Well, after a great season of progressing my riding and learning my new home's trails (Reno/Tahoe), I had a buddy out from Vermont for 2 weeks of riding. I'm sure you can see where this is going.
On day three, we were hitting a jumpy trail. I had myself convinced that the upcoming line demanded muscle-truck speed, when in reality it wanted ballerina finesse.
I overshot the landing by about 3 ft. Since the jump was built on a downgrade, this put me at 8-10 ft to flat. I was unable to absorb all of this on my trail bike, so I looked to cut as much speed as possible before laying it down. I got down to about 10 mph, and started rolling into what looked like a clear, open spot. Rolled over twice, and popped up thinking I'd be fine.
I looked down and noticed a puncture wound spewing blood about 1" above my knee pad. I then tried to walk a bit, but I had what we'll call mixed results.
My buddy showed up with a first aid kit, threw a quick clot on, and tried to get me moving while it was loose and i was sipping on delicious adrenaline. I was a mess. Couldn't bend it, couldn't coast cause the trail was tech, could barely hop along next to my bike.
Luckily we were close to a fire road. 50-100 yards of embarrassing and painful travel made it clear I wasn't making it to the bottom of this sterling decent, so we formulated a plan. Jeremy and i would wait right there, and Curt and Landon would go grab the shuttle car and come pick us up at the GPS chords.
Well, it took about 2 hrs, but they finally got there with my trusty xterra. Another 45 mins of driving back into town were required for medical attention, and I was like mama going through menopause. Hot, cold, hot, shut up Jimmy!, hot, cold.
I, a broke grad student, had convinced myself that this was a job for no one other than the student health center. I'm getting my fees' worth, damn it. So that's where we went. Curt went in and asked for crutches, but instead they gave him the frail old secretary and a wheel chair. After some finangling, I ended up in the chair and in the health center. Student ID in hand, they couldn't refuse me service. So back i went into the tiny exam rooms.
The nurse looked scared. She didn't know whether to ask me questions or scream for help. She slowly took the dressing off after I suggested cutting it with scissors, and started working on removing the quick clot gauze. The doctor eventually came in and asked me concussion test questions. She then felt on the wound for a second, suspected something was in there, and suggested an ambulance ride to the hospital.
At this point I was shaking violently in a menopausal fit, attempting to refuse the ambulance. I mean Curt can drive, and he's a hell of a lot cheaper.
This was about as controversial as a new bike lane at a city hall meeting. All of the staff started talking at once insisting that I let the pros handle it (don't tell Curt they said that), so I gave in and accepted the ride.
2 campus cops, 3 firemen, and 2 paramedics eventually showed up to load me onto my stretcher. There are now about 10 adults and 2 beds in a 10 by 10 exam room. They managed to load me up, and off we went.
I got to the ER, and they took me back right away. Temp of about 104, obvious deep wound, and a suspected thing-a-ma-bobber lodged in there. They gave me a bit of pain meds and sent me off for an x-ray.
Much to their dismay, wood doesn't show up on x-rays. It's not that dense. But good news, no fractures.
Somewhere along the way, they decide they're gonna go old school on this noise. They hit me with some morphine like a scene in band of brothers (we can only spare one, doc!), throw down a touch of lidocaine for the lawyers, grab the forceps, and start yanking. Hard. For 3 minutes. About a third of the way in i made the mistake of looking, and dude that was gross. This skinny little doc joyously yanking on my inflamed knee playing forceps tug of war with mama nature. Eventually doc won, and this was revealed:
They gave it a good saline flush, wrote a script for antibiotics and 15 vicodin, and pretty much sent me out the door. "Son, you've had a puncture wound and a sprained knee. If the swelling persists, follow up with an orthopedic surgeon."
This all took place on Thursday. Then our favorite day, Friday, came around, and the riding crew is all hopeful Uncle Andy (me) will be riding again in a week.
Well, sorry boys. I had a fever. And a knee that wouldn't move. Bummer for sure, but let's monitor the fever and hope it gets better.
Saturday comes. More fever. More pain. Less good. The knee won't budge, and when we take the dressing off, it's apparent that some microbes have found a new home in my leg.
So I headed to the other emergency room in town to get their opinion. As soon as they see it, swabs and cultures are started. Blood is drawn. X-rays are ordered. An orthopedic surgeon is contacted. No news from the x-ray, so on to an MRI. The surgeon comes in and tells me I'm the lucky owner of a 1 in 10000 MRI. The stick lodged all the way to the knee joint, connecting the wound and my knee. He thinks there are still some wood fragments in there, puss and dead tissue all throughout, infection in the joint, and he wants to go all 2013 on this thing and operate. I was rolled. Into the OR at about 6 am Sunday morning.
So I've been in the hospital since Saturday night. It's Monday now. The surgery went well, and doc has me all cleaned out. I'm going into my third night here and can't wait to get out. I'm on IV antibiotics around the clock, and my bowel movements are cause for celebration. I'm hopeful that the infection will clear up, and I'll be cutting up the rug at my brothers wedding in 4 weeks.
Hospital highlight:an unnamed doctor from hospital number 2 helped build the line that I ate it on. Bless you, sir.
I have some graphic pictures of the wound. Let me know if you want me to share them. Thanks for reading
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Thread: Wood in my knee wound
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