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May
1
2021

Lots to Celebrate!

Time flies when you're having fun! It has been so wonderful this past month settling back into our home. Collin is now back working full time from home. It is nice being more independent to help myself and around the house (I am sure it is quite a relief for Collin too). My friend Sara also came to visit for two weeks, which was so great to have some additional hands to help around the house and get some spring projects done.

I have been getting stronger day by day. Going from using the walker to now going around with just a cane for assistance. I am even starting to try to get around without the cane, being mindful of my gate and how I walk. It still takes some mental thinking when I step as my right glute muscle doesn't fully activate and there was a great deal of atrophy from not using it for so long. That causes my right leg to get tired fairly easily. When standing, the pressure in the sacrum where the rod/screw is located is getting better and less painful as the bone calcifies around it. Likewise when I sit the right lower pelvis (butt bone), which was shattered, isn't as painful anymore as there is a great deal of ossification around the broken pieces creating like a large ball of bone around it. I give a lot of credit to my healing and general ability to get around with less pain from my weekly treatments with my holistic healer, Pete, whom has been helping me since we arrived back from Denver. It's quite amazing--the areas that I have pain or restrictions in will be gone after just one visit from him.

I met with my orthopedic surgeon at the Mayo this past week (4/27). He walked into the room with a smile from ear to ear to through his mask. He goes, "When I saw you walk down the hall into the room, I was thrilled. It is the first time seeing you walk! If I am thrilled, you have to be too!" He explained what they see in the x-rays with the various ossification and confirming that the hardware is still intact. "You are two deviations above predicted healing," he mentioned. That is the pace of my healing in the 97th percentile! I would say that is anything short of a miracle! One of my staples in the pubic symphysis has fallen out of the bone, but my surgeon does not believe it should migrate any further. He confirmed that they will remove both staples when it is time for my urethra reconstructive surgery. That too is great news! That means my bones are well enough to stay in place without that hardware.

I also had a 2 hour MRI at the Mayo this past week to examine all the various internal tissues, muscles, and the urethra itself. I was actually able to fall asleep for the first hour, but in the end the radiologist came in and instructed me to pee (or attempt to) while inside the machine. The radiologist had a thick Boston accent, yelling over the intercom, "PUSH PUSH PUSH." It was an interesting experience to say the least. They got the images they needed. Now the next procedure will be a cystoscopy on June 11th to determine when my reconstructive urethra surgery will be.

Next week I will begin outpatient PT at the University of Minnesota. Given that I have a genetic condition called Ehlers Danlos, I have been waiting to see a PT specialist who knows how to work with patients like myself. This will be another big step to help build my strength back and continue to work on stimulating the nerve growth. Since I am healing so well, we will be taking a celebratory trip to St. Thomas USVI with my mom, step-dad, and brother next week. Our last little vacation was obviously ruined, so this will be a nice time to relax and spend time together not having to worry about doctor appointments and celebrate many big events: like our recovery, my mom's 50th birthday, and Collin's soon-to-be graduation with his MBA (coincidentally from St. Thomas University). Thank you all for the continued support, well-wishes, and prayers. I would not be at this point in my healing without all of you. 

-Austin & Collin

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April
7
2021

"Stand up, Take Your Mat and Walk"

Happy Easter! As you all can imagine this Easter was especially important for me this year. Since I no longer am bound by my wheelchair, and was approved to hop with a walker and do stairs on my butt, I was able to go up north to celebrate with my family. I also was able to lead worship on Good Friday and Easter Sunday at Crosslake Presbyterian Church, where before my attack I was serving with them as a part-time interim pastoral leader.

We went up north last Wednesday, making a trip around the state to get our first Covid shot in Alexandria, MN. I had such a hard time finding two appointments back-to-back for Collin and I. But so worth the drive! On Good Friday, Collin joined me in leading online worship. It was a beautiful service and was such a joy doing it together. On Easter Sunday, I lead worship where many of my friends and family, near and far, were able to join online or in-person. Preaching my resurrection story not only moved the congregation, but was extremely cathartic for myself. Truth is Power! You all can watch my sermon on YouTube: Easter Sermon 2021: Click Here

My strength has been improving every day. I am consistently surprised at how well my muscles are continuing to reactivate. It certainly is a work out having to lift my entire body each time to move forward with the walker and lift myself while going up and down stairs. There is a great deal of pressure in the sacrum when I stand, but the pain is manageable with Tylenol and Advil. I am still on the max dosage for my nerve medications, and that will remain for awhile, as I still have numbness, tingling, and burning sensations. Nerves just take a lot longer to heal, and the neurologist suspects it will be about 1.5 years before they are all fully functioning again. The good news is that they do believe it will be a full recovery as I have no spinal nerve damage!

