progress report from the 6th week in icu the hospital

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 9:45PM
He's got the helmet and sunglasses on, and he's ready to go assault Grandfather Mountain once again!  See the pictures on the photos page!

Dad had lots of visitors today, and it is really keeping his spirits up high.  He really enjoys spending time with everyone - those he used to see on a daily basis as well as those that he only saw a few times a year.  He has asked that people continue to pray for his healing and his recovery both physically and mentally, because this is still just the beginning.  His rehabilitation is causing him so much pain, but he keeps saying that the pain is just a result of his broken body beginning to heal.  He is very concerned about being able to walk again one day, as well as having full use of his arm.  He is also beginning to remember more and more about the accident, and is beginning to have an understanding of just how far he has come in the last 6 weeks.  As he keeps remembering and pondering everything, the rehabiliitation is going to become more and more emotionally difficult for him.

He wanted me to share a message with everyone, directly from Diesel Dave himself:

"Dear Friends and Family,

Nick is typing this for me at the hospital because I'm still one-handed.  I want to thank all of you for your prayers and your thoughts.  I'm slowly recovering with a tiny bit of movement in my broken arm and broken leg.  Please continue to pray for me because the doctors still don't know the extent of damage. 

I hope to be back on my feet soon, and back on the bicycle, and I know with your prayers that this will be possible.  Again, thanks to all of you and please continue to pray for me.

Love, Dave"

He is doing his "workouts" 2 times a day, which consist of flexing all of the various muscles in his usable leg.  The nurse was very amazed at the muscle tone in his leg, and that's after laying still for almost 6 weeks.  She should have seen it at the top of Grandfather Mountain after 101.9 miles!  All of the nurses there are taking great care of dad, and he makes sure to remind them exactly what they need to be doing to keep him healthy and strong.

Monday, January 22, 2007 8:30PM

Dad woke up in a lot of pain in his elbow this morning.  He had dropped his call button and couldn't call the nurse, so luckily we had left him a cell phone.  He was able to call mom and she called the desk for the nurse to get him some pain medicine.  Dad should have a computer with internet access soon as well, so he'll be able to contact the outside world.  Maybe he will even be able to post some of his updates; I know everyone would enjoy that very much.

The doctors didn't say much today about his white blood cell count, although it is still elevated.  His BUN is still pretty high at about 40 (it had been 65 on December 28th, should be below 20), and his Creatinine is slightly high at 1.6 (was 2.6, should be about 1.0).  That means he does still have some renal failure, but the doctors had told us that it would take a while for his kidneys to resolve themselves.

Dad started some rehab today.  He said that the doctors came in and poked him, bent him, twisted him, pricked him, lifted him.  He said that it was very painful on his arm and leg, but that he knows it's only going to hurt more and that means he is getting better.  He is willing to put up with the pain as long it will get him out of that bed.  Dad has told me many times that "pain is the body's way of ridding itself of weakness."  He just wants to be up running around, riding his bicycle and motorcycle, playing rough with the grandkids; he got to see Abby tonight for the first time since she started crawling.  I know he was so happy to see her and how much she has changed in the last month.  It's amazing how quickly a 9 month old can learn to do things.

Scott Summers Jr. made a video out of some of the pictures and a clip that they shot while Scott Sr was visiting with dad and some of the other Seyboros on Saturday.  You can get to it through the links page.  There are also new pictures of dad at Life Care on the photos page.  Thanks so much for taking the time to do this for us!

Every time I talk to dad he sounds more and more like himself.  When I called him today I heard him joking with the nurses.  I'm sure they'll get to know him as well as all of us do, and they'll do anything in their power to take the best care of their brand new friend.

Saturday, January 20, 2007 6:00PM
We saw dad today, and he also had several visitors to come see him.  He seems to be in very good spirits, although he is still in a lot of pain.  His right foot and leg and his left arm are giving him a burning sensation, but the pain medication seems to work pretty quickly after he takes it.  He really enjoys talking to people and telling stories to them or about them.  He is still very tired though and sometimes needs to stop for a bit and catch a quick "z".

There are still many complications that dad is facing, including renal failure.  We had kind of forgotten about it as he went into the stepdown unit, because we didn't have nearly the level of nursing care that he had in ICU.  His BUN and Creatinine levels are still high, and the doctor said that his White Blood Cell count is elevated.  They will start him on some antibiotics to help.  The burning sensation from his arm and leg are more than likely from nerve damage, but there is no way to tell at this point.

