Sunday, August 7, 2011

Overdue Update from Brian

Screws holding plate (pictured below) from broken femur surgery.

Plate will remain permanently in my leg.
I have updated this a little less often then usual because admittedly I have not had much going on or much positive to say. Things have kinda been on hold dealing with the fracture of my leg and moving. Shortly after the golf event, I officially moved to Atlanta.  I have been here for a little over a month and have settled in fairly nicely. I had some much appreciated help from friends and family loading up in Charlotte and unloading in Atlanta. My mother and my soon to be brother-in-law, Andrew,  came down for a few days to help me get settled, I definitely have mixed feelings about this move. It is definitely the best place I can be to help me with my recovery goals but I will miss some friends and family from Charlotte and it puts me even further away from all of my immediate family in Raleigh.

Like I said and as most people know I have been dealing with an injury to my left leg. Earlier this year while I was temporarily in Atlanta for therapy I somehow managed to fracture the femur in my left leg. The femur is the large bone that runs from your hip to your knee. This recent injury has been super frustrating as it put an absolute hold on things in Atlanta and also since no one is exactly sure how it happened. I did not fall or do anything that would have been an obvious likely cause of the fracture. Just one night after therapy my leg started to swell and throb a little bit and I hoped and figured it would just go away but a day later it was still the same. I tried to hide it and continue to therapy but they noticed the swelling and made me go to ER where I heard the bad news. The X-rays showed a fracture and surprisingly it showed another fracture near this one that had healed, which I never knew about. I did take a lot of damage on the left side of my body and all we can conclude is that that side is weaker and more susceptible to further problems.

For about 3.5 months I have worn a brace on my left leg and have not been allowed to bear any weight on that leg. This has stopped all of my therapy and even physical activities in general. I have spent most of my time either laying down or sitting in the wheelchair just trying to stay off of it. I have been able to feel my body just getting weaker and weaker, especially my core and the strength and movement I have slowly been strengthening in my hip flexors and parts of my legs. Its funny in my world not being able to workout actually equals physical pain, my body just aches and aches all over.

Shortly after getting back to Atlanta I went to see my Ortho Doctor to check on how things were healing. While the new X-rays showed it was healing, it was not healing fast or strong enough and it would probably be another 3-4 months before it would be healed. My doctor, knowing how frustrated I was, decided to have me see a specialist that could perform a surgery that could get me back to bearing weight a couple of days after it. This definitely appealed to me and I went and saw this Doctor ASAP. After discussing the procedure with him and talking things over with a few people I decided that having the surgery was the thing to do.

So about 2 weeks ago I was put to sleep and had my leg opened and had to stay the night in the hospital. I hated being in a hospital bed again, it does not bring up the best memories and I have spent enough time in hospitals to last a few lifetimes. The surgery actually took my own bone marrow and injected it into the fracture and they also put a rod and screws as well as a plate in my leg to straighten and stabilize the fracture. I woke up with stitches and sutures in 3 incisions in my leg but was able to leave the hospital after one night. My father came down for a few days to help me with things and make sure I did not have any complications from the surgery. I left the hospital the next day and was cleared to actually partially bear weight the next day!

I just had my 2 week follow up and so far everything looks good. They took out the stitches and sutures and the X-rays showed all the hardware was in place correctly and the healing has been accelerated. It was a little crazy to see what I know have inside my body. They also cleared me to fully bear weight and get back into the pool and in another 3-4 weeks I should be 100% cleared to get back into the Beyond Therapy program at the Shepherd Center here in Atlanta. Hopefully things will continue to heal and stay on track for me to get back to work on my body. I am trying to be patient and not get too frustrated with the setbacks I have had. I wish I could of gotten this surgery a few months ago but I am sure the insurance companies would not approve this until you gave it time to heal in a less costly manner, which is frustrating but I have learned to be the norm in this health care industry.