On Easter Monday (4/5) we had a lot to celebrate. It was Collin's 28th Birthday and I was approved to begin to take steps and walk! I now have no restrictions, just that I take it easy, slow, and let the pain be my guide. Another Easter miracle! We had PT come to our home and coach me through my first steps with a walker and how to manage the stairs with a cane and railings. Walking still feels really weird and I get tired easily as some of my muscles are not fully activating. This is one more huge step towards recovery and being more independent. I am so amazed at just how far I have come. From those first few weeks where I couldn't even move my legs, to now being able to take steps and move around my home is so uplifting and truly amazing. Like Jesus said, "Stand up, take your mat and walk."

Easter Blessings and Peace,

Austin

March
27
2021

"Second Best Resurrection Story Ever"

This past Tuesday I had the infamous external T-Bar fixation ("towel bar") removed! The bedside procedure was not as bad as I imagined. There was intense pressure when they began to unscrew it from the bone, but I had Collin and my mom by my bedside holding my hand and cheering me on. After the bar was removed I had a quick x-ray, after inspection of the x-ray I was approved to stand. I thought, "Stand? I don't think I can do it or know how." But my doctor was sure that I could. They sent PT up to the room and up I went. I was approved for 50% weight on my legs, which means I am able to stand and move only by lifting myself up and swinging my legs forward using a walker. Given my strength and ability to do that they taught me how to go up and down the stairs by scooting on my butt. Successfully completing those tasks, and stairs being the only barrier for us to move home, we were finally approved to move to our own home!

As you could image, this is a huge step in our recovery. We are so thankful for all of the help from Collin's parents and for them opening there home up to us. When I arrived to their home, we had no idea how long my recovery was going to be. The doctors really couldn't predict how well my bones would heal and if I would be able to get my nerve pain under control enough for me to be able to move independently. My bones are healing at the fastest rate possible and my max doses of nerve medications are keeping the pain at bay.

It feels so good for us to be home, in our own bed, and to begin to move one step closer back to our normal lives. I have to say when my friend Brad used the expression, "second best resurrection story ever," to describe my recovery journey, it couldn't be more spot on. It really is amazing how fast my recovery is taking place. In those deep moments of pain it may not feel fast enough, but in just 8 weeks, from the day of the attack to now, Collin and I are back in our Minneapolis home!

Thanks so much for your continuous support!
-Austin & Collin

March
20
2021

Day 40

Its been 40 days since we arrived back home. What a roller coaster it has been. The expression, "There will be good days and bad days" is certainly true. Last week started out great, I was feeling good and was able to manage pain off the narcotics, but then I started to have extreme pain in my bladder. By Friday (3/12) I was in a ton of pain, couldn't even get out of bed, pain killers didn't help. I had my home nurse take a urine sample and later that evening was diagnosed with a bladder infection. By Saturday morning, with one night of antibiotics, I was feeling great! I was able to get out of the house and wheel the neighborhood with family. Around 3am on Sunday, I woke up once again not feeling well and having extreme pressure in my abdomen. Finally by 6:30am I woke Collin up. I felt like I was going to explode. The incision from my surgery even started to bleed. Collin, thankfully works in urology and was able to troubleshoot my pain, suggesting we open up my suprapubic catheter. We capped the Foley and opened it up, releasing over 2L of urine in 30 mins! Thanks to Collin, he saved us a trip to the ER. We the realize the Foley did in fact fail. Luckily enough we just needed to wait till Tuesday (3/16) for my appointment with Urology at Mayo.

Tuesday (3/16) was a big day. We started the morning with Orthopedics at Mayo. I got check-up x-rays of my pelvis to see the healing progress. My ortho surgeon was very happy with the healing and approved me for surgery to remove the bar!! This is done bedside while I am fully awake. Its three minutes. He says 50% of people can do it, 50% of people need to be put under anesthesia. So I am hoping I can just grin and bare it while they drill out the pin-screws. I cannot wait for the day I will have no more metal pins sticking out of my pelvis and a bar stretching around my waist! Such good news, good bye "towel bar!!"

