On Saturday January 8, 2022 at approximately 3:34:51 pm, I became part of a statistic that I would have rather avoided: the number of skydivers injured while flying perfectly good parachutes.
Within seconds of the impact I began receiving care from an amazingly long line of people – skydivers at the scene, keeping me still, safe, and removing my gear (while entertaining them with my shock-induced antics;) EMS stabilizing me on the ground and beginning to rebuild me in the air aboard a Life Flight; a full trauma team of doctors, nurses and all the various specialist – trauma, orthopedics, neurosurgery, x-ray, CT, ultrasound, respiratory, anesthetics; and then I slept for four days (in a medically induced coma.)
While I slept, a titanium rod was inserted in the marrow space of my left femur, an external steel frame was built around my waist to reinforce my pelvis, and I was placed on a ventilator to help me breathe while I recovered from the trauma and a previously unknown case of COVID.
When I woke up in the Trauma Intensive Care Unit (TICU) on the morning of Wednesday January 12, the list of my care providers continued to grow with less doctors and specialists, and more nurses, patient care advocates, mobile x-ray techs, patient transporters, room cleaners and chaplains. So far I have added another eighty-five names to my prayer list and it is growing every day. Thank you everyone – you are all in my daily prayers.
In the first few days, I could only move my right arm/hand/fingers, right toes, and my head/neck/face. Saturday the 15th, I learned how to use my left arm again when my phone rang and I reached before I remembered my arm didn’t work.
My next surgery on Monday the 17th went well and replaced my external steel pelvic frame with an internal titanium version and resulted in the most painful day of recovery since I’d been here as the blood flow began to increase significantly to my left leg increasing its sense of pain.
X-rays on the 19th confirmed my left foot/ankle/tib/fib and left knee were intact and undamaged even though they were my first point of contact with the ground and also had the most swelling (my ankle was the size of a volleyball.)
A CT scan today, January 23, confirmed my bladder has healed properly from its rupture. Also today, as the swelling has continued to go down, I am now beginning to be able to move the major muscle groups of my left leg.
At this point I expect to stay in my current recovery room for a few more days before being transferred to a three-week intensive inpatient OT/rehabilitation program located here in the same hospital.
I want to thank everyone for their prayers, most especially the prayers to avoid narcotics. Though prescribed a 10 mg Oxycodone every four hours, this week I’ve settled into a good routine of only taking a 5mg Oxycodone at midnight and 4am to sleep, then switching to Tylenol at 8am and for the rest of the day.
More updates to come.