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Old 12-31-2007, 04:13 AM   #1
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Talking I'M BACK!! Dre23 aka "BigDawgDre" Is Back! Long, but AWESOME Read!

********************Admin Warning....graphic pics below!!!!***********


Well it is soooo good to be back home in Columbus, Ohio and be back in touch w/my Fave Ford Family. For those of you who hadn't heard the news from my main man SuperDave, (and for those of you who did, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your thoughts, prayers, and well wishes) I was admitted to Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland (the TOP orthopedic hospital in the country/world) for an internal hardware removal procedure. It is a VERY long story but I will try to shorten it as much as possible.
At the age of 15 (10yrs ago) when I went thru puberty, my right leg did not grow straight, but grew very crooked (diagnosis; adolescent-onset blount's disease), which got progressively worse over the years, to the point that it almost looked like a sideways V (<) instead of straight up and down (l) like a normal leg should look. Amazingly, this never bothered me at all, besides the fact that I walked w/a limp and my right leg was about 2" shorter than my left. Leaving the gym last spring ('06) a felt a really bad pain and by the summer of 2006 I could barely walk. I did a TON of research and found that the top dog doc in the world for any & all ortho probs was a doc by the name of Dror Paley, pretty much every doc I spoke to said he is the guru of all ortho procedures & can pretty much fix anything. So I contacted his office in July of '06 & b/c of his celebrity status, I was not even able to get in to see him for simply a consult until Oct...and of course during all this time, I was in excruciating pain & I was poppin' Percocets like Pez candy's still to no relief.
My "suppossedly" only one surgery was scheduled for the next month on November 6, 2006, where they were essentially going to break every bone in my right leg and reset & realign them (the femur, tibia, & fibula) and place what is called internal fixation, which is basically just a bunch of metal rods, screws, & staples that would hold my leg in a proper position while my leg bones healed and grew back in the correct position (Technical term is that they performed 2 closed-wedged osteotemies and a tibia/fibula lift). There would be no cast whatsoever and my leg was free to move and be stretched due to the "fake bones" (internal fixation) holding everything in place. Well it was all a success...or so we thought. B/C of the size of my legs (which you will see how large they are from the upcomging pics) the rods actually started to slide out of place & and the docs had to go back in for a second surgery and add addt'l fixators in order to keep everything in place. This was a success as well & everything stayed put from there on out.
So, we think that everything is alright until the docs notice that I am draining an incredible amount of fluid from my leg (not good) and they say that I have developed a hematoma (which was the size of a football!!), & a hematoma is basically just a big sack of dead blood (NOT a blood clot), just sitting there and taking up space...the perfect place for bacteria to grow and thrive. So I ended up having a third surgery where they ended up removing the hematoma and cleaning out my leg (pretty much with a high powered water hose, lol). Unfortunately, a week later, after studying my blood work, they realized they had not gotten it out soon enough and I had developed a staph infection. So, they went in for a forth time and peformed what is a called an I&D (incision & drainage) and installed what is called a wound vac inside my leg wound (they couldn't simply stitch my leg closed b/c there would still be giant hole on the inside of my leg which they had to clean out to remove the bacteria). This wound vac essentially sucks your leg closed from the inside out with a giant sponge that they stick into the hole in your leg the is connected to a long straw which leads to a canister that you wear around like a fanny pack and it fills up with some pretty sick stuff (it is all really AWESOME to me, & you change it every other day) that is coming from the hole in my leg as it sucks it closed.
So I'm finally discharged December 7, 2006, & my leg is now nice and wonderfully straight, besides the fact that I have to be hooked up to this wound vac for the next 4months or so until the hole closes completely, as well as have a semi-permanent I.V. line placed in my arm (a PIC line) so that I can give myself antibiotics every 8 hours to kill the remaining staph infection.

Alright, so fast forward to spring of 2007 and I have progressed from a wheelchair to a walker to crutches to one crutch and am finally walking on my own on my leg that hasn't been straight in over a decade. It was a wonderful feeling to actully feel "even" after being off balance for so many years. Now as a reminder, I live in Columbus, OH, so when I have one of my followup appts in Balt. MD. (typically every 3 months) me and one of my folks make it a road trip and drive the approx 7 hours there, and back to Ohio in one day. (Yes, we could fly, but I was/am a Pro Powerlifter {Right now, I'm weighing right around 4 Bills to give you an idea of my size, & while I freely admit that some of it is fat, I still do have a lean body mass of 289lbs [this would be @ 0% bodyfat]) & I would have to buy 2 first class tickets to just barely be comfortable in those seats). So I go for one of these followup visits this past July, and had been having some pain at the bottom of my knee that was running down the front of my tibia down to almost my ankle. My Doc says that my X-Rays look excellent & my bones have healed amazingly fast & that when he cut into my leg, he actually paged 6 other surgeons to come & see it b/c it looked like nothing he had ever seen befoe in a humn being (and this guys has done 8,000+ ortho ops) & that it was like looking at a race horse's leg (which my mom took offense to, until I actully explained to her that this was a very high compliment, lol!) Doc Paley said my remaining leg discomfort could be residual pain from all the freakin ops I had just had the past 6 months & to give it 2 more months & if it doesn't get better or if worsens, then he'll go in and remove all the metal hardware (which he was just gonna leave in anyways as it ususally does not present a problem). Well October, '07 rolls around & I'm back in my wheelchair, unable to walk, as it feels as though someone is taking a knife and cutting/shearing my leg from the inside out everytime I move or bend my leg, or sometimes just even sit there.
CONTINUED BELOW...
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Old 12-31-2007, 04:14 AM   #2
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Exclamation I'M STILL BACK...& I Ain't Going Nowhere!

