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Accidents Happen Part 2

Post Date 23 Jun 2019

By Pocketpete

So I am now home from the hospital. I live in a nice peaceful bungalow on the outskirts of of Manchester and Derbyshire. In that lovely country area where the Pennines run along the spine of England. Indeed my house is about 700 feet up on the side of one of these hills. It has several advantages. We are close to motorways and transport links into the city but yet can look out over sheep covered fields. I have the Snake pass and the Woodhead Pass within a 5 minute drive. Derbyshire and Yorkshire is less than 4 miles away with Cheshire and Lancashire a couple of miles the other way. 

We have some lovely roads and we have some famous people from this area. Mira Hindley and Ian Brady came from just up the road. Everyone's favourite Doctor - Doctor Shipman was just a few hundred yards away, he murdered three or four on my road including the previous owner of my house. So yes Gee Cross has a lot going for it. 

We have a rare well dressing ceremony, our church houses a few famous dead people including the chap who invented mass production of lead acid batteries, Mr Oldham (Oldham Crompton Batteries). There's assorted mill owners, Ricky Hatton and most important of all Mick Coleman who wrote the famous song "Matchstalk Men", they also live(d) here.

So it all happens here. However I'm home from hospital with a load of drugs and no idea what the hell is happening with my leg. The doctors need the bed vacated so much that they simply kick you out with virtually no information. I'm told if my leg hurts a lot or swells to return to hospital. Obvious or what. 

So I am now trapped in my bed. I can just about move around the house on my zimmer frame as the crutches they gave me hurt my right arm too much to use. They say my elbow has healed but it's still bloody sore when I put weight on it. I can get into the bathroom and can get on the toilet but I'm not having much luck in that department since I left hospital. They have given me stuff to make me "go", suffice to say these tablets and drinks don't seem to be working.

I simply can't get comfy in bed. I am trying to keep my leg elevated with 3 pillows but no matter what I do the pins stick in the pillows and they grate on my internal bones. The pain killers are now in full action, 30mg co-codamol. They have given me Oxycontin but I refused to take it, it's simply too addictive and strong.  

My day consists of getting up then having a wash by sitting on a chair in the bathroom. I simply can't manage the shower or bath. Then I lie down to recover after the wash for at least an hour, yes a wash really does knacker you out. Then I lie on the settee and elevate my leg which if left on the floor turns a bright raging purple colour as the blood pools in my foot. This in turn eventually causes agony and throbbing. 

Petes swollen foot with the metal pins inserted
Kebab pins

The thing is I simply cannot get in a truly comfortable position either in bed or the lounge. I cannot actually stay in one position for more than 20 minutes before moving. Paula takes the first week off work and looks after me. I can see its not easy on her. It was a pain coming to the hospital everyday and paying £3.50 to park the car but at least she didn't have to do the caring.

I've been home for a week and I run out of pain killers so I ring the doctors. They want me to attend and I explain that's impossible so eventually they give me a telephone appointment. My doctor is pretty impressed with my accident and seems to be fully briefed by the consultant via the internal computer systems and gives me the pain killers for Paula to collect. He also says he will visit if required. 

The second week I'm on my own but eventually I go to the toilet and shed maybe 3 stones in weight in one sitting. Sounds horrific but all these tablets bung you up like a rock despite all the laxatives I'm prescribed. The feeling of relief made me feel much better. 

On the Friday of the second week whilst sat in bed I noticed my toes were more swollen than usual and a different colour. After a couple of hours they were blackish. So back to A&E and I spend a very unpleasant 3 hours in a chair virtually unable to put my foot in a comfy position. Then a member of the triage teams takes me in to the office and has a look at my x-rays and scans. OMG she says is that really your foot...? Yes I reply.

Next minute the doctor's in looking at the images and a couple of others come a few minutes later - "Wow!" they say "that is some foot injury". Lots of cooing and drooling over the x-ray yet here I am in agony and they haven't looked at my foot yet. Eventually she removes my cast and peels back the bandages and she reels back with the putrid smell of rotting flesh. By god my foot stinks. 

I don't know whether its just because I've not washed for 2 months properly or that my foot is dripping in yellow goo. I suspect the latter. Next minute I'm of to a cubicle and given 2 lots of antibiotics via a drip. They clean my wounds and send me home with a week's antibiotics. The following week I'm feeling a touch better and my toes are a nice pink colour. 

