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Author Topic: Blackburg Down  (Read 9325 times)
Doctor of Scooterology

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Location: Louisville, Ky (Lou-a-vul to the locals)
Bikes Owned: '16 Can-am Spyder RT Limited SE-6, '08 Suzuki Burgman 400 w/Tow-Pac (better half's), '07 Honda Reflex Sport (also better half's)
Posts: 652

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« on: May 17, 2015, 10:07:53 PM »

Obviously way past time for me to have updated my report ... I'll blame it on the drugs.  Thanks for your good wishes - much appreciated.  Hopefully this report won't be too boring ...

Saw surgeon on 5/2 and had 3 3/4 hours of surgery on 5/3 (took longer than he anticipated*).  Outside of left tibia plateau (top of tibia) was fractured into 5-7 "identifiable" pieces (apparently below a small size they don't count), and there was a lengthwise crack about 1/4 of the way down the tibia.  The multi-pieces left a void between tibia and femur.  Crack was fixed with screws (can't even be seen on post-op x-ray).  Void was filled with calcium phosphate which is held in place with a plate that's screwed into tibia.  No load bearing for 3 months, but it actually takes about 2 years for the body to fully assimilate the calcium phosphate as/into bone.

Saw doc after 12 days and all looks good.  Had my 35 staples removed (30 in one line, 2 and 3 in two other places) without issue.  It looked pretty ugly when first revealed (this past Friday) but after just a day it really looks almost normal, just swollen.  I really haven't had a lot of pain (mostly an itching, aching feeling) and have been down to just one pain pill at bedtime for about 5 days (with no distractions at night it kind of "stands out" making drifting off a bit difficult).

I no longer have to use the immobilizer unless I want to (for "security"), and being able to shower without 10 minutes of pre-shower wrapping & taping is a major advance.

The big issue now is just getting around.  I still have a sore chest muscle so using crutches or the walker is uncomfortable.  The wheelchair makes it much easier but it doesn't fit everywhere.  I travel the stairs on my backside, one step at a time ... hardly dignified but it strikes me a lot safer than crutches (no chance of falling).  I've some exercises to do and in home physical therapy is supposed to be coming.  The in home part was unexpected but welcome, especially as we watch our 5 month old grandson during the day and taking me anywhere requires our daughter to make other arrangements (his "capsule" and my stiff leg won't both fit in the car just yet).

Amazingly the bike does not appear to be in very bad shape - just ground up plastic on the left side.  Essentially, I just low sided.  After tossing me the bike just slid on its left until it made it into the grass, then stood up to almost vertical, and fell back down.  Today was the first time I got out to take a look at it (as best I could from wheelchair).  I also took a closer look at my gear and was surprised by all the cuts & scrapes I found that I really wasn't aware of.  Message reinforced - wear your gear, even on short runs.  Some photos are posted at https://www.flickr.com/photos/56056153@N08/sets/72157650662390624 .  By the way, as an AMA member, the bike was hauled home per the road service that comes with auto renewed membership.  I went down within a couple miles of home.  My daughter, who stayed with the bike, said the guy who hauled it spent as much time tying it down as he did driving it home.  AMA claims to take care to only call folks who know how to haul bikes ... we're convinced.  It starts and appears to be running just fine, so it's just sitting in the garage with a battery tender attached.

Of course every event such as this has many stories to be told ... my favorite:  I'm in the ambulance being strapped down and the EMT is playing the do you have dain bramage, twenty questions game. 
EMT: What year is it?  Me: 2015 (nailed it)
EMT: Who is the president, even if you don't like him?  Me: Obama ... what?  What do you mean if I don't like him?
EMT: We have to say that because so many people get upset when we ask.  Me: (hmmm?)
EMT: What month is it?  Me: April (it's April 29th)
EMT: Close enough.  Me: What do you mean close enough?
EMT: It's May.  Me: No, it's not.
EMT: Oh wait a minute ... let me think ... yeah, you're right.  (In her defense Derby is always the first Saturday in May and, in Louisville, spring time revolves around the Derby.  Since we'd been immersed in Derby festivities for two weeks and Derby was just two days away, for a lot of folks here it already was May).

As regards "what happened" ... I locked it up, and low sided.  Obviously I saw her there and could not believe she pulled out.  My reaction was involuntary - I was sliding before I even knew I had done anything.  My first conscious recollection after seeing her pull out was of having the brake levers pinned to the handle bars and looking down at the ground.  I don't know which wheel was locked up but I only saw one rubber strip on the road, and the groove from the dragging center stand when we passed by the site going home.  Of course I've rethought this a hundred times and wished I'd gotten off of the brakes to regain traction - but given the time that would've taken (even just fractions of a second) I'd probably have hit her and no telling where'd I'd gone then.  I wish I'd had ABS ... it may well have saved me.  I get practicing emergency stops so you don't lock it up but, as I said, I was unaware I had even applied the brakes until I was already sliding.  Retraining your brain/muscles to not react by immediate, hard braking must take a LOT of practice.

* A side note:  A high school buddy of mine works for Styker and sells "body parts".  Turns out he knows my surgeon well and I suspect, via their reported discussions, I've a more personal connection to my surgeon than normal.  I've no doubt his care is exemplary for all his patients (great reputation) but somehow this personal link feels most comforting.

Spyderist, formerly known as ZURG

If You Don't Ride, You Don't Know
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