Tuesday, December 23, 2014

off to the spa














So the teams all converged onto the middle of 118 at the prearranged swap spot.  As they wheeled me out of the ambulance, there was a helicopter parked in the middle of the highway with an emergeny crew from Alpine there to block traffic.  Note: If you are taller than I am (6' 1"), they will have a bit of trouble fitting you into the helicopter while on a gurney.  My biggest regret was not taking any pictures from the flight - but the crew was all business at that point.  Apparently, their biggest concern is keeping patients alive and not allowing them to throw up in the tight confines of the cab of a helicopter. They gave me a shot for that and I never was nauseous.

Once up in the air, the medic told me if I needed anything for pain to let them know right away because it is easier to keep ahead of it than trying to catch up.  Midway to Odessa I asked for a little "bump" and was all warm and fuzzy for the rest of the smooth flight.  We arrived at the hospital in one hour.

I got quite a reception when they rolled me into ER.  I seem to remember about 15 people there to watch as they unceremoniously cut all my clothes off.  I have to say that the worst part of the ordeal up to that point was when the doctor informed me that bones outside the body was not a good thing and they would have to rectify that.  The pain wasn't really that bad comparatively, but the thought of what they were doing was not pleasant.  My main concern at that point was no one knew where my camera bag was - although they made a point of having security bag and secure the $31 I had in my pocket.  I told one of the nurses I hoped that would be enough to cover everything they were doing for me.

They x-rayed me right there in the ER then took me to another room for a cat scan.  Another lucky break - no unlucky breaks anywhere other than my leg.  The orthopedic surgeon came in to talk to me briefly to say that I would be having 2 operations - one to clean everything up and set the tibia...then a second to check for infection and set a small break in an ankle bone.  He told me he was like a very well paid professional carpenter hired to do a renovation - that does the job right so it only has to be done once.

The funny part right before the surgery was the anesthesiologist who introduced himself.  He was wearing a big black cowboy hat.  He informed me that since it was his responsibility to breath for me while I was under - if my beard got in the way it would have to come off.  My last worry before I went "night-night" was the thought of waking up without my beard...

To be continued...
40,50,50,0,W

24 comments:

Rita B. said...

Dang John. That really does hurt to look at. Sounds like you had some very good people looking after you in Odessa. Maybe we'll see a picture of them one day. It's interesting hearing your story in "parts," but I guess it's also good for you to reflect and be able to record it all. Looking forward to Part 3.

WhyR said...

Thanks for filling in the blank spaces, JW. This is just the sort of thing that people have been clamoring for since the blog went quiet. I'll bet the critters around the Lab are glad to see you again.

Larry G said...

yup. thanks for sharing the agony!

;-)

looks like Alpine did not have the expertise you needed which makes me wonder if helicopter rides for serious injuries are excuse the phrase - De rigueur..... for your section of the world...

we often forget just how highly skilled our doctors are and most all of us - almost without question, put complete trust in - well... complete strangers.. putting us on life support and rearranging our innards...

kinda interesting...



George Alexander said...

Ya know, i just like to read what you write. Just something about it grabs me.

Sam Finn said...

I can't help but wonder if anyone recognized you from TFL blog? Hang in there.

Margery Bills said...

Interesting commentary John. So glad you had such good care and everything went so smoothly for you. I think about our poor friend from Ohio and how he died and he had not even gotten started here (he was around 50) - no insurance. The odd part was, he came from a city near where some of my ancestors came from and I could not find one person in the state who knew him to help him and no one could contact his brother. I guess the rest had died. I also have helicopter service. I have not used it yet. How are you doing on your home help? How did your animals receive you? 6'1" that is pretty tall and handsome.

Ken Huntington said...

So glad it all worked out well. It is nice to have good sense of humor. I have checked with the wife and if needed I can be called upon for a week of "Ranch Hand" Take care and heal quickly.

Margery Bills said...

You know a hat is a statement in Texas. Some even get their hat engraved on their tombstone. For instance the head sheriff (English descent) wears a white cowboy hat and western style (represents the good guy obviously). Everyone has their own special western hat. I could not get my tombstone next to a hat tombstone. It did not seem respectful or appropriate to me since I found out that I have one of the same grandfathers as U. Grant whose family lived near mine in Ohio (all came from N.E. Way back). But all the people in TX came from somewhere anyway.

Margery Bills said...

I was once married to an Anesthesiologist. I'm glad yours was alert (not on anything) and up to the task. That's another thing to be thankful for.

gumo said...

This is better than TV.

justastick said...

John your dilemma made me think of(No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;)

remmij said...

…how can any of this be true when you appear fit as a fiddle, sitting on the rails?… wait, you weren't born in Tejas…, never mind.

Thankfully, the beard abides.
It would be traumatic for a sharp dressed man to have his duds surgically removed and to have the whiskers in peril…

rondeb said...

Sounds like you got the best of the docs. Did you get your camera back. Amazing that you can recall so much.

Rob said...

The picture of the leg gave me the willies... glad you had insurance so you can tells us the story.

How long have you been growing the beard?

Smack Mama said...

I love your sense of humor through all this. And thanks for sharing this new chapter in your life with us.

Owyn said...

THANK FOR SHARING

Margery Bills said...

Remmij, thanks for the videos. :-)

Margery Bills said...

For John=💐

janebee said...

Yikes! Well, at least, your sense of humor did not break. I am so glad that you are on the mend. A wise healer once told me to remember that the body DOES want to heal. Courage. Thanks for writing.

Margery Bills said...

Google is tracking Santa Clause. On CNN this morning they said he already left Africa and was in NW Australia and had already delivered six million dollars worth of gifts.

pamit said...

I too am glad you got to keep the beard! Not because I am not curious what you look like underneath it, but...you will have enough "change" to deal with from all this! Thanks for the great details and X-ray picss. Looked like a clean break but dang...if the soft tissue had torn badly you could have lost the whole foot I reckon!

Zole said...

Welcome back John! Get well soon.
How did your pets react to your return?

Kevin Yorke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scooter L Hines said...

Thanks for the Update !