Below you'll read the whole ride report about what happened on 7-7-09.
I'll be adding some updates along the way on my recovery.
The 7th of July 2009 was a day that drastically changed my life. The day started off nicely with a fun ride with Barbís Day Rider group in the morning. After lunch with them, I was thinking of going to RBC TT at 6:15pm to work on my time in preparation for The Great Race in August.
The RBC Day Riders
But with all the riding miles I had been doing, I wasnít feeling all 100% for TT and decided instead to get in more miles for my RBC record which I had been working hard for this year. The 6:00pm 30mile ride started on the west side of town. There were about eight riders at the start. I decided to take it easy and rode from the back of the group. We turned south onto River Road. Don and a RIT rider started to take off on the first hill, dropping most of the group. I took off to ride with them and before I knew it, I was in front with Don and Mr. RIT on my wheel all the way to Scottsville. That is where Don said his ten miles is up and had to ride back. So it was just the two of us riding in.
I wanted to get home and was heading back with Mr. RIT when I got a flat tire. I fixed the flat and was putting on my rear wheel when Dave N. and Jeff were just pulling up. We were about two miles from the parking lot when we turned left onto RT252 and I was at the back of the group with Dave at the front followed by Mr. RIT and Jeff in one line. I wasnít behind them. The shoulder was pretty wide. I wanted to see a good line and was back off to the right, away from the white line.
The rest happen very fast! Jeff and I could see Mr. RIT hit a hole in the white line that took him and his bike right into the middle of the road away from us. A car was coming right behind us and I was thinking, ďOh my God! The car is going to hit him! The next thing I knew, Jeff turned his head to his left to look at what was going on with the down rider as his bike started to slow down drifting to the right. I didnít have time to do anything but call out, ĒNo, Jeff!Ē I couldnít turn right because we were on the bridge at that point and he veered right into me and hit my handlebars.
The Hole The RIT rider was ok, the car went around him.
Down we went. I hit hard on my right hip and ended up face down with my right leg turned backwards. I couldnít feel anything in my leg and yelled out, "Call 911!" After lying there over 30 minutes, EMT did pull in. They put on all the braces and were ready to turn me over onto the board. I have endured all kinds of pain before, but what was about to happen was unbelievable! Dave told me after hearing me scream so loud, he was surprised I didnít pass out! All I could say for five minutes was, ďOh my God!Ē
They took me to Strong where I was number three in line, but quickly they moved me right into number one and right into the trauma bay. There were five people working on me -- taking off my shoes and cutting off my bike shorts. The nurse was nice to assist me in taking off my PBP official jersey over my head. I told her thanks!
They took me right into X-ray and told me when they came back, it was broken very high close to the hip. Surgery was necessary and the next step was a CT scan to make sure my back and neck were ok. After I was cleared for that, they drilled a rod through my tibia just below my knee for traction to come. After six hour of laying strapped down to a hard board, my butt was killing me. Now it was time to move me to the traction bed. They picked me up with a sheet for the move, however, the sheet was pressing right on the hip and the killer pain was back! My mother told me they held me like that for 10 second more to fix the bed mat. After that, boy that bed felt so good! Then I looked up at a man holding a 20 lb weight he was going to hook-up to my leg hardware. I was bracing for more pain, but didnít feel anything --the morphine must have been doing its job. They took me up to the fifth floor for the night.
The next morning I was very hungry, but wasn't allowed to eat! Around 7:30am they started to take me down for surgery. I woke up at 11:30am and had a morphine control button at my bed side. The nurse told me I could press that button every 10mins for pain relief. Boy, I pressed that button often!
The next day after surgery they needed x-rays. There was a female technician in-training in the x-ray room. My right leg wasnít mobile at all. I asked if they could take them in my bed. They did -- it was a little painful at times. I returned to my room for lunch when the drill sergeant came flying in and said, letís get you out of bed! I couldnít believe he was going to attempt it! I told him, I donít think my leg is going to move. He replied, do you want to be put in a nursing home? This is all new to me and I tried to move my leg with his help, but couldnít move it enought to get out of bed! He said, weíll try again tomorrow. A couple hours later, the doctor came in and told me the x-rays werenít good and needed new ones. That was the first time I saw the two rods and two screws in my leg. That night I was concentrating on moving my body with the motor bed. I worked it up and down for hours. I was surprised the bed didnít break on me.
The next morning after breakfast, it was x-ray time. I told them if we took baby steps,
I would try my best to get on the x-ray table. We did get me on and got some good images for the doctors. After coming back to my room, I could see the sergeant was making his rounds and I was hoping he would forget about me, but no luck! He came in and I was going to give it my best shot. After moving very slow, I did make it out of bed. I ordered my lunch and was eating in the chair when a good friend stopped by to see me, then Dr. Bill dropped in, too. After about 90mins, I was ready to get back into bed.
Friday they got me ready to move to the rehab department. They finally made the move Friday night. I had a young roommate who just had his birthday there on the 9th, and coincidentally mine was going to be there on the 19th. We became good buddies, helping cheer each other along the way. There were many ups and downs along the way in rehab, but after great support from the rehab team, friends and family, I was on my way home on the 23rd of July.
Emailing Dave going home My Birthday
Iíve been home a month now, non-weight bearing on my right leg, using walkers, crutches, wheelchairs, etc. It's a big adjustment to what I'm used to. Iím been trying to get my work done and get in some healing time on my femur for the much anticipated upcoming start of physical therapy the first week of September. The orthopedic surgeon told me he did his best considering the type of traumatic fracture I had.