The waiting list was not so bad this time around, and I was scheduled for a surgical removal of the hardware interior fixation that is essentially cutting me like a scalpel from the inside out every time I move on. A simple, single surgery is scheduled for December 4, 2007, to take out the hardware, and be in & out of the hospital in 5 days or so. Well, removal of the hardware was a success and they let me keep all the pieces (Yeah, I know I'm weird like that. Pics to come of hardware & of the wounds, so please brace yourself...THIS IS NOT for the faint of heart!!). They docs stichted me up & placed drains (long straws inside my leg that run into bags just to soak up any extra fluid since I had so many probs the last time). They said that I actually lost soooo much blood during this surgery, that with anyone else they would have had to have done a blood transfusion, but b/c of my size it just took me down to what a "normal" person's body would naturally have, lol. This 1st surg. was Tues the 4th and by Sunday the 9th they noticed big globs of thick, almost Jello-llike consistency blood seeping thru the sutures (stiches) & quickly diagnosed me with anther hemotoma, which they scheduled an emergency surgery for on Tues. the 11th. They successfully removed the hematoma and stitched me up w/a relatively brand new technique called "Super Mattress Sutures" and atleast to me and my twisted mind, look freakishly AWESOME. They had to use this method b/c they had cut me open/gone thru this same exaxt incision 6 times already in the past 12 months & so by now my skin was so paper thin that regular stiches would have just torn thru my skin! Yummy!
So they kept a close eye on me and moved me to the Physical Therapy floor where I perform 2hrs of P.T. in the a.m and 2 more in the afternoon (admittedly uncomfortable, but relatively easy due to my years of already extensive & intenive training). The docs and P.T. team said I was progressing @ an incredible rate & by Thurdsay the 20th, all my docs said my wound looked really good, & that I'd met all my P.T. goals and I just "simply" had to get the green light from my main surgeon (Dr. Dror Paley) to be discharged & go home the next day, which was Friday the 21st. So I went over to see him and he was extremely impressed w/how the wound was healing & seemed optimistic, but needed to perform one more test. So he took about an 8 inch Q-Tip and stuck it into my leg in between some of the stitches to make sure that the inside had healed & closed up just as well as the outside...obviously you shouldnt be able to stick a Q-Tip only but so far into the side of your leg before it meets some meaty resistance & can go no further. Ohhhhh, but not me...this Q-tip was like the Energizer Bunny, it just kept going, & going, & going deeper & deeper inside my leg to the point where he almost lost the Q-tip and was just barely holding onto it by the piece of cotton on the other end. So, he looked at me and said, "Well, it's healed on the outside, but you're leg should not be hollow and is not healed internally. You're gonna need another surgery ASAP". So right then & there as he stood next to me, he called Dr. Janet Coway, the Infectious Disease Doc, & after hearing what he had to say, she immediately kicked someone else off of the surgical roster who was already scheduled to have surgery the next day (this would have been Fri, the 21st) and she made me her 1st priority op @ 7:30a.m. Sat morning.
So just like the year before, once again she performed another I&D procedure and installed a wound vac, & of course they found another staph infect...albeit, a mild strain (this whole time, I'm thinking, I must be freakin Denzel Washington cuz this is some straight up "Deja Vu" bull) and this was a "simple" 90 min. procedure & I remember 'comin to' at around 9:30a.m. from the anathesia. Typically after surgery you have to go thru another 5-7 days of Physical Therapy so EVERY doc was pessimisstic about my making it home for the holidays but as soon as I came to from the surgery & was still in the recovery area, I started flexing, lifting, squeazing the hell outta that right leg, so that when they P.T. came to evaluate me in a few days, they would have no choice but to discharge me. All my docs had said that after this final surgery all would/should be well (but it is a Medical "Practice", so who the hell really knows?), but they said that I shouldn't expect to make it home for the holidays b/c I would most def need P.T. & to get their approval that I was mobile before I could be discharged. Fast forward to Monday, Dec. 24, 2007, Christmas Eve, and the P.T. analysts finally come to my room to test me. I said, "Let's Do It Baby!" & grabbed my ctruches and walked up & down the hall twice (approx 300 feet one way), and up & down two flights of stairs (with a breathing break, mind you...I am 400lbs, remember! LOL). The two techs had their notepads in hand and said, "Well, all we can say is that you just had 3 major ops in 3 weeks & one of them was just 3 days ago. As far as we're concerned, you've passed everything w/flying colors & there's no reason for us to keep you here. As long as all your docs give the green light, then you are free to go". Docs had already put the power of discharge in the hands of the Physical Therapists, so I was good to go!
My Pops and I hit the road @ 5pm Christmas Eve, and got back to Columbus, OH @ 1:30a.m Christimas morning!! Due to the staph infection, I once again have the semi-permanent PIC line IV (for the next six weeks), so I gave myself a dose of antibiotics (Ansef, for those who care, which I must take every 8 hours) and I then hit the sack. I must say that it was SOOOOO nice to be back in my queen size bed. Also, with my gorilla-like size, the docs took REALLY good care w/my pain management & to make sure that I was comfortable, realzing that I was not going to get relief from their standard doses... & let's just say that I can def see how easily it is for people to who addicted to oxycontin. I am on both the Oxy ER ("extended release", every 8 hours) and Oxy IR ("immediate release", every 3 hours) along with Valium for the horrible muscle spasms that I get (and it helps me sleep, along w/some benedryl) & I am already starting to slowly wean myself off as I don't want to end up on no "Dr. Phil Family Intervention Special".
It was very sweet and did my heart well to be able to spend Christmas and now New Years w/my family, and of course to be back on my fave F-150 board. Dont' know how much @ 1st I'll be frequenting due to either being high from the Oxy , or in pain, or just straight knocked the heck out, straight knocked the heck out, straight knocked the heck out, straight
knocked the heck out...see what I mean .
Well, I still got quite a long road ahead of me, but by the grace and power of my Lord Jesus Christ, my tenacity to kick *** at anything this muthafuggin' world throws at me, and the love & support of my family & friends (Yes, this means you guys too!), I know I can do & make it thru all things. Sorry for talking y'all's ears off, but just wanted to give you the full skoop. I'm pretty much an open book in regards to my medical history, so if you have any questions, feel free to ask me in this open forum (you don't have to PM me unless you just simply want to). Thanks again guys for all your words of encouragement & support and I will have pics of my leg to follow. As I said, depending on your tempermant, some of these may be kinda graphic for some, so you have been fairly warned! Everybody, God Bless, and I'll talk 2u soon.

