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Author Topic: A report on my absence  (Read 3952 times)

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N.U.

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A report on my absence
« on: November 06, 2014, 09:23:13 AM »

Things in my life changed drastically at 3:45 AM MT October 26th. I was covering a graveyard shift for a coworker when I received a call from St. Anthony's Hospital. A gentleman on the phone said my stepson, John, had been admitted to the ER after an automobile accident. I asked how he got my number and he said that John gave it to him. I called his mother Michelle, who had been out at a Halloween party that evening, and told her what I knew. She, of course, went right to her car and took off for the hospital; I arrived there about 30 minutes behind her.

It turns out John was in a VERY serious auto accident and was ejected from the vehicle. By the time I had arrived he was already in surgery to remove his spleen. The other injuries he had at the time that we knew were a broken left clavicle and lots of bruising and abrasions starting at his left shoulder and moving around to the middle line of his back. There was some concern about his C1 and C2 due to the first CT scan he had right after arriving at the ER. A second CT scan of the C1/C2 area made them more concerned; enough so they ordered an MRI/ The MRI confirmed the surgeons worst fears. John had suffered a atlanto-occipital dislocation. The layman's term for this injury is an internal decapitation. I would suggest googling and reading for more information about this injury. In basic terms, all the ligaments attaching John's skull to his spine had been severed leaving nothing but soft tissue keeping his head on his body. In general terms, less than 1% of people with this injury live long enough to make it to the hospital. Of that 1%, less than 1% survive the surgery to fix it (In John's case, his skull, c1, and c2 were fused).

To say this was the most afraid I have ever been in my life seems wholly inadequate to describe how I felt waiting for John's fusion surgery to finish. The important thing is the surgeon came out and told us that everything worked like a charm with no drop in his nerve activity! I know this because there was one person whose title is Neurological Monitor whose sole job was to safeguard John's nervous system, being able to detect even the smallest drop in nerve response at any point during the surgery. I was so happy late Sunday night when the base neuro tests right after John was wheeled into the ICU post surgery were positive. It allowed me to leave his mom there at the hospital with him while I returned home to get a full night's sleep.

By late Monday morning, John was off his ventilator. He was heavily hopped up on Dilaudid so his moments of being awake were few and far between, but he was off the ventilator! We worked throughout the day on his breathing exercises to keep his lungs clear, talking with John in between drug-induced naps. By the end of the day, on Monday, he was drinking clear fluids. To quote John upon finishing his first drink of water, "This is so divine, it's like Jesus is peeing in my mouth."

Did I mention he was heavily hopped up on Dilaudid?

Anyway, Michelle went back to the hotel by the hospital to be with her parents who had arrived that morning and I went home, knowing John was in great hands for the night. Michelle was finally able to get a good long hard sleep and I was able to do the same in my own bed.

The next day, I arrived at the hospital by 7:45 AM in time for more neuro function batteries and to hear the neurosurgeons doing rounds in the ICU ward where John has been. Now the surgeon who performed the fusion surgery on John said his diagnosis was highly unusual to be made in a hospital. The doctors on rounds said they had seen a few of these injuries over the years. To a person, all of them said they had never encountered anything like they had seen with John before. John had passed every single neuro test put in front of him, including movement, temperature, pain, and kinesthesia (inherent knowledge of relative body position). By that afternoon, I got to see something amazing. Not 60 hours from the time of John's accident where he suffered an injury that only one in a thousand survive the surgery to fix, my son (with help of course, did I mention he was on a steady stream of Dilaudid?) sat up, stood up, and took three steps to the ortho-recliner in his room!

Since that time, John has had an additional surgery to put a plate and screws into his broken left clavicle to allow him to rehab sooner. Speaking of which, John moved quickly from ICU to the Neuro step down and then, this past Monday, barely 8 days from his crash, he was moved to the in-patient rehab facility. He's up and moving well now, being one of only 7 (well, 8 now) people to ever walk after suffering the "Internal decapitation" or Atlanto-occipital dislocation that he did.

What I have been able to say to myself every night since Sunday October 26th is, "My boy is alive. Today is a GOOD day."
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RiverVox

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Re: A report on my absence
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2014, 09:39:18 AM »

What a nightmare. I'm glad he's recovering and getting great medical care.
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imaginary friend

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Re: A report on my absence
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2014, 03:27:38 PM »

1. first off, hope he continues the amazing recovery.

