• The Recovery
  • Home Sweet Home {First weeks after the Injury}

    ….pain pills, pain pills, and poo poo….

    Our first few weeks home were difficult. Very difficult.  On everyone.  I was used to having help, the kids were used to Daddy being their jungle gym, and Daddy was used to being everything to everyone.  Now, unable to do ANYTHING on his own.

    Our first day back Jamie seemed to be feeling alot better. Just being home helped alot.  He was able to eat something for the first time since his injury.

    Since we came home on a Friday night, we would have to wait until Monday to schedule to have someone from home health come out to “teach” us how to transition Jamie from the bed to the toilet, to the lift chair that Jamie’s uncle had brought for us.  Jamie was already starting to get bed sores on his bottom from laying in bed for a week now.  We knew we absolutely could not wait another 3 days for someone to come help us move him.

    We decided to give it a shot and Jamie was in good spirits since Bama was playing. Although after the game he was bummed. He said that being stuck in his bed trying to watch a game felt like watching it at the library.  (So, because of that-I had to add this video because I recorded it of my husband on Sept. 5th, 2015- almost exactly 1 year prior to his injury. My husband is a mess and a lot of fun, and I’m so glad I have this- in case he doesn’t get to celebrate Bama this way again- ROLL TIDE)

     (Day 6) I was SO nervous. The fear of hurting him was awful.  We talked through how we were going to move him step by step before starting. 1) Jamie will pull himself up using the trapeze bar above the bed. Once in a sitting position, I will 2) Move his legs slowly – pivoting them towards the off the bed position. 3) Then slowing lower his rigid legs to the ground. 4) The walker would be positioned right next to the bed. 5) Once Jamie was secure and his feet planted good on the ground, Move the walker in front of him. 6) Jamie would use his upper body strength to lift himself to an upright position- keeping the weight in his upper body- while I held the walker firmly in place so it would not slide out from under him.  7) from there we slowly pivot, one small shuffle at a time until he was turned and I could then place the hospital toilet behind him. 8) From there Jamie would transition his weight from the walker to the arms of the toilet seat, while I moved the walker out of the way.  9) Once his weight was shifted he would lower his body onto the toilet seat while I would 10) slowly lift his straight legs at the same time onto something to rest his legs on while on the potty. (We found stacked pillows to work best because anything stiff would cause severe pain for Jamie).

    This would take several minutes, each and every time we would have to do it.  For the first week home- Jamie could not go to the bathroom due to all of the pain meds. So the battle of the poo began.

    This video was taken on Sunday Sept 4th, 2016. Day 7.  As you can tell we were both still really nervous and timid as we had only done this a handful of times so far. Little did we know we would be doing this ALOT in the next few days. (Apologies for camera placement-and my big arse)

    When my sister was fresh out of surgery from her injury at the Trampoline place- she also could not go poo.  She eventually had to be rushed to the ER to get “unplugged.”  I knew I DID NOT want to have to do this- so it was my mission to get him to go.

    We tried EVERYTHING. Stool softeners, Phillips, Miralax, Saline Laxatives, Benefiber…. His tummy would rumble and roll but nothing.  4 days of this. We had called the Dr. and they told us to keep doing what we were doing.  I finally remembered that when my daughter would constipated when she was little Raisin Bran would always do the trick and apples always helps my Grandma. So I forced Jamie to eat the Raisin Bran (he is very picky). He begrudgingly ate it.  He also ate probably 100 apple slices…  On day 10- we finally got him going!

    But then. He couldn’t stop. 🙁  For a week it was the getting on the potty process literally every couple of minutes. Our new normal- Jamie just chillin’ on the potty in the living room.  One thing that Jamie and I have been good at is laughing at ourselves.  We have had to do that a lot to stay sane.

    Gulf Shores Trampoline Injury Bedside Commode

    Also during this week we were learning how important it was to stay on top of meds and keeping a journal of everything.  If we didn’t write it down it was impossible to remember.  We were doing 2 Oxycodone every 4 hours, a muscle relaxer every 8 hours, a blood thinner every morning (to help prevent risk of a blood clot due to lack of movement).

    On Tuesday (Sept. 6, 2016) Day 9: Comfort Care (A home health therapy company) came to help teach us how to get Jamie up and moving. Pfsssh. By the time they got there, we already had it figured out!  She did change Jamie’s dressings for us.  We had not taken the bandages off at all since the surgery and had no idea what his wounds looked like. He had staples on the outside and sutures inside, that is all we knew.

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    Also that day (Day 9) We got Jamie into his wheelchair and decided to take him for a walk outside for a little bit- just to get him out of the house.  Well. That lasted about 5 minutes. It was very hot and humid out, and Jamie quickly felt very nauseous and sick probably from all of the meds he was on.

