October 18th - I was coming down the Overlook at Point Mugu and suddenly I had the rug pulled out from under me. It happened so fast I didn't have time to react. My knee got a good scraping but my arm up to my elbow took the brunt of the sudden stop. The dirt and rocks dug deep into my skin. I stood up and checked my arm. It looked bad but there wasn't a stream of blood. I chose to ride the 10 miles back to my car while the pain was not overwhelming. I had some blood dripping down to my glove but not much of a problem.
I loaded my bike in the car and drove home for a wife-ambulance since I figured I wouldn't be driving from the ER.
I was admitted to the ER promptly and worked on. There was so much dirt the nurse used a power-wash device to clean the wound. I had a local anesthetic and she picked out more dirt. Some of the debris was too close to nerves for her to work on. The general consensus was to sew me up with loose sutures and tell me to see a specialist on Monday(!) and send me home with oral antibiotics.
Picture, first minutes in the ER.
X-ray view. Debris injected with force
That didn't work very well. By Sunday morning my arm was obviously infected. I went back to the ER and was then admitted to the hospital proper. I was put on IV's with powerful antibiotics and scheduled for surgery Monday morning. (No food or water after midnight!). I went under general anesthetic - very easy - poof you wake up in recovery. The surgeon cut away dead flesh and left the wound open. Treatment would consist of IV's and packing the hole with special gauze and antiseptic. The wound was repacked twice daily to keep it moist. The doctor did not want it to dry.
My friend Amy stopped by and watched one of the repackings. I wish I could have taken a picture of her face. She said "That must have hurt. The nurses put the ENTIRE pack into the hole!". I could only say "I know".
Picture - after the first operation.
The rest of the week was spent with IV's and repacking. I had to sleep on my back with the left arm IV'd and the right arm struggling to position the elbow on pillows.
Picture - Looking up
The room was comfortable. Private. Flat screen on the wall. Individual beepers for Nurse or Nurses aide etc. Every morning you get a meal planner for the day - circle your choice of entree.
Friday I had the second operation. A different surgeon did the job of cutting me open further and picking out debris. I was given a CAT scan but no images of that. I looked good on the inside so I was sewn up and put back on more IV's to be sure. At the same time they thoroughly scrubbed my knee and decided to add some sutures for good measure. I woke up in recovery and oh boy I could tell it had been scrubbed well!
Monday I was discharged. I have a small tube in the wound with a suction bulb to keep draining the wound. The suction also helps keep the skin bonding to the flesh underneath. I suspect the doctor figured this would keep me from riding right away.
Current state -