I’ve co-opted my sister’s recliner, and popped a — for me, extremely rare — pain pill. This early in the process, this is about as comfy as it gets.
The Saturday accident was an out-of-control lawn tractor that apparently caused my leg to get trapped in a crape myrtle bush. (Honestly, I don’t really remember; this is an ex post facto reconstruction). Between them, they tried to split my pelvis like a wishbone. The left hip gave way. The docs at UFHealth were impressed in a bad way, I’d broken my hip in a way that they rarely see, and about the worst way possible. That’s why the repair took two separate surgeries. The first was emergency trauma work to get the broken bits so they’d stop doing more damage (and incidentally greatly reduced my pain.
The second surgery, they brought in a specialist who could do the repairs involved in unusual hip trauma.
Edit: 1/6/2022: Let restate some details that I got wrong in the original post. I’ve also corrected some of the more blatant typos I made earlier. I plead pain and opioids at the time.
Specifically, in the initial accident, I dislocated the hip, not broke it. It was what I believe they call an “anterior dislocation” (ball pops out to the front) as opposed to the posterior dislocation the doctors tell me they usually see. That means the joint ball was pressing into the femoral nerve cluster and artery, which in turn means that much more pain, and the risk of rupturing the femoral artery. Sheesh. Yeah, I could have bled out. Do NOT do this at home, kids.
The initial surgery was an attempt to relocate the joint. I was warned that was risky, and sure enough the joint bone actually came apart. Probably, at least in part, from damage in the accident.
The second surgery was, as I first said, the replacement once they knew the joint was unrecoverable.
It hurt. The most pain I recall feeling ever, right up to the point the the emergency crew put me on the gurney to move me. THAT was an entirely new definition of Level 10. You know the patient assessment drill: “Please estimate your pain from 1 to 10, with ten being the most you ever experienced.”
Junkies typically always claim to be at 10, just to get the docs to give him a fix.
I mention the new 10 was potentially lethal. That was not an exaggeration. While being moved, my vitals were being monitored, and the display was visible to me. I didn’t see the reading at the exact peak, but when I could look at the display, it was showing 290-something over 190-something blood pressure. My pulse was around 180 BPM. I could have imagined it, but one my my very wonderful medical pros at UFHealth/Shands told me she had reviewed my vitals and saw it, too. It was real.
I was astonished that I didn’t blow out half the blood vessels in my brain, and die then and there.
Scared the shit out of me, which is why for the first time in over 60 years of life, I requested sedation. I still try to avoid the opioids, but have accepted that sometimes they’re necessary.
This is the first time in my life I’ve requested anything stronger than aspirin or acetaminophen.
Oh, another first: Unless you count “oral surgery,” getting a couple of wisdom teeth pulled, these were also my very first surgeries. Ever.
I’d have preferred to pass on the opportunity.
Anyway, I still have 12 weeks of therapy ahead of me. And probably years of figuring out how to pay for all this. The bills haven’t started arriving yet, but I’ fairly sure they’re already over a $100K, and climbing.
I’m tired. I’m not doing my usual obsessive/compulsive news scouring. If anyone runs across something you think I should know, drop me a line. I mde a crack about the Baldwin “Rust” shooting earlier, but for all I know, it was completely obsolete.
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