05-18-2010, 11:57 PM
Junior Member (male)
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Shelby, NC
| | Long Road
Hi everyone. Well my journey started when I was just a lad of 20 years old. I had a buddie who had been fighting in the infantry in Viet nam. When he got back stateside, before he even called his relatives he called me as we were the best of friends. he wanted to go to Charlotte and hit all the bars, But I talked him into just staying at his house and play cards all night .
He suggested we go get some beer. I really didn't want to because I know how he is when he drinks. But we went anyway. Back then only certain towns could sell it. So we had to go to bessemer city to purchase a case of beer, because where we were at did not sell it.Now remember this was back when I was 20 or so. So we go purchase a case of beer, and return to his house and start playing cards. About 11:30 Rick began to notice that our beer supply was about to run out. So he wanted to go get more. I didn't want to because we only had ten minutes to make the 12 miles to get it. They closed at 12:00 midnight.
But Rick would not have it any other way. so off we went back to bessemer city to get yet a second case of beer. We made it with only a few minutes to spare. He went in, bought another case, and we started back. When we turned down that last road that went to his house, all of a sudden a look came over his face like some kind of a wild man. He punched it to the floor with all the car had. Back then he had one of those Novas fixed up to the gills and that thing would fly.
Evidently he was haveing a flashback from the war and thought he was back there. He thought he was seeing the enemy and pressed the accelerator all the way to the floor. Well, in a second we were speeding down the road like an indi 500 car. We were already almost home. He pressed the foot pedal to the floor and I began screammimg at him to stop. Nothing, not a word, I screamed yet again and still nothing. He wasn't even aware I was in the car with him. Then as we were reaching speeds of nearly 90 miles an hour he lost control.
The car began to fishtail from side to side. I was still screamming with all I had, then I reaized we were heading for impact. All of a sudden things slowed down like we were moving in slow motion. I began to see tall weeds whipping across thw windshild of the car. I knew it would not be long. I braced myself for what was going to come next. We crashed into that mans house at a speed of nearly 90 miles per hour.Then all I heard was silence of the early morning hours except for the moans of Rick my friend as he was trying to raise up. He would rise just a bit and fall back down again. Everytime he would do that he was causing me excutiating pain. I had broken my left leg as it crashed into the dash, and when we whipped back after the crash somehow my left foot had gotten under the seat. When we whippped back, my ankle was turned and crushed. It was trurned all the way around towards backwards.
I had also broken my right femur. or thigh bone in 3 different places. My knee had catapaulted into the dash breaking the thigh in 3 places. Rick attempted to rise again but it was futile. He fell back down causeing me excruciating pain. This time I lay my head upon his head and held it there. I told him the paramedics would be there soon we would be alright. I was in excrucuating pain.Then what seemed like a long time, I turned my head and looked out the window and dicovered a large crowd had gathered out side and was all around the car. They were peeping in saying ooh ahha those boys are hurt bad. I suspect by then 150 or better people had gathered around the car at 1:00am in the morning.
Then finally I heard the sound I had been waiting on. It was the paramedicis. They removed my friend Rick first as he was laying on my lap. I felt the searring pain as they removed him. He had only broken his jawbone and they wired it up and in a few days he was out and ready to go again. I was not so lucky. They took me to the next big town of Gastonia, and discovered I had broken both of my legs as well as crushing the left ankle. On the way in the ambulance to the hospital I remember trying to move one of my legs and thats when I noticed my left ankel was turned around backwards. I layed back down if it got worse than that I surely did not want to see it.
At the hospital they could not even give us any pain medicines at all because we had been drinking. The pain was so unbearable, I noticed a man going to a shelf, taking a huge drill down and I lifted my arms up to stop him, and when I did two large orderlies fell on top of me pinning my arms behind my head. At that point the pain became so unbearable I just blacked out. The following morning I awakened in a room upstairs, and I discovered I was in traction. I stayed in the traction for172days. After that they did the first surgery on my left ankle and casted it. I stayed in the hospital the first time 172 days.
