...another surgery is very much a possibility. Yeah, that was really disappointing news for me today. Apparently my #5 isn't resting on top of #6 enough for the surgeon to feel like it's getting more stable. When you just broke your neck and you're in an incredible amount of pain the prospect of surgery sounds sooo good. It's like a light at the end of the tunnel. In my mind once I had surgery I'd be on the road to recovery. The thought of another surgery now seems so dreadful. I think I have a small appreciation for those who continue to have setbacks. I'm thinking about friends fighting cancer right now. I can't imagine the emotional drain that fight must have on someone.
This is my latest x-ray. What we need to have happen is the vertebrae just above the bottom screw to go back just a bit, so it fits right onto the notch below it. Hope you can see it.
Anyway, back to the #5. We're going to wait another 8 weeks in the collar to see if it mends itself to a point that it wouldn't require any surgery. But I think if it looks like it did today then we'd probably have the surgery done. The bad news is that the additional surgery would basically fuse 3 - 7 of my vertebrae, in one long fuse (or bad boy piece of metal). I really don't want to have to have this done as it would definitely limit my range of motion, and I don't want to go under the knife (or on the respirator) again. If I have to I think Michelle needs to come up:)
The good news is that, as the doctor pointed out when he saw my disappointment, I was standing and talking to the doctor. In the whole scheme of things when you take a look at my accident this is a really fortunate position to be in. He basically said that he could have fused them all during the first surgery, but if he were operating on himself he wanted to give my neck a chance to heal itself and be able to maintain almost a full range of motion. He said he thought it was worth it to have 2 surgeries if there was a chance of full range, and since there still is, I'm glad he did what he did.
So I'm in the collar for at least 2 more months. I definitely can't drive (the Dr. made it clear, since I was doubting Heather a little). I need to manage my pain, as it will take a while for my nerve damage to heal, and we'll have to see what the spinal damage pain does. Even if I have the additional surgery I will be able to do things I did before: play basketball, racquetball, ride my bike (although he recommended no more jumping), go on amusement park rides with my kids, etc. He did say all those things will now be harder to do, but I can do them. No Ibuprofen.
That's basically the update on the health front. I know some of you have asked about the accident. It happened at Trailside Park in Park City, UT. This is a video of some guys riding down the track. I wasn't on the track, there are a number of skill obstacles just above the track, but there wasn't any video of it, so I prepared a diagram I shared with one of my clients:
Fortunately for my my neighbor was with me. He's pictured below in the middle. His brother-in-law, Derek, was at the parking lot below and sprinted up the hill with some consecrated oil to help administer a blessing. I'm grateful these guys were with me. My neighbor, Tate, is an old ski patrol/EMT guy who has already diagnosed several accidents for our family (including Isaac running into a car with his bike). Derek provided additional ground while I was on the trail. I landed in a bit a ravine so he provided "support" so I could lay flat and be "comfortable" while the paramedics arrived.
That all I got for today. Looks like another 8 weeks of
winter the collar!