All the Kings horses and all the Kings men COULD put Humpty Dumpty back together again!

Friday, August 6, 2010

And, BOOM There Goes The Dynamite!!!

OK, I realize that future blogs will probably have to use some more advanced attention grabbers...especially for you the advanced readers.  But I used the title again to catch you guys.  And, again, I used a pull from a video I watched that if viewed would not necessarily match Jamie's day.  But if allowed I can make a relationship to today's events.  That said, I recommend that each of you at some point in the near future do a Lou-gle (google) (Lou-gle of course is in reference to Hot Tub Time Machine...another great movie) search of the title....can you say awkward!!!

6 August 10, Jamie was down around rock bottom when I arrived today. I feel a little guilty because while I was enjoying my GrandSlam breakfast at Denny's...Jamie was not experiencing the same moment.  A recap of the atmosphere when I was finally kicked out of the hospital last night:  Jamie had just received two lax and some milk-o-mag and we were both giddy with the thought of Jamie waking from an Oxy induced stuper only to find himself pooled in a big heep of POO! “Oh, there’s that Salami sandwich!”

 Well, Jamie did have his "Morning Constitutional" but it was hardly the momentous occasion we had been excited about.  When I arrived at the room ...all Jamie could tell me was that his night was tough but Michael was the "bomb."  After some concerned questions, I got the whole story.  I found out that Michael was the nurse who helped Jamie through the BM experience.  Anybody who has ever been in the hospital and pumped full of "major league" style pain meds...or (in a plug to all my lady readers) given birth to a child...knows that the first BM is always a tough experience.  And Jamie's experience was no different.  After some coaching Jamie was able to muster a below average...but "I'll take it!" poop.  It was painful to say the I am sure you could imagine for a guy who has 5 fractures to his pelvis.  The highlight of the whole experience was his nurse, Michael.  I won't try to describe Michael by personal appearance...instead I will let your mindseye build this incredible individual.  Michael and Jamie hit it off tremendously.  You can imagine a scenerio where one man is at his most vulnerable and undignified state...and there is this gift from god who is able to make the whole experience as dignified as possible.  Michael had a tremendous sense of humor and upon coaching Jamie through this whole situation...and while cleaning his backside...had the presence of mind to sing the Crystal Gale classic…“Gonna make your Brown Eye…blue!”  Jamie loved it...but I think we all agree we will not listen to that song the same again!

I can't say that Michael was perfect though.  When I arrived to the room...full from my Grand Slam breakfast...I noticed that the room was a littlle "funky."  I figured it was the result of two guys in a tight spaced recovery did smell a little like poop so maybe it was just still in the air...I don't know.  Definately not too far a stretch from the smell of two stinky old men that is for sure.…the smell of man! Anyway, Jamie was nauseous and the smell was not helping him at all.  I didn't even have to say anything and Jamie volunteered after some time..."man, this room smells like shit!" I agreed and started looking for something....anything...that we could use to counter the smell.  There was nothing!  I even considered running to the local Target for a jug of "Old Spice."  Then, I noticed a small container of hand lotion on Jamie's bed side table and figured I could rub it on his face...particularly under his nose....and at a minimum mask the smell thus helping his nausea.  When I went to the bedside table I was hit immediately with a brutal gasious stench that rivalled the most potent nerve agent any terrorist could ever deliver.  Alas, Saddam's WMD???  I caught a couple loose elements of a dry heave in my mouth....but carried on.  I had found the culprit. Parked right there on the night stand was the once used and poorly rinsed further than 2 feet from a now agro'd Jamie.  That nasty bedpan needed an exit and fast.  No sooner than I had thrown it away...the morale in the room had improved drastically.  Through this whole thing, Jerry (Jamie's roommmate) was very gracious.  He had to be going nuts, though.   I know to many writing about this makes you think...."Man, Tommy has finally taken this thing too far!"  And, you are probably right.  But, this BM is momentous and a huge part of the road to recovery for Jamie.  It is what we dealt with today...and if you want me to describe as though you were right there with us...then you have to be with me on the description.  Plus, I would be a fool to walk away from such material!

On a side note. Jamie has a new neighbor that moved into a nearby room. OK, so I might feel a little guilty about this but... This new neighbor has not and probably will not go more than 10 minutes without yelling her discomfort out to a ward full of people in extreme measures of similar or worse levels of comfort. I heard it myself......"Owwww......owww....owww".... Well Jamie and I had the idea that if we were somehow able to slide Jamie's bedpan into her room we could at least get her to change her tune...."Owwww, ewwww....owwwww, ewwwww...owwww, ewwwww!"