We then went over to Urology where I was to have a fluoroscopy. This is where the doctors take X-rays of the bladder and urethra to determine the healing and see the existing damage of the torn urethra. When they went to remove the Foley catheter I screamed in pain. They tried again and I almost passed out. The surgeon came after I was more calm and got some pain killers in me. After 1.5 hours they finally were able to remove it. The catheter became encrusted in my bladder from calcium buildup or "coral" the surgeon called it. You can image then the pain it was to pull that through, then getting suck where the rupture is located. We then met with the surgeon to discuss what they saw and what the expectations are. So at this point we are looking at about 3 more months before I will be able to have my urethra reconstruction. The healing process of my internal tissues are slow just from the amount of trauma they have experienced. I wish it could be an immediate fix but I am so thankfully just how much better I feel since getting the Foley catheter removed. It truly has made a world of difference. I went from barely being able to lift my legs or transfer in and out of my wheelchair to being able to easily move around, lift my legs, and transfer in and out of my wheelchair without any help at all! It's amazing that my badder pains were so intense it limited my movement that much.

Since then I have continually been amazed at how well I am doing, even with my bar still limiting my movement. By next week I will feel like a whole new person once this "towel bar" is removed for good. I then will be approved to begin more PT using only 50% weight on either leg for at least two weeks. Not only will I need to build my strength back, but learn how to active the muscles with the nerve damage. I am certainly motivated and ready to get moving more, working slowly up to use a walker. Maybe in a month I will be able to put full weight on my legs to being learning how to walk again! That is at least my goal. Thank you everyone for the continued support. As some of the expenses begin to come in, we are so thankful for the support that we have received, financially, and all the prayers that have brought me to where I am today in my healing. Night and day difference from the day I left the hospital.

March
7
2021

Changes

Hi everyone! Things are slowly but surly progressing. I continue to meet weekly with my GP. We now have found the higher dose of the gabapentin really helps keep the extreme nerve pain away and helps me sleep a little bit better. I really don't have the horrible bone pain as I did before. I don't feel the painful clicking and rubbing of broken pieces of bone as much. This is great as it allows me to get out of bed and into my wheelchair that much easier! The two catheters (Foley and Suprapubic) and my dear "towel bar" (external T-Bar Fixation) still cause some pain and discomfort that simply cannot be masked by pain killers or nerve blockers. From the poking and prodding of the catheters in my bladder to the tearing and painful restriction caused by the pins of the bar going into me--I sincerely look forward to the day these are taken out.

One big thing I have adapted to in the last few weeks of my recovery is flexibility for things to change. And really, the whole process of recovery is change.

First change was the chapel presentation that I was going to do on Feb. 24 at Breck School. My story aligns with the chapel theme "Hurt, Harm, Hope, and Healing" and given the senior class was not in school that day,  it was decided to postpone it. This was certainly for the best. It has allowed me to gather more of my thoughts and feelings, and I have been to collaborate with the students and other faculty members at Breck to ensure this will be a meaningful chapel experience. Hopefully my discussion will be recorded and I will be able to post it to share it with you all.

I met with my physical medicine/PT doctor at the Mayo who helped show me just what I need to do while I recover. Given I have a broken rib now, and with the amount of limitations the bar causes, the focus right now is not to strengthen the muscles but rather to activate them, letting the brain know that they are still there. After the bar is removed, we will then work more on strengthening and stabilizing the pelvis.

After my appointment with PT, I met with my urologist's nurse who went over some of my concerns. I have been having a lot of matter and blood in my urine, which she assured me everything looked normal. My urologist additionally instructed me to have my catheters changed around March 12th. Given that this is such a simple procedure, he assumed it could be done just at my GP's clinic here in St. Paul as my fluoroscopy/cystoscopy wasn't scheduled until March 26th, and the catheters wouldn't be safe to last that long without being changed. When I mentioned that to my GP, he said it would be best if I just went to U of M Urology and have that done there... and once again I was denied care! Even for something so simple. So I tried another local urology clinic. Again I was denied care, unless I wanted to switch my entire care over to them. So I called back to Mayo Urology and my surgeon was able to move my procedure up to the March 16th, the same day as my pre-op to see when the T-Bar will be removed. Once again I am amazed at the amazing care at the Mayo and how they are able to coordinate and change their schedules to fit the patient's. A true blessing! Hopefully then, following both appointments, we will get a better understanding at where I am at in terms of my healing and what additionally procedures I will need.

