Feb 082015

The plate and my collarbone

A week ago I marked off six months since the somewhat life changing crash that broke my collarbone.

A lot has happened in that week, so this post is something of an attempt to catch up and bring everyone up-to-date.

I went back to see Mr. Packer, the surgeon that previously replaced the over-long screws that had been used when fixing my collarbone. My shoulder had been getting gradually worse, with a fairly poor range of motion and spikes of pain being fairly normal.

We agreed that the best course of action would be to remove the plate. It is somewhat early to do this as as under normal circumstances the plate should remain there close to a year and it has not been there for a full six months yet. However, the position of the plate and the still somewhat long screws that remain are more than likely responsible for the pain I am in.

Having agreed that the plate needed to come out, I was booked in for Friday February 6th 2015.

Since the last update, Mr Harar, the driver that knocked me off my bicycle has appeared in court. Privately I was expecting him to be difficult and to deny that he was to blame, I expected that I would have to appear in court and testify against him. Amazingly, he pleaded guilty to a charge of careless driving. He was fined and given five penalty points.

This is a significant step along the way for me, because he has admitted that he drove carelessly and caused the crash, his insurance company cannot continue to deny liability. While this does not mean that I will receive a huge compensation cheque anytime soon, it does mean that they are now forced to start working with my solicitor and to start paying some of the bills that have been incurred thus far.

The next step was further surgery, the plate and the screws needed to be removed. All week I struggled to sleep properly, going through surgery is not a great deal of fun, having something akin to the same operation three times is nerve racking because one has a pretty good idea of how much things are going to hurt.

Thursday night was a pretty bad night. Despite my original appointment being a morning one, I found out that I am to be moved to the afternoon, rather than get up and go, I had to wait around for a while. I took a taxi to the hospital and waited and waited and waited.
Eventually everything started to happen, unfortunately when the surgeon wrote on my arm I twisted it and the pain spiked again, so I started my journey to the operating room in serious pain. Luckily the anaesthetist was great, I barely remember blacking out prior to the operation. 2015-02-06 19.03.56
I woke up at sometime after 5, once more freezing cold, but for the first time in months I was actually lying on my left side. I struggled to roll onto my back and complained that I was cold, really, horribly cold. They gave me a blanket then used a device to blow hot air into my bed – it was lovely. Then they handed me a little bottle with the metalwork that they removed all present and correct.
Apparently at some point I had ‘throat spasms’, I now had an incredibly sore throat to go along with my sore shoulder.
I had a fairly good night in that I only woke up three times. Although it was a little odd that at 4:15AM I was wide awake, I suppose that the operation counts as sleep ?
The next morning I coughed and blood simply oozed out of the dressing on my shoulder. It was not too painful, but I was sufficiently worried to go to the hospital.
I nearly passed out with the pain of them removing the old dressing – it is not clear what is up, but they replaced the dressing, gave me pain killers and antibiotics and sent me on my way. Not sure how I feel about having metal staples in my wound, this is the third different closing method in three surgeries. 2015-02-06 22.05.23
The ward manager was insistent that I had a sling that went over the wound. I was equally insistent that I would not wear one that went over the wound and we reached an impasse. So we agreed to differ and I walked out.
I have a new, thicker dressing on now and hopefully the bleeding is under control now.
All in all, it has been an eventful week. I now have a week to relax before the staples are removed and I begin physical therapy. I hope that this is the last of the surgeries and that this wound can heal and I can get back to cycling, swimming and badminton too…..

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