Saturday, June 7, 2008


Emergency medical staff are AMAZING. As we rolled into Greenacres hospital in Port Elizabeth a team was waiting, Nuerosurgeon included. Bumping out of the ambulance and into a new bed, wearing a black surfing rash vest, black and blue board shorts and half of the sand on the beach, actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The morphine was working big time and by that time I thought every body was a cool dude. Drugs do work people. ;-)

Staight to ex ray and cat scan. Lying still in the cat scan machine also wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Drugs again. From there to Hi Care and my home for the next few days.

The nuerosurgeon appeared at the side of my bed and out of my very limited peripheral vision looked like a a nice young man...until he started talking.

"You have very serious injuries....have smashed several cervical vertibrae and have what we call a hangmans fracture, we need to do major surgery."

Now your own research on Google, don't take it from me....people DO NOT survive a Hangmans fracture. Why do you think it's called a hangmans noose...coz it's Guaranteed to kill people.

The surgeon said he needed to stabilise me before surgery and proceeded to drill holes into my head. Lovely, like I havn't had enough trauma. The scafolding followed and I was left looking like and exhibit in some new age art gallery...Mohawk haircut included.
Following stabilisation and a catheter...ouch... I was scheduled for major surgery 2 days later.
I am a very active guy and lying very still on my back for 2 days was a lesson in discipline in itself but I got through it.
2 days later at 7.30 in the evening I sad goodbye to my new friends in Hi Care and was pushed to theatre. The answer to your question is..the nuerosurgeon said he works better in the evenings. Cool let's go.
After a preliminary chat with the anaethesthetist and a suck on some stuff in a mask he gave me , I was intubated and disapeared into the land of nod.
5 and a half hours later at half and hour past midnight, I heard a voice. "Mr Macdonald, Mr Macdonald...are you awake. I came around slowly and the very chilling next question was " can you feel your hands and feet."
"I can" I answered without thinking about the heaviness and extreme importance of that simple question and with that I was wheeled back to Hi Care.
Game over? - successful? - not by a long shot.
look out for Part 4 tomorrow,


Mike Groom said...

My goodness Dougal! This is worse than Adam's Mission 5. The suspense is killing me. I can only assume that you are on the mend.

How many parts to this story?

Stay well friend. Mike

Marbella said...

The first thing I do each morning now is run to see your blog and how you are. It hurts to see that picture of you and how badly you are hurt. Just good tho that you are still with us and hope getting thru this. Take care Dougal. Am sending you all my best wishes for your safety, your wellness and ease for you to get thru all this. Have patience. Am praying for you to get better....
Lynda said...

Oh my gosh, Dougal - wishing you the best and hoping for a very happy ending to this saga with a full recovery!! Love, Lil

Shari Kraft said...

OMG! This is like reading a novel. Can't wait for the next chapter. I am on pins and needles praying that you are okay. The hangman's fracture is almost like a decapitation. That is about the scariest thing I have ever heard!

Buffedstuff said...

I am praying for your complete recovery.

dougal said...

Mike buddy, hi there, I seem to write as much as I can handle for one day. Probably another 2 or 3 parts and yes I am on the mend, thank you.

Lynda, hope you are having a wonderfully relaxing weekend. I certainly am still with you and will be for a very long time. I'm the bionic man now. ha ha.

Hey Lil, there is a happy ending to this...I'm only just starting to feel it though.

Shari, I know what you mean...for me it's like being in the twilight zone.

Buffed..thank you so much for visiting and I do appreciate your prayers. Don't be a stranger.