At that point they took me out of the traction and placed me in a body cast from my arm pits all the way down on both sides to my feet. From that point of being 20 years old it then became a lifetime of surgery after surgery after surgery. Pins inserted, bone taken from both hips to go into my crushed ankle, Dr appointments after appointment. I had multiple surgeries one after the other with them tyrying to save my leg. As I went through my life I suspect I had as many as 25 plus surgeries. By that time as my life had passed me by The surgeon walked into the room I had come to for a follow up visit, and he told me I think we have done all we can do. Iam giving you 6 months to decide on amputation.
Well at that he walked out and over the next 6 months I talked to folks who had had it done and they all told me if I were in constant pain to go ahaed. So on March 9th 1995 I entered Carolinas Medical Center inm Charlotte NC, and had my left leg amputated just below the knee. From that point on it was another hell period trying to bear back weight and get accustomed to a prosthesis. It wasn't long after that that my Dr decided he had done all he could so he sent me to a Pain Clinic for pain control. We tried several different things with little results because by then I had grown tolerant of most narcotic Pain meds.
At this point he has me taking 20 mg of Methadone 3 times per day, and Hydrocodone 7.5 once in the mornig and once in the aftrnoon. During all this about my accident I had aso developed COPD. I was put on 2 liters per minuite 24 hours a day. They gave me 3 seperate inhalers to use. Advair, spiriva, and albuterol, and I believe I wAs on singular as well. I have been on these for over ten years now. The other day my prinary Dr at a regular viit suggested I take a bone density test. I got the results last night. He told me I had extremely severe Osteoperosis. He said my bones were so brittle I could just bump into the wall a little and break my hip. The pain Clinic hasn't even heard about it yet. He has suggested putting me on somethong called Foreto. Evidently it is very expensive and has many harsh side effects. Now Iam a grown man of 58 and I just could not hold it back and I started to sobb.
I have been through multiple surgery all my life and now I an going to be required to give myself a shot everyday in my stomach or thigh. I know nothing about this desease. Just so you know all the surgeries consisted of starting from the top of my head, an Eye surgery to correct alid droop when I was just a young kid. I have had 3 vertabrae in my cervical spine to deterioate and they did more surgery to fix that. I now have 3 titanium plates in my neck. I had to have both the right as well as the left rotator cuffs repaired as they both had torn on me. I had to have surgery on my left elbow as I fell in the tub and fractured it. I had to have my gall bladder removed. I have had to have 3 seperate hernia repairs on the same side.When they were working on my leg they took bone material from both hips the right and left to be used in my crushed ankle. They took the bone from the crest of each hip. I had a mal functioning tail bone because of years of only sitting and eventually had to have a coxxyectomy done where they would up removing about two inches of my tailbone. I had to have a lamanectomy in my lower spine. Going on down while they were attempting to repair my breaks from the car accidenmt I had to have 3 breaks repaired in my right thigh bone. Going on down because I had extreme trouble haveing a prosthetic leg to fit, I had to have a large vien surgecally removed from my left stump. and finally getting down to my crushed ankle it was worked on numerous times trying to save that leg. Still yet with yet another surgery they amputated the leg . Thinking that was all over now, I somehow developed what was called neromas and had to have a surgery to remove them.
Now I get a test result saying I have very severe Osteoperosis. I will have to take these stomach injections for two years. Iam scared to death because I know nothing about it. who wouldn't begin to cry I don't care how tuff they think they are. Anyone hearing this strory would almost have to say I was lying but I wished a thousand times I were. All of this I have described was my life. They think the use of all the inhalers with the steroids is what caused the osteoperosis in me as I heard it was mainly a lady's desease. Right now I just need a friend. Someone to tell me what to do next. I know this has been terribly long but I wanted you to have to entire picture of the horrible life I have lived. I finally wound up in a scooter had 3 failed marraiges, but yet I did manage to get a degree in Mechanical engineering in my mid 40's.
