Saturday, October 03, 2009

Recovering From a Bike Accident

Uschi guarding "his" dad,...

This is Lesley (and Tanj, Uschi, and Vladi) writing for Mark because he is recovering from a bicycle accident he had on Wednesday. I have been posting blogs we had in reserve until we knew Mark will fully recover and now I can tell the story (with Mark's help).

There are two kinds of cyclists:
Those who have had accidents,
and those who will.

Mark has been lucky as a cyclist and has never really had an accident where he has gotten seriously hurt. A few spills, a few scrapes, but lucky overall. Wednesday Mark went out for a ride on a course he has literally ridden 100s of times before. He took a corner and next thing he knew, he was regaining consciousness while laying in the middle of the road. Luckily, a pick-up stopped to help, and it happened to be a former co-worker, Thanks Chad!! He drove Mark back home (about 5 miles away). We now know that the day before a truck went off the road at that corner, and dirt was left on the road when it was pulled out of the ditch, then it rain over night. Mark must have hit the mud while turning. He was really lucky to not have been hit by a car while unconscious on the road. Mark does not remember even starting to slip, just waking up.

(some gruesome details and photos ahead,
but there is a happy ending)

I was asleep when Mark woke me to say he had just had crashed. At first I didn't know how bad it was because he sounded O.K. and was walking around. Then when he started to take off his sweaty and mud-covered bike gear to wash off, we began to realize he was pretty banged up. He said his face and wrists really hurt. Mark got into the tub, with my help, to try to wash off the mud, but then he started to bleed from the nose and mouth and I knew we were headed to the emergency room. I helped him dress in loose clothes, got the necessary goodies (ID, insurance card - which he always carries while riding) and we drove to the hospital which is across town.

We were at the ER for five plus hours and at first we waited for over an hour before anything was done because they were understaffed. When Mark started vomiting blood a paramedic, who had just dropped off a patient, was called in to help get an IV started and painkiller and anti-nausea medication administered. We were then hustled to radiology for a medley of X-Rays and CT scans. I watched the digital images come up and knew right away that Mark's lungs and ribs looked O.K.. He had broken his right wrist (Triquetrum) and also his right cheek ("tripod" bone), the probable source of the bleeding. We headed back to the ER and Mark was given a splint for the wrist and sent home with 5mg Oxycodone pills for pain, anti-nausea medication, and an appointment the next day to meet a surgeon regarding his facial injury.

This is Mark as soon as we got home,
I think he was trying to smile.

Its hard to tell, but Mark's right cheek
was collapsed in by almost a centimeter.

The boys definitely knew something was up.
They were pacing around the room.

I made up a bed on the couch for easy maneuverability
and the boys had to investigate.

"Are you O.K.?"

Vladi was upset...

His tail was going thump-thump-thump.

Uschi laid down,...

...and kept a close eye on Mark.

Those are some big pupils.

We wanted to see the bike gear to try to reconstruct
what had happened.

The streak of mud shows why bike helments are so important.

Uschi had to investigate too.

This is stinky.

Vladi thinks its stinky too.

Tanji found the stinky (and damaged) Rocket7 bike shoes.

That night (Wednesday), the boys slept close to Mark.

Thursday morning a friend of ours stayed with Mark while I went to work (Thanks Griz!) and in the afternoon we met the surgeon. He recommended Mark have reconstructive surgery on his right cheek the next morning. Luckily the right eye's vision seemed fine and Mark's teeth seemed intact, although a bit numb. Next, we visited the orthopedic surgeon, who decided the wrist will probably not need surgery. We also visited the physical therapy department to set up an appointment for shoulder work and a new wrist brace. We then went to the hospital for blood work and to fill out pre-admittance paperwork. On the way home, we stopped by the grocery store to get soft/liquid foods since Mark was having some trouble chewing. We packed up some bags of goodies for the hospital and tried to get some sleep.

(more graphic details and photos ahead)

Friday morning we woke up early and stopped by work to get a few things done before checking in for surgery at 7 a.m.

Mark wore his usually cheerful clothes
and was joking with the nurses and doctors.

The surgeon had reviewed the full CT scans and let us know he had some work to do. The surgery lasted about two-and-a-half hours as the surgeon re-positioned the bones on a titanium scaffolding from a spot near the corner of the right eye and from inside the mouth. The surgeon let me know that Mark's vision should be O.K. and that he will be swollen for some time due to the inevitable soft tissue damage while moving bones around. Mark was pretty drugged up and took a while to fully wake up...

