Sunday, April 30, 2006

Track racing has started!!

Pre-season has started and Todd McMeen took 3rd in the Cat 4 omnium winning the 10 lap Tempo race and taking 3rd in the 4x4 Points race. Great job! This is what I did......

That's right I sat on my ass and cheered!!!!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Stay-at-home-dad article in the P.I.

So another local rag wrote an article on stay-at-home-dads. This time I was not quoted or interviewed, but a couple of the dads in the Seattle dads group were profiled. I just think dad-raised-kids are so much more mellower and less apt to freak out if they fall down or take a header. I have such an awesome closeness with my little girl! I hope that we will always have a great relationship. Well here is the link to the P.I. article, it has some really good SAHD links at the end.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

New track stem!!!

So I ran into a problem when I started looking for a 1 1/8" threadless Track/Pista steep angled stem. I couldn't find one. The only stem I found was the butt-ugly Deda Pista stem. My track bike has an Ox Blood Red/Bone White with chrome parts color scheme. So I asked David Wilson from David Wilson Industries (yes, D.W.I.) to make a custom threadless stem that is angled at the traditional 58 degree Pista (track) racing angle. WOW the stem is beautiful. I want to get it chrome plated but, chrome plating can cost upwards of $175 around Seattle. So if anyone you know chrome plates or wants to share the $115 setup fee I am game!! I won't be riding this stem on the track until next season anyways!!!

(I recieved a really good idea from The Old Bag, she suggested that I have the stem painted or powder coated bone white to match the frame??? I think it would look pretty hot?? What do you think, leave a comment?)

Friday, April 21, 2006

Long week...

Man it has been a long week. Being laid up on the couch, time does not fly by at all!! I did find out that the interview I did from my hospital bed about what I keep in my baby bag as a stay-at-home dad finally got published in Tuesdays Seattle Times life section. Here is a link to the article-click here. Abigael has been exercising her independance and throwing fits when she doesn't get her way and she really like to say, "Noooo" when asked to do something. Pat has been very helpful and I do know that there would have been no way I could have taken care of Abigael and myself this week without her. Christie is now back in Seattle and will be home this afternoon after she goes into work for a few hours. It will be nice to see her again I have missed her very much and so has Abigael. All I dream about is being able to be 100% again and take my little girl on a bike ride in the trailer. Or racing at the track with the team this year, racing cyclocross again singlespeed catergory and kicking ASS!, I am getting excited about wanting to do some endurance mountain bike races down the road like 100 milers or 24 hour races, and most of all, being able to go back to the fire dept and begin pulling shifts and participating in an awesome dept that gave me so much I want to give back so bad!!! Also getting back to work.... some day I think?? I have once again lost about 15lbs due to hospital food, drugs, and no appetitte. Hopefully I can keep it off this time, 185lbs suits me quite well. If I could take that weight and make it lean and mean nobody could stop me on the track, wink wink!!! Goals to work towards.....

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Home is good!

I have been home since Friday and boy does it feel good! I have been pretty subdued with all of the drugs, IV antibiotics three times a day, immobility ie stuck on the couch, and now Christie is in D.C. for a business trip. But I have my crazy little girl and Pat, Christie's mom, is here helping to take care of Abigael and myself. I went to Brad Lewis' funeral on Monday and the church was packed to standing room only. The service was a celebration of Brad's life not a mourning of his death. I got to see people I have not seen in months or years and that was nice. The day was beautiful and sunny, I so needed to get out. Todd Gallaher came and picked me up in the VW van, thanks!! Home health nurse came today and changed the dressing on my PICC line. The leg looks good here is a picture....

Friday, April 14, 2006

Going Home!!!!

It's kinda like getting released from prison or flying home from an overseas deployment, but man I am so glad I am going home from the hospital today. I have developed a better sense of appreciation for my lovely wife Christie and of course always my little star, Abigael. The docs came by this morning and my wounds were clean and dry and there was no pain when they pushed down around the sutures. I got the ok by the I.D. docs and I will go home with antibiotics three times a day. I come back to clinic in two weeks. We're just gonna take on step at a time.
I can't say enough about how much my team of docs (The Green Team) has taken care of me Dr. Lisa Taitsman, even out of town promptly replys to emails and phone calls, Dr. Craven who's daughter Abigail is almost the same age, May 23rd, as our Abbi, Dr G. the Army 101st Airborne Ranger that even I was able to scare the crap out of when I yelled as he touched my leg Sat night, Whoraahhh, Airbone!, and Dr. first name Lee, the info doc always coming back in to give me the updates and info. He listened to me ramble about life and how much this sucks and he was a nice guy. My nusres Imee, Joe, Patrick, Melvin all top notch and overworked I tried to be as little of a burden as possible once they all realised I was an EMT they gave me a certain amout of leeway to do things that normal patient probably couldn't do. Thank you to you all you made my stay in the zoo great!!
So here I sit I am going to restroom on my own again no prob and eatting good. My pain level is good and managable again. I feel like normal almost. As much as she never stops I can't wait to hear Abigael squeel with delight and play and be able to take care of her again. Thanks God, Thanks Family, Thanks All

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The best of Brad Lewis Remembered

Mark Pilder has captured it all in pictures over the years here it brought tears to my eyes....

