What would you do if you were in my situation?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Wheelie, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. Wheelie

    Wheelie Riding on Grimlock!

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    Before I start with what I have to say I want to state that if you have nothing constructive to add to this thread like posting "you need to get laid" other dumb responses... DON'T! It won't help me and the fragile situation I'm in. I certainly didn't appreciate it in SureShot90's thread!

    After reading SureShot90's thread about losing faith in life it got me thinking long hard about my situation. I want to try to get it off my chest but I have an extremely hard time sharing with anyone (for a lot of reasons) and when I do try to share I can't seem to articulate what I want to say. I have had this problem for years but that's another issue of many I have. :(  I may try to share but I will see how this turns out. So here is my attempt at sharing:

    In 2007 I was a proud owner of a Suzuki SV-650S. I had been riding for 3 years before (without incident) and took a Motorcycle riding training program (passed with flying colours). One day my "buddies" and I went out for a ride in the country on some long and winding road. At this point everything gets sketchy in my memory, as I was in and out of consciousness. The first thing in the string of events is pulling away from a stop sign with 1 "buddy" in front of me then the other 2 behind me. Then it goes downhill from there. The next thing I remember is waking up with my face to the ground and hearing one of them saying "don't move an ambulance is on the way!", when I hear that I'm thinking this is a god damn joke, this can't be happening. I then blacked out and came to when the paramedics, police & firefighters gets there on scene trying to get me out of where I was. Apparently I was in a ditch down about 40-50ft with my left arm broken in the middle of the left humorous behind my back and folded up to my head (I only found this out afterward, sounded painful but I was in shock so I don't remember it, luckily!) and wrapped around a tree. I know this because the way they reacted to how I was lying on the ground and the fact that they had to lower the face shield on my helmet to protect me from the sawdust that was flying from them having to cut the tree down to get me on a backboard. I then blacked out again and came to in the ambulance with the paramedics asking me questions (I don't remember what she asked but do remember that she was extremely cute!). Guess what happens next? I blacked out yet again! Woke up in the hospital with a lot of people I knew around me but didn't expect to be there, it was kinda weird. Anyways, so it gets even blurrier as I'm now getting pumped full of drugs. I remember that my mom was not happy with what they were doing. I say that because with my arm being broken, they couldn't even put in it a proper splint! They said it was because I am such a big guy. I'm not that big or should I say then, I am only 6'5" and then 215lbs. So they put it in a half-assed splint and ran me through a gamut of tests. They also only kept me in for a 24hr observation. So the next day I get kicked out with some prescriptions. My mom was so unhappy with what they did and did not do we went to another hospital (luckily, my mom's boss is friends (he's a good doctor) with someone in a hospital who sent me to see the right people). It turns out that since the splint was not right the bone that was broken shifted out of place more then what they were. So when I saw the right people they admitted me immediately to get the bone set properly with a titanium plate and 8 screws. While in the hospital for the surgery the doctors also found out that I had/have a brachial plexus injury to my left arm (not good at all! This is what my thread is getting to). Also since the accident my memory has not been what it was before, although I have not been diagnosed with a head injury, both my family and friends noticed the memory issue. I had to see a neurologist about the nerves. Well, it turns out that from the accident the nerves got overstretched and were pulled from my spinal cord at the C8-T1 area. That leaves my left arm paralyzed from the shoulder down and in pain from the shoulder down to my fingers (I can only assume as I can not feel anything expect pain). The neurologist said to wait and see what would happen in 3 or 6 months (can't remember which). So fast forward that time and nothing improves, they were hoping for the nerves to regenerate. So they then talk about a nerve bypass to get "some function back". That involved taking a nerve from my chest (in-between my ribs) and route it into my arm. I did the surgery and all the rehab involved (which required a lot of time and effort) but to no avail it did not take. So fast forward some time to last year. I went to see my neurologist to see what my options were. He basically gave me 2 options.

    Option 1. Leave the arm as is.

    Option 2. Have it amputated. (They said they prefer option 1, but willing to do option 2 if I so desire).

    With option 1, That means I will have to wear a sling for the rest of my life. As well as suffer from neck pain due to the sling and weight that is on my neck. Also I don't wear it all the time. When I don't wear it the arm swings freely as I have no muscle control of it, so just try to imagine what that is like. Sleeping & showering is a complete bitch as well as other activities ;)  Some can be mentioned and others not so much. Typing one handed is slow and tedious, so is transforming transformers, but I'm not stopping to do what I like! That may have sounded positive of me but it's a HUGE struggle to not just give up on everything (whole other issue).

    With option 2, I can only see positives. There won't be the neck pain problems. There won't be a hassle to sleep or to shower & other things. I also won't have to worry about breaking anything and not knowing it (which I'm afraid of now). I can possibly get a prosthetic that can give me some use of it. The only downside I can see is that people will give me weird looks and treat me different as my arm will be missing (but then again it happens now because I'm wearing a sling). Oh and the so called "phantom pain" but I don't know if I have it now even with my arm being there.

