Powered by Invision Power Board

Google
 

  Reply to this topicStart new topicStart Poll

> metallica hielp.
Eleanore
Posted: Dec 21 2003, 11:42 PM
Quote Post


satan's successor
Group Icon

Group: Full members
Posts: 2941
Member No.: 14
Joined: 8-October 02



heel raar verhaal... kwam van metallica forum

Hi all,

My name is Michael Kitchens, and I've been jamming to Metallica since I was a little dude in elementary school. I'm 28 now, and am in the USAF, currently stationed in England.. A few months ago, I almost died during a routine appendectomy, in which the doctor accidentally sliced my external iliac artery and vein practically in half. I've slowly been recovering, and I just wanted to share my story with everyone that appreciates Metallica for what they are today and how music can help heal all.

My story is long, but I couldn't explain how important Metallica's music is, without telling you the entire story.

I can't really explain how literally shocking it is, to wake up with tubes in your mouth, and no feeling in your right leg...when all you went in for is an appendix operation. It was a nightmare. And it has been everyday since. It's getting better...but for awhile there, I felt like the pain "almost" was too much...and I "almost" thought about how nice it would be to sleep. Anyone who's been there knows what I mean.

To start off, I had been suffering from what I thought was constipation since around 0800 the previous morning but had only recently realized it was something worse. Originally, I thought it was a fellow coworker's horrible cooking skills, because that previous day, we had a small cookout on a rusty barbeque pit. I had passed the pain off for quite awhile, until about 1 or 2 in the morning, when I couldn't take it anymore. I did a little research on the internet involving my symptoms, and had come to the conclusion that it was something worse than constipation, and most probably "appendicitis". That and my own gut check. Pun intended.

My wife brought me to the RAF Lakenheath hospital around 0300 in the morning on Aug 22nd, 2003. Upon arrival, I was in agony. After check-in, we sat in the waiting room for about 15 minutes, until I was shown to a room. The ER Nurse told us that the on-call doctor had been notified, and should arrive within the hour. This turned out, not to be the case. I had to wait until 7:30AM to be seen by the doctor.

The doctor finally arrived,, 4 hours later, and walked into the room, he performed a quick diagnosis, and instructed me to take a Barium enema, and I was told it would take an hour and a half to work. During that time I was sent in for a CAT scan. Upon the receipt of the results, the doctor said that my appendix was severely inflamed, and that he needed to perform emergency surgery! He tried to explain the sheet of paper advising me that once I gave him permission he could chop my leg off without compensation, but the pain was so great, I just signed it immediately. It was either that or die, right? That's the way it works. It is upon this time that the pain became so great that I have no further recollection of the events until I woke up one day later.

Apparently, the procedures for the operation didn't occur until about 12:30 or so in the afternoon that day. At about 2:30, the OR began surgery. According to the operating report, through a laparoscopic surgery, they successfully removed my appendix, but when preparing to close up, the doctor made an error. Or the device did, one or the other, it doesn't matter, the end result is the same. The report says that my abdominal wall was very thick due to well developed abdominal muscles and fascia. Because of that, the 5mm trocars used during the procedure weren't large enough to be stable. They kept pulling in and out. Because of this, he switched to using 10mm trocars several times, and most importantly, that's when everything went nuts.

During the final placement of a 10mm trocar through my abdomen, "as it was penetrated, skived the pelvic sidewall and retroperitoneum, and immediately encountered a significant amount of bleeding." From the people I know that know the people in the OR, they said that my abdomen basically exploded with blood. From the report, the doctor was confused on where the blood was coming from, quit the appendectomy, sliced me open from my belly button to my groin, and had to pack the entirety of my abdomen with swabs to determine where the source was. I was also given 2 units of blood to counter the loss. One by one, they removed the packs and inspected the abdomen for signs of damage. He thought he had damaged an iliac vessel, and the blood loss had stopped due to a clot (a hematoma was noted along the pelvic sidewall), so he considered me stable. He decided to finish the appendectomy. They removed my appendix at that time, and cleaned me up and started to look for the source. The doctor opened up my "retroperitoneum" in order to inspect the iliac vessels and open the noticed hematoma. Upon opening of the hematoma, he described it in the report as "gushing arterial blood". Someone else described it as "the dam breaking lose". It's here that everything went hectic (ya..I can imagine). They clamped it down, and the doctor and his assistant realized that it was beyond their skills and called for a vascular surgeon off base from Addenbrooks hospital in Cambridge, an hour away. The man that saved my life, was contacted at 1615.

