the one hand it could just have been some strange cramping, on the other it could have been my body showing me, again and again, what had happened. What I had missed.
Add in the surreality of waking up after surgery lying on a table surrounded by people--kind of like you're lying in a coffin and these folks have come by to look. At that time, my wife asked a few questions, but it was very out-of-body. Propofol...I have no grasp how MJ could have found any solace or escape with it--one moment I was in prep, and the next (eerily) opening my eyes (no sense of 'waking'). It was six hours later, but from my POV could as easily have been only moments.
Put those things together, and I began to wonder a little (and don't get worried, reality has now stabilized!) Have you ever read Bierce's "Owl Creek Bridge"? (or seen a movie adaption) Seen Tim Robbins in "Jacob's Ladder"? Well, there was a little of that kind of thing going on...!
Jacob's Ladder is one of my all time favourite films. There are many quotes from that film used throughout the music of my youth. Not least the line from Eckhart "The only thing that burns in Hell is the part of you that won't let go of life, your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away. But they're not punishing you, he said. They're freeing your soul. So, if you're frightened of dying and... and you're holding on, you'll see devils tearing your life away. But if you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth."
I hope there were no devils.
One song that used the line (No official video in decent quality, it would seem) Another later version by Atoms For Peace which is ace.
Another Jacob's Ladder connection is early on being wheeled around on a gurney or bed from one ill-defined place to another. "Where are you taking me?" Seeing only ceilings, weird POVs on generally masked, anonymous people. (I have come to know those places and people now.) Tho without the deteriorating hospital conditions.
No, no demons.
Early moves in bed were really painful. Before surgery nurses moved me to a softer bed, to avoid bedsores. Sure just pick my broken bod up and plop it over there. After, and I had to be rolled by a couple helpers onto one side for twice daily disinfecting & re-bandaging the hip incision. Or the occasional sheet change. I couldn't imagine my ribs healing given that abuse. (and everyone now knows what "OW-OW-OW-OW...." or "OUCH" mean.)
The morning of the crash when I still had my bike shorts and jersey on I nearly panicked when I realized they wanted to simply take off my clothes. (Yeah, pull bike shorts down off someone with a broken pelvis. Take a pullover jersey off someone with broken ribs & collarbone.) I don't think I was screaming it, but it was "Cut them off! Cut them off! Use scissors! It's okay, put them in the gomi!" (And later, I was shown a bag of rags and asked if I wanted it.) This was probably new and surreal for them to hear, but OTOH I couldn't imagine it being done any other way.
One thing I've pretty successfully worked on is getting everyone to use a normal speaking voice, and to stand in front of me and slightly away. Person to person. There are a lot of old people here--even older than I am--and SOP when addressing a patient (often in a wheelchair) is to stand behind and lean down to about 10cm from their ear. In an overly loud voice... That's patient-talking, and staff at least at first didn't realize that I listened to and heard everything, not just when they were patient-talking. It was so dumb that I started pushing people back and an arm's length away, told them to stand in front, and that I had good ears and was not 90 yrs old...
I immediately tried to remember names, and I think that helped a lot--name people as individuals and lose the role-based identities.
Okay, time to check back in here with some more recent information.
Most basic/important is that I've checked out the hospital, and in a few more days will have been out for two weeks. Checkout day was rather late on 8/24 (about 5pm). That's two calendar months after the crash (6/24) and almost two from surgery (6/26). Tho that was a relief (which I'll get to in a minute), the days have been pretty full in a number of ways.
First, I've had to get around on my own for most everything, and also get myself most everything. No more 'nurse call' button by my side to rely on. Need some coffee/water, get it yourself. Drop something, pick it up yourself. Tho the meals on a tray were bland and tiresome, someone simply handed them to me. At home, I have to deal with the fridge/microwave, or even cook something. Better food, yes, but I have to work for it.
I still can't walk without either a walker (using two hands on it) or an arm crutch and a cane. This means that I can only carry a few kinds of things from one place to another. I can get stuff from the fridge to the counter and do some prep and even cook a little, but it's then a few steps from the counter to the kitchen table--an impossibility right now. I can make my usual bowl of granola w/bananas, topped overfull w/yoghurt, but then have to eat it standing at the counter. I can make eggs, or a burger&rice, but am again stuck eating at the counter--I can't get it over to the table. I can get a cup of coffee, but then have to drink it around the counter, since I can't carry it away from there...
Ah..., the perils of life on the outside. (I do have a wife, but she works full time, and so I can only rely on her for dinner.)
I've been able to do laundry, and, once done, actually put some of it away. But as with food prep, it takes more time and energy than usual. (In the hospital, they brought me clean PJs every other day.)
Driving, too. Once in the car, driving itself is easy. Due to stiffness/mobility, I can't quite turn around as I should to look when backing up, but so far, so good.