-Big Dawg Dre
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Old 12-31-2007, 05:30 AM   #3
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Default Internal Fixation Hardware Pic

Here is picture of some of the hardware that they removed. This is some heavy-duty stuff...I almost think I could use it to support something on my F-150!


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Old 12-31-2007, 05:32 AM   #4
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Welcome back Big Dawg!! Glad to hear that you were able to be released and spend the holidays with your loved ones. Your healing abilities sound alot like mine. I went in for total reconstructive knee surgery (torn ACL, MCL & shredded miniscus playing football) and only 9 days after my surgery they removed the staples from my knee and I was walking without the assistance of crutches. 3 months after my surgery the doctor gave me the green light to resume playing sports once again. The normal recovery timeline for a surgery such as mine is 6 months before you can do any side to side cutting and 12 months before resuming any full contact, that's why NFL players who have the same surgery are usually out for more than a full season. He said he had never seen anyone heal from a surgery such as mine so fast. His actual words to me were "you are a medical miracle" I was so glad that my wife was present to hear him say those words because she would have never believed me.
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Old 12-31-2007, 05:37 AM   #5
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Default Largest Piece of Hardware

Below is the largest piece of hardware that the docs removed. This was the actual SOB that was cutting my flesh from the inside out. You could easily use this as a weapon and do some damage to your opponent...now why in the world did my mind even go there? Too much oxy I guess


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Old 12-31-2007, 05:39 AM   #6
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Default Leg & Wound Vac

Now here is the best pic that I could take to showcase how the Wound Vac connects via tubing to the hole in my leg and sucks out all the lovely juices and closes my leg from the inside out. Enjoy!


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Old 12-31-2007, 05:41 AM   #7
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Question Would You Like Some Toast w/Your Jelly?

Here is a nice up close and personal look at exactly what is being sucked from the hole in my leg and into the wound vac. Yummy indeed.


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Old 12-31-2007, 05:44 AM   #8
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Default Black Foam Stuffing

Here's a pic of the black foam stuffing/sponge that is used to soak up all the inner leg goodies and transport it via the straw and into the canister!


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Old 12-31-2007, 05:47 AM   #9
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Unhappy Nurse Cleaning

My home Health Care Nurses come on Mon/Wed/Fri. to change the dressing (black foam) and make sure that it is stuffed as far back into the wound as possible (although I am responsible for getting it out, and it hurt like a ***** @ first, but thankfully, now all of my nerve sensations are dead, LOL!!)


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Old 12-31-2007, 05:50 AM   #10
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Cool Raw & Uncut

Here is just simply a nice close-up shot of the hole in my leg. It has even gone down in size since Monday as I could at first stick my entire hand inside the hole (and I got some meaty hands!). This wound vac is really an awesome medical marvel to say the least.


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