Visitors and some good light at the end of the tunnel....

So I a bunch of visitors come by the hospital and visit last night and today!! People from work and people from the racing team, friends and family. It always warms me to have a chat with people and helps take my mind off the pain, the pokes, and prods from the nurses. I will have my dressings removed tomorrow and if the incission looks good then they will yank the drain and start to mobilize my knee. I will also start to disconnect my Foley cath and see if I can pee on my own! I hope to be homw some time either Friday or Saturday but it fully depends on the I.D. docs and wear my infection sits...... Pray on

A friend dearly missed...

On top of all of the crazy crap going on in my life with my leg, I found out that Brad Lewis, a very good friend, fellow bicycle racer, and former messenger had a heart attack while racing in the pro Cat 1/2 race at the Boat Street Critrium Sunday afternoon and passed away leaving a massive black hole where his bright light of life left us at the age of 37.... I miss you Brad!

And the saga continues on.....

So it is of course now Wed the 12th and the past week has been a whirlwind of crazy news, emergency surgery, and major setbacks with my leg. The story goes something like this so I thought I had a sprained ankle, right?, well it wasn't! By Saturday the 8th I couldn't handle the pain so I called my primary care family on-call doctor and she told me to go back to the ER and get my leg re-evaluated because I had a large red goose egg where the scar on my shin was. So back to Harborview around 12:45 and it took only an hour to get into the ER, it helped telling them I am a volunteer FF and an EMT. By the time I went back into the ER my nurse felt my leg and it was very warm to the touch. She ordered pre-op labs and started the ball rolling she was able to give me the right kind of pain meds to reduce the level of my pain. I had more x-rays and Ortho came down and checked me out. They made the decision to admit me and that I had to have surgery because I had a real nasty infection. The surgeons opened me to find the wound full of puss and infection. They cleaned me out and placed some anti-biotic beads to help fight the infection. I went up to my room after recovery and low and behold it was the same room that I was in back in October after my bone graft surgery in the East hospital wing room 618 this time bed two. So I was told that they were culturing my infection so that it could be targeted specifically and that I might have to have the "nail" (this is the rod that runs the length of my tibia holding it together) removed as the bacteria tends to bond to metal with no way to wash it off or remove it from the nail. So Monday the docs where too busy with traumas to get to me so I saw visitors and tried to manage my pain. Tuesday morning I was taken down to pre-op and my surgeons explained they found a strain of Staph bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus that is, what they explained as, a slow burning or slow building infection. It could have been laying dormant for months and my slip on Thursday may have burst a small blood vessel around my fracture site and bacteria loves and needs blood to grow and manifest itself??!!?? So my surgeons told me they were going to go in and clean out the wound, remove the nail (because it was coated with the nasty) and possibly either replace the nail with a new nail or with an external fixator (a halo, not an option I wanted at all!!) When I woke up they explained that were able to replace the nail, they bored out my tibia to get to new fresh bone and placed a slightly larger nail in place along with some antibiotic beads that they will remove when they redo the bone graph in a month or two. I am going to receive what is called a "PICC Line" or a semi-permanent Intravenous Line. The PICC line is a long iv catheter inserted in the brachial vein and threaded into the subclavian vein to allow central infusion of medication, in my case anitbiotics. The Infectious Disease (I.D.) doctors came by last night and laid it all out for me, no weight bearing of course, when I get discharged I will be on IV antibiotics for SIX weeks three times a day via the PICC line from home!!!
The good news in all of this crazy crazyness is that my Surgeon Dr. Lisa Taitsman has been on board and performed the nail replacement. She said she was now going to start to take an agressive approach to the healing of my leg! 1. Replace the nail with a slightly bigger (2mm) and stronger nail extending the fatiuge life of the weight bearing hardware. 2. Eliminate the infection with EXTREME prejudice via the IV antibiotic Nafcillin. 3. As soon as the infection is gone for good 6 to 8 weeks and I get the ok from the I.D. docs I go back under the knife for a new bone graph taken from my own bone out of my Femur, which should heal faster than the previous procedure using donor bone and my bone marrow.
Dr. Taitsman just came to visit and the last thing she said was that absolutely nothing I did or did not do contributed to or caused the events that have led to where I am today. Just that we are going to move forward from here. And looking back she wouldn't have done anything different than she has done up to this point.

I also found out I lost a very good friend, Brad Lewis, on Sunday to a heart attack. I will make a post for him soon....

Friday, April 07, 2006

Sprained Ankle...GGGRRRRR!!!!

