Gimpman Begins (part 2)

So I came across a bunch of pics from when I was in the hospital, which reminded me of all sorts of untold stories from then! So here’s part Gimpman begins 2

Oh, and please note, these pics are from Nov 2004, yeah I look pretty helpless in a lot of them, but it's been 3+ years since. I am quite mobile now, I even drive my own car.

Alright, so sometime very soon after I broke my neck we heard about this experimental study going on that I might qualify for. Let me explain the theory… so, most of your body regenerates right? When you cut your finger it heals. Well, 2 things in your body don’t regenerate, your brain, and your spinal cord. Which is why brain damage, and spinal cord injuries are generally permanent. I’ll come back to this in a few paragraphs.

Random story first. So when you stop moving the bottom half of your body, sometimes weird stuff can happen with blood flow. And I guess often people have had blood clot a little, move up to their heart, and kill them. This is generally an undesired outcome. So, they put this little blood filter thing in my hip to catch possible blood clots (pic will follow). And they pull it out like 3 months later. Big deal right? Well, for some reason they can cut your hip and set it straight in. but when they pull it out, they have to go through the top of the vein. And the best place to access it is from your neck. So they put 2 tubes in your neck and go all the way down to your hip to pull out this huge blood filter thing. K pics

So the little red spot is where they went in, this was the first of my 2 least favorite procedures. Oh yeah, the other scar is the original fix, they go through the front to fix it, weird huh? Anyway.
Pic 1

Doesn’t look to bad right? Well, the little alien looking thing on the left is the blood filter, we put the chap stick in there for a measure of how big the thing was. Can you imagine someone going in a vein in your neck to pull that metal object out of your hip? It gives me the jibblies just thinking about it!
pic 2

When I broke the c5 bone in my neck (the fifth bone from the top of the spine) it bruised my spinal cord around there, and now everything below it cant signals from or send signals too my brain. Actually I’ve got c6. each bone connects to different places, if I had c7 id have triceps. But if you ever see me you can’t really tell I don’t have all my arm muscles unless I tell you. Well, fingers and wrists are still obvious… anyway! Back to the story!

Ok back to the study! So spinal injuries are permanent right? I qualified for this ProNeuron study. Their premise was to take some regenerative cells from my body, and put them into the spine where the bruise is. It wasn’t expected to be a complete cure, but it was supposed to help some mobility come back. Overall it didn’t seem to affect me either way. But it was a great experience! It was the #1 spinal injury hospital in the world. So we learned a lot about helpful tips for surviving in a wheelchair. Anyway queue up the pics!

So the study was taking place at Craig Hospital in Denver Colorado, but I lived in Utah, (oh! Random detail! This had to take place within 2 weeks of the original break, so this was all RIGHT up front) so they put me on a roller bed threw me in a jet and flew me down there.

Here’s the bed
pic 3

Here’s the jet
pic 4

Here’s them loading me
pic 5

And here’s inside!
pic 6

It was very small. Enough room for me, my mom, the guy in that pic, and the pilot. That’s pretty much it. Anyway we flew down and they did all sorts of admissions tests. Oh! Lol. Ok, so I had to be tested once for the hospital admittance, once for the tests records, and once for… fun? I don’t remember what the third one was for. But one of the tests is to figure out where I can and can’t feel. So they take a cue tip and start from the top and work down. So like they brush my cheek and I'm like “yeah I can feel that.” And then like 2 places on my neck, then about collar bone level, and so on, including between every pair of ribs. And remember I can’t really feel pretty much from armpit level down, so most of it was a waste. Anyway that’s not the best part, so after they do that whole test with a cue tip, they do it with a safety pin. And they have you tell them if it feels sharp or blunt or not at all. So now they stick me with a safety pin in 1000 places. Luckily I can only feel like 10% of them, but they did this test 3 times in one day!! Yeah, ok moving on.

Here’s a picture of a scale they used
pic 7

So, for the actual procedure there was 3 major things. One they had to take a 12 by 3 cm diamond shape piece of skin off my underarm (to use as dead tissue). 2 they had 2 get some blood from a deep place inside for some reason, just outside blood veins wouldn’t work for some reason. They mixed my blood with my skin so my blood would try to regenerate it, then they’d take those regenerative cells, cut a big slit in the back of my neck, and put those cells on the bruise. That being said

This is a picture of a triple lumen left sub-clavian catheter. Them putting this in is the other of my 2 least favorite things that happened in the hospitals. I was conscious when they put it in. the problem is local anesthetics only seem to have about a 50% effectiveness on me. So I could feel them putting this in, and they scraped my collar bone on the way down. Ugh! *shudders*
pic 8

Here you can see my sexy body, and the dumb neck brace I had to wear at first. Notice on my right arm the white strip, that’s where they took the skin, I still have the scar. The best thing about this picture is I only have one armpit shaved. Cool huh?
pic 9

Then there’s the incision on my neck, at first it was covered with a ton of thick absorbent pads like so.
pic 10

But after like 3 days they take them off, and it looked like this. Oh, did I mention they hold it together with like 40 staples? Yeah, staples.
pic 11

Eventually I got them out though, I still have this piece of tape containing them, it looks like this
pic 12

Leaving my neck looking like this. 'Cept less shiny.
pic 13

And this is more like me now! Well ok this was late 2005 I think... my belly is kinda sticking out… and don’t get too excited about the babe leaning on my chair, she’s my favorite cousin, well, probably. I also have a beard-like fluff on my chin... I thought it was cool for a while… but nobody else agreed lol.
pic 14

Oh, and remember class!

Any questions?

Ok then that’s it! thanks for reading!

back home