DC Trawler

An update on my medical status

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I’m typing this from a hospital bed, with an oxygen monitor on my finger that’s making it difficult to navigate the keyboard. I’m going to ask the nurse to move the monitor to one of my toes, because I can’t quite do it myself yet. My left leg is wrapped in bandages and locked into what they call an immobilizer, which is very aptly named. I can’t move anything from my hip to my ankle, nor do i want to. Everything in-between hurts because of the shattered tibia I suffered Wednesday night when I was crossing the street, within the crosswalk, with the light, and a State Department security officer named Mike McGuinn made an illegal left turn and ran right into me. This happened on 22nd and M, not 26th and M as specified on the jaywalking citation I was issued that same evening.

But this is supposed to be a medical status update, so let’s get back to that. I’m not clear on all the technical details, but during the surgery, basically they had to take all the broken pieces of bone and stick them together with some sort of bone paste. They shaped a new bone out of that. And then there’s a piece of metal attached to something somewhere, but again, I’ll have to get back to you on the details. Knee injuries can be pretty complex, I guess. So that’s on the outside of my knee. There’s still some weird stuff going on deeper inside, with torn cartilage and stuff, but I’m not exactly sure how that heals up. They’ve still got some more work to do. I’ll need to do some more reading on this sort of knee injury. I’m not a doctor. I just know it hurts like hell.

My right leg is pretty banged up too, but not nearly as badly as the left. I’ve got a big bruise on my knee and thigh, and right now I’ve got some sort of automated inflatable balloon strapped to my calf to prevent blood clots.

Oh, I have blood clots in my lung, did I mention that? Pulmonary embolisms, they’re called. They’re blood clots from the knee injury that have traveled through the bloodstream and entered my lungs, where they’re interfering with my ability to process oxygen. My lung strength is fine, fantastic really, but there are still times when I can’t get enough oxygen when I sleep. That’s where the aforementioned oxygen monitor comes in. It starts beeping when my blood oxygen goes below a certain level. That was happening too often for their liking, so they gave me a CAT scan and found the clots in my lungs.

They can’t do anything about the clots that are already there. Those will just be absorbed eventually. But to prevent further clots, they’ve put me on something called lovenox. This is an anticoagulant that I have to inject myself with. It goes in the fat at the very bottom of the stomach, so that’s no problem for me. I’m also taking a pill called coumadin, another anticoagulant. Once that kicks in, after 5 days or so, I can stop the lovenox injections. Then, once I’m out of the hospital, I’ll have to visit a blood lab at least once a week to make sure my blood isn’t too thick or too thin. This will continue for 3-6 months.

It’ll also be between 3-6 months before I can put full weight on my left knee. They started me on something called a continuous motion machine yesterday, which is a device your leg straps into that, well, moves it continuously. We started it off very slowly and at a very mild angle, and every day I’m supposed to increase both a little bit. I’ll have to do this for 4 hours a day for the next 3-6 months.

That’s in addition to the actual physical therapy, the details of which are still a bit unclear. I was able to get in and out of bed and over to a bedside chair with a walker and some assistance. They tell me I’m doing very well for such a bad knee injury. I figure, what’s the alternative? Not healing? I want to get back on my feet as quickly as possible so I can help figure out how this happened to me, and how the people who are doing it think they can get away with it. I am highly motivated to get better.

I was just getting ready to move apartments when that guy hit me. I’ve been here about 6 weeks in a furnished apartment, and I finally found something more permanent that I liked. I had all the paperwork ready and I was going to go to the landlord the next day to put down the security deposit. Obviously I’ve been busy since then. So I don’t know if I still have that apartment, or if I can even get around in it in my current condition. And I’m supposed to be out of my current place by Wednesday, but again, I’m not sure how that’s going to work. I’ve got plenty of people who want to help, but I’m just not sure what to do. The knee has been taking up most of my time lately.

What else? My glasses were broken in the accident when I slid outside the crosswalk on my face, so everything beyond this keyboard is fuzzy. My left ring finger got jammed, I think, but it’s just bruised and swollen. I’m off the dilaudid drip, because I want to keep my head clear. And I’m off the catheter, because I want to keep my head clear. (See? I still got it.) I’m currently peeing in a plastic container, which is a blast. Haven’t had to do the other one yet, but they’ve got a special toilet for me that I can sit on without destroying my left leg.

So that’s where I am at this point. Thanks to everybody at the Daily Caller, all of whom have helped me out somehow over the last 5 days. I wouldn’t wish this experience on anybody, but if it had to happen, I’m glad to have such an amazing team watching my back. And thanks to my family out in Indianapolis, and all my relatives who’ve lent moral support.

This is not over. You can count on that.

If you have any questions about this stuff, feel free to ask in the comments. I can’t guarantee I’ll have an answer, but I’ll try. Thanks for reading.

Jim Treacher