Monday May 23rd, 2016
How it happened:
The beautiful resort I call home is built on a steep mountainside.
Sunday while on my walk, I wiped out with a forward face plant on a steep mountainside paved road where I was moving down faster and faster headlong out of control. Usually I walk down zigzagging from side to side as one would ski down an expert mountain trail. But this time there was a car coming up, so I couldn’t slow my speed by zigzagging. The oncoming car was travelling up the hill very slowly. I was unable to judge the speed, and was forced to walk straight down on the side of the road.
My feet started picking up speed and I was actually running by the time the car finally passed me. Went I tried to cut across the road, I caught my foot on some uneven pavement and I flew into a forward free fall. I felt my head banging against the pavement and heard the driver of the car running toward me saying, “Don’t move!” as I pulled myself upright peeling my inert arm up off the pavement. He reached down to help me up stating the obvious, “Your bleeding.”
“I’m fine. I’ll be okay” I stubbornly insisted, just wanting him to get his hand off my painful shoulder and leave me alone to access the extent of my injuries.
At first I thought I could manage on my own and drive myself to the hospital. A resort guest who was a doctor witnessed the fall, and said she’d drive me. She asked my room number and I gave some fictitious number that came to mind. My suite wasn’t tidy enough for guests! Everyone was crowding around and I just wanted to be left alone to hop into a hot epsom salt and lavender bath. I insisted I’d be okay and was about to disappear in the maze of corridors, when she told me her room and that she would watch for me on her balcony.
When I got back to my suite with great difficulty, I removed my blouse to see a very deformed shoulder. Immediately I used the “B Spot” of the BEMER machine on the highest frequency directed at the shoulder to increase circulation. I knew the hospital trip was inevitable and I would be unable to drive. My next challenge was to put on another blouse. Fortunately I found a short sleeved one, grabbed my purse with my BC Care card, cell phone and headed out to look for the good doctor.
As promised she was there on her balcony. I waited for her, unaware that she was calling Mya the first aide at the resort, who was calling the ambulance. When the good doctor arrived by my side, I innocently asked where her car was parked.
“Oh the first aide lady is coming.” she replied. “My husband parked our car in the other parking lot”
She had a wise understanding of the full implications of the journey that lay ahead!
Minutes later, Mya arrived in style pulling up in one of the resort golf carts. “Oh my God, it’s our Alison! What happened honey? You poor thing! I didn’t realize it was you! We looked for you, but couldn’t find your room. Here can you get in this cart. Oops you’re dripping blood. We’re just going to go up to the first aide station and wait for the ambulance as our cars aren’t insured to drive you to the hospital.” she prattled on in her usual cheerful, down to earth, efficient manner and comforting manner.
We headed back up the hill past the very spot I’d fallen to await the ambulance.
Ambulance Ride to the Hospital:
It to a long time for the ambulance to arrive travelling on a windy road that takes 30 minutes when it’s in good shape. The road now is under construction and it takes even longer! Then the excruciating pain of stabilizing the shoulder for the ride back to the hospital over the bumpy roads took at least another 20 minutes.
They were pleased to see there was good circulation and blood flow in my arm. I mentally patted myself on the back for having the foresight to use the BEMER on the shoulder for 8 minutes immediately following the dislocation.
They were also very surprised to learn I was on no medication. I guess that’s very rare.
I asked the paramedics, “Don’t you think it would be a good idea get started for the hospital?”
“We’re in no rush” responded the male in the team. “Believe me you’ll thank us later.”
“That’s a long and bumpy road and we need to get that shoulder secured, so we don’t aggravate the injury bouncing it around” the woman added. “I’ll drive as carefully as I can, but we’re in for a rough ride. Take long deep breaths” she cautioned “hyper ventilating isn’t going to help anything. Relax as much as you can and breathe deeply.”
Once stabilized in a semi sitting position with my arm painfully braced against my chest, they loaded me into the ambulance and the male whose name fails me, got in beside me. They immediately gave me oxygen, while he prepared a self administered nitrous oxide.
“This is laughing gas and you can take as much as you want as you need it. Just bite on this, or hold it in your mouth in you case and inhale. If you start to feel nauseous breathe deeply. You might even find my jokes funny.” he said and began some paperwork.
