Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Kneecap Recap

I realize that many people have heard half the story, or parts of the story but most don't know the whole saga.

So for the faint of stomach, skip to the end and know that Shel is going to be ok. If you are into the nitty gritty, read on.

Last Sunday (10 days ago), Shel and Eric went for a dirt bike ride. This was a confidence building ride because Eric is a nervous dirt biker and Shel wanted to spend some easy time with him so that Eric could continue to enjoy his outings with his dad.

They stuck to easy trails - flat, wide and fun. Apparently they had a BLAST together. The most fun ever. Finally, after a couple hours they turned towards home. Descended the mountain together and were riding on a flat, wide, gravel, public access road heading towards home.

Shel saw a herd of cows on his left side and as he passed them, a yearling bull jumped from the ditch on the right side and began to run parallel to him on his right. Shel realized that he needed to get in front of the cow.


This is when the cow decided to jump in front of him to rejoin the herd on the left.

Shel bailed on his bike and tumbled. At this point, Eric thought the rolling black figure was a bear, when in fact it wasn't. It was his father.

The following is speculation but the truth as best we can tell. And Graphic. Be warned.

Shel was impaled by the foot peg of his bike. There was only a one inch round whole in his jeans and no other visible marks on his jeans.

The skin was torn in an arc across the knee cap and down the side of his leg approximately 13 inches.

The foot peg entered his leg 3 inches above his knee cap and "deboned" tissue from there, through 9 inches BELOW the knee cap. MIRACULOUSLY not destroying his knee cap or breaking any bones.

Where the muscle wasn't torn away from the bone, the skin and fat was lifted off the tissue, but not torn off. Think skinning a chicken - that was Shel's leg.

He was taken by ambulance on Sunday night to our local, small town hospital where they stapled him together and gave him oral anti-biotics. And SENT HIM HOME.

Tuesday his drain was removed.

Wednesday the infection started up. Thus began several days of hours and hours in the ER getting anti-biotics through IV. They removed 21mls of fluid from behind the kneecap on Wednesday but it showed no infection in the joint. This was a good thing, we thought.

On Saturday the infection was worse. Shel was noticeably sicker, weaker and in more pain. Again they tapped the kneecap and removed 21mls of fluid again. This time it showed vast amounts of infection.

The decision was made to send Shel by ambulance to a larger city with specialists and surgeons available. I followed along with two of the boys, arrangements were made for the 3rd to stay in our town, and the 4th had left that morning for hockey school.

While in the ER of the city hospital, Shel behind the doors of the locked down unit, I in the waiting room, I had the unfortunate experience of witnessing a horrible tragedy of a young man dying from a canoe accident. And his daughter being told in front of me that her daddy had died, all while I stood in the hall way. Please, if you are reading this, WEAR YOUR LIFE JACKET.

Shel was taken for surgery at 9 pm that night. I waited for him and was able to spend some time with him at 1 am.

The report from the surgeon was that the injury was more severe than we had realized (see above the whole 9 inch deboning etc) and he thought it was "very cool". Thanks Mr. Doctor!! Anyways, he was able to remove all the dried blood, abscesses, etc and put Shel back together. He also did NOT drill the kneecap because in his estimation the infection was NOT in the joint.

We don't know why or what happened to the infection that the local doctor found. But we are giving God the glory on that one. FINDING the infection got Shel into surgery (which he needed) at a better hospital with a specialist. The specialist NOT finding the infection in the joint meant the surgery was far less invasive than it could have been.

Shel was giving "Nuclear" (in strength) antibiotics and was released from hospital on Tuesday. He needs to be seen by the surgeon again next Wednesday where a determination will be made as to whether or not he will need a second surgery to put things back together some more.

He has huge, massive, deep bruises on his hips, a couple cracked ribs and lots of healing road rash. He is drugged. Happy and trying to work from the couch.

And best of all, he is alive.


Andy said...

And best of all, he is alive.

Yup! that is the best!

what a story and what an injury!!

Here's to healing quickly!!

pam said...

Just one quick question.... did you get to keep the cow?

skirbo said...

I bet the whole family is eating their beef with a side of vengeance at the moment. (Even though the cow probably wasn't hurt at all.) It is indeed a miracle that things have ultimately gone so well. Helps me not miss my own motorcycle too much.


Unknown said...

Cow was TOTALLY fine. Big bad bull. The police did go look for it to put it out of its misery, if needed, but in fact although it was limping, it was eating immediately and just FINE.

Shel, on the other hand, has been requesting beef with every meal. Steak and Eggs. Roast Beef Sandwich. Ribs.

He is on a personal mission to get every vegetarian to eat one cow.

Anonymous said...

At least he has his sense of humor!

How are you Jen?!

Anonymous said...

I admit the photos were very cool! I'm glad he is alive and healing up at home! Thats the most important thing! :)


Anonymous said...

Keeping you and your family in my thoughts!

One Busy Momma said...

So glad to hear dh will be ok!!
Hope he has a good recovery!

Denise (PackGirl)

Anonymous said...

Wow! Quite the accident...I'm glad that he will one day make a full recovery.
Our thoughts & prayers are with you all.
Fiona & Boys

PWNort64 said...

Glad he is on the mend. My thoughts continue to be with your family.

skirbo said...

While he is recuperating you ought to get him to watch either the re-runs or the DVDs of The Avatar animated series. He reminds me now of Sokka, the "sarcasm and meat guy". Yeah, it's a kids' series, but it's really well done and lots of adults have really enjoyed it.


Anonymous said...

Jeez Jen! I had my stomach muscles all clamped down reading this! I could picture it vividly. As a fellow biker it is all too real. As a fellow repeat knee injury person, I so felt it. I am so glad the infection was not there. And to God be the glory! What an awesome God we serve. It got Shel to where he needed to be to be repaired. I am so happy he is going to be ok. I am sorry you have the flu. It stinks when we can't be sick properly ourselves. Many prayers still coming your way.
Susan (eyejustam)

Lala's world said...

oh man yes best of all he is alive thank the Lord!
so glad things are better!

we are heading to the lake and yes we will ALL wear our life jackets! thanks for the reminder!