The medicines Iam currently on are Advair 500/50, Spiriva, Albuterol, Methadone 20 mg 3 times a day, Xanax twice a day for anxity. SINGULAR 10 MG. I also have high colesterol and have to take zocor for it. I take hydrocodone for breakthrough pain. I have to take over the counter Stool softerners for constipation and all the pain meds don't help me much because I have taken them all my life and have become tolerate of them.
And now here we go with this desease. I don't know how to even start. I don't know anything. Iam scared that I may break something any moment. I surely apoligize for such a long post and I know it sounds incredible, but yet it has been my life. I would appreciate any thouths about anything from anyone that would help me in any kind of way. Iam soooo sorry for the length of this but I wanted you to get the entire picture of what I have been through.
I also live by myself except for my little Shi tzu Miss Angel. Any suggestions anyone??????
Don from North Carolina
05-19-2010, 01:33 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Re: Long Road
When I saw your post, I had to answer as my favorite movie of all times is lonesome dove. I named one of my cats, captn. woodrow call. He is gone now but he was very much like woodrow in LD. No nonsense kind of guy.
I am so sorry to hear of your history. You have certainly been through allot in your life. Let me start by saying, you have come to the right place. I see that you have already met some of the folks over on the osteoporosis board and I think they will be invaluable in helping you regarding your osteo and your new medication, which I am not familiar with and I understand it is a new drug, so I will have to read up on that. Glad you have made your way to the osteo board.
As far as chronic pain and what that entails, you are also at the right place. There are many different kinds of folks here who are more than willing to help you in any way they can. These people are great when it comes to dealing with issues relating to pain management.
I just wanted to welcome you and say I hope you will come here often and you certainly are not alone. I hope the time you spend here will be of comfort to you. It has certainly helped me in many ways.
I will try to brush up on your new medication and see if I can offer anything. In the mean time..... keep coming back!!
Last edited by bullymom; 05-19-2010 at 01:35 PM.
Reason: spelling, what else is new. LOL
05-19-2010, 01:39 PM
Senior Veteran (female)
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Oak Hill, VA
Re: Long Road
I am sorry for what you have gone through. It's been rough on you I know. Is the guy who was in the car iwth you still your friend? He should be but I bet he has disappeared due to guilt......
I too suffer from osteo....I take Fosamax for it. You aren't alone in that regard. It's also thought that the heavy narcotic pain meds can cause bone density loss. You need to take your meds, take calcium with D, drink milk., eat cheese..all the things that will help with the calcium replacement in your body. Remember that your body will only absorb 500 mg at a time of calcium, so take it twice a day. I wouldln't be afraid of moving, but don't go out playing soccer either! You know that lifting weights helps build bone mass. Do you lift? Even the lowest weights will help add bone density...just a thought.
Pain meds are severely constipating as you have found out. Have you tried taking Miralax? I take that every day and it really helps keep yous moving-so to speak. You can get it from Target, Costco, Walmart...and there is a generic available-you can hardly lose. If you search the threads, you will find one on costipation that has a lot of good information on it and it might give you some other ideas.
I also have high cholesterol, but I take another med form yours for it. It's just another pill to add to the pile, isn't it? YOu can watch your diet and cut down on fats and fried foods to help lower your levels. Do you work out at all?
I had a three level fusion done. They day after the fusion when they got me up to walk my back broke above the fusion. The nurses and therapists didn't listen to me and got me up to walk twice a day for a week with a broken back. When my surgeon came back from the conference he was at, he took an xray and gave me the news. I had another surgery-go figure-and I am now fused from T9 to my sacrum. I too, live on pain meds 24/7 and will for the rest of my life. And I still haven't regain full use of my left leg. So, it happens to the best of us.
Like the country western song says, Sounds like life to me...You had a series of bad breaks. BUT you proved that you can persevere and go a degree in Mechanical Engineering! Shows that you can do whatever you set your mind to.
Hang in there...you need to remember that you are alive and still functioning. Look on the bright side-consider what the option is.......
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