I bit as has hard as jaw and dental injuries allowed and sucked in for dear life on every inhalation. The pain on each bend of the windy road was extreme, but I could imagine how it would have felt without the laughing gas.
“I haven’t heard any jokes yet” I chided him. “I need you to distract me please!”
After that he kept a one sided conversation going the whole trip, interspersed with the odd question from me. It wasn’t too long before tears started trickling down my cheeks and a low keening wailing started somewhere down in my esophagus. It was gentle and I could still gratefully listen to his stories.
Once at the hospital I was dismayed to see a jammed packed waiting room. So many sick people! Now the gas was wearing off, it was difficult not to give the pain full vent and howl. But when I saw the startled faces of the patients looking at my bloody face with a mixture of horror and fascination I made a supreme effort not to add more drama to the hellish scene.
They whisked me though very quickly. A tall orthopedic surgeon arrived by my side. He emanated a sense of calm and confidence that comes with experience. Again the ubiquitous question, “What medications are you on?”
“None, I responded and I intend to keep it that way!” I replied with a wry chuckle. “What’s you name doctor?”
“Spelliscy” he replied.
“Spelliscy? what nationality is that?” I asked
“Oh” I looked at his handsome features and bald head. “Were you a redhead?”
“Yup” he smiled ruefully. All the while he was accessing the situation. One gentle touch on my shoulder, combined with the two hours of dislocation, he signalled the time to prepare intravenous sedation.
The staff rolled in a machine to administer an anesthetic that would be delivered intravenously. The nurse was having trouble locating a vein in my arm, and finally had success.
At this point Dr Spelliscy’s phone rang and the other party asked if he could let Mira do the reduction (when they put it back in joint). My senses perked up. I wasted this obviously experienced and competent surgeon to do the job.
“Will you please do the reduction yourself please doctor? I hate to deprive a young person of their opportunity to practice, but I’m an athlete a value the use of my arm. Please Dr Spelliscy. promise me you’ll do it yourself. Let Mira look on.”
“Okay. I promise.” he reassured me.
“Swear on the bible?” I asked. I figured that oath would carry weight with a good Irish doctor.
“Yes” he replied with a smile.
I was going to be asleep and I didn’t want to take any chances. “Say it” I commanded. “Say I swear on the bible.”
“I swear on the bible I will do the reduction” he solemnly swore.
I’m glad he did it because judging from the bruise the next day they had to use excessive force to in the reduction (later learned this was blood from the bone marrow)
When I awoke a male nurse was observing me. I asked him, “What happens next? Did they put my shoulder back in joint?”
“That’s all done, I’m just waiting for you to wake up so you can go home.” he said
“What about my chin? Did someone stitch it up?” I asked groggily
“No, we used surgical tape instead.” he replied. “Do you have someone picking you up?”
“No one, and I’ve no money for a $65 taxi ride to the resort. Could I just sleep for a couple of hours?” I felt weak with fatigue.
“We can get you a voucher. I’m afraid there is no place to sleep. We need your bed. You can rest for a little bit longer.” he said in a very unimpressed voice as if speaking to a troublesome child.
“What’s a voucher?” I inquired
“It’s a voucher to pay for a taxi to anywhere. It’s normally only used for homeless people. You’ll have to convince them that you need it.” he said.
“But what about my jaw? It feels dislocated and broken? I’ve shattered three molars and can feel the nerves? How am I going to eat?” I was trying to work this out as the fog of the IV anesthetic was clearing in my brain.
“Just a minute I’ll check” the nurse answered in a bored voice. “You’re responsible for the dental. You’ll have to see your dentist. There is a dental surgeon in the hospital, but that’s for major injuries. This is minor and isn’t covered in the hospital. We’ll be taking you down for some x-rays”
“Give me a minute. Let me see if I can reach someone that can give me a lift home.” with luck the phone was answered and I quickly explained the situation to my chiropractor friend on the other end of the line.
“Let me put you on speaker, so my husband can hear. We’re available till 4 pm at the latest and he can pick you up. Call when you’re ready.” she said as they listened to the sequence of events leading to the call.