He actually arrived from St.Bury Edmonds, but that, too, was an entire hour away. He arrived at 1715, as the British constables rushed him over to Lakenheath at speeds of up to 110mph. At 5:30 that day, Elsie was paged from a Nurse, and was informed that she needed to come to the operating room because I had "complications" in surgery.
His report pretty much says that upon arrival, his main concern was to "save his life, with a secondary concern of saving his leg". That's how bad it was. The vascular surgeon took a look and determined that my distal right external iliac artery and vein were damaged, so severely, that it was irreparable. The artery was nearly cut in half, and the vein was ruptured. He decided that in order to save my life, he must sacrifice my leg for a few moments. He took a section of the superficial saphenous vein in my leg, and made a bypass for the arterial tear near my groin, by tunneling it into the remnants of it. (Kinda like taking two straws and plugging them in together) He had to attempt this twice, because the first attempt gave poor bloodflow. Instead, he had to go a bit further back into the abdomen. He then had to repair the saphenous vein, and again had to back it up a little to get better blood flow.

It's at this time; both doctors inspected my leg for swelling, in the chance that a fasciotomy would need to be performed. They noted that none was detected, so they closed me up, and by way of an RAF helicopter, med-evaced me to Addenbrooks, located in Cambridge. You should have seen me, as I rolled past my wife for the scant few seconds on the way to the helicopter. She said I was...dead-looking, bruised, and swollen. My coworker was going to try and cheer me up, but was stunned when he saw the poor condition I was in. I had tubes everywhere, IV, and was wrapped like a burrito in that cart. Elsie really was hysterical by that time. I was taken directly to an RAF Heli waiting on the pad and loaded. Elsie said she broke down into hysteria as the heli left, and the 1st Shirt took her to his car for transport to Addenbrooks

I was brought to the ICU in critical condition at Addenbrooks, and it's there that Elsie got to see me for a few minutes, and stand next to me...she didn't get to stay long, and I'm not sure she would have wanted to. I was hooked up to a breathing machine, and I had everything hooked up to me, IV's, Monitors, and blood bags. She held my hand for a bit, kissed it, and told me she loved me. Elsie was brought home by my First Sergeant, to rest, but didn't sleep at all that night, and was quite literally a mess from that point on.

Here's where it gets bad.

Apparently, and we're not to sure when exactly, sometime during the following day, my leg became swollen, and my right lower calf suffered blood starvation, and became compartmentized. This was due to the explosive return of blood to my leg during the surgery the previous night after so many hours of oxygen starvation. There was so much pressure building up that an emergency surgery was performed to relieve the pressure. They performed a fasciotomy, which placed two 16 inch slices on both sides of my lower calf. I was split open like a sausage. Sadly, I woke up, a day later, and discovered all that had occurred. I was obliterated. Needless, to say, the emotional grief myself and my wife have felt since then has been overwhelming. It's not over.

Over the course of 3 weeks, I was brought to the operating room three times to monitor the leg. Unfortunately, the damage was done, and parts of the muscles in my calf, had died to the swelling and had to be debrided. At first, I had hope that my leg would still be viable, but during the first surgery, they removed 100% of my anterior compartment (the one that controls the movement of your foot upwards and outwards) and 50% of my calf muscle. Consequently, the 2nd and 3rd operations removed the rest of several remnants of two compartments, some ligaments and tendons, and finally, EVERYTHING except a SMALL portion of my gastrocnemius. A final surgery stitched up the left side, and performed a skin graft with tissue from my right upper thigh on the right side. I wouldn't even be able to sit-up for two weeks. I have barely any muscle on my lower leg. Each time they took me to the waiting room, I actually begged the surgeons to not take anything they didn't have to, and bawled and cried as they put the anesthesia mask on me. I thought I was going to lose my entire leg. Sadly, I can grab all of the remaining muscle within the palm of my hand. And because of all the surgeries, and due to the skin graft, my belly is deformed, my groin is cut-up, and my right leg is disfigured. I'm so sad. I'm depressed all the time, now.

