August 21st, 2011, I had a really bad bicycle crash. Riding with a friend, downhill on roadbikes on a twisty canyon road. I don't remember any of it, but for 15 minutes we had a blast. Then my front tire went flat and I landed on my head, then shoulder and back in the ditch. Completely destroying my helmet, but it did its part. My friend is a former EMT, and recognized I had a severe concussion, suspected back and neck injuries and practically sat on me to keep me from standing up. Yes the helmet did its part, but I'm 6'3 and weighed 294 pounds that morning. Mass and kinetic energy caused my injuries.
Taken by ambulance to the small local hospital, through XRay and CT scan, determined I had occipital condyle fracture, and had blown out my T9 verteba and damaged the T7, 8 and 10 as well. I was lifeflighted to the University of Utah hospital, it was smoother and better for my condition than an ambulance ride would have been.
Allow me to back up a bit. I remember getting my helmet on, getting on the bike and pedaling off. Then nothing until I woke up on the Helo for a bit, then a blur through the next couple hours till things settled in my room. I sort of remember things at the first hospital when people tell me things, but the memory is like a TV show I watched 10 years ago.
On the 22nd, I had surgery to fuse my back with rods and screws. Fused from T7-12. No screws in T9, not enough material to screw into. I spent a week in the surgical unit. And then 2 weeks in the physical rehab unit. I was in a full torso TLSO brace, that wasn't fit correctly, so the day after being moved to therapy it was trimmed. But not enough. A week later it trimmed better and I made rapid progress till discharged.
November of last year I had my left knee replaced, and had a good therapist for that. I was discharged from therapy with 141 degrees Range of Motion. So I chose him again. And things are going well.
5 weeks after my surgery, the surgeon was pleased with the new Xrays and I was allowed to remove the TLSO brace, but must continue the Cervical Collar until the end of November. Even then, I may still have to wear it longer.
I returned to work part time at 7 weeks, though I take the days of therapy off. I can't drive myself and my vanpool can't all leave early for my therapy visits.
I see the surgeon at the end of the month and hope the collar comes off then. My back bothers me as the day wears on. I am still on pain meds for now, but do OK when I have accidently skipped a dose.
This recovery is different than my knee. Much slower paced. I know this is going to take much longer, seems I am just getting started.
Some goals I've placed before me, are to get back on the bike in the spring time. I have it on an indoor bike trainer now, but the rear wheel needs trued before riding it. I rode it all last winter for my knee recovery. I can do it again. Another goal, is I'd like to run again. Someday. If my doc allows it. I was just getting good distance and time in running before the wreck. And lose some weight. I've lost 35 pounds in 10 weeks. And I'm under 260 pounds for the first time on over 7 years.
I'm not complaining. And I have a couple smaller issues that I can live with if I have to. I'm lucky to be alive, and able to feel and move everything. I refuse to let this opportunity slip me by. Sure I could sit down and just watch life go by. But no, that wouldn't be right. I'll be more careful of everything, yes. But looking forward to what I CAN do despite my injuries.
Sorry this is so long...
Never a Spectator!