Sunday, November 21, 2010

Just a little update.

Well it is almost the end of November and I (Nicole) have been horrible about updating this blog. Never thought Jeff would be better at it than I am. We are doing pretty well. Jeff is finally back to work Thank Goodness. He really hated being stuck home and missed his job everyday. He may not be working the shift he wants too right now but he is back to work. I don't think I have ever seen someone who loves their job as much as Jeff does. He truly loves helping people! I am truly inspired and proud of everything he does. He is working a 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift Thursday through Sunday. So we don't see each other much,but starting in January he will have a lot better shift. I am looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas, I don't have to cook a big meal either day, seeing as how Jeff will be at work. So I plan to spend the Holidays with my parents and brothers. All in all things are looking way up for us! Well that is all for now I guess! Happy Holidays to all who read this! (P.s. the pic is kinda old but I like it alot for some reason!)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Well, it has been about 2 months now since I last wrote here. Since that time I have had surgery, been back to the Dr. multiple times (various reasons, suture removal, follow-up and again for follow-up). Been through 6 weeks of physical therapy already, and getting ready to try and go back to work.

We'll start with surgery: Surgery was June 10th up in Park City at their newer hospital. It was really nice, they have a quiet waiting room (i spent all of 5 minutes there), fireplaces burning and the whole works. In the surgery packet I got it said to limit your guests to a max of 2 but you had to bring at least one person with you or they won't operate, for some reason. :) I had Nicole, Mark, both parents and step-mom Joyce come up for moral support. They took me right back to pre-op and got to work. They shaved my shoulder (?) couldn't tell you why, it's not like I'm a hairy beast or anything, but it's what they do. Got me a tiny little IV in my hand after the nurse numbed it. I told her she didn't have to but she did anyways. They took a orange marker and wrote yes on my right shoulder and left me alone for a bit after they told Nicole she could come back and keep me company.

Dr. Metcalf came in to visit for a few minutes, took a purple marker and wrote ya on my bicep area so I had it written on me twice. The Anesthesiologist came in and asked the same question everyone else had too and then he found one of the techs walking down the hall and there I went. Going down the hall, the Dr asked what I did and I told him I am a paramedic, he said they come through IMC all the time intubating and such. When they got me in to the OR they did one of the strangest things I have seen, I was introduced to everyone in the room and they all introduced themselves to me. I recall saying "No offense, but in 30 seconds I honestly hope I don't remember any of your names." I got a courtesy chuckle, they had me move myself over to the table and I was advised not to worry about the bean bag in the middle of the table, it just helps hold you in the right position for the Dr. to do his work. No sooner had I slid over, my hand started to tingle a little bit. I had just enough time to look up and ask why my hand was tingling and heard "well, you just got 10 mg versed (benzo sedative), 100 mcg fentanyl (narcotic sedative) and 4 mg zofran for nausea." The room started spinning and I had just enough time to say "good night" before I was gone.

Surgery lasted about 45 minutes, the Dr said he was expecting to find something was just stretched out some, but when he actually got in my shoulder and took a look around, he found a Labral tear and fixed me up with a couple stitches and looked over the rest of my shoulder while he was in the neighborhood to make sure nothing else needed to be fixed. Not finding anything he closed the tree little holes he made in my shoulder. I was wheeled out to wake up. From what I am told the only thing I was even remotely insistent on in recovery was I had to have my glasses back so I could see. I also really did not like the oxygen mask on my face. While they had me under they gave me a brachial never block. In effect paralyzing my right arm and incidentally the right side of my torso. Only important organ there is the lung, which didn't want to work very good so they couldn't keep my blood oxygen levels up, imagine that!!!! I am told I was the life of the party, from what I recall (not being a whole lot) I tried to get the discharge instructions myself, and the nurse very wisely distracted me. Dad had been standing there the whole time and when I said "It's my shoulder, give me the information!" she very quickly replied, "Look there's your dad." That's all it took to distract me at that point. I don't recall a whole lot about the ride home, I vaguely remember the sling being placed on my arm and a short wheel chair ride to the truck, not being able to move my right arm at all, not a lot more than that.

