On August 9, 2002 my husband and I flew out to Long Beach, CA from Chicago for my brother-in-law's wedding. At about 11:30 a.m. we picked up our rental car and headed for our hotel - one that I would never end up seeing. After missing the correct exit, I decided to take the next to do a round-about and head in the correct direction. The exit had a very sharp curved angle and concrete barriers on both sides, not allowing much range of vision except straight ahead. Unfortunately, at the same time I was headed down the exit an 18 year-old, 6 month pregnant GIRL, under the influence of some drug (still unknown, but known NOT to be alcohol), decided that she was going to come flying up the one-way exit.
With the lack of range of vision, I only saw her seconds before impact and could not avoid the collision. We ended up in a head-on collision and I ended up with a compound tib-fib fracture of the right leg, among other injuries. Fortunatly, my adreneline must have been pumping because I didn't feel the break and it wasn't until I tried to get out of the car that I realized my leg was saging in ways it shouldn't. Luckily there was a group of iron workers close to the scene and they came over to help my husband and I. Although I don't remember his name, I am very thankful for the man that let me lean on him and kept me distracted with conversation.
I was rushed to St. Mary's Medical Center and given the gift of morphine. Throughout the entire ordeal, I remained alert and stayed relatively calm - initally I was more worried about finding my purse, as the police insisted it wasn't where I told them it was -on the floor behind the passenger seat (a strange reaction, I know, but being in L.A. I wasn't sure if some sick person would take advantage of the situation). They ended up wrong though. The impact had been so forceful that the purse was lodged under the seat.
That night, instead of being at the rehersal dinner, I had a rod inserted into my tibia. I spent 4 days in the hospital and was back home by August 13. I was casted for the flight home and had the cast removed two weeks later. Four weeks after that I was given the go ahead to put full weight on my leg. Today, a full 3 months after the accident, I am walking around fine, sometimes with a slight limp, but walking none the less.
However, although I seem to be doing well, my tibia, on the other hand, is not. This Monday, I was in to see the doctor and the x-ray shows that bone growth has not started. I now have to have a second surgery to remove the two distal screws from the rod so that there is more movement in the bones. Also, I will begin to use a bone stimulator. Although I am told that this is not uncommon, I'm still worried. Due to scheduling conflicts I will not be able to have the surgery until the first week of December, a whole month away. Until then, I plan on looking for as much info as possible and hopefully I will confirm what the doctor has told me. If anyone has any been in a similar situaton, I'd like to hear how they progressed.