A wheelchair arrived and I was off for x-rays. The two young radiologists had a tough time figuring out how to x-ray my shoulder, removing the sling and attempting to manipulate the arm into painful positions it was’t ready or able to assume. It worked much better when they described the photo they wanted and I contorted my body to manage the desired angle for the shot. The panoramic jaw x-ray machine was interesting and fortunately only one pass was required. It still mystifies me how anyone is able to heal in the heavy electromagnetically radioactive environment of a hospital!
Once wheeled back to my bed, we discovered it was already in use by a new patient in distress. There was no more rest for me. I was parked by the nursing station while Dr Spelliscy reviewed the x-rays. Yes, the head of the humerus bone of my left shoulder was fractured as well as the jaw. He did not mention the dislocation of the jaw, although I could feel it.
When I called my doctor friends again, Dr Spelliscy spoke to them about the injuries. Two male nurses were removing the drip line from my arm, replacing the sling the x-ray technicians had left in disarray, and I was good to go. Dr Spelliscy handed me a prescription for Tramacet, an opiate narcotic.
“Will it do any harm if I don’t fill this prescription and just use meditation instead?” I asked him.
“No harm will be done except your ability to sleep may be impacted.” he assured me.
They rolled my chair to the emergency entrance and I awaited for my ride. When I saw his car coming, I immediately rose from the chair and quickly walked to the car, delighted to escape that unhealthy environment.
My friend was surprised at my agility. He immediately me a bottle of Traumameel, and said. “Take a couple of drops every 15 minutes today, and every half hour tomorrow.” He also gave me Traumamel lotion for reducing inflammation, and Traumacare lotion for pain. He concurred with me the narcotics weren’t a good idea and off we went homeward bound. He advised me not to speak until I could get the teeth and jaw looked at and let’s me know when he’s available to help if needed.
That night the cramping in my feet made sleep difficult, but I recognized the spasms were simply an after shock from the enormous amounts of pain my body had been subjected to in the past 12 hours. As I walked off the cramps, I knew this would pass and was so grateful for the healthy EMR shielded environment of my peaceful home.
I settle in with the firm decision I will fast swallowing only supplements until I see a dentist. Little did I know the first dental appointment would be five days after the accident! In 1987, a wild microedible algae saved my leg from amputation, years later of regularly eating this nutrient dense superfood, I was cured of hypothyroidism and bipolar disorder. Now eating these supplements enabled me to fast for 5 days with no hunger pangs. It also kept my mind sharp and allowed me to be my own health advocate and make all the arrangements required to stay at home, work in dental appointments around the twice daily construction road closures, and arrange with friends to drive me back and forth to the resort. How blessed I am to have such kind and supportive friends that understand my need for this shielded home environment to heal.
Update May 26, 2016
Michael, a childhood friend contacted me as he suffered a similar face plant many years ago. His jaw had to be wired, nothing else broken. He went to the hospital to wire the jaw and his dentist was furious that he didn’t come to him first to check for damage to the teeth before wiring the jaw.
In this case, with the broken and exposed nerves, the dental work needed to be performed first, the an evaluation of the jaw bone. It’s tricky, as by bite is fine, but I’m unable to move the jaw forward in front of my upper teeth.
At the first appointment with the dentist at 9 am today, he was not surprised the hospital sent me to a dentist first. There is a sequence of events in cases like this.
First patch up the teeth, then the jaw, then do a proper job on the teeth.
They took more x-rays and determined the jaw is out of joint where it attaches to the scull and fractured, possibly broken through. Due to the perfect alignment an oral surgeon will need to evaluate if it needs to be wired, or can be left to heal on it’s own with a diet of soft food (this is now the preferred approach). The lack of forward movement of the jaw could be due to muscle spasms, or swelling and may pass with time. The request for a referral appointment has been initiated. I also have the number to take a proactive stance. Usually they deal quickly with this type of issue.
Following the preliminary evaluation, the dentist booked me for an extraction of the split molar at 2 pm. The part that was hanging loosely was rubbing up against the nerve, explaining the nerve pain. The part that was intact had a root that was very difficult to extract, It clung on for dear life, and the extraction took 45 minutes from start to finish including freezing.
Once all the work has been done it will be time to consider a titanium implant to replace the molar.
Although the other two molars have massive chunks missing, the nerve is not actually exposed and they are strong enough for me to eat soft food for now. They will have filling material to bring them back to a normal appearance after the jaw has been dealt with, along with all the other minor chips on other teeth.