Waking up after surgery.

This might look terrible, but this is the moment I knew
Mark was going to be O.K, so its one of my favorite photos.

By 5 p.m. we were home again, and Mark was able
to eat cold lentil soup.

This reminded us of the scene of Steve Martin
eating dinner in "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels."

Mark had received a really nice bouquet from work,

Uschi thought this was fantastic.

Yum! (I took it away, we didn't need a trip to the vet too).

Last night Vladi slept on Mark's legs, Uschi at his feet, and Tanji next to him on the ottoman.

So it's Saturday, and Mark is feeling about the same, but looks a bit worse due to the post-op swelling. While talking with his sister, Vladi kept him company...

At first Vladi looked a little pissed. After all,
he hasn't been on a walk outside since Tuesday.

Then Vladi started to get comfy...

Oooh, that feels good.

Even Tanji has calmed down enough to sleep in his cave.

I think we are really fortunate Mark is home and expected to make a full recovery, things could have gone so much worse. It will be some time before he is using his right wrist, so I will be posting blogs for awhile. There are sure to be many photos of the boys mushing Mark and keeping our spirits high.


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17 comments:

Freya's Staff said...

Great post Lesley, and I really hope Mark is up on his feet again soon, with the minimum of pain!

b.b.blueeyes said...

This is part of what I'm sure will be an avalanche of wishes for a speedy and complete recovery for our favorite blogger. I'm certain that it will be helped along by the loving attention of your three sons. And I add my concurrence that you did a wonderful job with the post, Lesley. Thanks for keeping us updated!

Anonymous said...

So glad you're already on the other side of the surgery, etc., and that it wasn't worse. I love your cats and your blog, and I'm delighted your spirits are rising.

emiliethestrange said...

Get well soon Mark.

Daisy said...

I am so sorry Mark was injured! Thank goodness for helmets. I wish him a quick recovery.

Pam said...

We are so glad Mark is going to be ok and nice to know someone would stop to help him. Glad you were wearing a helmet too. :-) Of course the boys knew something was not right, they are very smart. And Lesley your post are great. Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers,
Pam, Kinny, Tessa and big Sam

Rusty said...

Oh, man, Mark really got banged up good. I'm glad he was wearing a helmet and glad that he didn't get banged up worse. I hope he feels better real soon so that he can get back on his bike. I'm real glad he's ok.

Anonymous said...

Leslie, great post and thanks so much for giving us details on the accident, as well as Mark's prognosis. Hope he's on the mend soon and how could he not be...with such great caretakers around!

Shariff a/k/a Reefie (my Bengal boy) and I wish you a speedy recovery, Mark.

Jan from Memphis

tribabe said...

Lesley, nice job taking over the blog! Thanks for the updates and we hope Mark is well soon.

Riley & Tiki said...

Wow! Very scary. We hope mark recovers quickly. Good thing he was wearing a helmet. Sending purrs and soft woofs.

Tiki & Kesey

Anonymous said...

Oh Dude ! So sorry to hear all that trouble. Thanks to Lesley for the post. Keep us posted on yr progress along w/ the boys. --the last line to M's comment about cyclists is 'those lucky enough to have stopped before' . . . Good luck, fast recovery and hope yr not too stiff in a few days. What about the shoulder ?? maxcat

The Island Cats said...

We are purring for Mark and hope he has a speedy and full recovery!

Wally, Ernie & Zoey

Bengal Lady said...

My heart sank when I first saw the blog today, but am relieved that he is going to be okay - of course, not after a very painful recovery. My thoughts ard prayers will be with you all and give lots of love and well wishes to Mark. No pressure, but he has to be up and around by the end of the month, so he can come up to Portland. :-) More than On Safari, I was looking forward to seeing you two.

Tanj,Uschi&Vladi said...

Bengal Lady, we've been thinking of you and we have already been planning on Mark healing up for On Safari because we are looking forward to seeing you too!!

The Meezers said...

oh oh oh dear. we hopes that DadMark is feeling better soon!!

many many purrrsss to you!!!

Max said...

Oh man, doood! That really bites! I hope Mark heals up with no weird side effects and that he's back cycling ASAP.

Meadow said...

I am glad Mark is going to be okay, that was a scary day for sure! I am glad the furry crew is helping him recover :)

Speedy recovery Mark!!