It's really hard to motivate yourself to do anything. TV is boring, I've watched most of the decent stuff on Netflix, Now TV and Prime. So Its Jeremy Kyle or crap antique programs. The following Saturday the World Snooker starts - yippee! I watch every match - the live one, the catch up one and the repeat online with TV, IPAD and Laptop all showing a match. Sad or what.

The days go past and I have to attend the fracture clinics at the hospital each Tuesday (Knee) and Friday(Foot), it's all bloody hard work. I can travel short distances on my crutches but it's hard work at the hospital, going to x-ray then back to the fracture clinic. 

The staff don't really tell you much. I am quite good at asking questions and they soon despair of me, they want you to turn up and be in and out in 30 seconds. I ask many questions like when can I walk when can I go on holiday when can I drive what can I do or not do? You really are simply a number, they don't really care much. Plus it's bloody hard for Paula driving me all the time. 

I am told no weight bearing, just to sit still. After a month of this you can imagine how mindlessly boring life is. The simplest task is too hard. I'm tired all the time. I ache all the time.
My memory seems poor and I forget things. I can't remember simple things. They think I've got some concussion from the accident but I know my head was fine. I don't really want to see anyone yet it's just too hard even talking to friends and family. I have nothing to say as I've not done anything different for 4 weeks in a row.

My daughter invites us to a BBQ. She lives directly opposite so I manage to hobble over and we have a lovely time for a couple of hours and then I need the toilet. She has stairs so I decide to go home as I'm tired. I go home and get into bed. Paula comes home and finds me sat on the end of the bed staring into space. Apparently I am seeing a cat in the bedroom (there isn't one).

She calls the ambulance and I'm taken to hospital. I don't really remember this but I seem to have gone completely off my rocker. They think it could be a fit, stroke, depression, brain damage, bleed on the brain, PTSD etc... I undergo all sorts of tests. Eventually I am admitted and about 36 hours later I begin to recover my mind. I am not sure to this day what caused this but I didn't recall it so I don't mind. 

I remember in the bed next to me a nice chap who asked what had happened to my foot. I explained about my fractures and he was quite impressed. He was a doctor who had a chest infection due to asthma, a young consultant was telling him about how to manage his asthma. 

He knew all about my type of fracture and suggested that my memory loss could be Post Operative Cognitive Delirium. I actually got him to write this down. My wife met him, I then got sent off for a scan and when I returned he had been discharged.

The following day I mention the condition suggested by the surgeon (who was no longer there) to my own consultant. He looks at me strangely and looks in the bed next door at the 90 year old bloke and says I think I need to have a chat with your wife. I can see he thinks I am completely off my rocker. Yep he starts speaking to me as if I'm a six year old kid. Clearly I am imagining this surgeon and my conversations with him. He rings for my wife to come down. I explain to her what happened and she couldn't remember the chap next door. OMG maybe I am mad after all maybe I imagined it?

I then see the asthma consultant pass by, I shout him and get him to come over. He eventually confirms the chap in the bed next to me did exist and was a surgeon and did suffer from chest problems. Phew I wasn't mental after all. I asked him to tell my consultant what he has just said. Eventually my consultant arrived and after a few minutes did agree that he had thought I was deranged but now understood what had happened. He confirmed I was OK to go home.

I still have no idea what caused this mental imbalance, I suspect it was simply the aftershock of everything I had been through. Maybe PTSD? I'm not sure but I hope it doesn't happen again.

Thinking afterwards I realise I was simply not prepared mentally for the result of this crash. The hospital mends you physically but they fail dismally to prepare you in the slightest for the mental challenges you face during recovery at home. 

I have used my leg for 54 years without much effort and then instantly I can't use it. The loss is far worse than you can imagine. Imagine having your bike sat in the garage but you cant ride it again but it's there teasing you, wanting for you to take it out on the road but you can't.

Normal service is resumed, I carry on with my recovery at home. Any improvement is just so slow. The pins are a nightmare, you catch them on things then they hurt, they throb. I then receive a phone call from the Police. The lad who hit me has been charged with various motoring offences and will be in court at the end of May, they indicate he is pleading guilty. That would be nice as it would save me a problematic trip to court with my leg.

A couple of days later I receive another call. He has pleaded not guilty and I am required in court on the 26th of July as a witness. Damn and blast. All I can think of then is what if he is found not guilty, that will affect my claim for damages? This really unbalances me even though I have been to court thousands of times in the police. 

