April 06, 2004

Andrew Heckman Gets Hip Rebuilt!

Andrew Heckman, the man who was riding a recumbnt trike for us in 2002 when he got ameliorated by a car (the story is at: http://webpages.charter.net/200a/AndrewHeckman2.htm) just had his hip rebuilt! His is an amazing story that has traveled all over the internet. Andrew's hip was so crushed in the accident that his doctors likened it to a bowl of corn flakes. And this sweetheart of a man, refuses to be compromised by this disaster. Keep his fires burning. Let him know how much you honor him: "Andrew Heckman" :

Home Again
Published on 03/31/04 at 17:04:02 PST by Andrew Heckman

At last I have a chance to do a quick site update. I’ve been devoting a lot of time the last couple of days to a business plan I’m working on for a client, but that’s going well enough to allow a quick post.

I came home from the hospital last Friday afternoon, and I’m able to get around on crutches (and even go very short distances -- five feet or so -- without crutches!). Pretty amazing considering that I have a foot-long gash in my left hip, where a doctor reached in, sawed off the top of my femur, etched a plug from the living bone, jammed that into my sunken hip socket and sunk two screws to secure it, then shoved in a faux socket, screwed a metal ball into the top of my femur bone, then stapled me closed again.

The operation went extremely well. The only difficulty, according to Dr. Hikes, was that my sciatic nerve was “just lying there like a snake in the grass waiting to bite us.” Normally, the sciatic nerve is encased in a bundle of soft tissue, but in my case, the soft tissue had all been obliterated. So the surgery took about 3.5 hours total.

My hospital stay was a piece of cake compared to my last experience. Whereas before I was in the hospital for three weeks and non-weight-bearing for six weeks, this time I was in the hospital for five days and was standing up (using a walker) the day after the surgery.

The only really tough part was on Tuesday, when I really did feel as if I’d been hit by a truck. Lisa said I was pretty pale and waxy on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning. But they pumped another pint of my own blood into me on Tuesday and that helped get my systems back on line. By Wednesday, I was walking a bit with crutches and feeling optimistic that I would, as hoped, leave the hospital by the weekend.

Now we’ve got my pain meds worked out, and my blood volume and hemoglobin levels are getting back to normal. In fact, things are going so well that Steve is considering heading back to Madison a few days early.

The next step is tomorrow…a nurse will be coming in to do another blood check and remove the staples (there are 26 of them in the incision). I might have to take a photo of the incision before and after, but if I post the photos, I’ll be sure to link them first with a warning not to click on them unless you’re sure you’re prepared…it ain’t for the squeamish, let me tell you. But as I said, considering the trauma, it’s really quite amazing that I’m so far along so quickly.

So if anyone tells you “the human race was a lot better off a thousand years ago when we didn’t have all this soul-stealing modern technology,” you can tell them from me that they’re full of crap!

Posted by mkreig at April 6, 2004 12:10 AM