This past week we also met with the Deputy District Attorney who is handling our case, along with two representatives of the court. In that meeting Collin and I learned that the elected District Attorney, after further inspection of the evidence, deemed our perpetrator's actions were in fact bias-motivated against us. This is huge. It not only validates the fear that Collin and I had, and the words that I heard just before he ran me over, but it also says to the world that if you do such crime you will be held accountable. Therefore, our perpetrator has been charged with 4 additional counts of "Bias-Motivated Crime," two felony counts and two misdemeanor counts, on top of the already 11 various criminal charges, including the two counts of attempted murder in the first degree. When we heard this we all broke down crying. Even if our perpetrator is not convinced of it, the charges are still there. Justice is working the way it should.

Overall, things are going well, though I still have moments of sadness and frustration. Sometimes I just simply get tired of being in pain, especially as my nerves healing are causing me to be in more and more pain. But I am so thankful to have my rock right alongside of me. Collin has been so strong, listening to me as a cry, holding my hand, and reassuring me just how strong and resilient I am. And I again continue to be amazed at the community of support that I have received from all of you--from close friends to kind strangers. Thank you for all the support during all of this. 

Austin

February
24
2021

Reflection and Hope

It has been nearly four weeks since the moment our lives were put on hold by the senseless act of violence Austin and I experienced, and it has been two weeks since we have been 'home' at my parent's house.  As I reflect on everything that we have been through in the past month, which has aged me by about 5 years, it strikes me just how much an event like this changes you and your perspectives. I have been doing a lot of healing, meditating, and praying in the last few weeks, trying to ensure that I am stable and strong enough to support Austin while his body and mind heal. Some days are better than others... some days I lash out unnecessarily due to stress and feel so guilty afterwards... some nights I lay awake, unable to shut down all the images that flash through my head... and some days, in between the calls, meetings, and visits, I am so overwhelmed that I can't focus on anything except scrolling on my phone. Through all of this, however, I am comforted by the fact that I have Austin here with me and, even in all this pain, there is hope that we will heal and build back our life together, stronger than before. I'll leave you all with a few of my thoughts and perspectives, as well as my gratitudes, as we begin to chart this path forward towards hope.

When I think back to the first day... watching the person I care most about in this world get run over by a car, both of us thinking that we were going to spend his last moments together right there... I want so badly to say that I had a moment of clarity; that I knew exactly what I was supposed to do. But I cannot. When Austin asked me to pray with him there in that moment, while our attacker was screaming at us and we both thought he was dying, I simply had no words. I was completely speechless and felt absolutely helpless. No one prepares you for the worst and, having experienced this myself, I would never want anyone to. All I can say is that I am so thankful and filled with so much grace to be able to experience all of these moments of healing with Austin. Even the bad moments I would not trade for anything right now.

Looking ahead, trying to get my life "back to normal" seems like this impossible mountain that I will never be able to climb. Prior to all of this, my job was one of the top focuses in my life. I loved my job, put in 10-14 hours every day, felt like I was really making an impact, and, even though the work was overwhelming at times, was surrounded by solid support and coworkers. I was even given a promotion which was supposed to start that Monday... but everything I was doing, suddenly, felt so insignificant as all of my energy was refocused into helping Austin heal. Now, as I try to coordinate going back to work part-time, managing therapy appointments, and finishing up my final semester of grad school, it takes so much mental strength just to reprioritize my life again while still providing appropriate attention to Austin's needs. I have to thank Austin, who has also been so encouraging of me during this time, focusing not just on himself and his needs but mine as well. It was him who encouraged me not to defer my last semester of school when I felt like that was my only option, and he has allowed me the time and space to take care of myself and get my own life back on track. I have a newfound respect for caregivers, especially those caregivers who are able to manage multiple facets of their own life, in addition to the care of their loved ones - it is definitely under appreciated. In addition, I feel the need to thank my Coloplast family for everything they have done for me during my time of need. It has been so inspiring to see all of your kind messages, emails, and texts checking in on both Austin and I and allowing me this much needed time away to refocus and reprioritize. It truly has been a blessing.