I get very depressed for some reason, I think it all comes back to me. The simple things like going out anywhere or going to work. I have a large garden I can't weed or anything. My whole life is upside down and all I can think of is how unfair life is to me. How will we manage? We are OK financially and Paula's pretty good at saving but we only have enough money for two or three years. Hopefully I will be back doing some work by then. 

Your mind imagines all sorts of things. I start to remember things about the accident in more detail. I recall the bike hitting me in the leg over and over again. Like mini flashbacks I see my toe level with my shin. When I look at my shin I see the dent where my toe hit the shin bone. Mentally I am still shattered, I am struggling to cope but I know I have to be strong but it doesn't help me knowing this. 

I do speak with Ren around this when time he picks up my boots and a few spares I have. It's quite good to get rid of these reminders which are sitting in my kitchen. It also helps that he's been through a similar event. I am quite shocked when we chat as he was hit by a motorbike just like me. Our chat eases my depression quite a bit. I am not alone after all.

I'm also a bit pissed off that I wasn't going touring with Ren and Sharon in Scotland. My annual trip to Mull was also off and my weekend in the lakes was off as well. Add all these things up and no wonder I was fed up. But I soldier on. 

Rather oddly I am quite pleased Sharon has had a tumble on her bike. I know that sounds dreadful but it was really good for me mentally to hear and read her reactions, feelings and thoughts on the tumble. Also the responses from other readers adding to the mix. I think this was important to me that I was not the only one that has suffered like this. It almost was quite therapeutic to me in a strange way. I was normal after all. 

Suddenly the world seemed a more normal place. Accidents happen. Nearly all bikers have had a tumble ranging from a slight fall like Sharon's to quite major events like Ren's. So I am normal after all. I wasn't singled out for this punishment it just happens to bikers across the UK. I'm normal yippee! 

So here I am basking in Sharon's misfortune but it's a real mind lesson and really has helped me understand that the world is fair after all and that poop/mistakes and bad luck happens to us all. It's how we manage the after effects that matters.

Sharon did exactly the right thing, got back on her bike and carried on, battered and bruised and probably wiser for it. That's exactly what I must do. Stop feeling sorry for myself and get up and get back to getting better and 'Ride my Bike' again. I won't ride a bike again but its important mentally that I imagine that I do. 

June is now well under way and the weather's crap. Hot and humid but raining. I look out of my window and see the miserable sheep, and garden full of weeds. My son in law has been filling my bird feeders so I get to see the Woodpeckers, Bullfinches, Nuthatches and numerous other birds we have here. I see the Rare Goldcrest and a black cap which is nice, quite hard to spot but I have not got a lot of other stuff to do. My birthday's on the 21st June, the longest day but every day is bloody long when you're stuck in the house. 

I am back in hospital on the 7th June to have my pins out 8 weeks after they were put in. I go to the hospital and Paula leaves me at the theatre. They decide due to my problems with general anaesthetics to give me a spinal block, bit like an epidural. The needle hurts a bit in my back but not as bad as I thought. Your legs will go numb in about 15 minutes and you will have a lot of tingling. 

Guess what. No tingling and I can still feel my legs. They give me more injections and my left leg goes a bit numb but the other is still fine. They give up and decide on a general. I go to sleep and wake up what seems like 2 minutes later. The pins are gone I'm told. I ask what time it is and it's 6pm. Hmm I seem to have lost several hours. Apparently I woke up threatening the staff and being generally off my rocker again. I don't remember but I grabbed one of them quite hard by the arm. 

Eventually they let me go home. My foot has lots of plasters on and I am told the pins are gone and the screws are in place and my foot has healed very well for someone my age. 

Both pete's feet, one swollen but without pins is getting better and looking better
Foot looking a touch better now the pins have gone.

Paula takes me home and I'm feeling a bit weary and sorry for myself. I am told I can now weight bear a little but to avoid pain. I simply can't bend my leg or knee to be able to put my foot down, I can just rest my toes down a bit. Over the next week or so I gain some use of my leg. I go to the fracture clinic where they discharge me for my knee so now I only have to worry about my foot. I can finally start physio on my knee and foot. After a week my knee is virtually straight and I can bend it upwards so I can finally get in and out of the shower without too much effort.