Life Care seems to be a very good hospital from what we have seen so far; the nurses are generally very quick to respond anytime that dad needs anything.  We took him some spice drops, some licorice, some Gator-Ade, some cookies, and we even went out to get him a 'chocolate covered kreme filled' from Krispy Kreme.  The hospital food is pretty bad, so dad isn't eating much of it.  He is on a 2000 calorie diet, and they are watching his sugar closely so we're trying to get him some real food instead of all of the candy and sweets, although he can keep it in his room and eat it after he eats the other stuff.  I think we're getting him a hamburger for dinner tonight, and he's pretty excited about that.

He got to see the grandsons today; Gabe and Caleb came in and saw his "robotic" arm and leg and thought they were really cool, kind of like a Transformer.  Abby (his granddaughter) is still a little too young to go in and see him, but dad is very excited and can't wait for when he does get to see her.  He has missed all of those kids so much, and he longs for the day that he can throw them back up on his shoulders and walk around with them.  I think if there was 1 thing that will get him up and moving, it is the desire to have the grandkids crawl on him and play rough with them again.  It is amazing just how happy those 3 kids make him.

Friday, January 19, 2007 11:45AM
They just told us that dad will be moving TODAY, about 3:30 PM to Life Care in Rocky Mount.  Mom is going to ride there with him.  Please see more information on the Visitation page.

Thursday, January 18, 2007 11:45AM
Dad passed his swallow test today, and he is allowed to have ANYTHING besides salad.  They said no salads because he needs calories!  Let's help him build up that weight!  I confirmed that they meant "anything," and they said the more calories the better.  I'm sure dad's not too worried about his diet right now...

He also had a negative CT scan!  The nurse practitioner was very happy with his progress since yesterday, and has taken him off the morphine and given him Lyrica (a special nerve pain medicine) and some narcotics to help him deal with the pain.  They still need to do an MRI to determine if he has actual nerve damage in his left arm, but they can't fit him in the MRI machine with all of the external fixaters, so this will have to wait.  A rehab specialist is going to be working with him to see how much movement he has in his left hand and will do a nerve study to see if they can tell anything right now.  They said that if he needs any nerve or tendon reconstruction, it does not have to be done right now.  They are concerned about getting the bones fixed first; they'll deal with the rest later.

Thursday, January 18, 2007 10:30AM

Dad's surgery went well, but it was much more extensive than any of us had imagined.  They hoped they would be able to get his arm back in place without opening it up, but that wasn't the case.  The bone had calcified inside and around the joint, so they had to scrape that out.  This happened as the bones started healing on their own, and due to the lack of movement of the joint.  They had to put a pin through the apex of his elbow, then pins in his upper and lower arm, then removed the elbow pin once everything was centered perfectly.  These pins are joined together and then stabilized with a Giant® made carbon fiber bar (eat your heart out Lightspeed®guys!) to prevent movement.  After a few weeks, they will remove the stabilizer but leave in the pins.  The orthopedic surgeon that performed the surgery yesterday said that there is a chance of heterotopic ossification, the formation of bones in the soft tissue surrounding the elbow joint.  This could limit the movement in his arm, and may cause some pain later, but there is no way to know how exactly it's going to heal. 

Dad was in a considerable amount of pain last night, and I saw him wince a few times.  He said he hurts all over, but mostly in his left arm and hand (the one that has all of the pins).  I asked him if he had been moving his legs, and he said that he could but that it hurt really bad to do it (even his left leg, which isn't broken).  I'm not sure if that's because of the broken pelvis or not.  They have been giving him small doses of morphine instead of a morphine drip, and that doesn't seem to have as much of an effect on his mental state.  They did a CT scan of his head last night, but I haven't heard any results back yet.  I assume that is a good thing.

I had a very good conversation with dad last night, and although he is still a little in slow motion, he seemed completely like the Dave Galloway that we all know and love (except for bugging the crap out of everyone for Pepsi, so beware if you go visit, you've been forewarned).  I told him how proud he would be of Mom, Missy, and Becky; they are all very sentimental and very emotional, and they have really stayed strong through everything.  He said that everyone has told him very good things about his entire family, and that he was extremely proud.  I also told him about some of the surgeries that they had done, including his "tummy tuck", and he smiled and said he was going to be a "lean, mean, fighting machine!"  Watch out again, Lightspeed® guys!  He is very concerned that he will have to live with pain even after he gets out of the hospital, and that is still an unknown.  He sounds almost exactly like I remember, except a little breathy and somewhat "Godfather" like.

At this point it looks like he will be going to Life Care in Rocky Mount sometime soon.  We have heard good things about this place; they are a facility that specializes in "medically complex patients who require extended hospitalization, typically for more than 25 days."  He will be allowed visitors fairly often, including overnight.  It looks like the Seyboro Cyclists may have to plan their "Dave Galloway Recovery Century" to end in Rocky Mount instead of Greenville.