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Old 12-04-08, 04:04 PM   #1
jppe
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Today was a GOOD day for my buddy

I made the trip over the hospital to pay a visit with my cycling friend who was hit by a car again today. I just can't seem to stay away.

It's amazing the difference a day can make. He had gotten rid of some of the pain and was in very good spirits.........and talked a good bit more. He still looked like crap.........more like he does after a 100 miler but he sure sounded better........but who wouldn't if you were in traction and had been in the hospital for almost a week.

Today was the first day there appeared to be some improvement. There are more surgeries to go and a few more weeks in the hospital but today just felt better.

I'm sure there will be good days and bad days and while today wasn't great it sure was much better than yesterday. I really do think his experience doing punishing rides out on the road will help him (and me) get through this a little better. We'll see.........

Thanks to all for the responses in the "hurtin" post. They really helped ground me on where he is in the process and also where it's headed.
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Old 12-04-08, 04:28 PM   #2
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I made the trip over the hospital to pay a visit with my cycling friend who was hit by a car again today.
He got hit a second time?!??

Seriously.... it's good to hear a positive report. Hopefully the first of many good days.
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Old 12-04-08, 07:34 PM   #3
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Hope you are sharing our BF karma with your your buddy.
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Old 12-04-08, 08:16 PM   #4
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Very glad to hear there's some improvement! Good Luck!
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Old 12-04-08, 08:28 PM   #5
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YAY!!! I bet the pain meds help him eh? Glad to hear his spirits are up!
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Old 12-05-08, 04:02 AM   #6
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You are likely as important to his recovery process as any surgery and painkillers right now. Glad you have been able to get through the past week as well as him.
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Old 12-05-08, 08:28 AM   #7
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Good to hear jppe. I wish you guys all the luck in the world.
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Old 12-05-08, 10:21 AM   #8
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The relief in your post is palpable. I'm glad for your friend and for you. As A-Jet says, you're a big part to his recovery. Everyone should have a friend like you.
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Old 12-05-08, 10:34 AM   #9
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I know when I was in waiting for the ByPass- my riding mate turned up to visit every other day. What a relief. No having to be pleasant when you don't want to be- I could ask him to do jobs at home and know it could be done and he was company. What I did not know till later was that the day he wasn't visiting me- he paid visits to the wife and kids and helped them just as much as me.

Give it a while and you will be having the wheelchair races round the hospital- so watch out- he will have had more practice.
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Old 12-05-08, 10:40 AM   #10
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Glad to hear it! There is no doubt that his physical condition prior to the accident will make a difference in his recovery. So good to know he's starting to have better days. As others have said, this is a new hill you'll climb together.
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Old 12-05-08, 11:09 PM   #11
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Keep us informed. I feel almost as though he is my friend, as well.
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Old 12-06-08, 05:32 PM   #12
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Keep us informed. I feel almost as though he is my friend, as well.

Went by the hospital again today and he's looking so much better. He was much more cognizant today and we talked a lot. The doctors are estimating that the two additional surgeries will be mid to late next week if the swelling continues to subside in his leg.

He finally shaved his "beard" after a week's growth and got spruced up as best he could so you know that had to be somewhat refreshing.

He does so much better for now as long as the pain meds are provided on time.

We engineered a couple of items to make his stay a little easier. I tied off an ink pen to the tray stand beside his bed so he'll always have something to write with within reach. I also put some velcro on the sides of the bed and the back of his "intercom" so he can attach it to the side of the bed and have it out of way-now it won't fall off the bed or be in his way while he's resting. I also made him a diagram of the bed controls so he can move the darn thing around at his pleasure.

He showed me how to move his busted up leg around by grabbing the bars drilled into the bones in his leg and gently moving them where he needed the leg to go...........we're talking millimeters here.

The doctors are planning to try an experimental cast after the surgery. Rather than have his whole leg in a continuous cast, they going to put on two casts that connect together at the knee. He'll have a cast both above and below his knee but they will be "hinged" together so he can bend his knee. Hopefully that will give him some additional mobility and possibly even speed up the rehab.