The real problem with driving is getting to the car and back, and then getting in and out once I get there. I might once have grabbed a couple things and been out of the house, into the car, and rolling inside of two minutes. Now it seems to take about ten.
One of the reasons I wanted out of the hospital was to regain something like my normal life. And I have been going to work.** But on that end, things are even slower, since there, from parking lot to where I check in, message box, and back to my office, then back to the car when I leave, it's all on crutches/cane and really really really just slo-mo all the way.
(**Luckily, work these days is easy, classes don't start till 9/30, and I may actually be able to walk with only a cane by then!)
On being a passive patient. And checking out...
If I hadn't caused a bit of a fuss, I could easily still be sitting in my hospital room, wondering when I might get out. Somewhere in there, thru the week of August 17th, something clicked and I decided I needed to be really proactive about leaving the hospital. Even before the IV antibiotic was done, it was "why do I need to be here for this?" and "I can do this same thing at home, right?"
Everyone was surprised, from my doc(s) down thru the nursing staff, rehab folks, and even my wife. Everyone thought I should stay 'for a while longer' in the hotel, and wondered whether I'd be okay. I think most were worried about my mobility and possible problems with that. Personally, I was worried about the pneumonia--while I was switching to oral meds, I still had some fever, etc., and that continued, and it's only in the last day or few that I think that I might have shaken loose of that.
Seeing where I am now, recovery-wise, what I can and can't do, and having read quite a bit about my injury, it's going to take a while before I'm back to normal. In my case, it's not 'just' a broken pelvis, google acetabular fracture, which, besides the broken pelvis, is also a smooshed socket for the hip joint. This joint is key. In some cases, there is front/rear dislocation, where the impact forces the ball to break out of the joint to the front or back. That's supposed to tear up or disrupt the cartilage more.
My impact was directly into the joint (medial), the ball of the femur went more or less straight into the socket, breaking it, and while that's bad, it happened without the forward or backward wrenching that could have happened (and I guess screwed things up more).
I'm very happy with my rehab people. I had two while I was "in", one in the morning and one afternoon (female/male), but now it's once a day, and I've continued with the same woman. I say woman, but she's 26, so I might also say 'girl' (being the old guy that I am). They both listened well, pushed, but not too hard, and both were/are very friendly. Somehow, she has taken over my case/rehab, and I'll be seeing her four times next week.
Getting thru the days has also been a kind of rehab (physically challenging), but the rehab work is great since they do 20-30 reps of muscles that otherwise wouldn't get used.
One hassle has been sorting thru all the paperwork, two months of accumulation. My wife has helped along the way, and I actually got a payment today for June that I think was a refund since I'd gone over my monthly cap. Besides insurance things, I have a couple files full of blood test results, x-rays and CTs, rehab agreements that I had to sign, info sheets, and so on. A lot of it will eventually be trash, or scrapbook files, but certainly not the insurance stuff. Sort, re-sort, save, set aside, some of it maybe even for a tax claim here next February.
Was moving some things around today, and in good light I noticed that my helmet did work! While it seems like it's not cracked or broken**, you can definitely see how it slid along the ground. There are three spots, none in the same plane, so some rolling/turning as I slid. Some scratches on the base (red), much more on the black/red mid portion (the black is chewed up, but I think because no shell there--also the LAS logo being scraped off some), and tho I tried a half-dozen times to get it all in focus, there are also scratches on the yellow 'tail' up above.
I'm glad that wasn't my head, or there would have been blood.
**This piece is now officially retired; I'll get a new one when I do start riding again.
Finally retrieved my garmin, that's the track. Last upright/pre-crash reading seems to be at 3.53km going 37.6km/hr. The next one at 3.59km (closer to the traffic light, which is my impression of the crash point) reads 0km/hr. So somewhere in that 0.06km space between those--ka-blooey.
That's a fast mild downhill stretch, but I'd've guessed under 25 instead of 37. And back to an earlier puzzle: I'm now even more surprised that there was no blood/stitches/road rash. How can a person hit the pavement that fast and not end up bleeding?
(From about the 43min point, it's just GPS noise. The unit was still on, but from what I understand the bike went into a building and rode an elevator, and I think eventually turned itself off.)
I'm down to one support. I use a cane around home, and an arm crutch for outside/elsewhere. In our kitchen I do walk a little unsupported--but only baby steps from fridge to counter to table. Driving is easy, and while getting in/out was the hard part, that's getting better. I've been to a pool some, both water walking as rehab and some actual laps, too. (I feel very 'accepted' by the older folks in the walking lane, like I'm now part of the 'in' group! )
Another week or two, I'll set up my trainer and try riding that way. Riding (like driving) might already be okay, but it's the clips and getting a foot down that scare me. I always unclip and put my right foot down, and that's now the bad side. The trainer will be a way to play with that before going out for real.