2. ah, Dilaudids.

3. did you ever get a camper?

Annebelle.

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Re: A report on my absence
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2014, 06:31:24 AM »

I'm glad he's making a speedy recovery. Sending good vibes out to you and your family.
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N.U.

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Re: A report on my absence
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2014, 08:17:48 AM »

HOLYFUCK. Speedy nothing. He's being released today. That's only 12 days post-accident. Even the doctors are baffled by how fast John has recovered.
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Astica

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Re: A report on my absence
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2014, 04:51:34 AM »

:D awesome to hear about his super recovery. Glad all the fear and nastiness was short lived for you and Michelle :)
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spider jerusalem

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Re: A report on my absence
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2014, 12:02:06 PM »

HOLYFUCK. Speedy nothing. He's being released today. That's only 12 days post-accident. Even the doctors are baffled by how fast John has recovered.

Only one image can illustrate that:





(this is our equivalent of fuck yeah)
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N.U.

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Re: A report on my absence
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2014, 08:02:09 AM »

:D awesome to hear about his super recovery. Glad all the fear and nastiness was short lived for you and Michelle :)

Released from hospital does not equal completely healed. He still has at-home rehab to work through. Add to this the media started calling Friday afternoon and has not stopped since.
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NikosGr

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Re: A report on my absence
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2014, 09:56:04 AM »

from what I gather your son seems like a very strong guy. I'm so sorry you had to go through this, but I'm wishing you all to come out the other end stronger than ever, and as soon as possible!
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Pelle

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Re: A report on my absence
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2014, 12:19:27 PM »

What an incredible story. Fucking hell, that's a serious accident alright.

I can't believe that everything is going so well and that no major damage has been done. All I can say is that your stepson is one lucky bastard!

N.U.

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Re: A report on my absence
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2014, 01:26:12 PM »

He walked out of the hospital 12 days after this injury. The minimum amount of in-patient rehab that was expected was 15 months.
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Astica

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Re: A report on my absence
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2014, 06:23:53 AM »

:D awesome to hear about his super recovery. Glad all the fear and nastiness was short lived for you and Michelle :)

Released from hospital does not equal completely healed. He still has at-home rehab to work through. Add to this the media started calling Friday afternoon and has not stopped since.
Ah, sorry. I hope the at-home rehab won't be too intense or extensive. I also hope the media leaves you guys to get on with it :-\
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I mean really, my sins are my own - i don't wnat some cunt to swoop in and wipe the slate clean. it is my fucking slate. fuck offf.

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N.U.

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Re: A report on my absence
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2014, 09:46:00 AM »

John is an adult. I gave him my concerns (mainly that he is still recovering from a TBI and is still prone to irritable outbursts). His mother gave him the pros but we left the decision to him.

He's sitting down with the media tomorrow with his mother.
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Miss Sahara

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Re: A report on my absence
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2014, 09:52:32 PM »

Wow. That all sounds crazy. All the best for his recovery!
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N.U.

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Re: A report on my absence
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2014, 12:48:51 PM »

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CeeGBee

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Re: A report on my absence
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2014, 11:42:57 PM »

Has he considered having his skeleton laced with adamantium and going into the superhero biz?
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Re: A report on my absence
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2014, 02:58:06 AM »

Wow, I'm so glad for you and your son.
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N.U.

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Re: A report on my absence
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2014, 09:48:02 AM »

oh, update! John got the most respected Spinal Neurosurgeon in the state to approve his use of MJ for pain relief instead of opiates, going back to the 1st rule of doctoring: Let the patient tell you what is wrong and let the patient tell you what works.

Have I mentioned I LOVE Colorado?
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spider jerusalem

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Re: A report on my absence
« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2014, 12:24:39 PM »

oh, update! John got the most respected Spinal Neurosurgeon in the state to approve his use of MJ for pain relief instead of opiates, going back to the 1st rule of doctoring: Let the patient tell you what is wrong and let the patient tell you what works.

Have I mentioned I LOVE Colorado?

I thought MJ was some kind of synthetic medicine until I read "Colorado".   8)

I'm glad for you all. 
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