Saturday, September 27

doug's status

Saw Doug at Creighton ER around 14:00. He had a cat scan and everything looked ok. The doc suspected bruised spinal cord. They were going to move him into ICU when a bed opened up. He was in a lot of pain, his arms felt like they were on fire. He was sensitive to them being touched or moved. They gave him steroids and stronger pain meds. They were going to give him an MRI when I was leaving.

Doug said he was riding well when he endo'd going around a corner. He could not move or feel anything immediately afterwards but could move his extremities later. He has broken his neck before and has plates along the spine. This impact is more painful than the break.

As more info becomes available, I will pass it on.

Doug and Mary appreciate our thoughts and prayers for his recovery.


dale said...

The MRI showed a spinal contusion which should improve with the steroids he's on and rest.

He is spending the night in ICU and the neurosurgeon will see him Sunday morning.

He in a lot of pain and can't move his head b/c it's still in a brace. Therefore, Mary asks for no visitors for a while.

Thanks for your prayers.

dale said...

From Mary:

They can't get the pain under control as it's nerve pain & reacts poorly to meds. We didn't get to a room until 8:30 but he was more comfortable once we did - a bed is softer than that board he had to stay on.

dale said...

From Mary:

Doug was moved out of ICU to a regular room. He did 5 laps around the floor and wanted to do stairs but they wouldn't let him. 8-)

He is feeling better though still having pain. He will keep his neckbrace on for quite a while.

dale said...

Saw Doug and Mary around 17:00 today. He is in better spirits with the pain being around "5" instead of "8". There is a white spot on his spinal cord indicting nerve damage. The feeling in his hands are ok but the forearms and upper arms are very sensitive and he cannot tell between blunt and sharp pressure applied to them. Doctors say he has made a great recovery but they're not sure he will regain his pre-accident feeling. Only time will tell. Currently, his left arm movement and flexibility is less and slower than his right arm.

Hopefully he will be coming home in the next day or two but the neckbrace will be on for at least two weeks with no driving and probably not being able to work.

Mary wrote tonight that Doug is adamant that he's retiring his bike and is brainstorming for new hobbies. Mary is pulling for hiking with dogs on mtb trails. :) Though I have mixed feelings about not biking, Doug has had several life threatening events while bike riding. I understand his decision and won't try to change his mind. Though heretical (and painful) to say on a bike blog, biking is not necessary to life.

Doug is in room 5227 and can be reached by dialing 449 and his room number.

Mary says: Thank you all SO MUCH for the prayers, kind wishes, & messages. I wish I could call or email each of you back individually, but Doug is blessed with so many friends that I'd have no time with him if I did so. I let him know that you're all praying for him. And we both know that is why he's making such incredible progress.

dmars said...

Take care Doug!!!

dmars said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dale said...

From Mary:
Doug is still walking and talking (a bit too much of both, I think). He had a good morning but was wiped out by the afternoon due to two sessions of occupational therapy, lots of blood draws, blood pressure readings, temp taking, too much time visiting, etc.

His nurse put a "No Visitors" sign up tonight as he was worn out and needed to sleep. He did sleep well last night (good drugs) but was still in quite a bit of pain this afternoon when it wore out. His neurosurgeon (Dr. Talon) is going to give him different meds to help his extreme sensitivity on his arms & shoulders. He indicated that he has bone chips on the back of his neck which they won't do anything about.

The good news is that he thinks Doug will come home tomorrow. It'll be a big relief for me as I'm at the hospital about 12 hours/day and will be happy to get some things done at home. I spoke with his boss tonight & he was very kind & supportive - said to let Doug know to take his time coming back to work until he felt up to it. And my boss was understanding about me not traveling for several weeks. So, things continue to go as well as can be expected. And I'm sure that is because of all your prayers, love, and support.

Both Doug & I have been overwhelmed by the kindness and we are so appreciative. When he gets settled in and we can get the pain under control, I"m sure he'd love some visitors.

dale said...

From Mary on 10.1:
Doug slept great last night, walked around the block this morning w/ me & the dogs, and is now napping. He gets wiped out pretty easily - one phone conversation, one quick visit.

His pain is still pretty intense despite being on three different pain meds. I am going to be working on the sensitivity to his arms/shoulders like the occ. therapist showed me. A cotton ball barely touching the skin leads to extreme pain so we'll be desensitizing those areas slowly to hopefully get all of that back to normal over time. I'm guessing that is why the MD decided he has to wear the neckbrace for six weeks, but that's a complete guess. (Maybe he was chicken to say "six" to us and instead told us "several". :)

Thanks so much for all your offers to help. I don't know if work needs to be done at Tranquility, but I'm sure Doug would want the trail to stay in good shape. I don't know if I"ll go back to work next week or wait one more week. I will be able to work at home part of the time. Our next door neighbor doesn't work so she offered to help Doug during the day too when I"m at a bank in two weeks.

Long term, I think Doug's most difficult healing will involve the psyche - giving up biking as he intends. It's a tough decision - Doug's absolute passion is biking, but he's has so many serious accidents that maybe God is trying to lead him in a different way that he's been ignoring. But, we'll go through that when it comes. For now, we'll work on reducing pain, resting, and healing. As the "crisis" part of this is over, I'll only send emails occasionally if something is new. Doug will try to read the emails over the next few weeks. We feel very blessed and grateful for the incredible MTB family!