Lastly, it has been both a challenge and a growth opportunity for me to be this open and vulnerable during our time of need. I am usually an extremely private person, rarely posting on social media or disclosing deep personal details about myself to anyone outside of my close circle. Austin, on the other hand, has taken the perspective that if we don't talk about this event, we will never truly heal. We often bicker a bit about the level of detail that he wants us to share, with me saying to 'pull it back' while he says 'it's what happened, why wouldn't I share!?'  Though I hate to admit it, he (once again) is right. I do think that it is important to explain what we are going through but I only believe that because of the deep and sincerely support that we have been receiving from everyone. We have been surrounding ourselves with your words of support, and our space is brightened by the cards we have hung up. While one man's actions have caused us a world of hurt, it is the strength of hundreds that gives us the hope that we will build ourselves up once again. Thank you, and God bless.

Collin

February
21
2021

The Path to Recovery

Hi everyone, the last time I posted was the day before my appointment with orthopedics at the Mayo. I am excited to announce that it was a VERY successful appointment. Collin, my mom, and I drove down to Rochester early Thursday morning (Feb. 18) to the St. Mary's Campus of the Mayo. Unfortunately, due to their strict Covid restrictions, only one person is allowed to accompany me during my appointments at the Mayo. We made the impromptu decision that Collin will accompany me during any urology and PT appointments (since he works in Urology at Coloplast), and my mom will join with me for ortho. 

Once my mom and I got checked in, I was quickly moved into the x-ray room where the technicians carefully took new x-rays of my pelvis. I then met with met with the PA who was extremely compassionate in her questioning and thorough in her examination. Soon after Dr. Cross, the expert in orthopedic trauma and pelvic surgery, came in and again compassionately listened to my story. When Dr. Cross looked at my chart and saw that Dr. Parry was my surgeon in back in Denver, he got very excited, mentioning that Dr. Parry was a former student of his. Sitting down at his computer, he said, "I am always excited to see how my students do after they leave here." He looked over my new x-rays just taken, and those done after my surgery in Denver, to make sure everything was healing properly. After taking some time to look them over, Dr. Cross replied, "This is exactly what I taught my student. Dr. Parry did an excellent job, exactly how I would have done it. Your bones are perfectly set and the rods and pins are at the correct angle and position."

Hearing this news gave me so much relief. Since Denver Health was a level 1 Trauma hospital, I really never got any time to talk with Dr. Parry and hear how my surgery went... I felt like I had just been sitting in the hospital, and now at home, for over two weeks having no knowledge of what was going on inside my body. Hearing from Dr. Cross that the pins and rods had set well and that I am healing as expected FINALLY gave me much need relief. In addition, together with his PA, Dr. Cross mapped out a timeline for my recovery that I can share with you all. On March 16th, I will have a pre-op appointment at the Mayo to review my healing and determine if my pelvis is stable enough to have my external "towel" bar removed. If everything looks as expected, the hope is for me to have it removed on March 23rd.  Having this timeline gives me hope, as well as something to look forward to (the bar is not comfortable... it causes me pain at times and frankly drives me nuts!).

In addition to the review of my pelvis, Dr. Cross did several physical motor test on my legs as I mentioned I have been having a great deal of nerve pain and lack of motor function in my right leg. He also did a review of my foot, which is still extremely bruised and looks abnormal. The tests that he conducted on my legs provided me with more relief as they showed that everything looked good and normal there as well - the nerve pain is a relatively normal side effect of having such major surgery. Dr. Cross said that he expects that my motor functions will return to normal over time as my bones and nerves continue to heal. Again, great news!  

I then showed him my left foot (which looks almost as if I have had my foot bound to make it smaller since my arch is extremely high). Dr. Cross was alarmed at my foot's appearance and how the bruising looked, mentioning that it could possibly be a major injury within the ligaments of the foot. If that were to be the case, I would need surgery to fuse the bones together and it could cause me to loose function of the foot later in life. I was so impressed by his and his team's level of care - he immediately cleared his schedule and personally went with me to the x-ray room to do additional review of my foot. Based on my experience, I would assume that any other hospitals would have said I would need to come back at a later date to have my foot examined since that wasn't on the agenda for the current appointment... but not here. Dr. Cross determined it was urgent and took the time to take care of this potential issue.  I got back on to the x-ray table, where Dr. Cross then did "stress test" x-rays. Using led gloves, he took my foot and said "Breath deep, its going to hurt for a second"... it did... spreading open the bones of my foot under x-ray to see the ligaments. After reviewing the images with his pediatrist colleague, he said it just looks like a major sprain with a fracture on the bottom of the foot, but not the major injury he initially thought it might have been. I do have a bone chip that may need to be removed with surgery but at this point is not necessary and I can just take time for healing. Altogether, my day with Mayo orthopedics was filled with phenomenal, quality care and good news.