It could take a whole year before the bone is healed 100%. Plus, I may not be cycling and doing some other things as I have previously. All I can say is, "Boy, I hope he is wrong!"
A BIG thank you for all the support to the rehab team, friends and family, especially all the cycling friends for visiting, phone calls, cards, emails and the great food from -- The "Meals-on-Wheels" Team! A million thanks!
Thanks - Barbara Chudanski for one of many great meals!
After ten long weeks post-surgery, I followed up with the surgeon on
9-18-09 getting more x-rays to see how my healing is progressing. I was
happy to see the bone is filling in nicely and the doctor told me I can
start increase my weight bearing to 50% on the leg. I will be starting
physical therapy two-times-a-week for four weeks until my next visit to
the doctor. I asked many questions and found out there may be a problem
with the psoas muscle which is attached to the lesser trochanter area on
the femur. I'm not certain what the final outcome of this will be until
later. Presently, I'm concentrating on getting better with my PT home
workout and I am signing up at JCC to use the pool for walking therapy.
I have my new x-ray photos posted; you can see the area is looking
pretty good and I am glad about that!
Week one After ten weeks - Looking Good!
Psoas muscle which is attached to the lesser trochanter area on the femur.
Article on Vit D3 importance. Also see embedded articles, too. I think this is a big part of my improvement on my leg. The doctor put me on 50,000 iu every 72hrs for the first 10 weeks and now down to once a week. Plus taking 400iu two times a day on the off days! Wow, that's a lot of D3! Now I know why my nails are growing so fast!
After three days in the pool and occupational therapy this week, my leg is coming along nicely. I'm happy to apply 50% weight on my leg now and looking forward to 100%. I was on a bike at therapy but couldn't pedal a full circle. The muscles are still very tight. I can only pedal halfway around, stop--then go back the other way. I'll begin with this every time before going into the pool at JCC until I can pedal full circles.
9-29-09 - Week Twelve
I made it to twelve weeks! My friend Lily told me, this is where I'll see noticeable improvements. I'm not sure where she gets that from, but I hope she is right. Being an "Ihop" is getting pretty old for me and everyone that is around me. I'm able to work longer at my desk now, and I hope to get up-to-date with my work. I've been working many hours and taking a break by going to JCC for the pool and a nice warm shower. With the cooler weather and rain, it doesn't sadden me to miss cycling as much now.
I hope to be walking with more full-weight bearing on both legs by the 16th of October. This weekend "Oct-3rd" will be my last wedding working on one leg. I'm looking forward to the December 12th wedding where I should be full-weight bearing. I had better be 100%! I have to remove the snow from my driveway!
After making it to week "thirteen" my leg is getting better everyday. Great to see I can bend the leg more and moved from sleeping in my chair to my bed now. Iíve been tossing around a lot but it's getting better the last couple nights. I'm not saying week "thirteen" has been all lucky for me! Some new developments have occurred and most likely for the good within time. Now, I can sit much longer at the desk to get my work out the door, then off to JCC every night to work on my therapy. Until next time!
Week fourteen has passed -- I'm hoping for good news from the ortho surgeon on Friday. If I'm fortunate, I may get the approval to weight-bear up to 75% or more on my injured leg. Perhaps I should wait until Friday to post this report, but I'm writing it on Wednesday, the day which I count the number of weeks post-operation. Besides, I'll have something to look forward to on week fifteen.
After writing many ride reports over the last year on my bike site. I now write a progress report on my recovery since my bike accident. Previous to that, many of my cycling friends knew I was aiming for a big record this year. After that I was planning to sell some of my bikes and seriously reduce my riding to focus on other goals. The goal of my big record was to see if I could ride 5,000 RBC miles in one year. I was right on target/track for that goal until 7-7-09. For quite some time, friends were informing me that I was way far ahead and that I was still holding onto the over-all miles. But I knew eventually someone would surpass me at some point. Last week I was on Facebook and was chatting with Dave Lamb. I asked him how his ride was that day, and if there was an update on the total RBC miles, Dave told me I was passed. I had been receiving some input from the great "Day Riders" groupĒ and my money was on Jules to pass my numbers and get that top spot. I know the year isn't done yet, but I'd like to take the opportunity to be the first to say, "Congratulations Jules!" Nice job!
At this point I'll be working on R&R then B&B -- my Recovery and Rehab, and then building up the Body and my Business. I still intend on riding, but I don't think I'll be seeing anymore 12,000 outdoor mile years. I'm thinking of going back to golfing and the many other active sports I've done in the past.
My love for cycling will always be there, but it's time to open a new chapter and enjoy a different new ride!
Did you get your flu shot.....I did without crying too much!
My fifteenth week has passed. Iím moving right along with my recovery. Originally my appointment was for Friday the 16, but the surgeon called in sick at the last moment. They rescheduled me four days later on Tuesday the 20th. At that time X-rays were done which showed further improvement. I was looking forward to asking many questions which were answered. I was thrilled to hear the doctor give a green light for full-weight bearing. Plus, I got the okay to start spinning on a normal indoor bike. Now it's time to setup some time with the physical therapist to receive my next set of exercises. I will continue working my program in the pool and try gently adding on an easy treadmill. Boy is it good to advance to the next level. It'll be hard and awkward feeling, but I'm game!
Nothing new this week, just working hard at both my photography and recovery.
I may have to find a new PT! I've called them three times with no return calls yet!
Riding my bike like last year would of been more fun, than playing the part of a injured cyclist! Happy Halloween!