Knowing my Buddy he is probably already thinking about how he might be able to sit on a bike with the casts on now that he can bend the knee........

We're not sure about what happens after the surgeries and hospital. He will really be challenged going directly home so he might go to a rehab facility for a short spell until he can get around on his own better.
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Old 12-08-08, 09:08 PM   #13
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I made the daily visit and wound up spending over 3 hours with my cycling buddy. Unfortunately and very surprisingly it was his worst day yet. When I arrived he was shaking violently from the intense pain in his leg. He was shaking so badly the bed was rattling against the wall.

Eventually some meds kicked in.........but it took at least an hour ...... we worked on his breathing and trying to modulate his temperature. He was going from hot to cold very quickly. I repeatedly moved his leg trying to find a position that helped.

I was shocked when I stepped into the room and saw him in that state. I was very relieved when I left several hours later that he was at least comfortable enough to rest.

He also got bad news from the doctors today...........the swelling is not going down as fast as they thought so surgery has been put off until at least next week.

What a roller coaster this recovery stuff is. I'm amazed at how much pain he can tolerate--maybe all his hours on the bike has helped some with all that. I sure hope tomorrow is a better day.
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Old 12-08-08, 09:19 PM   #14
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Both of you...hang in there. You don't "have" to be there, but you are.
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Old 12-08-08, 09:30 PM   #15
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Everyone should have at least one friend like you. You must feel helpless to see him like that. Hope tomorrow is a much better day for your friend.
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Old 12-08-08, 09:55 PM   #16
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jppe, I have spent many, many days/weeks/months in hospitals. I literally lived in one for 3 months to help Andy after his spinal cord injury, and for almost 3 weeks in Baton Rouge in a small hospital room and then a month in Denver when Tim was injured.

I know how important it is to have a friend like you show up and offer and give support.

You are a rare being, and your friend is blessed to have you.

Please keep us informed. There will be good days, bad days, terrible days and wonderful days.
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Old 12-09-08, 07:00 PM   #17
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jppe,

Please keep posting updates. Many of us will not reply again because the thread gets so long. Please know, however, that we are "lurking," that we are interested in the wellbeing of both you and your bud, and that many prayers are with you.

A big sincere "hang in there" to you both.

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Old 12-09-08, 08:41 PM   #18
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Getting through the "downs" of the "ups & downs of recovery" is tough. Good on you for sticking with him. Wish I could do more than just say that. Let your buddy know that lots of cyclists are thinking of him.
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Old 12-09-08, 10:06 PM   #19
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This is what I hve learned about pain and pain medication. If he got to the point where he was shaking due to the pain, he is not taking enough medicine. There is no reason not to take sufficient medication to control the pain. Some people, including some doctors, wrongly believe that they sould "tough it out" and that taking enough medicine to control the pain will result in addiction. That is simply false. You've not said why the pain has been so difficult to control - if it is due to his own reluctance to take enough medicine to do the job, you should reassure him that taking enough medication to do the job will both speed his recovery and make this period much more tolerable.
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Old 12-09-08, 10:14 PM   #20
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...There is no reason not to take sufficient medication to control the pain...
+1
This is a lesson I have learned recently. Managing the pain in my throat has made a huge difference in my recovery.
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Old 12-09-08, 10:34 PM   #21
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This is what I hve learned about pain and pain medication. If he got to the point where he was shaking due to the pain, he is not taking enough medicine. There is no reason not to take sufficient medication to control the pain. Some people, including some doctors, wrongly believe that they sould "tough it out" and that taking enough medicine to control the pain will result in addiction. That is simply false. You've not said why the pain has been so difficult to control - if it is due to his own reluctance to take enough medicine to do the job, you should reassure him that taking enough medication to do the job will both speed his recovery and make this period much more tolerable.
Also, taking it sooner rather than waiting until the pain is unbearable. If the pain is known to get that bad, he should ask for pain med as soon as the pain begins. Physical comfort is part of the recovery process and pain is physically as well as mentally stressful. That said..... they should keep a watchful eye on potential addiction and upset GI (constipation) and monitor that carefully.
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Old 12-09-08, 10:35 PM   #22
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jppe,

Please keep posting updates. Many of us will not reply again because the thread gets so long. Please know, however, that we are "lurking," that we are interested in the wellbeing of both you and your bud, and that many prayers are with you.

