Roger’s Misadventure (updated July 24)

by Lori Lavender Luz on July 24, 2009

in Surgical room 19

Wednesday, July 22

I’m setting up this post as a way to communicate with all the well-wishers for my husband, Roger. I will add updates at the bottom of this post as thing happen, and all are free to leave comments below, which I will relay.

Before I tell you the story, I’ll cut to the chase: Roger is OK. The accident was neither life-threatening nor life-altering. We hope to resume normal daily life in a month or so.

Remember that bachelor party I tweeted about? Roger, the best man, was looking for ideas for the man-friends of Blake, who had been best man at our wedding 14 years ago this month.

He decided on go kart racing.

Not 3 mph go karts like you see in amusement parks, but serious ones that require the driver to wear a helmet, neck brace, and fire suit. The kind with signs all over that say, “Drive at your own risk! This activity can result in severe injury or death!” Roger left for this part of the festivities in the early afternoon.

The groom called me around 3 pm. “Lori, Roger’s been in an accident.”

I got the kids to mom’s, grabbed some food (you should always grab some food before you go to an ER, or have someone do it for you) and drove to the ER that was closest to the go kart track.

I found Roger at Curtain 2E. He was quietly writhing in pain, despite some very good drugs. We were waiting on xrays, which later turned up a broken collarbone and 5 shattered ribs, all on the right side.

I must have been minimizing the situation at each turn because I was genuinely surprised when the doctor said Roger would not be attending the wedding on Friday. The groomsmen and I had been joking about getting him a David Byrne jacket over a sling to wear in lieu of a tuxedo.

Same as it ever was.

Next was a CT scan to see the condition of the lung. While waiting for the results, Roger was transferred from the ER to the surgical ward, around 9 pm.

Finally, the surgeon came in with a grim face and said, “It’s what I feared. That lung is pretty bruised up, and there’s a lot of blood pooling in there. We’ll need to go in with a chest tube to drain.”

Within minutes, the procedure was underway in Roger’s room. My sister, Tami, and I returned to the bedside immediately after the all clear. Inserted in between the broken ribs was a hose about an inch in diameter. The surgeon said he’ll have to keep the tube in until the fluid runs clear. Tami asked if that meant hours, days or weeks. The surgeon took the middle ground.

***

I had a hard time picturing what happened, so I tracked down a promotional video from the place the bachelor party was held.

[promotional video deleted, as the track has now gone online to accuse the bachelor party of loading a keg into their van. Completely unfounded as the bachelor party was a non-drinking one attended primarily by tea-totallers. And there was no van.]

Here’s the story I’ve pieced together from Roger’s friends (who are free to fill in and clarify). On lap 8 of 10, Roger began to pass Ian. Their wheels touched, and Roger’s kart rolled. Roger thinks the impact that caused the rib fractures came from hitting the ground rather than by being crushed by the vehicle, and that it was the helmet that broke his collarbone.

So there was Roger on the open track, karts zooming around a blind turn, HIS kart on top of him, bones broken, and gasoline raining on him.

Somehow, he pushed the kart off, ran off the track a grassy area, and collapsed.

(This is the part that freaks me out; the part that could too easily have had a different outcome).

Our friend, Mark, then came up on the scene in his go kart: an upturned vehicle, Roger running and collapsing. He thought, “this can’t be good,” called 911, and calmly took charge. The ambulance was there within minutes.

Roger says that the bumpy ride over the dirt field was excruciating. But he’s tough and he made it.

***

Thursday, July 23

Overnight, the Dilaudid pain medication began to make Roger nauseous. Tami’s husband Gino (who has the inside track on hospital stays) was first on the scene this morning. Gino advocated for a change in pain meds to Fentanyl and adding an anti-nausea drug.

The chest tube is still doing its job and the surgeon is pleased. The orthopedist says the collarbone won’t need surgery. The main risk now is pneumonia, and Roger has exercises to prevent this: 10 deep breaths an hour, where he has to move 1000 ml of air with each inhale,a s measured with a plastic doohickey. I am his Nurse Ratched on this.

We are sad we won’t be at Blake and Dana’s wedding tomorrow. Blake and his family have been very gracious and concerned, tying up some loose ends about the crash and checking in often, even though they are occupied with their own Big Event.