    What would you do in my situation? I'm not looking for validation as to make my choice better or easier to swallow. I know that it's my life and have to live with my choices. I just want others opinions as to what you would do.

    P.s. People take what they have for granted everyday and not realize how hard it would be without them. Take both your arms. Try to being my shoes! I struggle with everything now and hate it! I cant even open a bottle without help. I now have a greater appreciation for what others who have disabilities go through on a daily basis.


    Sorry that last bit was a bit mean and rude but I just needed to say it.

    P.p.s. Holy shyte that took me almost 2 hours to type that out. I hope I got across what I wanted to get across with this. This is the most I have shared... ever!
     
  2. AutoBobby

    AutoBobby The Collector

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    Wow,sorry to hear about your injuries.I kinda know how you feel,although my situation isn't as extreme as yours.I was involved in an accident back in 2002 where I got hit by a car.As a result of that accident,my legs are kinda screwed up.They will never be the same,and will only get worse as I get older.

    If I was in your situation,and there is no hope of getting any use out of that arm,I would make the decision to get it amputated.I know it sounds kinda cold to say that,but it sounds like in the end that would be the best solution for you.I see more "positives" for you if you go through with it.Good luck.
     
  3. Team Jetfire

    Team Jetfire Pop-POP!

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    So, with option 1: Is there any chance that you will be able to recover to the point that you can use it and not a hinderance?

    A good idea maybe to consult a organization that deals with people who lost their arms. I'm sure that there are a few people that were in your situation and maybe can provide some insignt as to what daily life is without an arm. Also, they maybe able to talk about the stigma that is attached to it and how people react when they interct with someone who has lost their arm.
     
  4. Barricade24

    Barricade24 Decepticop Artist

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    That's horrible to hear. I once broke my arm and had to wear a sling. But it eventully healed. But since your arm is paralized, well, the two are completely different. If I were in your case, I would think long and hard about what I wanted to do. But based on what you have said I would likely get it amputated. Of coruse I cannot begin to imagine what it is like. The choice is yours there is no right or wrong one, only yours. I will keep you in prayer. I hope you come to a decesion. :) 
     
  5. Chaos Muffin

    Chaos Muffin Misadventure Veteran

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    Option 1, keep the arm and pray for a miracle.
    Technology may find a way for you to use it again. Impossible isn't a very popular word in the med field.

    Sorry to hear , best of luck with future recoveries.
     
  6. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    What did your doctor reccommend?
     
  7. Greyryder

    Greyryder Kitbashed

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    Honestly, I'd see about talking to some other specialists, and see what their opinions are. This is something where you want as many educated opinions as possible. No slight meant, against the doctors you're seeing now.

    Maybe I missed something, but your descriptions of things sounded like the nerve damage is at your spinal cord, but that's not where they did the nerve graft? Spinal cord nerves do not heal. You'd pretty much have to find somebody willing to harvest and implant stem cells, to see improvement there. I've run across something about spider silk being used to repair nerves, but I haven't looked into it, so it remains "heard on the internet."

    Loosing the use of an arm is a complete nightmare scenario, for me. Loosing the arm entirely? *shudders* That said, an immobile limb does present health hazards. Blood clots can do nasty things, if they form and break loose. But, the nerves in the body that do heal, do so very slowly. I wouldn't be too hasty to have anything removed.

    The memory issue is a sign of brain injury. All helmets can do is try to keep your skull intact. There's nothing that can keep your brain from bouncing around inside your head. The brain is remarkably adaptable, and can learn to route around damaged areas, and is always changing to better fit our regular daily activities. Memory improvement thought exercises might help.
     
  8. rxlthunder

    rxlthunder Banned

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    Option 2
     
  9. Nexus Prime

    Nexus Prime Creation is proof.

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    I'm glad you got around to bringing this up. I definitely understand your apprehension in doing so with some of the "funny" insensitive idiots on here.
    Team Jetfire has the same question I was thinking. If there is any chance of recovery I would stick with Option #1. Also you first "P.s." wasn't rude at all. We could all use a swift kick in the ass to see that things could always be worse and to be thankful for what we have.
    I'll keep you in prayer.
     
  10. MegaMoonMan

    MegaMoonMan www.megamoonman.com TFW2005 Supporter

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    Give it time and keep the arm. Once it's gone all chance goes out the window, but if it's still there you have a chance for a miracle/new procedure/time to heal it.
     
  11. grimlock1972

    grimlock1972 "No Mas" My Wallet

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    if there is zero hope of regaining meaningful use I'd go with option 2 and try to get the best prosthesis possible.
     
  12. John_Force

    John_Force 16xNHRA Funny Car Champ TFW2005 Supporter

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    I'm kinda 50/50. If you do decide to get the arm amputated, contact your local War Amps and see if you can't attend any events hosted by them. Losing your arm is quite a traumatic experience and will forever change your life. On the other hand, the arm is essentially dead to any stimulus. You could wait for medical sciences to advance enough to save the arm, which might take some time. It's your call. If I had to decide, I would say, keep the arm.
     