So, the Dr sent me home with a prescription for pain pills, I guess we stopped on the way home and picked them up. For some reason, my phone was taken away from me for the first while. Nicole didn't want me calling random people in my drugged state. I was allowed to talk to my friend JJ and he got me all hyped up about gummy bears and then Nicole's mom called to see how things went and I told her I liked gummy bears and she volunteered to bring some over to me and I am told I very politely declined, got off the phone and promptly told Nicole I'm glad your mom is bringing me gummy bears. Needless to say, I got gummy bears that night. Nicole sent her mom a message saying you probably better bring him some, he's expecting them.

The learning curve for my pain meds was a fairly steep one; the strongest medication I had taken to that point was Ibuprofen 800 mg, if there was even a remote possibility of me needing to do anything more than 15 min later, I wasn't given any. Right after surgery, I was put in the shower AFTER I had been given 2 of my pain pills. This was still a big production, we had to get my sling off, cover the dressings and I had to have tons of help because I could only use my left arm. Then I had to have help drying off, again-I'm not a left handed or even ambidextrous person. By the time I was being dressed again, I am told I was trying to dance around the bedroom. It's what happens, I had no idea where the meds were in the house, I got one before Nicole left in the morning and she left another one by the side of the bed after which I got no more until she got home. Something about they made me VERY goofy and I didn't need to OD on them. In addition to that, I'm not sure where my keys lived for the first 2 weeks after surgery, they were on vacation. I wasn't allowed to drive.

So, I had my first follow-up (f/u) with the Dr 5 days after surgery to see how the incisions were healing and to make sure they were not getting infected. We walked into the Dr's office, his ATC (athletic trainer) took one look at them and pulled them right out. He said I was healing up beautifully and they were ready to come out. When Dr. Metcalf came in, he went over the pictures he took of the inside of my shoulder and told me I wouldn't be using my right arm for the next 4 weeks until my next f/u. That was the longest 4 weeks of my life. Especially since it took me past the 4Th of July. Summer fireworks were not possible this year. The only thing I could do was drive a truck pulling the trailers around. Couldn't do much more than that at all! :(

Went back for my f/u and was told I would be doing 6 weeks of range of motion physical therapy only. The muscles which hadn't been moving and had glued themselves together had to be broken apart before I could get any strength back. I went to the same PT as before surgery. For the first week or two, the PT was all manual manipulation, the therapist doing all the work, just getting my arm used to moving again. NO fun at all. I am not rotating my arm (parallel to the ground) about 75 degrees out, almost all the way! Lifting my arm I am about 145 degrees, they don't want me to be at 180 degrees yet so it works out! Reaching up behind my back is the area I am not progressing as much as I would like but I can reach the bottom of my thoracic ribs now which is a lot better than it was previously.

I had my first f/u since I started PT this week. The Dr asked how I was doing, I said much better, I can move my arm again. To show him I raised it as high as I could. He got a small look of amazement and asked how the rest of the motion was. He checked my motion and then help my elbow out and told me to resist him pushing on my wrist. He said that was surprisingly good as well.; I am now on a full-time strengthening program for therapy. I was also released to "light duty" at work if the boss man is willing to work with the restrictions I was given. I can lift 25 lbs to my waist and 10 lbs to my shoulders. I am back in Dr. Metcalf's office in another 5 weeks or so to see if I can get those limits increased (cross your fingers). I talked to work earlier today and they said they needed to talk about it amongst themselves and would have an answer for me about light duty in the warehouse soon. I would be willing to work in PR with the one girl doing that, or even if the only thing they would let me do; dispatch. Can't wait to get back on the ambulance!!

All-in-all, I can't really complain about much of anything right now. Well, I could but nobody want's to hear about it. Those who do, can't do anything about it so I won't. Everything is getting itself taken care of. Hopefully I will have some pics to post up here soon enough of what's been going on: surgery, scars, wounds, etc......

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Getting Fixed!