June 21st, my birthday and guess what, back to the hospital. I knew my foot was sore and probably infected but I didn't want to go to A&E when I was seeing the consultant anyway. He's quite happy with my recovery but spots the infection and once again more antibiotics. Damn feeling rough for my birthday. On my way home I receive a good birthday present. The police inform me the lad who hit me has now changed his plea to guilty - yippee! I hope that's the end of the matter now and I can forget about the accident and concentrate on getting better now.

I can now carry on with physio and getting movement in to my foot and ankle. I have many months of physio ahead of me the nurse said, maybe 4-6 months. But they approved my September holiday and said I would regain enough movement to actually drive a car again. We shall see how the recovery goes on from here. Will I walk again. Will I drive. Will I ride a Bike?

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Reader's Comments

Ross said :-
Bloody hell, Pete, that was some gruesome reading, the pictures have put me off my tea! Looks like you've got a lot of hard work ahead of you with the physio, etc...all the best, man!
01/07/2019 16:24:37 UTC
pocketpete said :-
Yes its a sad day, my foot model days are now well and truly over unless of course they only want to use my left foot.

Just received word from the police the lad who hit me was given £ 450 fine, CPS costs of £ 82, Court Costs of £ 42 and 9 points. Also something called a Victim surcharge £ 102.

In many ways I am very relived I really couldn't really face having to go to court and give evidence. Going over how a pile of metal on two wheels bent my toes right back isn't something you look forward to despite having done it loads of times. It will help with my compensation claim but I feel some sympathy with lad who hit me. There are no winners where accidents are concerned. He lost his bike he was (third party only) hurt his arm and suffered points I was paid for my bike but suffered the injury.

So its time to move on with the recovery. Part 3 may be some time in the making.
01/07/2019 16:53:26 UTC
Upt'North said :-
Pete, glad it's you and not me, but wished it wasn't you either. Don't even wish it was Ren!
That foot is looking a lot more foot like, in a blind cobblers thumb sort of way.
It looks like the worse may be behind you, but there's obviously plenty to deal with yet.
I truly hope the recovery continues in all respects and you can start to enjoy life a little more.
Now, get them toe nails cut, standards today! I bet you need a haircut too.

01/07/2019 17:45:25 UTC
Upt'North said :-
Pete, just had another thought when you/I were at work and me in the voluntary sector since; how many times were witnesses told, "oh don't worry about going to court, there's nothing to it".
If I had a pound for every time I'd be as wealthy as Ed.
01/07/2019 18:09:45 UTC
pocketpete said :-
I'm a bit worried about the toe nails. I have cut the left foot 3 or 4 times since the accident I have not touched my right foot at all. I have mentioned this to the doctors who don't believe me they say they must have worn off in my boot or something.

I showed them my weekly pictures which shows the same nails in the same state. They now think the shock of the accident may have stopped the growth.
01/07/2019 18:15:34 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I'm no doctor - but. I reckon the foot is busily using any blood flow to heal etc and not worrying too much about nails. Plus the blood flow might be a bit restricted with the swelling. Or, it's your body's way of helping you avoid having to touch that skanky flaky foot.

Pete was worried about the swelling the last time I saw him. I showed him my knee, that's still a little swollen and misshapen, but then my accident was only 17 years ago.
01/07/2019 21:39:58 UTC
CrazyFrog said :-
Having read this Pete, I stand by my original comment. Any decent person would have come to see how you were and apologised for causing the accident. If I'd caused that sort of injury to an innocent third party because of my stupidity, I'd have certainly had the decency to call round and see them to apologise.

I certainly have no sympathy for the lad involved. That sort of stupid riding is dangerous and gives us all a bad name.

PS, I'm due to have an operation to remove my prostate in a couple of weeks, so we will be able to compare notes on the awfulness of daytime TV :-(
02/07/2019 14:21:58 UTC
pocketpete said :-
Hi Crazy frog,

Well he did come and see me after I was discharged. He couldn't drive for 3 weeks due to his shoulder and he lives quite a distance away. But he kept in touch and did come as soon as possible so I would call him a decent sort of chap. We never discussed who was at fault as I felt with the police investigation it was inappropriate. He clearly was still shaken up about the whole thing. He did fill me in on the missing blank bits of the accident and clearly without his friends I might not be here.

I do have sympathy with him, as far as I know he is banned from driving as a result of this accident due to totting up he received 9 points and already had points. He has 4 kids and drives for a living so it will be very hard for him.

It will be very hard for me as well but I there's no point in looking back I'm looking forward. As I said no there are no winners here.