If the jaw requires surgery, the oral surgeons do it in the hospital according to my dentist, so that will be covered by BC health care. After that it may be necessary to crown them, but I am hoping the filling may last, especially with my diet of superfoods, smoothies, and green juicing.
However there maybe other complications, as the teeth sustained a major brute force impact, some of the large fillings in my mouth may have failed. If so, they are a priority to crown before the filled ones. We will know that after the jaw has been dealt with, and an evaluation for cavities above the fillings can be performed.
I also have a slightly loose lower front tooth, but he said that often happens in this type of impact, and will probably tighten up. In the remote possibility, if it starts to discolour or become looser the tooth can not be saved
He feels I will not loose any more teeth in my lifetime, especially as all these cavities occurred over 40 years ago, my gums are in great shape, and that tooth extraction was very firmly bound to the bone.
My friend drove me to the dentist, then took me to his home where I slept for 4 hours in a special faraday cage that eliminates RF frequencies, with healing light and sound.
It was an amazing experience and released a lot of pain!
At the dentist, following each of the two appointments at 9 am & 2 pm, while awaiting for my ride to arrive they put me in a quiet place to sleep.
On route we saw a flowering bush that I adore. There are some here at the resort:
It was a fascinating day and the best part is I can eat something liquid or soft after I’ve slept!!! The freezing is leaving and there’s no more nerve pain!
This is my first time fasting, and I’ve not eaten since Sunday.
When my friend saw the hill I wiped out on, he said, “I was expecting a hill, not a mountainside!” That is exactly what it is.
One of several people that recommended starting a GoFundMe crowd funding campaign to pay for this dental work, which could be $10K or more is helping me get it started.
I’ve been astounded by the huge outpouring of love, support, and prayers on Facebook, and the number of dear friends ready to fly in to care for me! Amazing!
I must sleep now. Wish the shoulder pain extracted as easily as the nerve pain in my tooth!
Update May 27, 2016
Received a call from Heidi at the Okanagan Oral Surgeons office. She asked if my bite was aligned. When I affirmed it was, she said the doctor recommended a soft diet for 3 weeks.
“What about the dislocation? Did he look at the x-rays sent from the dentist?” I asked
“He looked at the hospital x-rays. He’s in the hospital today doing 6 surgeries. I’ll phone and see what he suggests.” she hung up the phone and called me back shortly. “Hearing your concern he wants to see you Monday.”
We fixed an appointment time that works with the road closures. “Did you sak him if he missed the dislocation of my jaw?” I asked
Chuckling ruefully she reponded, “Oh I couldn’t ask him that! I think it’s a good idea to come in. It will cost $95. If it was my jaw, I’d want it examined thoroughly.”
Once again it is clear to me you have to be your own health advocate.
Update May 30, 2016
One week yesterday since the accident and I am healing by leaps and bounds! I feel like a mother of a dozen kids all vying for my attention. As soon as one dominant pain gets dealt with, another one crops up with throbbing pain as if saying, “Feel me! I hurt too!”
Today I see the oral surgeon about my dislocated and fractured jaw! Here’s hoping surgery to wire the jaw is not required!
I thank everyone for your kind prayers, healing energy, love and well wishes.
Update May 31, 2016
Great news at the oral surgeon! I do not need surgery or to have my jaw wired. My alignment is fine, and the dislocation is already moving back into place as the swelling goes down.
I will be on a no chew diet for 6 weeks, in 4 months possibly having an implant. The bone looks very strong around my teeth.
Thursday it’d the orthopedic surgeon, maybe he’ll let me remove the sling to drive. I am healing with lightening speed!
Update June 1, 2016
Massive healing challenge, all prayers and healing energy gratefully accepted!
The tip of the shoulder bone (humerus) is shattered with bone pushed away from the shoulder and multiple fragments floating around the bone. This proximal humerus fracture is displaced (out of position), but was initially being treated in a sling. Now 9 days later beginning some gentle range-of-motion exercises.
Next week the orthopedic surgeon will again evaluate my progress. Should the bones not heal well on their own, surgery may be required to see if the fragments of bone can be fixed with screws. Otherwise the shoulder may be weakened, have a limited range of motion and be chronically painful, as the rotator cuff muscles have nothing to grab onto.
