Monday, October 1, 2012

Return to the Scene of the... -- Mon., Oct. 1

Crime? Accident? Misstep? ...Injury. Yes, Ill go with injury. 

We went to Corpus Christi today to follow-up with my maxillofacial surgeon. Before we went to his office, though, I told Bob I wanted to go back and see where I fell to figure out what on earth happened. All I know from my memory of the event is that I tripped on a curb I had no idea was there.

Let me preface this by saying a few things:
  1. It was dark.
  2. We were in a totally new city we had never visited before.
  3. Where I come from on the West Coast, wheelchair ramps/curb cuts are the whole corner of the intersection with no obstructions from sidewalk to street.
  4. As we got to the corner, since the light was red, we turned to look for a Veterans War Memorial mentioned in our walk directions. We spotted it and then turned to cross the street. The green light for our direction came on.
  5. Apparently my mind made an assumption as we waited for the light to change that this was a typical wheelchair/disabled ramp to the street with no obstructions.
Here are photos of where I fell (only this is in daylight).

We had just come down the hill from the cathedral.
 The steps coming down the hill are just off to the right of the photo above.

Came down this sidewalk in the dark. See the curb? I didn't.
I did not see the curb in the dark and I guess I didn't expect it. I feel justified in saying, "This really sucks!" OK I said it, now I feel better.

I got a bunch of angles of this place and took a photo of where they apparently moved the crosswalk about 10' to the left, which was around the corner to the left. We were looking back and to the right for the Veterans Memorial, which we saw, by the way. We were at a complete standstill at the red light. Our feet were behind the curb at that point.

The unexpected offensive tripper curb.
Another view of where I thought the crosswalk was.
Some of my dried blood (the dark color) is still on the street even after rains this week.
Where the crosswalk was moved (left of fire hydrant.) Dark color in street to right of stop light is my blood stain.
Here you can see the relocated crosswalk, also surrounded by curbs!
Restaurant where Good Samaritan lady worked. She brought ice over.
OK, enough about that. On to better stories.

At the maxillofacial surgeon's office, they took a new x-ray of my face. When the doctor took a look at me, he was stunned. He really couldn't believe how much I've healed in a week. Almost all the bruising is gone. My lizard lip scab fell off the night before, so that looked better. My x-ray looked very good and the bones are healing nicely. He said my nose is nice and straight.

Speaking of my nose, I don't know if I mentioned, but I have stents in my nose. With a broken nose, if you don't put in stents to keep the airway open, then your nose collapses in and you can't breathe through it. Stents are soft rubber, shaped like a half of a small tube. They are held in with stitches in the nose cavity. Am I grossing you out yet?

Anyway, my stents are holding my nose open and will be removed next week. This week they took out the stitches over my left eyebrow (actually there were more than six stitches, don't know exactly how many) and a few stitches on my nose.

I asked the doctor my whole page full of questions. Here's what he told me:
  • The liquid diet I'm eating is fine. Add Boost or Ensure. He thinks there's a non-dairy version.
  • Constant drainage out of the nose is normal in facial fractures.
  • There are all kinds of different side effects with head trauma.
  • Concussions and brain jarring take six months to heal. 
  • My jaw will most likely be unwired in three more weeks. 
  • No oral surgery on my teeth can be started until after my jaw is unwired. 
  • I will most likely need at least two root canals on front teeth. 
  • I have to keep sleeping in the recliner until my nose stents are out. 
  • No exercise until after the nose stents are removed next week, then only light exercise like lifting weights. Hah! 
The big deal today was they removed the heavy-duty bands from my wired jaw and replaced them with lighter weight bands that do not make me feel like I have lockjaw. Yay! He said in a couple of days, I can eat scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes and oatmeal!!! We'll see because right now I can't figure out how to get those foods in the small opening between the new lightweight bands, although they may stretch out a little.

The doctor explained to me why my original wired bands had to be so strong and so tight. Because my upper jaw and cheekbones were so badly broken and my lower jaw was healthy, he wired my mouth tightly shut so my lower jaw helped form a "cast" for my upper jaw. He did not want my jaw to move. Well let me tell you, it didn't. It definitely felt like lockjaw.  

Today was good from the perspective of losing the stitches in my face and the heavy-duty bands wiring my jaw together, plus the doctor is really happy with my healing so far.

Here is what I'm most thankful for:  
  • There was a crack in my skull above my left eye and a bone fragment could have entered my brain, but didn't. 
  • I could have broken my neck, but didn't. 
  • I could have been paralyzed, but wasn't.
Welcome to our newest subscribers CJ and Jerry of It's a Cozy Life. More new faces with new stories to tell. Thanks for dropping in.

And Doylene from A Gracious Home has joined us as well. Welcome. 

Sunnie pics:

Bob thought this was too much of a "butt shot," so he took the next photo.
Driving back to San Antonio from Corpus Christi, we saw a rainbow with suns rays going through it. Something is lost in translation, but you get the idea.

Rainbow with sun's rays plying it.
And a gorgeous sunset!
 Travel Bug out.