The rest is even worse. I spent three weeks, practically bedridden. I had become an invalid...I was forced to use the bathroom in my bed. I had a catheter for two and a half weeks, simply because the first week it was removed, I nearly got an infection from being unable to use the bathroom. I was unable to shower, and had to take sponge baths. The nurses were so understaffed; I did most of this by myself in the mornings. The ward at Addenbrooks was cramped, so many sick people, fourteen to sixteen patients, all in the same room with nothing but a curtain for privacy. I had to listen to emergency surgeries, I had to watch people throw up, people defecate on themselves, old men dying, and the youngest patient was probably 30 years older than me. What's even better is that I had to pay just to watch TV or use the phone (to try and distract myself from the unbearable pain). They moved me from ICU to High Dependency to General Ward. Luckily, in the General Ward I could have alotta visitors, and my friends, and a few of my coworkers visited me reguraly. Even my newfound british m8s came up to see me, and told me how many people were behind me.

Still, I was in constant, unrelenting pain...because they couldn't find anything to control the pain. They just kept giving me more morphine. I don't know how a leg injury could be so horribly painful, but it wasn't just the cuts, it was the nerve damage. I was hallucinating. I couldn't sleep at night the whole time I was there, and every time I closed my eyes I'd get nauseous and have these horrible "day dreams" of constantly running through jungles and dilapidated houses and trees, and dirty mazes. The food was gross; I never ate, and couldn't keep things down. I puked up bile for the first week or so. I couldn't get comfortable because of the pain in the leg, for the longest time, I couldn't even roll over onto my side. I had to sleep on my back, like in a coffin. It got to be so bad, that a HUGE blister formed on the back of my leg. . I honestly didn't sleep more than two hours at a time, even with a sleeping shot.

I realized slowly that the surgeries were my only sleep, because the anesthesia knocked me out enough to pass a few hours painlessly, well almost. I remember, after the second surgery, I woke up screaming from the anesthesia, I had been dreaming I was running and my leg fell off, and as I woke up, I lurched off the bed, and tried to run, with blood smearing across the bed and the nurses struggling to catch me and get me back in place. Oh god, it was so horrible. It was a nightmare.

My wife visited everyday, driving an hour's worth of travel to and from everyday to Addenbrooks. She'd spend the day from 3'oclockPM to 8 sometimes later if the nurses let her stay. She's been under extreme stress, and has had to have the burden of filling in where the nurses couldn't, such as helping me use the restroom. I honestly thought I wouldn't have to have my wife change my dirty, stained clothes until I was too old, or disabled. My mother and sister flew in when the Red Cross notified them. I also didn't think my mom would be wiping my own rear for me ever again.

I was finally recovered enough to be released to the RAF Lakenheath Hospital for continued monitoring. After I arrived at Lakenheath, that's when I finally got a little better. For the first time in weeks, I slept...It still was fitful, but by the last day, I slept a whole night. I was able to take a shower and within a few days, got a haircut, and got to go out for some fresh air with my wife(it sucked though, cuz I was in a wheelchair and was so drugged up I was like, and I mean no offense, but I was like retarded.) I was released on Sept 25th, and let me tell you that it's absolutely amazing how much you can change after being bedridden for an entire month.

I lost over 40-45 pounds, and lost alot of muscle in my body. My right leg is severely atrophied. I still had fitful sleeps for a long while. I had nightmares; I still have them, only not as bad. Thank God that time has passed. As far as my current progress is, I'm still in an amazing amount of pain, but it's being controlled by a duregisic pain patch, and a large amount of drugs (MS-Contin, Demerol, Tylox, Neurontin, Ametriptyline, Valium, and Phenergan. Oh and a 75mg Duragesic patch. Thanks to several weeks of physical therapy, I'm currently able to walk without crutches, although I have spotty feeling from my knee to my toes, and I'm unable to move my ankle or my toes. I also have "drop foot".