My parents, sisters, and aunt have been incredibly helpful in calming me, feeding me, caring for my kids, comforting them. Tessa and Reed visited Roger this afternoon and were sad and scared, but at least we are able to say, “Daddy will be OK.” They are, perhaps, flashing back to their only knowledge of hospitals, which is that when Gino went in, he didn’t come out for 7 months, and even then it was in a breath-controlled wheelchair.

I’d also like to thank my tweeps (Twitter friends, for those of you who aren’t on Twitter). While waiting in the ER, I tweeted our predicament, knowing there would be an outpouring of support. It was a gusher; I underestimated it. I am overwhelmed, and I send my love back to each one of you who sent 140 characters worth of healing, calming energy.

Roger is also overwhelmed and appreciative of the phone calls and well-wishes that are coming in.

***

Friday, July 24

Roger was able to walk down the hall today. Getting back in bed seems to be the worst part — the chest tube is the troublemaker.

I gave him a sponge bath. No, Blake, I did not wear an old-style nurse’s uniform :-). The hospital supplies these waterless shower caps — you put them on for 15 minutes, moosh them around your head and voila, you’re shampooed. Add in a toothbrushing and Roger is a new man.

This afternoon he is able to do the inhaling exercises that will prevent pneumonia at the level the surgeon set yesterday, 1000 ml. Today, that sadist the doctor wants 3000 ml!

No word yet on a release date. We’re waiting for the chest tube to stop draining blood, and for the pain level to become manageable at home.

I am so proud of my husband. He is facing this with exceeding grace and bravery.

***

Your thoughts and prayers and love continue to bolster us both. “Thanks” is such a weak word for what I feel for each of you.

I’ll post more when there’s more to post. Hugs all around.

Saturday, July 25 (click for update)

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{ 85 comments… read them below or add one }

Geochick April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Hope Rob will make a full recovery. How scary a situation!

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Queenie. . . April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Boy, he sure knows how to throw a bachelor party to remember! So glad to hear he’s going to be all right. Wishing you both lots of good luck with a speedy and as pain-free as possible recovery. Hopefully, that chest tube will be out in no time!

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Brenna April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

So scary! I’m glad Rob’s injuries weren’t worse and that he’ll recover with no lasting effects. Yikes, though! I had no idea Go-karts could be such a dangerous activity. Thinking about you all~
Brenna

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Jamie April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Continue being Nurse Rached – as ugly as it is, it will get him home faster.

Thinking of you and sending you wishes of strength and peace.

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May April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Oh, no!!! How awful! Lori, I wish I could hold your hand through this. I know from experience how terrifying something like this is for the whole family. May Rob recover quickly and without complications. My docs pointed out several times to me (post amniotic fluid embolus) how much it helps to be young and strong, so at least there’s that. Best of luck.

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mary elizabeth April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

what a story! definitely one to tell the grandkids about. way to go rob! i know i am crazy but it sounds like he was having a blast when it happend. i do hope he feels better soon. you too–i am sure it is lots of work for you too! hang in there. i will keep checking the blog for updates! love to all involved!

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becomingwhole April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Thoughts and love going out to you and your family. R’fuah shlemah to Rob (complete recovery) (shlemah has the same root as shalom–peace, wholeness).

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mary elizabeth April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

what a story! definitely one to tell the grandkids about. way to go rob! i know i am crazy but it sounds like he was having a blast when it happend. i do hope he feels better soon. you too–i am sure it is lots of work for you too! hang in there. i will keep checking the blog for updates! love to all involved!

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becomingwhole April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Thoughts and love going out to you and your family. R’fuah shlemah to Rob (complete recovery) (shlemah has the same root as shalom–peace, wholeness).

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JuliaS April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Wow Lori! I am so glad Rob is going to be okay. Sending many prayers and good wishes for speedy good healing; some comfort and peace for you.

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areyoukiddingme April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

I’m glad he’s doing OK – what a nightmare. I hope you are all well and at home soon.

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The Steadfast Warrior April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

OMG! Glad that Rob will be okay, but that must have really freaked you out!

Wish I was closer to help out but since I can’t be, many (((HUGS))) to both of you. Thinking of you.

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Jendeis April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Oh my gosh!! I am so glad that Rob, you and the kids seem to be doing all right and that things look on the up and up. Will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.

