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 }

The Casual Perfectionist April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Thanks for the update, Lori! I know how scary things like this can be!! Let me know if you need anything…

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Katie April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Still sending lots of prayers. I’m glad that Rob was able to make it to the grassy area. My thoughts are with you

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The Casual Perfectionist April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Thanks for the update, Lori! I know how scary things like this can be!! Let me know if you need anything…

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Katie April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Still sending lots of prayers. I’m glad that Rob was able to make it to the grassy area. My thoughts are with you

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battynurse April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

So glad that he is ok for the most part although the chest tube really doesn’t sound like fun nor do the broken bones. Sending many wishes for fast healing and good pain meds that do the job well. Hugs to all of you.

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Martha April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Prayers to Rob, you, and the kids, the extended family too.
Big ((Hugs))–{(@

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Rachel April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Holy crap. I am glad to hear that he is okay and will recover. Best wishes to all of you.

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PerfectMomentProject April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Oh my. This is the first I’ve heard about the accident. I’ve actually thought about you in the last few days because I knew you were not going to BlogHer because of the wedding.
You must be so relieved. So glad Rob will be OK. And what a great story he has to tell … if you ever let him.

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Jolene April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Thanks for sharing. Hang in there and I’m so glad to know he is on the road to recovery. Keep us posted.

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GeekByMarriage April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Oh, hun! I am so sorry! I’m sorry for tweeting “Thank goodness he was not “seriously injured”". He was. I didn’t know the extent. I’m so sorry.

My thoughts are with you and Rob.

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battynurse April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

So glad that he is ok for the most part although the chest tube really doesn’t sound like fun nor do the broken bones. Sending many wishes for fast healing and good pain meds that do the job well. Hugs to all of you.

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Martha April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Prayers to Rob, you, and the kids, the extended family too.
Big ((Hugs))–{(@

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Rachel April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Holy crap. I am glad to hear that he is okay and will recover. Best wishes to all of you.

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Cathy April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Hey kiddo – wish I was closer so I could help out. You are in my prayers. Lean and rely on those you are close in proximity and relation. It will help. Do you want me to let FP know what is going on?

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*Lissa* April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

How scary! I hope he is able to make a full recovery! Hang in there!

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PerfectMomentProject April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Oh my. This is the first I’ve heard about the accident. I’ve actually thought about you in the last few days because I knew you were not going to BlogHer because of the wedding.
You must be so relieved. So glad Rob will be OK. And what a great story he has to tell … if you ever let him.

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Jolene April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Thanks for sharing. Hang in there and I’m so glad to know he is on the road to recovery. Keep us posted.

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GeekByMarriage April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Oh, hun! I am so sorry! I’m sorry for tweeting “Thank goodness he was not “seriously injured”". He was. I didn’t know the extent. I’m so sorry.

My thoughts are with you and Rob.

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My name is Andy. April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

WOW!! What a crash! I’m glad he’s going to be okay!

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Jodi Mardesich April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

I’m so glad you have so much support there. And you are loved by many from afar. Om gam ganapatieh namaha!

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My Reality April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

I am glad Rob is going to be ok. I can only imagine how scary that call would have been to receive.

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chicklet April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

I hope you know I’m thinkign of you and am here to vent to if you need. And by vent I mean just spew about how freaked out you were and what a horrible reality check it all was, cuz I get that even if he’s okay, it can still throw you for a total upside down topsy turvy ride:-(

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Kristin April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

I’m sorry I missed your original tweet. Lots of prayers for a quick recovery for Rob and thank God it wasn’t any worse.

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Baby Smiling In Back Seat April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Oh crap. So glad he’s on the mend and that the damage was nowhere near what it could have been.

I know someone whose bachelor party festivities resulted in the best man hobbling through the wedding with a full leg cast and crutches, and the groom having cuts all over his face. Strippers seem like a good idea compared to some of the other alternatives.

Take care, Weebles family.

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My Reality April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

I am glad Rob is going to be ok. I can only imagine how scary that call would have been to receive.

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chicklet April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

I hope you know I’m thinkign of you and am here to vent to if you need. And by vent I mean just spew about how freaked out you were and what a horrible reality check it all was, cuz I get that even if he’s okay, it can still throw you for a total upside down topsy turvy ride:-(

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Kristin April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

I’m sorry I missed your original tweet. Lots of prayers for a quick recovery for Rob and thank God it wasn’t any worse.

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Baby Smiling In Back Seat April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Oh crap. So glad he’s on the mend and that the damage was nowhere near what it could have been.

I know someone whose bachelor party festivities resulted in the best man hobbling through the wedding with a full leg cast and crutches, and the groom having cuts all over his face. Strippers seem like a good idea compared to some of the other alternatives.

