Saturday, 5 July 2014

The aftermath ...

It certainly puts your mind at ease, when you get rolled into the Emergency ward of a hospital and a full team of experts swings into action!

Of course the drugs helped ... morphine and entonox ... the thigh was still spasming! Meanwhile my cycle kit was being cut off me and was prepped to go in for a xray.

In for one, but couldn't get my good side, so it was back for a second with the ED Consultant Saskia keeping the tension on my leg reducing the spasms. Got a good picture the second time to confirm that I had a spiral fracture to the femur just below the head of it ...

A discussion was held to either operate immediately or to wait for the morning ... morning with a full team in the operating theatre was decided!

A very disrupted night was spent, hourly observations, thigh spasms, morning couldn't come soon enough!

I headed into theatre about 7.30 in the morning waking back in my room about 1pm. Now sporting the most customized piece of cycle bling in my leg, inserted by two most expensive tradies out there ... my surgeons (Chris and Darre)! I now have a titanium rod screwed to the top and bottom femur. Something not readily available at your local bike shop!

Sunrise from my hospital window in Rotorua

Unfortunately, I had developed Compartment Syndrome in the thigh. Compartment Syndrome is where there is a build up of toxins in the quadricep muscles and that they had to do a Fasciotomy. That is to split the thigh open (like you would butterfly a leg of lamb to bbq) to take the pressure of the muscles and then they flushed me with fluids (a drip and plenty to drink) to minimise the build up of toxins in the kidneys. there is a marker (CKm) in the blood to measure this build up it sitting at 1800 and it needed to be below 400 to close the leg up! This finally happened on the Saturday morning.

Now I had 3 incisions, 26 staples and 24 stitches holding my leg together and a drain running out of my leg.

Meals were always a surprise nothing like their description!

Saturday morning passed under a general aneasthetic but was looking forward to Chris arriving that evening, it was bloody good to see her, Sunday my very good friends, John and Mair made the trip over from Hamilton giving a good boost to my moral.

It was now that there was talk about getting me back to Christchurch. 

Swelling difference between the knees

Progress was made, negotiation with Christchurch Hospital to take me was successful, they organised the NZ Flying Doctors to pick me up on Tuesday afternoon, I was loaded into their Beechcraft King Air C90B for the 90 minute flight to Christchurch. I could not stop smiling once I saw the Canterbury Plains!

A HUGE THANKS to all the staff of the Orthopedic, Surgical and Emergency units at Rotorua Hospital, you are fantastic!!!

Two days in Ward 19, with friends visiting life was starting to get more positive, talk turned to me being released home ... 

Thursday 3rd of July, once Chris finished work, we headed home, stepping outside the hospital towards the car the emotions took over, I became a bit of a happy blubling idiot ... this was a call to close for me!

I have covered some miles solo, in some wilderness areas ... someone was looking over my shoulder for when and where this happened.

Also when I entered the Kiwi Brevet one of the charities I donated to, was the West Coast Canterbury Air Rescue Trust ... the operators of the NZ Flying Doctors ... paying it forward!

The other useful item I was wearing was a Road ID bracelet which had all my important details on it, well worthwhile!

End of Phase One!

 I had not shaved for the time I was in hospital so signalling the end of Phase One and the start of Phase Two a bit of a tidy up!

Phase Two started at home - The next four and half weeks is to adapt around home on crutches and not place any weight on my left foot, the stitches will come out this week. the Physio has given me some small exercises to do, trying to increase the flexion-extension of my knee. My leg is not in a cast so it does have own mind and spasms occasionally ... not pleasant

Phase Three will be the following six weeks introducing some weight bearing on the left leg and will increase the rehab around the muscles

Overall, I have been told it will be a total of forty weeks (9 months) before the femur has healed to where it has the same strength as it had before the accident.

Warning: Below are some photos ... some are graphic ... if you don't like graphic  photos don't look! They get more graphic the further down you go.

Bruising on the hamstrings

Bandaging on the thigh

Staples on the knee incision

The three incisions

The Fasciotomy

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