Hello. I'm a 28 year old male AKA of the left leg. I lost my leg in a motorcycle accident back in December 1999. To be honest, the loss of my leg was one of the least things that I have been through. I sustained an open book pelvic fracture, traumatic amputation of my left leg (AK), broken right ankle, a broken femur (right leg), broken left hip, broken left arm (upper), and a broken right hand. I think that is the "just" of it.
I wasn't wearing a helmet so I'm very lucky to be here and very lucky to not have suffered any major head trauma. After being rushed to the hospital I lost consciousness, but was able to give the doctors and staff my fathers phone number as well as my brothers. My brother worked at the hospital as a flight medic so some of the crew recognized me and called him as well. I was on a ventilator for about a month. I had a fixator place in my pelvic area to heal it together. I had to go through hyperbaric treatments and many surgeries. A rod was placed in my right upper leg, in my left arm, screws in my right ankle, pins in my right hand, and an artificial hip socket on the left side.
In April of 2000 I was released from the hospital and sent to Health South Rehabilitation for physical and occupational therapy. I stayed there for a month and then left to go home with my mother. I was giving a colostomy while in the hospital because I had drainage that was getting into my pelvic area and they wanted to stop the infections and save what was left of my leg/stump. Well while at home, July 18, 2000 to be exact, I developed a small bowel blockage and had to be rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. When I awoke from surgery, I realized I had been "out" for nearly a month again. Some of you may have experienced this (and I had after the initial accident), but when you are out like that, and on a ventilator, you tend to have some sort of "out of body" experiences. When I woke up I remember the doctors coming in and explaining that I had developed what they call fistulas on my stomach area. These developed because my bowels had gotten so weak from the blockage they sort of leaked into my insides and I developed a terrible flesh eating bacteria that I can't pronounce much less spell for you. They had to cut most of my stomach muscle and tissue out all the way up to near my chest. Hard to explain, but anyway, my fistulas (two to be exact) were from my small bowel to my skin. Therefore I would have to wear another colostomy bag on top of my stomach to collect the waste and leakage. I'll save you from the details, but trust me, this was one of the most trying times I have ever been through or care to go through. I wouldn't wish this on my wost enemy.
Due to multiple surgeries, these colostomy bags wouldn't stick or adhere very well. I couldn't move without the thing leaking or just simply falling off. I would eat and my waste would just shoot through into the bag and if the bag came undone I was forced to lay there trying to get another on while bowel was shooting through my skin. Almost like a water fountain or geyser. Well I had to start TPN (Total Parental Nutrition) again (I was on this in the hospital before I was released for the second time in October 2000). I was in and out of the hospital for some other surgeries as well. My trauma doctor/surgeon wanted me to gain as much weight as possible before he could go in and repair my stomach. I lived with having to have TPN at night and with these fistulas until May 31, 2002! I don't know how I was able to get through it, but I somehow did.
The surgery to repair my stomach and hopefully reverse the colostomy as well was set up with my trauma surgeon and a plastic surgeon who was going to take muscle from my right leg (my so called good leg ) and "flap" it onto my stomach to create a new stomach wall. All in all the final surgery last year was a success and they were able to rid me of the colostomy as well. I could have lived with the colostomy, not the fistulas, but I'm so thankful they were able to rid me of this as well. Only thing is once again, I developed a terrible infection and was back on the ventilator for 3 and a half weeks. I was released last August and I've only been back once and that was for pancreatitis, which is very, very, painful!
On to my leg/stump and my future goals. I have a unique situation. It's not going to be easy for me to be fitted for a prosthetic, if ever. I'm going to lose more of my "stump" which is alread roughly 8 inches above the knee. Since my pelvis was pretty much shattered, and I was bed ridden for so long, my "stump" is stiff and sticks outwards a little. Some extensive therapy has helped, but I have two pins that sort of hold my stump in place with my pelvis/hip. My trauma doctor doesn't want me to have any sort of major revision(s) done to it just yet because I really need to heal a little and I'm not really ready for any major surgeries. I know I'm going to have to see some "specialists" that specialize in these rare problems. Hopefully one day I'll have one, but for right now, I can get around on crutches and in a wheelchair fine. I'm really using my crutches more, but my wheelchair seems to be a "security blanket" for me. Since I have had so much done to my right leg as well, I've had to do extensive therapy on it as well to strengthen it back up. One day and I'm sure of this, I'll be walking again. I'll swing a baseball bat again. I'll swing a golf club again! I've learned many things through this, but one of the most important things I have learned is patience! It's truly a virtue!
Sorry for the long first post, but I felt I needed to get everything I have been through out of the way so in future posts someone may realize where I'm coming from in saying something. I was searching tonight online for places to buy one shoe and came across this site. It's also ironic that it's Sir Paul's birthday as well!
I hope to get to know some of you. I hope to learn from some of you and I hope to maybe help some of you in any way I possibly can. Sorry again for the long post, but hopefully it was an interesting read. :D