Take care, Weebles family.

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Dora April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

OMG! Incredibly scary. Glad the prognosis is good. Hang in there. BTW, I agree with Gino, fentanyl works best with the least side effects.

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Sheri April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Lori, I’m so glad Rob will be OK.

You know I am here for you whenever you need anything. I’m sending you and Rob lots of loving, healing energy.

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KLTTX April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Wow, how scary. Lifting Rob and your family up in prayers for a speedy recovery.

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Roo April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Oh my word Lori! I’m so sorry to hear about the accident, but very happy to hear that he’s not critical. I’ll keep you all in my thoughts & prayers.

Love,

Roo :)

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Geohde April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Oh deary me.

Get well soon, Rob.

g

PS. Make sure his painr elief is good enough that he can cough effectively, too. That’s important in minimising the risk of a pneumonia. Also he should be up and about whenever possible. If the drain isn’t on suction, it’s portable.

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Dora April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

OMG! Incredibly scary. Glad the prognosis is good. Hang in there. BTW, I agree with Gino, fentanyl works best with the least side effects.

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Sunny April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Oh no!! I read the beginning and thought you were joking, that he had been in a 3 mph go-kart accident and you were teasing him about it. My heart dropped when I realized how serious it is.

I’m glad he’s okay, and sorry you will miss the wedding. I’ll be checking back for updates.

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Phoebe April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

I’m so glad that Rob is relatively ok. I’m sure it could be worse. Even though the helmet may have broken his collar bone, it’s scary to think what would have happened to his head without it!

My DH is an expert on pain meds from personal experience, so don’t be shy about contacting us for advice. Switching meds is pretty common with pain management since everybody reacts differently to different drugs.

Please send Rob my wishes for a speedy recovery (maybe speedy is the wrong choice of adjectives here, LOL?!). I’m so sorry the two of you couldn’t make the wedding.

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Cathy April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

FP is now in the know. Let me know what I can do from here. Email me and vent if nothing else. I have big shoulders. Sending cyber hugs and lots of positive energy and prayers.

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annacyclopedia April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Oh, Lori! What a scary thing! I’m glad you have lots of support and are feeling the love from far and wide. But things like this can shake a person so deeply – I’m sending you and Rob and your whole family the most stable peaceful energy, along with my prayers for quick and easy healing for all.

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Heather April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

So glad he is safe, although still with a lot of recovery ahead of him. Much peace to your whole family during this hard, scary time.

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Anonymous April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Holy moley… As bad as it was thank goodness it wasn’t worse. Please tell him that Paul and Linda are thinking of him. Take care!

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Stacie April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Poor Rob! Sending prayers for a speedy recovery for him and loads of strength for you. Hugs!

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excavator April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

OMG, Lori. when I saw the first paragraph on my reader I had to run right over.

I’m so sorry. Oh, poor Rob. Poor all of you.

And I’m so glad that fate didn’t take that other turn. How he managed to push that cart off of himself and run after breaking ribs and collar-bone makes me shudder. Ditto nausea on top of his injuries.

I wish for a quick and uneventful healing. Boring is good.

Love you

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Leigh April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

I’m so glad to hear that he will be okay in the long run and that a worse disaster was avoided. I’m also glad that you have a strong support net under you so that you can focus on caring for your husband!! Hugs.

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Wordgirl April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Oh Lori,

You sound so grounded and a wonderful partner for Rob’s recovery I’m sure — Im thinking of you all — after I read your post I couldn’t stop thinking about that phrase — but for the grace of God — it’s something to give us each pause about living in love each day (which you’re such a wonderful model of) — because there is the unexpected.

Love to you and yours my friend,

XO

Pam

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Caro April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Wow! Glad he’s going to be ok, remember to take care of yourself as well as him and the kids.

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Leigh April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

I’m so glad to hear that he will be okay in the long run and that a worse disaster was avoided. I’m also glad that you have a strong support net under you so that you can focus on caring for your husband!! Hugs.

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Wordgirl April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Oh Lori,

You sound so grounded and a wonderful partner for Rob’s recovery I’m sure — Im thinking of you all — after I read your post I couldn’t stop thinking about that phrase — but for the grace of God — it’s something to give us each pause about living in love each day (which you’re such a wonderful model of) — because there is the unexpected.

Love to you and yours my friend,

XO

Pam

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Caro April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Wow! Glad he’s going to be ok, remember to take care of yourself as well as him and the kids.

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Geochick April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

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

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Lollipop Goldstein April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

I’m beyond emotional reading this and trying not to cry. Lori, I was so freakin scared so I can’t even imagine what you were going through over there. I’m thinking about you two all weekend.

Reply

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