As some of you might not be aware, I was involved in a car accident on Valentine’s Day right before the Rollingwood exit on south Mopac. I was driving home from work and rear-ended the lady in front of me, who was okay. The accident occurred at a slow speed, around 20 mph so the airbags didn’t deploy, but I had my foot really pushing on the brake and at impact my leg must have been locked as I broke my femur. It’s kinda like a #2 pencil. You can only bend it so far before it will break.
So the fire truck and ambulance came to the scene. My leg didn’t really start hurting until the fire department personnel started to get me out of my GMC Sonoma. They used a back board with 2 guys at the driver’s door and 2 or 3 guys at the passenger door, with 1 of the guys at the passenger door trying to hold my leg steady. At that point the pain began. They loaded me in the ambulance. The police officer got my name and insurance from my purse. The EMS gave me some pain medicine through an IV in my right arm and they took me to the nearest hospital, Seton at 38th and Lamar. They called James and he arrived at the ER shortly after I did, which was about 7:30 PM.
It was very painful at the ER. First, they moved me from the ambulance gurney to the ER rolling bed, which was painful. Then they rolled me into the x-ray room, where they had me take off my jeans that had been cut up the side in my vehicle and then they moved me onto the x-ray table. They moved my leg around and then I had to be moved back onto the ER bed. I was then taken back to the ER room where James waited. A police officer came and said he was sorry that this was his least favorite part of his job and gave me a ticket for failure to maintain assured clearance distance. He also gave me the info about the wrecker that removed my vehicle from the scene and other lady’s information. The x-ray people came back into the room and said they needed to take more x-rays. Fortunately, they said they could take them in the ER cubicle, so they put some plates underneath me, which hurt, and brought int a portable x-ray. After the x-ray, I asked the nurse about using the bathroom. She checked with the doctor and came back and gave me a catheter. No bed pans for me! She also administered some pain medicine through the IV as I told her the pain was a 12 on a scale of 1 to 10. The doctor told me I had a broken femur and asked me when I had last eaten. I had had a snack that afternoon, so they decided to admit me and perform surgery to fix it the next day since any food eaten within 8 hours of surgery could cause aspiration.
It was about 10:30 PM when I got taken up to my personal hospital room on the 6th floor. They put in my leg in traction. This involved a Styrofoam like boot that went up just past my knee with weights pulling my leg straight. It was very painful to put my leg in this contraption even though it had an opening all along the length; however, it hurt less once it was set up since my leg was being held steady. They also gave me a morphine drip that I got to push a button when I hurt, but it was limited to administering pain meds every 8 minutes.
The next day at about 10:30 AM I went to the operating prep room. I was put under general anesthetics. They drilled through the bone marrow (they said I had enough marrow elsewhere) and inserted a titanium rod. They then drilled holes at both the top and bottom of the femur and screwed the rod in place. They stapled me closed with 5 or so staples near my knee and 30-35 staples near my hip. While I was in recovery, Dr. Gueramy told my husband that it took longer they thought since I had very strong bones. Kinda ironic since it wasn’t strong enough not to break.
I made it back to my hospital room about 4:30 PM. I was in recovery for a little while since James told me that the surgery was over around 2 PM, but I had fallen asleep.They gave me an IV antibiotic and a nerve blocker, which was like the morphine drip, but it was directly to the nerve in my leg. They took the nerve blocker and IV out on Saturday. I started taking Perkiset, a pain medicine that contains Oxycodone and Acetaminophen. I didn’t get discharged until Sunday at about 2:00 PM as it took me a while to get comfortable using the crutches and being able to travel to the bathroom (the catheter was removed early Sunday morning).
Yesterday around 4:00 PM I started breaking out in itchy hives. At first James and I thought it might be from soap residue, as sponge baths aren’t the most effective way of rinsing soap (at least not without getting water everywhere). I talked to the Walgreens pharmacist and they said Benedryl wouldn’t interact with the Perkiset, so I took some. This morning I felt a lot better and the hives had pretty much gone away. However, they have come back and I can’t take any more Bendryl. One of the side effects of Perkiset is rash and itchiness, so it must be that or it could be an allergic reaction that took a week to show up. The doctor is calling in a different pain medication, so hopefully that should get rid of the hives and itchiness.
I will be on crutches for 6-8 weeks. Next week, I’m going to do some work from home. I’m getting the staples taken out next Thursday, March 1st. Hopefully after that I will get back to work. I’ll have to carpool with someone who lives near me, because I won’t be able to drive until I can put weight on my leg.
Thank you to everyone who sent cards, flowers and well wishes.
James has been the best husband ever throughout this ordeal. He was by my side the entire time I was in the hospital except for the two times I told him to go home. I tried to tell him to sleep at home since I know the chair and the cot they brought him weren’t very comfortable, but he wouldn’t do it. He just went home and got things I needed and cleaned himself up a bit. He is such a sweetheart. This week he is working from home. I am so glad his boss is so understanding. When I first got home, I had trouble getting up off the toilet, since it is somewhat low and getting my leg back up on the sofa or bed and James has been such a big help. He has also pretty much waited me hand and foot. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful husband.