Hey guys, I'm Mrs. Iowa599. Didn't even realize you'd heard about his accident til just now, I've had a lot on my plate but I'll try to keep y'all updated along with the 599 forum. In brief, there was a stopped car trying to make a left turn, and stopped behind it were a Kia Sedona and my husband's motorcycle. The approaching Navigator (and I don't care why she didn't stop, it's sort of irrelevant because there's no excuse) hit his motorcycle hard enough to pin him in place between the folded-up seat and the gas tank as she pushed the motorcycle for 24 feet into the back of the Sedona. At about the 18 foot mark is where he fell off into the road, landing pretty much head first.
First I wanna say something about the helmet bit. He religiously wore his helmet - in fact, that was part of our wedding vows that we'd both always wear our helmets. Occasionally one of us would forget - or 'forget' - and the other one would say "Take your helmet, stupid"...unfortunately, the day before his accident I was actually admitted as an inpatient to another area hospital (acute pancreatitis) and wasn't scheduled to be discharged for another day or two, so I wasn't there to remind him when he set off to work that day. The call came about 3 hours after the accident; I got myself discharged (against medical advice of course but that was the last thing I cared about right then) and rushed to the trauma center, assuming he'd been wearing it and maybe forgot to fasten it or something.
It wasn't til three days later, when I went home for the first time, that I saw his helmet on the stand and realized fully he'd gotten on his bike without it. I spent the next half hour hugging his helmet, crying and wondering why it wasn't on his head. Three other motorcycle accident patients came and went in the ICU with physical injuries on their bodies very similar to his while I was waiting and hoping he'd open his eyes, because they were all wearing theirs.
On the flip side of that, it's probably easier in Florida than any other state to justify not wearing a helmet to yourself if you don't have someone to remind you that's not an option, simply because it's so bloody hot and there's so many mistimed traffic lights that you spend half the time on an average ride stopped in traffic baking in the sun and humidity. Again, he almost always wore his helmet, and the one day he didn't is when this happened.
In addition, the trauma ER surgeon who saved his life told me that due to the way he'd fallen, it's highly likely that if he had been wearing his helmet he'd be paralyzed or dead because his neck would have probably snapped. This obviously does not justify NOT wearing a helmet, and I'm certainly not going to pass that bit of information on to him once he's recovered enough to ask questions, yet I'm pretty sure if his brain was fine but he was paralyzed from the neck down, he'd probably rather be dead. The force of the impact also actually sheared off a bit of his skull, allowing the blood and brain swelling an outlet rather than building up pressure inside his skull to cause more damage.
Now for the latest news: as of right now he's been off the ventilator completely for 24 hours. There's still a tube in his trachea to keep his airway open in case he chokes or something or they need to put the vent back on, but so far so good, which means his lung is healing really well from having been collapsed. It does prevent him from talking, but he certainly moves his mouth as if he's trying to talk.
The lacerated kidney is also healing just fine, and the one tiny bit of road rash he got is already healed. His groin region - sorry guys, you might not want to read this sentence - was fairly badly bruised because he was pinned between seat and gas tank; it too is healing and at about the same rate as the bruise all along his left side where the kidney and lung injuries occurred.
His right eye has healed amazingly. At first the surrounding tissue was swollen to about the size of a tennis ball and the darkest purple I've ever seen on tissue that was still alive. It took about a week and a half for enough blood to drain out of the area for him to have a regular black eye, but the swelling is now all gone and just a bit of the bruising remains. The staples in his head wound were removed half on Thursday and the other half Friday, and the sutures across and behind his ear have been cut but not taken out yet; the plastic surgeon for his ear did a really good job, he's got a bit of a Vulcan tip to that ear and it's going to be a bit lumpy at the scar, but neither scar is disfiguring at all or gross to look at. Just sort of scary when I think what he must have looked like when the ambulance first pulled up.
The brain swelling was gone almost completely 24 hours after the accident - again due in part to the fact that a piece of his skull was already missing so the surgeons didn't have to take one out, just sew him back up. However, his brain was seriously traumatized (obviously) so it's going to be a long haul with lots of rehab and physical therapy, and until the inpatient rehab process starts - and it can't until the trach tube, catheter and feeding tube (which is directly in his stomach as of yesterday) are out - there's no way to have any idea what sort of short term and long term issues the accident's caused in his brain. His eyes open, every day they focus a little more in tandem; he watches TV and certainly seems to recognize his parents and myself to the point of shrugging or raising his eyebrows in response to things we say, and is a great deal more likely to do something one of us asks him to do than if a doctor or nurse asks.
When assisted to a sitting position on the edge of the bed by the physical therapists, his muscle control is good enough that he positions his feet and weight correctly on the floor. He can only keep his head lifted for a couple of seconds and he tends to list heavily to the left, but he responds to that by trying to brace himself on that side with his hand on the bed so he clearly knows that he's leaning and he's trying to compensate, which is really good. Standing requires pretty complete support on all sides, but again, he positions his legs and weight on them correctly and if a foot is nudged he'll move it a half step in the indicated direction.
That's the latest and, as I said, I'll start updating this thread as well as the other. Don't worry, I certainly haven't given up riding my 919 and I doubt my husband will stop riding either once he's healed enough to do so. Thanks for the support and thoughts, wear your helmet for my sake if not for your own, and ride safe.