Update June 6, 2016
Woo wee! The surgeon is pleased that the bone shards haven’t moved significantly, and I’ve good range of motion. He’s allowing me to go into the lake and increase the range of motion, including lifting my arm over my head. I can also do it out of the lake, provided I support that arm with my uninjured arm so there’s no gravity.
I see him again in 4 weeks, at which point we’ll add strengthening exercises.
He doesn’t feel surgery will be necessary nor advised as there inherent risks, such as nerve damage, and the benefits wouldn’t be any different from the way it seems to be healing on it’s own. The tendons appear to be well attached to the bone that is impacted.
I am over the moon and filled with happiness at my body’s ability to defy all odds and heal in the most unfavourable of circumstances. My leg repair from the accident in ’87 is a mystery to the medical profession, and my shoulder seems to be following suit.
Thank you all for your love, prayers and healing energy!
Update June 8, 2016
Yesterday there was an unexpected opening at the dentist, where they rebuilt two of my molars and smoothed out some chips. They used a bite bridge to hold my fractured and dislocated jaw open.
An implant of the molar that couldn’t be saved will happen in 4 months and crowns may be required if the fillings fail from the accident impact. The dentist was pleased with the healing of the extraction site in one week.
The skin technology I’ve discovered is enabling the asphalt filled lacerations on my face, hands and arms to heal with no scarring!
Update June 15, 2016
Major mobility breakthrough! Love, love, love the effects of all your healing energy and prayers. Can do a passive lift above my head, and if I place my hand on the keyboard can type with two hands.
Since Monday I’ve been swimming in the cold lake and gently raising my arm above my head.
Awestruck at the healing power of the body!
It is with tears of gratitude, appreciation and love that I attempt to find words to express the “Thank You” I feel toward you
Update June 20, 2016
Yikes, somethings wrong with one of the rebuilt molars! It’s super sensitive to hot/cold and sweets. Have dental appointment Thursday as I figure it’s better to get this looked into right away to avoid a root canal. Please don’t let me need a $1.300 crown.
Update July 08, 2016
I’m delighted to report the fantastic news today at the hospital. My doctor was absolutely dumbfounded when he saw me today. He was not expecting good muscle tone and almost full range of movement in this short period. Thanks to beautiful Lake Okanagan’s cold water, nutrient dense healing superfoods, pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, loads of prayers and remote healing energy. Plus this breathable mask skin technology has left me with no scarring!
The doctor couldn’t stop smiling. After seeing so many down in the mouth patients with very little will to overlook the pain and strive for recovery, I was a surprise, a rare and welcome relief. He literally beamed!
He announced that I have no restrictions now, can do my own physio and even lift weights! He gave me a prescription for a physio session to learn the exercises. I pointed out it’s another 80 bucks thrown away as all the exercises are available from reputable sources online. So he said it’s cool if I skip it and make my own workout routine as I’m obviously on the right track.
He also made an appointment to see him in 6 weeks, but recommended I cancel it if I’m feeling fine.
I will admit I’m pretty sore and tired now! He said pain is normal as the injury was serious and there’s a lot of repair work going on. He feels it will most likely subside completely due to my healthy lifestyle and attitude of embracing recover completely, I believe him!
It’s interesting the phases my body went through the night after the accident. My body reacted to the intense pain of riding on the bumpy road for 2 1/2 hrs with my shoulder out of joint. All night my teeth chattered incessantly, it was very difficult to sleep as my feet kept curling under with intense cramping. I had to hoist myself out of bed and stomp the cramp out. Thankfully, the body can’t remember pain! The trauma has been released. Awe, appreciation, love and joy are the reigning emotions.
Here’s how the looks today.
This is an overhead angle sitting with my arm out. You can see the bone is misshapen, but the floating chips are attaching themselves again.
This angle is standing facing forward
This is the standing back view (rather odd looking in my opinion) first time I’ve ever seen the shoulder blade.
I was experiencing painful sensitivity on one of the rebuilt molars but that has passed. On the most recent trip to the dentist, he painted it with some kind of varnish that helped somewhat. Once I knew it wasn’t a cavity I did some EFT tapping, ignored the sensitivity and now it’s completely gone. I’ve three months to go with a smile that shows my missing molar. With luck, I may get by without needing all the crowns he’s expecting.
Thank you so much for your kind and generous support!