So yesterday about 2:30pm I was in a hurry because the baby was asleep in the car and a friend was watching her for me while I dropped off some parts at work. My right foot slipped and I caught myself with my left leg and wrenched it causing me to fall down and barrel roll on the floor. My leg hurt a little but no more than it has when I have stepped wrong in the past so I didn't think anything of it. I continued with my day and around 6:30 my left ankle really started to hurt and by 7pm I couldn't even stand on it. I waited thinking I could deal with it but the pain continued to come on worse and worse! We put the baby down around 8:30 and our friend Sean Wellnitz and his girlfriend came over to stay with her so Christie could take me to the hospital. I decided to goto Harborview (the ZOO) since that is where all my care has taken place for my leg and that way they would not have to transfer records. So we got there about 9:15pm-ish and it was busy! I did not get taken back into the ER until almost 11:45pm and by that time my pain was a 9 or 10 on a pain scale of 1 to 10!! They finally gave me some pain meds after taking xrays to see if I had re-broken the leg or if the hardware (metal in my leg) had failed. Only to have the doc come back and tell me no break, no hardware failure just an ankle sprain. Just an ankle sprain? JUST AN ANKLE SPRAIN!!! OH MY GOD IT HURTS AND IT STILL HURTS!!! This is by far the most painful ankle sprain I have ever had. I can bare no weight on my left leg and I am couch bound for at least a week. We did not get home till 2am and Christie had to drive Sean home, love you Sean thanks again!! We slept till almost 9:30 this morning luckily this was Chrisite's normal Friday off. Both Chrisite and Abigael are taking naps right now. I will have picture soon of the black and blue ankle (which is good in that it proves it is just an ankle sprain!) AAAARRRGGGHHHH when will it end?? Oh well.......

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

No Surgery... for now!!!

So I went in today for my pre-op Dr.s appt and got some good news for a change!! I had a bone density scan done last friday and a CT scan done yesterday and the results are.... I have some unexpected bone growth/bridging going on in my tibia. So the Dr. said she could go either way but her gut feeling was that I should hold off and wait on the surgery. Clinically I am doing great, very little pain, walking, riding my bike (I put down 120 miles last week!), and the growth in the scans. So I go back in 8 weeks and we'll just take it one visit at a time and if my pain level shoots up we'll schedule surgery and just do it!!!! So yeah!!!! No slice and dice!!!! I just might make the North West Velodrome Championships in July after all!!! And Oh yeah I passed my Seattle Fire Dept exam and I have my first stage interview on April 23rd at 5pm!!!

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Monday, April 03, 2006

Opening Day... Baseball

So Abigael and I started a tradition yesterday! We went to opening day together to watch the Mariners play the Angels. We went last year as yo can see from the post below. This is going to become a father/daughter annual tradition. We had a blast! Abigael did not get fussy at all and we even almost caught a hopper into the stands, but it ended up a few rows below us. We sat in right field straight down the first base line (109 row 30 seat 17). We got to see Ichiro make some fun plays and we were glad we weren't sitting behind the Mariners dugout as one of the players loosed a bat into the stands, and not a broken bat either!!! We left after the 8th inning because Christie was on her way home and offered us a ride back to the car. Good thing to as attendance was at 49,915 and I am sure traffic was nuts after the game!! It was tied 3 up at the bottom of the 8th and of course in true Mariner fashion they lost 5-4, oh well 170 something more games to go!!! Here are some pictures of Abigael at the game!
Hamming it up for the camera, "Abigael Smile!!"

The view from our seats, right down the first base line!!!


Empty seat infront of us that Abigael sat in for awhile

View from Abigael's angle

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Team ride this morning...

So I met up with 7 other team members this cold wet morning at Pert's Deli/Cafe in the Leschi neighborhood at 9:30am. We rode around the south end of Lake Washington in the rain to I-90 Jeff split off to punish himself on the hills in Issaquah, four members cut the ride short and went back across I-90 to make the South end loop complete and three of us continued north as the weather cleared up to complete the Lake Washington loop. We stopped by and saw Chessa at the bike shop she works at in Kirkland. By the time we finished I had completed 51.2 miles in about 3 1/2 hours.

I also had a bone density scan done on Friday and that in conjunction with a CT scan I have scheduled on Tuesday morning will help to determine the extint of the current bone growth (or lack of) before I go under the knife on Thursday. I have a slim chance I will not need surgery depending on the results of the scans, but I will most likely need to be sliced and diced. More info to follow on Wednesday....

On Monday Abigael and I will carry out the second annual (soon to become a father daughter tradition) Openning Day baseball game when we go to see the Seattle Mariners take out the L.A. Angels. We went to opening day last year on a fluke and I felt like this year we should do something before I go down for the count after surgery. I will take pictures for the Grandparents. These are pictures from last years trip, The Presidents of the United States of America performed live last year before the game!