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    We made sure to give Jamie the muscle relaxer every night before bed because since the accident occurred he was having crazy dreams of himself doing things like: Jumping, Skateboarding, Karate etc and each time he would dream these things we would wake up drenched in a sweat and hollering terrified.  When this would happened he would jump and we were worried he was going to hurt himself, so the muscle relaxers helped keep him a little more “relaxed.”

    I had been giving Jamie bird baths in the bed every day or so, and changing his sheets every other day. I can’t imagine how he felt not being able to bath for almost 2 weeks at this point. I also never imagined I would be bathing my husband at 40 years old- or helping him wipe his bottom. 80 maybe….40? Never crossed my mind.  Funny how life happens.

    The first follow-up with the Surgeon was scheduled for Day 15 after the  accident.  We still were really unsure about transportation. We decided we would have to get Jamie into the back of the SUV, lift his legs up and sit him sideways back there since he was still in complete immobilizers and had no bend to his legs. (Bending wasn’t to start until SIX WEEKS OUT.)

    Dr. Frerichs was very pleased with Jamie’s drive and progress but still very adamant there was to be no bending, no getting them wet etc.  He also approved Jamie to start PT that week.

  • The Recovery
  • Asleep when they go in, Awake when they come out- Staple Removal.

    At the 6 week mark, it was time for Jamie’s second follow up with Dr. Frerichs. As we were getting ready to leave Jamie said, “Bring me my hat….”  Sometimes, you just have to make light out of things… plus with Jamie at my mercy… I just have to pick a little..

    The Factory Gulf Shores injury

    Well. He didn’t want that hat. Go figure.

    So, I got him a baseball cap and we were on our way. Movement was still VERY limited.  Again, Jamie got to ride in the cargo area of the suv, still unable to bend his legs at all with his legs in complete immobilizers.

    We knew there was a potential for the staples to come out this time, and for that reason Jamie was very nervous.  Large scabs had formed around each metal piece.  Where the two sides of the incision met up, the skin bulged and twisted- leaving what we thought would be a horrible scar.

    Jamie was still having a large lack of confidence in his healing, letting his mind really mess with him. (He still does to this day and we are at the 12 week mark now).  With every step were his fears of all of the intricate work that the surgeon had done on his tendons coming undone.  He had solid fears of his knees easily re-rupturing, his patella tendons giving way again.  With these fears, he was also terrified that his incision wouldn’t be fully healed when the staples were removed.  He was afraid if he wasn’t careful the incision would just split wide open.

    We arrived at The orthopedic group’s office in Foley. I pulled up to the front door drop off area, parked, opened the back hatch of the truck and like clock work Jamie slowly inched himself to the edge of the truck.  I held each leg straight out slowly lowering them til they met the ground- then placed the walker in front of him.  He inched to the door making his way in while I parked the vehicle.

    We were ushered back to the room upon arrival.  A mere 50 feet away.  The walk, without exaggeration, took close to ten minutes.  Nurses passing giving that “bless his heart,” look.  Inch by inch with Jamie placing the majority of his body weight atop that walker we made our way.  Like getting out of the truck, we moved in reverse lifting his body and rigid legs onto the examination table.  We were doing this move a lot (getting in and out of the bed and lift chair) making our moves more and more like clockwork every time.  He lay there wringing his hands together. I could tell he was trying so hard to be brave, but so utterly nervous on the inside.  I only remember seeing this look on his face one other time….

    ……. Last Father’s day I rented a tandem kayak for us to spend the day together in.  We paddled from the boat launch in Orange Beach (near tacky jack’s), over to the island where we splashed around a bit, then launched off again tooling down Ole River where we eventually stopped at The Florabama Yacht club for lunch.  After lunch we headed back to the island for a bit.  Arriving where the mouth of Ole River meets Bayou St. John (Just East of Bird and Robinson Island and just before Terry Cove) the boat traffic had become quite heavy.  We paddled between large vessels, our kayak violently teetering between each swell that was cast our way.  I glanced back at Jamie for reassurance…. at that point I realized, “Holy crap, Jamie is more scared than I am!”

    …….That was the look he had that day awaiting the Doc to come in to assess his knees.

    Dr. Frerichs came in.  Yep, they looked good enough to come out. All 51 of them. One at a time. Slowly.

    img_7041 I was pretty sure we would need to have a fracture treated while we were there also. Jamie was crushing my hand and squeezing more tightly as they tugged at each one.

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    Hiding his fear under there…

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    Before they started removal.

    img_7042  Jamie said some came out easily, and some felt like she was trying to get a fish hook out of his skin.

    staple removal the factory trampoline injury in gulf shores

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    bilateral patella tendon injury at the trampoline park in gulf shores the factory

    All Out and taped up.  As soon as the scabs all healed, he would be able to have a real bath/shower.  Instead of just the “bird baths” he had been having for the last 6 week…  Lots to look forward to!

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    Surgical Staple removal The Factory Gulf Shores injury