  13. Seawing

    Seawing Lurker of the depths Moderator

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    A serious decision like this requires lots of research and expert advice. If I was in your situation I would do everything I could to make an informative decision. Fortunately it seems like your arm isn't something that needs immediate attention (life or death) so this will give you time to make an informed, educated decision. Good luck and hopefully you can find a treatment that can help you out.
     
  14. Wheelie

    Wheelie Riding on Grimlock!

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    First off, I would like to thank all of you for taking the time to read what I had to say and that you took time to answer me. I know I don't know any of you personally but it meant a lot! I mean it whole-heatedly. :cry 

    There was a part to my situation I completely left out. I kinda feel stupid that I did. I blame my memory! The other part to the story has to do with the pain that I felt (and still do) as a result of the accident. From the time of the accident I have been "feeling" pain in my arm constantly, to a point where all I could do is curl up in the fetal position and shake it was so bad, on a scale of 1-10 it was easily 20. I tried every kind of pain killer on the pharmaceutical market and even some that are not. My neurologist sent me to see some other doctor (I don't know her title) about the pain. She told me that there was a surgery (well, actually 2) that has helped other people in my situation with the pain. She explained both to me and let me tell you one of them there was no way on gods green earth that I would do. It involved drilling a hole in my skull (while I'm awake!) to insert 2 wires from a pace maker to shock the pain part of my brain that deals with pain. As soon as I heard awake and drill into head... I yelled NO FLIPPING WAY! Second one (it's called DREZ Lesioning [Dorsal Root Entry Zone]) was to cut my neck open and into the spinal cord and burn the nerve ends that were ripped out. She said that there could be certain complications but in my mind they were worth it. After I healed from the surgery can I gladly say my pain level is now lower, I'd say maybe 5-7 out of 10, I'll take what I can get!

    The part that I forgot to mention explains what you asked. Unfortunately there is no way to get any movement back at all.

    He didn't recommend anything per-say but he explained both sides of the situation to me. He just stated that it was my decision and whatever I decided he would be behind it.

    Trust me, I have been seeing a lot of doctors regarding this. And actually my neurologist is the best in Toronto. Kinda sick of seeing those white coats.

    The nerve damage is right at the spinal cord. Think of it as a tree, the branch broke at the base of it at the trunk.

    Tell me about it! I can't go back to work at my previous job as a UPS Driver (or they like to call them "Package Specialists"). Can't lift boxes or drive their truck legally anymore.

    As for the nerves, yeah they grow only about 3mm a year. It has been too long, 4 years now, so their is no chance of anything coming back.

    From what the cops pieced together at the scene is that the gas tank on the bike slammed into my helmet as well as my helmet meeting the pavement at the same time. There were marks on all 3 that proved that. So I rattled my noodle pretty good. I'm trying to improve my memory but am having issues... what I was I saying again?

    I do pray for a miracle everyday that there is something that can be done to fix it, but the sad part is I'm an atheist & a realist all in one, so I don't see the miracle happening my in life time.

    Thanks! It was really hard for me to do this and is only part of it. I just hope that I can bring myself to get the rest out.
     
  15. Autovolt 127

    Autovolt 127 Get In The Titan, Prime!

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    Option 1.
     
  16. Gen. Magnus

    Gen. Magnus Everything is Awesome

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    As hard as it sounds, based on everything you have said, my initial reaction is to go with option 2. It seems that you would have a better level of living and ould be more likely to cope and move on. Please keep in mind that this is coming from someone with a traumatic brain injury that was very difficult to recover from (and I never will recover fully, just deal/cope and medicate).

    Once you are living with less pain, you will be more likely to get on with your life. Thanks to my coping skills and meds cocktail, that is exactly how I ave been able to react. Now, my story won't necessarily be like yours so take what I have to say with a grain of salt.

    Whatever you decide to do, good luck.
     
  17. Plastic Man

    Plastic Man The Man in Black

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    I would keep the arm and try seeing yet another doctor, maybe in another city. Get third, fourth, fifth opinions. Like some other posters said, maybe your body changes and the nerves grow some more, or maybe medical advances can help you in the future.

    Seems like you're leaning towards option 2. And you know yourself best, so you should do what you think will make your quality of life better. Technology is advancing in prosthetic everyday. You could get a badass cyborg arm.

    Best of luck to you, and know that if you do decide to have the arm amputated, forget all that noise about people looking at you. You gotta do what's best for you and take care of yourself.
     
  18. Fishdirt

    Fishdirt Tin Toy Transformer

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    option 2. My uncle was fine when he had his first leg amputated (circulation problems). It was hard for him before surgery but soon he got a job as a truck driver and was fine until the second amputation.

    At a certain age things that don't heal soon will persistently cause problems.


    If money isn't so much an issue option 1 should be researched more in so far as finding specialist worldwide who can do something.
     
  19. Ecchokat

    Ecchokat Ponyologiest for Hire!

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    Me personally I am a big chicken but if talk more with my doctors and there was a chance a prostic arm could be obtained I might go with option two.
     

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