Well, it has been just about 9 months now since I got rear-ended in the accident. I have been doing rehab for my shoulder, and back to try to fix them best as we can and prevent more damage being done in the future. Sad news now; I found out last week, after x-rays an MRI, a couple visits to the Orthopaedic surgeon, and weeks and weeks of physical therapy, surgery is now unavoidable. The ligaments are just to damaged to repair without major intervention. My Dr. has said my shoulder it to unstable to leave alone. He said he wouldn't feel very good about not fixing it. He also said while he is in there fixing the ligament(s) he knows are damaged, he is going to look around at the other ligaments, tendons, and muscles to see if there is anything else damaged and needing repaired.
So I have it scheduled for the 10th of June, next week. They say I am going to be in a sling for 6 weeks and another few weeks of therapy after that. I am really not looking forward to the surgery, but I am looking forward to having my shoulder not hurt so bad anymore. I am also looking forward to being able to do my job completely now. We got called out the other week to help another one of our paramedic trucks with a critical care call off one of the floors in a local hospital. When we arrived, the whole staff on the floor was down in the room, we walked around the corner and my partner looked at me and said what do you bet they coded? Sure enough they had coded and when we walked into the room CPR was in progress. I was the only one of the 4 not able to really assist. I felt completely useless right then, I did drive the other 2 medics to the other hospital, but that's about all I was able to do.
I will have plenty of time off after the surgery, I will try to keep people who may be reading our blog updated on what's going on. We still have the attorney working on the insurance settlement, they were going to try and finalize the information, then we found out I was going to have to have surgery to stabilize my shoulder. I guess that changes a whole lot of the stuff they were looking at. More time of work and so on. Anyways, it should prove to be an interesting summer.

Monday, March 8, 2010


So it has been a while and for those who actually read this, I will update you on the goings on around here.
So it has been a few months now since the wreck. My neck and back for the most part are better, my shoulder can't have the same said for it. It still hurts every day and when I move it around it sounds like rice crispies (for those who need visuals). What makes it even worse is the changes in weather! :(
The day before my 30Th birthday I went and checked the mail, I found a subpoena to appear in the DUI case of the jerk that hit me. I called the DA's office and asked for the attorney on the summons and he said it was just being handled through his office but he wasn't the actual case attorney. He would track him down and have him call me. When I finally got a call back from him he said it would be a lot easier to prosecute the case whit photo's that the police had not provided. I was able to fix that, however, when JJ came out the night of the wreck, he brought his camera and took a plethora of pictures so the DA had a plethora of pictures.
The very same day I got the subpoena I called the office of the lawyer who helped take care of my car accident when I was a young child. He was able to get us in his office and get the paperwork started for our settlement/suit dealing with the other guys insurance. It doesn't hurt he is an OLD friend of my dad's from well over 30 years ago.
The day in court comes around, I show up (taking ANOTHER day off work for stuff related to the accident) around the time I am supposed to. They had requested a jury trial, not just the bench trial. While we were waiting we talked with the lawyer from the DA's office that had shown up already, he was a 3rd year law student and the other attorney was a Jr attorney from the office. They were very confident they were going to win, they said in part due to the provided pictures.
The morning of court, the guy who hit me finally got some good legal advice when they saw the pictures, change your plea from not guilty to guilty before the trial started. I can't even comprehend what your defense could POSSIBLY be when your BAC is .216. There's just no plausible defense, your drunk and driving and caused a wreck! He got another week in jail, an extra $1800 in fines, got to pay the jury fee's cuz he changed his mind after they had already come in for the trail, he got a 6 month suspension on his license, a year probation where he is not allowed to drink (and was warned he could be tested any time for any reason), got to arrange for 48 hours community service, and 16 hours of victims impact panels before he was to turns himself into jail in 48 hours. Then he was told he was to have an ignition interlock installed in ANY vehicle he was going to be driving for his year of probation at his personal expense, and was then warned it is an enhanceable offense, if he gets anymore alcohol related offenses in the next 10 years this one comes back to bite him in the butt. Him and his attorney then got their collective butts chewed for wasting her time, her courts time, the jury's time, the victims time (again). His attorney was told to get his stuff together before he ever came back to her courtroom again.
Now my Dr., Chiropractor, and Lawyer all have told me I need to go find an Orthopaedic doctor to look at my shoulder and see if I need surgery to fix it...bleh! I have an appt scheduled so I will have to let you all know about that later!