February 11th, 2003

Fiona and me in the snow

an update long awaited

I have been planning on updating this thing for a long while, but planning, and actually doing is another thing. I have been ruled by pain, but that fog is slowly lifting, only to be replaced by energy, energy to sit up in my wheelchair and write both emails and comments in people's journals. I think Live journal will really help me get through this thing.

Let's start from the beginning, the event that changed it all for me, yet another setback in the chapters of my life that are setbacks. Talking to Dr. Turpin today, he said "didn't this happen in Chem E 1, I hope I'm not a black cloud for you." Definitely not, it's luck, wretched luck, which makes the world go round, and I just get dealt low cards a lot of the time out of the deck of life. Sometimes though, I get aces, and they, are what keep me going.

On January 30, after studying with one of my really good friends from high school James, I walked backfrom Bell Engineering center. I was happy because I had just figured out a difficult problem methodology in statics, vector algebra and how it relates to forces, so I walked back along the famed Greek Theater, the straight bit of the path, at quite a clip because I was pretty happy with myself. I approached Dixon Street and Ozark, and crossed, slowly of course. On the other side of Ozark, there exists one of those ramps that is cut into the pavement at a weird angle. Basically, the ramp slopes smoothly down to the pavement, but on each side of the about 1 meter wide ramp as it slopes down, there are sides of the ramp. Usually this isn't a problem if you go up the center of the ramp, but I must have caught it at just the right angle. I went down.

This fall wasn't one of those slow motion falls where you envision life before your eyes as you fall, I've done that, this was just a fall, happened pretty quick. Problem was that I hearrd a soft crack, and my leg felt a bit weird. I had no pain at this point, and was in denial that I had broken anything for about thirty seconds, it could have been less I don't know. I tried moving, and realized that without moving my hip I was able to rotate my foot which I figured even though I wasn't in pain, that it shouldn't do that. At this point, it was time for action, and I hailed down passing pedestrians and calmly asked for help.

I get stupid reactions sometimes when this happens, when I ask calmly. Some people are in super awe, some are like "do you want us to help you sit up" others just stare. So I have to act as the quarterback and call all the shots, since of course I am a pro in breaking things. One cool dude had a cel phone and he called emergency and they had an ambulance dispatched to me. Pain still wasn't the problem, it didn't hurt at all which was a bit weird, but at this point reality started to set in. Would I miss a semester again, what about uni, what if, what if, etc. At that point I started getting emotional, mad at myself for doing it again, and people were trying to calm me down.
To make a long story short, I made it to Washington Regional, a friend who I hadn't seen in a while named Wil took Fiona. The funny thing about that was that he was there the first time I broke my leg, and I hadn't seen him for a while. It was somewhat of a surreal experience, him being there two breaks in a row. I knew when I got to the hospital in Fayetteville that I would have to go to Little Rock, as I had a deformity in my leg which needed to be fixed anyway.
The only doctor that could do it was Dr. Aronson at Children's hospital in Little Roc, so eventually, I convinced them that I needed to go there. I wanted to fly there, but they wouldn't go for that as my condition was too stable. I just figured that it would be less painful. No such luck, it was ambulance ride to Little Rock time for me, and three painful hours later, I arrived in Little Rock at the hospital.

I had a doctor when I got there called Dr. Stevens. He was a pain, and made my mom cry actually because he said that I couldn't go to Childrens. I was supposedly too old, 23, and true, I was too old but because my case is so severe, Dr. Aronson takes me. hen when I got there, he continued to be a pain, continued to annoy me. Then I met Dr. Aronson's resident, Dr. Sedaros, and he was a pain too. He didn't listen to me and ddn't relate to me at all. That's doctors for you. They got care of me though, and besides having some difficult nurses, all went reasonbly well.

The rest of the time in the hospital was quite a haze for me, quite painful. The surgery was on Saturday, the day the Columbia Space Shuttle broke up in the atmosphere. I watched it as it was coming close to landing amazingly though. They had Nasa tv at the hospital. Then I went into surgery and four hours later, my break was plated, the deformity straightened using a technique called osteottomy, and the length of my leg was the same as the other leg. An osteottomy basically consists of cutting into the deformity at a curve, kind of like making a spoon out of the bone. If you cut the bone straight across, that doesn't help you, or break it as I did, but cutting at a curve allows you to rotate the bone to any angle you wish, in my case straight, and there you go. Plate it and you're done. What they did was drill several holes through the effected area in this curved pattern. Miraculously, the bone in the effected area, the deformed area, was softer, and as it's been described to me, the bone folded, melded, and Dr. Aronson was able to then manipulate it to the correct angle. If the bone had been harder, it would not cleve correctly, and could possibly cause bone burning which could cause infection. What happened was miraculous and cool. Currently, I have 30 staples and 16 screws in my leg on a titanium plate. "I just like the shape of the titanium plate", says Dr. Aronson. I just like the fact that the titanium will resist corosion.

To say I was emotional was an understatement, I knew this had to be a miracle, as they thought I wouldn't get it completely straight. I cried after surgery, called a lot of relatives, and made them cry too, even made my brother cry which is an amazement in itself. It's great having a straight leg, and I'm greatful to my doctor for trying. It did scare me though when they said that I could wake up in a body cast, and I was thankful that it all worked out, and I woke up so well mended. Wow!!! That's all I can say about that one.

I lost a lot of blood in the surgery, to feel myself, I had to have four blood units, countem four, That's a lot of blood, about a liter of packed red blood cells, I believe they gave me packed red blood cells, that's what they gae me before. My body was good and didn't reject any of it. I am now not a stranger to transfusion and I am thankful for people that donate blood.

I came home on Wednesyda, and basically slept like Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I had no energy to check email, read journals, even turn on the computer. I couldn't sit up in the chair very long. All I had energy to do was call Amber awallens and this has been a great help to me. She's always een there for me, and me vice versa, and I am most greatful. I think I've started to figure out the love thing, and though I'm a slow learner, I know I'll get it soon enough.

I realized by talking to some psychiatrists in the hospital that I suffer from post traumatic stress syndrome from falling all the time. I've also had to deal with depression and setbacks, and this one was kind of tough for me. So, basically they have put me on a form of antidepressant called Celexa that they think will help me with my anxiety and worrying. I tend to worry a lot about things, especially school, and I know I will have flashbacks as I have before, when walking, so I'm hoping that my medicine will help me deal with things better.

I spoke with the appointments person at the young adult psychiatry center that I'll be going to and she seemed really nice. I'll be going up on my meds then, and probably won't see results for a while, but who knows, they say it will work.

Not much of interest is happening except for the ever present search for a Valentine's gift for Amber. We'll see, Mrs. Marsha came down to help me out, Mrs. Marsha is Kelsea's boyfriend's mom, and she's going to help me out. I won't say publically what I get, duh, but it'll be something cool. The pain is a bit better today, I'm getting darvaset in from Dr. Aronson today so that hould be good.

We had a great talk today, and he explained some things to me about my care, I had some difficult run ins with some doctors, and that was good. I'll be filing a formal complaint against him though, so that should help both me, and Dr. A out. can't give details of what he said to me, but it was cool that he trusts me to give me confidential details about his residents.

I've left out a lot about the hospital experience, but I'll come back and add that later if I can, and when I can remember what happened, it was all a blur really. Sorry if the events don't seem to be in chronological order, hopefully I'll be able to write more than daily now so I can get events and thoughts more clearly, and have more of a resolution to things. Sorry for the length. Talk soon about current events.

More later, hope everyone is fine, and if you want comment, I love reading your comments.