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MrsSpock April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Ah, for Pete’s sake!Glad his head wasn’t injured! A chest tube is no fun, but they generally are in few a few days in a healthy lad like Rob. Hope that sucker gets pulled soon!

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Billy April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Oh, my! That is so scary!
Glad Rob is doing O.K. Wishing him a full and quick recovery.

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The Steadfast Warrior April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

OMG! Glad that Rob will be okay, but that must have really freaked you out!

Wish I was closer to help out but since I can’t be, many (((HUGS))) to both of you. Thinking of you.

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Jendeis April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Oh my gosh!! I am so glad that Rob, you and the kids seem to be doing all right and that things look on the up and up. Will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.

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MrsSpock April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Ah, for Pete’s sake!Glad his head wasn’t injured! A chest tube is no fun, but they generally are in few a few days in a healthy lad like Rob. Hope that sucker gets pulled soon!

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Billy April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Oh, my! That is so scary!
Glad Rob is doing O.K. Wishing him a full and quick recovery.

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Anonymous April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

I’m sure I’m speaking for the entire extended IB family when I send all good wishes to you–and if wishes were healing, Rob would be well really soon! Make time for your yoga, Lori–XOX, Nanci and all–

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Furrow April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

I’m so glad you posted “he’s okay” at the beginning! My gracious! One more activity to add to the my-kid(s)/husband-will-never-do list.

Healing thoughts to Rob.

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Anonymous April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Please pass on my prayers and well wishes to Rob, and know you and the kids are in my heart as well. If there is anything you need, please don’t hesitate to ask. LisaK

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Kymberli April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

So glad to hear that he’s on the road to recovery and is improving, even if it’s in small, incremental steps for now. How are the kids dealing with everything? What about you? I’m keeping you all in my thoughts. (((HUGS)))

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Anonymous April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

So glad Rob is OK. Please give him our love.

Rosemarie K

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Manisha April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

So relieved to hear that your husband’s recovery is on track! Don’t forget to take care of yourself, too!

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Kaytii Angel April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Sending lots of prayers and happy thoughts!

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annacyclopedia April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

You’re all still in my heart, Lori. Today I’m saying lovingkindness for you and Rob and your family.

May you be happy and peaceful.
May you be healthy and well.
May you be safe from inner and outer danger.
May you live with ease in this world.

And if I may add an unconventional addendum – May you have access to as many Mojitos as you need at this time.

Don’t tell that to Rob, though – laughing probably hurts a lot just now.

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Kristin April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

So very glad that he is continuing to do well. Heck, if nothing else, y’all will get one hell of a story from this. {{{Hugs}}} and prayers coming to you.

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WiseGuy April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Sending lots of prayers…and I am so glad that Rob got away without anything life-threatening…the situation that he was in could have been very dangerous.

I also know that he must be in great pain as of now…I hope medical expertise and your family’s support will greatly help in getting over the pain and recovering fully. He appears to be a very strong-willed person. Good Luck to him.. My best wishes are with your family.

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Sandy April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Thinking of you, and sending prayers and healing thoughts in your direction. I read an old story about how anytime something breaks (whether it is a bone or a plate) some larger disaster has been averted. Thank you for absorbing so many disasters! We love you both and are thinking of you.

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loribeth April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Oh my!! So glad it wasn’t more serious, though it sounds scary enough as is. Sending you some (((hugs))) & healing thoughts.

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Melissa April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Can I just state for the record how very very sorry I am for venting to you about my twit trolls.. I have been so wrapped up in my own little drama my head was totally in the sand. I’m finally getting caught up and feel like a troll myself.

I’m sooo glad Roger/Rob is fine. Hugs to you and your family, girl.

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Anonymous April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Best wishes for a speedy and full recovery, Roger. I hope you’ll be up and running again soon. Sue W.

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Heather April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Wow… so sorry to hear about all of this. It is so sureal to read someone elses experience and read about chest tubes and medications. A month ago I would have had no idea what you are talking about… not I remember all of them….

Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers as our internet support was what helped my sister the most.

http://www.butchsfight.com

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Laura April 7, 2010 at 6:46 am

Many months later, I’m just learning about this from your FB post tonight. Just wanted to say I’m SO THANKFUL your husband wasn’t hurt worse, and that he’s made a full recovery. Yay for all of that. xo

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