The pain can be agonizing at times when the medicine fails to control it. Throughout the past months, I have had nothing but the bare minimum of existence, and through that, I have had nothing but unbelievably excruciating pain. Pain that makes me have practically "seizures" that hit me every morning, and throughout the day. I've shown that I'm able to walk, but most likely with a limp forever. Running isn't possible, never will be again, as are many other things, pretty much anything that involves the use of both legs. That includes being able to drive a car again, or do many of the things that I used to take for granted such as reach for a bottle on a top shelf, tapping my toes to music, etc.

I'd like to say that I am definetly thankful for whatever I have, though, because I know that there are people that are in far worse shape than I. I give thanks everday.

And this is where Metallica comes into play. I've always been a huge fan of Metallica. Their music has always been a source of inspiration for me. I can honestly say, that the only thing that got me through the months of agony has been music. Every night, Every day, when I lied in that bed in the hospital, gritting my teeth to the pain, a constant solace was always slipping on the headphones, turning up the volume and listening to the music of Metallica. I think I listened to every single one of their albums over and over again. The rage, the noise, the music, it helped to distract me, to give me something to concentrate on, to sing with, and to cry with.

Every day, as I lay brokein in my hospital bed, I'd listen to Metallica, simply because James voice was so familiar, so soothing, and reassuring, and so full of fury, that I could listen to the melodies, the guitar work, the drum beats, and it helped me to place the pain in a place that couldn't touch me. There were so many times where I remember just closing my eyes, and felt myself become enveloped by the sound. My mind could rest then, along with my body.

Another thing....and definetly something that's helped me drive my self to get better, is the fact that one of my british m8's, Rob, purchased tickets for me to see Metallica on Dec 20th...here in England. It's considered a gift from his own heart, and something for me to shoot for. The only promise required was for myself to get better, to be able to walk, to be able to make it to see Metallica in concert. Since that day, I have done nothing but work to be able to stand at that concert, and thank Metallica for giving me the strength and motivation to get better.

I firmly believe, that music helps to heal all...and my own story is an example of that belief. December 20th is coming soon, and to have gone this far, I will consider it my own personal milestone to raise my voice and my arms to Metallica and say "Thanks" to them in person.

So, if you see a black-haired, brown-skinned, guy on crutches, with tears in his eyes, and joy in his heart, headbanging to Metallica this Saturday...well...You'll know why he's crying.


--------------------
The blood of Jesus is the wine of the dead.. And the drunken angels bleed with incest...
PMEmail PosterUsers WebsiteMSN
Top
AnthraX
Posted: Dec 23 2003, 08:51 PM
Quote Post


satanlike poster
Group Icon

Group: Full members
Posts: 650
Member No.: 5
Joined: 9-August 02



ik kan hierover mee praten..... ik kan de dagelijkse verschrikkingen van mijn kantoor (stage) baantje ook niet door zonder metal smile.gif

maar dit is zeker een mooi verhaal, ik denk dat veel mensen hierin iets van hunzelf in herkennen, zo heb ik metal (of iig muziek) af en toe echt nodig om b.v. te ontsnappen aan de dagelijkse sleur.


--------------------
ik snap het niet
PMEmail PosterMSN
Top
Eleanore
Posted: Dec 23 2003, 11:33 PM
Quote Post


satan's successor
Group Icon

Group: Full members
Posts: 2941
Member No.: 14
Joined: 8-October 02



heb ik ook, alleen werk ik niet.. Maar ik denk eerder toch dat mensen
dit soort dingen wel voor zich houden op de een of andere manier smile.gif


--------------------
The blood of Jesus is the wine of the dead.. And the drunken angels bleed with incest...
PMEmail PosterUsers WebsiteMSN
Top

Topic Options Reply to this topicStart new topicStart Poll

 



[ Script Execution time: 0.0222 ]   [ 12 queries used ]   [ GZIP Enabled ]