Thursday, August 9, 2012

When the Mighty Fall.

My Dad took a tumble almost three weeks ago on a Friday evening...a freak accident tripping over a protrusion in uneven ground while carrying something heavy.

A week later my Dad had surgery on his right leg to repair a ruptured quad.  Apparently there are four large quadricep muscles that run down the upper front part of one's leg, and those muscles join together overtop of the knee.  Where those muscles meet over my Dad's knee ruptured...ripped through entirely...leaving him with zero weight bearing capability.  It's apparently a very unusual injury, and a big one.  His left leg was also injured in the fall, but we're hoping that these are 'merely' soft tissue injuries that will heal up on their own in the next few months - but still, he has only about 20% weight-bearing ability in the better leg.  Unfortunately, a few days post surgery, an infection developed in my Dad's leg and he had to be hospitalized seven days ago.  He's still there...and bored stiff.

This is the guy who, just two weeks before his accident, was white-water rafting and mountain climbing in Idaho with three of his grandkids and my brother, sleeping in a tent in a sleeping bag in the wilderness.  He's the guy who was working on my sister/brother-in-law's house addition until the very day of his accident.  He's the guy who, with my Mom, took my kids out for a late lunch just hours before his accident.

It's strange, and hard, seeing my Dad completely incapacitated; until a few days ago, he was also a bit loopy and nonsensical from medication.  He's just lying or sitting in a hospital bed.  He can't move his bad leg at all for the next three weeks so it's sticking straight out in front of him.  A few weeks from now he's going to start months of gradually bending his leg by degrees; physio won't even start until after that.  One doc told him that he's looking at a two-year recovery time from the quad injury...even a guy as strong and fit as he is.

It's amazing how a freak accident can change so much in an instant.  How it can lead one to a renewed appreciation of life.  I'm thankful that he's alive and that he'll recover.  I can't imagine life any other way.

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