When I arrived Jamie was talking to a Trauma Nurse named Tim. Tim (not the Tim from ICU) was trying to get caught up on Jamie’s case. Tim is like a mini doctor and will be Jamie's advocate from now on.  This has been the source of Jamie's frustration thus far.  Everytime he meets a new person in the recovery equation he feels that he must educate them on what has transpired between doctors.  And this was the case today.  In reliving the whole story "soup to nuts" style Jamie got down in the dumps and was at a low in confidence on the mediacal care.  Tim was potentially the straw that broke Jamie's...pelvis?  But, Tim did a great job in calming Jamie down and explained for the first time why there is so much conflciting word.  His answer is as follows: 

Jamie’s pelvis injury is right at the L-5/S-1 junction. (Where the last vertebra meets the Sacrum).  In the Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital everything to include the L-5 belongs to the Neurologist and everything S-1 and below belongs to the Orthopedist...AKA "The Deez."  Up to this point, Jamie has been judging his opinion off "The Diesel's" orders.  Tim ,with no vested intrest, explained that we should not discount the Neurologist's opinion.  This is important because if you are an avid reader of the blog you will remember that the Neurologist ordered a mold be made of Jamie's torso for a brace to protect the L-5 injury.  In discussion, a constantly upbeat and "positive to this point" Jamie, had finally hit a low point.  He felt that adding anybody into the equation at this point would be counter to the road to recovery and...quite brought him way down.  The key thing for us all to remember is that situation is unique…the injury is unique…at least for this Trauma Center…and so we just have to work through things.  Tim, who now feels Jamie’s frustration, has done wonders to re-assure Jamie that he will get some resolution. Tim has been good for Jamie's mental well-being because now Jamie doesn’t feel he will have to tell everybody what the other said.  The final decision is that Jamie will be molded for and be required to where a back brace in order to protect the L-5 vertebra through the healing process.  No big deal and the victory is that we now have an advocate and he knows and respects Jamie.  He made shit happen immediately...not least of which was getting two pig headed doctors to spare their egos long enough to pass some word to their patient!

Jamie is mentally ahead of his physical progress…I are thinking..."shocker!"  Part of his low point this morning besides the issues of communication among doctors and his “Morning Constitutional” was that he was amped up for PT.  In meeting Tim, we did some side steps as Tim got comfortable with Jamie’s situation and it looked as though Jamie would not do PT.  That got in his “OODA loop” (none military types might have to look that one up on Lou-gle). Jamie and I had a good talk this AM about what I would call setbacks, pitfalls, or hiccups. He knows this but needed a reminder and will probably need a thousand more when this is all said and done. Bottomline, the positive attitude when it comes to recovery from an injury like this means sometimes finding the positives in a day that didn’t feel all that positive. But on the whole, today was again a good day. He did end up starting his PT regimen and exercised his big muscle ladies... the "Big Purple Satchel" is not considered a muscle group...geez get your minds out of the gutter.  He had a full check-up from Occupational Therepy and worked some issues with his right hand (they believe there is a nerve that assists with his middle, ring, and pinky fingers that has been affected making his dexterity somewhat suspect). Lastly, he had his pain meds changed…note to all he doesn’t do percocet!! (That should come as no surprise to anyone that has bellied up to the bar with him though…”I’ll have a Cranberry and…").

OK, folks so we have done another turnover and my Dad, Tom Sr, will stay with Jamie for the next couple of days.  It has been a pleasure for me...perhaps almost therapuetic for me to write these blog entries over the last few days.  Jamie is and always has been my best friend.  I don't like to see him in any physical or mental pain...and so my heart goes out to him.  I do know him well, though, after 40 years and I know this.  He is a perfectionist and has extremely high standards.  He is destined for many occasions where his mind is ahead of his body's ability to recover.  And, when things slow down he will look at that as a setback when in reality it is merely a sidestep.  It is incumbant upon all of us to remind him of the positives...even if they are modest.  Sorry, I will get off my soapbox...but today was a day when we had to recap all of the good as it was masked in the stench of one giant "And, BOOM, There Goes The Dynomite."  Until tomorrow....


  1. Tommy, Another great posting on our Jamie's progress.

    Jamie, I told you what that pot roast can do. Now that you have that first event out of the way hopefully the next will go a little smother. No pun intended. Take it one day at a time. Your family and friends are all here for you and though the end may seem light years away it won't be that long till you are up and walking around again. Stay positive.

  2. Jamie (& Gail)
    In addition to Advil, Costco also sells big bottles of Tylenol and I have lots of ice packs, heating pads & Sudoku books for when you get home. (The Tylenol is for Gail).
    We wish you a continued speedy recovery,
    Mary, Phil & Isabella A.
    PS - Thank your brother for the wonderful blogging. And truly, we are so grateful for your good luck in all of this.

  3. Nice work Tom...

    I for one, do feel your descriptions have put me right in the room with the two of you... for better or worse!

    JAMIE.. you are healing that's POSITIVE by definition. Don't measure the rate of progress, there no manual, no predetermined milestones... Race and Recovery are not interchangable in any circumstances especially in yours. This shouldn't be hard for you.... Think of yourself as a fine wine developing its refined, complex characteristics... it takes time to achieve perfection. And in your case quality of recovery is more important than the rate of your progress. I have ruptured my right achilles tendon and my right bicep tendon. And had surgery to repair both. Certainly not as severe as your injuries, but severe enough to know that being patient mentally is critical to the allow your body to make the physical recovery.

    Best to you my friend,