Monday, August 24, 2009

Life - Visuals Of A Recovery

As a reminder, I pretty much followed my own recommendations on dressing road rash here. At that time I wrote the tutorial, I didn't have pictures of wounds and such, but it's pretty amazing how well the whole procedure works.

The key is to keep the wound moist and flexible. By not allowing the wound to form a scab, you avoid the pain that you feel when the scab rips from your skin. Instead of a natural scab, use Tegaderm to form a synthetic, flexible scab.

I've been tracking the progress of the wounds I sustained in the crash on August 11. At 7:50 PM. Not that we're keeping track or anything, but it's funny that we can pinpoint it to about the exact minute.

Of the seven (until I wrote this up just now, I thought there were six initial spots) places that needed Tegaderm, four no longer need any covering or protection. Two, the right ankle and right elbow, still require some "heal time".

Right shoulder, right after the crash. This was about 2 AM on Wednesday, shortly after I got home from the hospital. My shoulder hurt the most, but ultimately x-rays and some MRIs would show that I managed to get away with minimal damage to the area. No broken bones, no torn musles. The wound is shiny because the missus already put Tegaderm on it. I'm wearing a neck brace, so I could sleep sitting upright. If you ever get a neck brace, save it. I got this one in the early 90s.

The right shoulder, three days later. Incredible. That's the good news. The bad news is I can't life my arm in this picture. Now, on August 24th, I can lift is until my arm is almost horizontal. Physical therapy begins next week. Yum.

The left shoulder, again, at about 2 AM on Wednesday August 12. Note it looks like it has cling-wrap on it - that's the Tegaderm. Neck brace just visible.

August 15, about three days later. The yellowish tint in the middle is some "leakage" from the wound. The missus took this picture (at my request) after she cleaned the wound. We were still using Tegaderm on it. Note the numbing wound spray (blue bottle) in the background.

A week after the second shot, I complained of some itching on that same shoulder. The missus checked and it looked pretty good. In fact, to my dismay, she peeled the Tegaderm off right then and there. I made her take a picture of it in return. Ten days total heal time. The left shoulder feels 100%. Note that I'm on BikeForums at that moment.

The tire mark. It was like a rug burn. This was after 2:15 AM Wednesday because that's when SOC and Mrs SOC left. It's probably closer to 2:30 AM.

By Saturday the 15th, it was okay. You can see the area the Tegaderm covered - it's kind of pale. Those big Tegaderms, by the way, cost $4 each. Each!

The stinging hip, which, because it didn't look bad, disguised the fact that the pelvis underneath had two fractures. This is the 2 AM shot the night the crash occurred.

By Saturday, it was fine. Note the adhesive left over. Rubbing alcohol worked quickly to get that all off.

Since I couldn't bend down too much to see what I was doing (I was cleaning stuff by myself, in the wheelchair), I had to use a mirror. There's a bruise apparent that we didn't see the night of the crash (but if you check the first picture of the tire mark, you can see it there). The tire mark is lower. And you can see the ankle too.

I forgot about my back. This is looking down from the right shoulder. The scrape marks lower down in the picture removed my number from the jersey.

These wounds were fine by August 15th. Incredible, right?

The nasty ankle wound. Deep and painful. This is the night of the crash.

A slightly blurry shot, Saturday August 15th. Not much progress. A LOT of swelling. This led the doctor to do an ultrasound of the leg - they found two clots in my calf. Blood thinners, and if I experience any pain closer to the knee, call the doc right away. They were debating whether or not to call the ambulance while I sat there on the ultrasound table.

August 18. It looks better but it bleeds regularly. Note how swollen the foot looks. It still looks like that now, August 24th. It still hurts and I feel it pretty much 24/7. I give it 2 weeks to go.

Nasty right elbow. Night of the crash, before dressing it. After dressing the shoulder and back wounds, I was almost fainting from pain, shock, and hunger. We took a break before tackling the ugliest wound visible while I still has my shorts on (visible at the bottom of the picture). SOC and his wife left so that the missus could privately dress the wounds the shorts covered.

August 15th, the elbow looks much better. It's still weeping now, on August 24th. I figure a week or so before it's done.

So there it is. It's hard to believe it's already been two weeks (well, tomorrow it'll be two weeks). It seems like it happened just the other day. I hope in the next week that my elbow will be done, and the week after the ankle too.

I also hope that the Sept 4 ultrasound shows no more blood clots in my right leg.

And, at some point some time, I hope to get back on the bike.

Because, you know. There's always next year.

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