A big sincere "hang in there" to you both.

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Thanks for the feedback-I'll keep this going as long as folks find it of interest. He and I appreciate your sentiments more than you'll ever know.

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This is what I hve learned about pain and pain medication. If he got to the point where he was shaking due to the pain, he is not taking enough medicine. There is no reason not to take sufficient medication to control the pain. Some people, including some doctors, wrongly believe that they sould "tough it out" and that taking enough medicine to control the pain will result in addiction. That is simply false. You've not said why the pain has been so difficult to control - if it is due to his own reluctance to take enough medicine to do the job, you should reassure him that taking enough medication to do the job will both speed his recovery and make this period much more tolerable.
Thanks and I'll share this bit of feedback with him. His pain is certainly NOT due to his concern about taking too much medication right now-just more about getting it on time. The nurses changed shifts tonight while I was there and I emphasized to her that the only request my buddy has is to give him his pain meds within the prescribed time intervals.

By the way-today was one of his best days. We were even joking and laughing about yesterday-well at least to a point. The doc's are now estimating his two surgeries to be next week and we're guessing he'll stay in the hospital for 2-3 days afterwards. He then plans to move directly into a Physical Therapy facility next door for 1-2 weeks. His target is try and get home by the first of the year.

I felt really blessed with tonight's visit as we talked a lot about a wide range of things and it was very uplifting to hear the strength in his voice. I just hope and pray he doesn't have another day like yesterday. Noone deserves to feel pain like that.
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Old 12-10-08, 10:16 AM   #23
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One of the most important things to learn about being seriously ill or injured is the importance of taking control of your own care. I read about doing that when I got sick, but it really was meaningless to me until I got into treatment. I expected the doctors and nurses to know what was best and to do it, and I would just go along for the ride. In fact, the practice of medicine is far more of an art than most of us would like to admit, and much more of an art than most doctors will admit. The amount of guesswrok that going into, for example, dosing requirements was really surprising to me.

When you are sick, no one know what you need more than you yourself. J, if your friend's pain meds are so close to the edge that a late dose causes such difficulty, he needs to tell them to give more medicine or give it more frequently. Morphine pumps are one of the great advances of medical science - does he have one? You are correct that his physical conditioning will help him recover more quickly, but the doctors are much more used to treating injuries to out of shape overweight middle aged smokers than they are a cyclist able to do a century. He, and maybe you, need to insist (politely yet persistenly) to get him what he needs, and that applies to pain meds, PT, and all other aspects of his care.
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Old 12-10-08, 11:14 AM   #24
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Thanks Kerlenbach-we're learning those lessons the hard way but I feel like we're getting there. I certainly have not been bashful to be a voice for him nor has he! He is somewhat analytical and continues to work on figuring out the cause and effect.
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Old 12-12-08, 05:04 PM   #25
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Two of three surgeries are now completed and the 3rd one is now scheduled. Hooray!!! They had to go ahead and do surgery on his fingers and hand as the bones were starting to twist. He has a cast with pins sticking out of his fingers for several weeks to keep the bones properly aligned.

The surgery to repair the tibia is now scheduled for early Monday and he will have a new stainless steel plate held onto the bone by screws. I asked the doctor about titanium (my Buddy rides a Sevin) but the doctor said that titanium was too flexible. I started to ask about carbon but remembered I wasn't on 50+ and the Doc might not have appreciated the intended humor.........

Pain now seems to be manageable and under control. He was very pleased to hear the leg surgery being scheduled-it gives him something definite to plan towards and keeps him on his goal to be back home by year end. We've flooded him with cards and are keeping his wife's fridge filled with food so all is good for now. I've enjoyed the cookies and fudge folks have brought my buddy. Somebody has to eat it!!
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