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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Sobering Chat

At a picnic today I met for the first time Thomas Ducker, who heads the surgical group that provided the two fabulous neurosurgeons who fused my neck with titanium. He said a fracture of C1-C2 was "not unheard of but very, very rare." So rare, in fact, that he's presented my x-rays at a surgical conference.
I have a blessed black-out of the seconds between the animal-like scream -- that sounded so foreign but had to be me -- and then lying on the pavement as the driver jumped out of his car. (They say this may come back to me. I hope it doesn't. But recently I've been jolted bolt upright out of a dead sleep several times, so I suspect that may be happening in my dreams.)
Anyway, based on the injury, Dr. Ducker was able to recreate the impact. He said I landed full-force on my forehead, the impact of 20 mph being broken only by my shoulder, which also needed surgery. He said my neck snapped back to absorb the brunt of the landing, and breaking in the process.

He said: "The injury which comes to mind as identical to it was when Christopher Reeve went over the front of the horse."

A chilling conversation, frankly.

(Postscript: Many of you have seen the hospital-issued card is intended to inform airport security that my neck is full of alarm-ringing titanium. With it at the ready, I marched through the detector twice this weekend without the bells going off. Go figure. I now carry more metal, between my hip and neck, than it takes to make a Colt .45, but it ain't alarming, which is fine by me.)


Blogger coachjr said...

You are one truely amazing guy. I would love to half an ounze of the courage and reality of life that you have. Respect.
P.s Now go kick ass at your next race!

May 29, 2008 4:27 AM  

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