Best of luck with the prostrate op and even better luck with suffering the daytime TV. Do what I did book sky netflix and prime. They will last about 2 months. Of course you could look into other hobbies and stuff such as learning the rubiks cube, knitting or bird watching. lol
02/07/2019 15:02:17 UTC
CrazyFrog said :-
Well that makes a big difference doesn't it? Comment withdrawn again. As you say, there's no winners out of these things.

Best of luck with your continued recovery. I look forward to hearing about the big moment when you can get back on a bike again.
02/07/2019 15:41:02 UTC
Borsuk said :-
Best of luck Pete.
Hope the memory settles down as well, weird thing the human mind.
03/07/2019 21:05:56 UTC
c87reed said :-
I can completely relate to being both lucky and unlucky at the same time. I had a head on collision with a car back in 2007 on my Bandit 600. I broke both bones in both legs and broke my wrist badly too. I was fixed up with various rods and screws etc and those involved did a great job - I could have easily lost the legs given the severity and that would have tipped me firmly into the unlucky category. Overall, I would say that I feel do genuinely feel lucky in that I am not in bad shape now and lead a normal life aside from a few aches and pains (although I am still only 32 so there's time yet).

The driver of the car was a new 17 year old driver. He had a 4 day old Ford Fiesta with 7 people on board (one in the boot!). He told the Police that it was me who was at fault and that I was on his side of the road, luckily they proved otherwise from the marks on the road where his car had dragged my bike 45 yards back the way it came. That was one thing that saddened me at the time - honesty/sorry would have gone a long way and it never came. It is strange but sobering how you can look forward to the simplest of things within your new routine once you're laid up. I used to like 'Homes under the hammer', that was part of my routine for a long while.

Best wishes as the recover progresses.

03/07/2019 23:19:57 UTC
pocketpete said :-
Cheers C87Reed,

I'm lucky the police did such a such great job. I wish looking back that I had been either wearing or carrying a Web Cam on my bike. Thinking about it after the event I wish that I had purchased one it would have saved me a lot of hassle to produce a video that showed the accident rather than an extensive police investigation. I know the camera may not have helped but I suspect it would have been a pretty damning bit of evidence in a lot of cases.

In the unlikely event of me ever getting on a bike again I would get one and indeed I have already got a couple ordered/planned for our cars when I am able to drive. What do all you guy think do you wear one while riding.

04/07/2019 10:30:39 UTC
GJ said :-
Just read through your two posts with regarding your accident.

I wish you all the best with your ongoing recovery
You've certainly had a few travails with your recovery post accident.
That's some level of injury that you have had to put up with.
It's just finding what your level of mobility etc is once all your injuries have fully recovered.

I don't feel the punishment was harsh enough for the rider that hit you but that's a matter for the courts obviously.

I had an accident last year which was much less severe but found the painkillers and the medications much worse than my dual acetabular fractures to my right hip area. I suffered from concussion afterwards and found concentration difficult for a long period afterwards. I've also found that I get upset and lose my temper a bit easier with some things that would not have raised a reaction previously.
04/07/2019 17:10:16 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
It does bring back some uncomfortable memories reading this and the comments.
05/07/2019 07:30:53 UTC
Borsuk said :-
The boy uses a Go-Pro when on his bike and I bought a Drift Ghost which never arrived, and still arguing the toss with the vendor who has a signed receipt docket but not by any of my family but thats a separate moan.
I purchased an INNOVV C5 helmet cam instead. This is powered of your standard mobile phone backup battery so it will last as long as the battery pack you power it from does. It can also be hard wired if you wish. They also do a single and a double camera fixed system for bikes.
05/07/2019 08:44:57 UTC
Pocketpete said :-
Been to hospital today again. Snapped a couple of interesting foot snaps.

You can see how the entire end of my foot has fractured to the right by an inch.

Oh and the lovely kebabs pins.

05/07/2019 13:27:15 UTC
Pocketpete said :-

05/07/2019 13:27:56 UTC
Upt'North said :-
I'm not a FULLY qualified Dr. Pete but I'd say that foot just ain't right. A night in a gypsy Caravan could finish you off.
05/07/2019 16:05:26 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Ooooh that's gorra smart a bit. I've geet some old stainless nuts and bolts I'll soon have you all bolted back up.
05/07/2019 18:45:16 UTC
Pocketpete said :-
Missed the kebab picture

06/07/2019 07:27:04 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I quite fancied a kebab. Put me right off this has
08/07/2019 10:34:31 UTC

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