Since Thursday, we have been busy planning my next doctors appointments, working on getting me into my wheelchair more, and ensuring I am regular in my BMs (very important as I didn't go 4 days last week, which causes me unnecessary anxiety along with serve discomfort). In addition to my active prayer for digestive regularity, those who know me well know that I am not one who can just sit around and binge watch TV, even while bed-ridden. One blessing that has filled my time this week is an opportunity that I was forwarded by my dear friend, Brad Kohl. It is an opening for the position of Chaplain and Religion Teacher at Breck School here in the Twin Cities. I am thrilled to have the chance to apply to this position, even with the unusual circumstances I am in as I think this would be an amazing fit for me! I am humbled that I have also been asked to be their Keynote Speaker this coming Wednesday at Breck's chapel service. Their Chapel theme this year is "Hurt, Harm, Hope, and Healing"... I think I have a few words to share about that! I just hope I can stay within their time limit. 

Yes, things generally are looking up but I would be lying if I said everything is perfect. There are good days and there are bad days... at times, there are even good minutes and bad minutes. There are moments where I simply get overwhelmed with all that is going on, or when the shooting pains and cramps don't stop, and I just breakdown in tears wishing the pain to go away completely. A few days ago I leaned wrong and a rib that has been bothering me since the accident popped out of place, this was one of those times that I needed to have a break down. Since then, I have been using heat and ice to help relieve my rib pain but now this is just another "new" issue that I will need to have addressed. Lastly, not to compliance too much ;-) but as I mentioned earlier the "towel" bar has been my major annoyance. The "pin sites" where the rods enter my body need to be continuously cleaned as my skin rejects the metal and, as my surgeon said, becomes "gushy" and "soupy" (very accurate medical terms). At times, when I adjust myself wrong, I can feel slight tearing of the skin. The bar also requires to sleep on my back... which I have still haven't fully adjusted to and can't really get a full night's rest.

However, in spite of all of these pains, annoyances, and adjustments to my new quality of life, what keeps me going is the continuous outpouring of support, love, well wishes, and prayers. From the cards, to the flowers, to video games, to all the comments through this site and social media, it all warms my heart and gives me the strength to keep fighting the good fight! I finally have a path towards recovery and I give thanks to God for all of you who are helping me along the way.

Much love and thanksgiving,
Austin 

P.S. Collin also was finally able to bring our little kitty, Siobhan, over from our house to his parent's! Having her here fills me with so much joy... animals really can provide so much loving care and support. 

February
18
2021

Settling In

Its been one week since we have moved into our recovery home here in St. Paul, MN. I am so thankful for Collin's parents to have us live here in their wheelchair accessible home while we recover. We largely have been taking time to simply adjust to this new *temporary* normal. Taking time to rest, watch movies, and learn how to needlepoint (something to keep the hands busy, and mind off the pain). Recovery at home is so much better than the hospital. I have already been able to cut out two medications and cut my Oxycodone painkiller from 10mg every 4 hours (60mg/day total) to 5mg only 2-3 times per day (15mg/day total max). That alone is super!

Yesterday, Tuesday, Feb 16th I had my Televisit via Zoom with my urologist surgeon at the Mayo. Unfortunately, Denver Health had not sent over my imaging (XRays/CT scans) so my doctor was understandably unprepared. This is okay, however, because my internal organs and tissues still need time to heal before any further surgery is considered. We scheduled a follow up visit to change out the catheters for the end of March and, at that time, we will discuss future operations. My surgeon additionally set me up with further care with physical therapy who are experienced in trauma patients. That appointment is at the end of next week. 

Later in the day yesterday we made a trip to the M Health Fairview clinic to establish care with my new General Practitioner. I had never needed a Primary Care doctor before since I was a fairly healthy young adult. My Dr. was extremely helpful in addressing all of our questions and concerns. My main concern at the time was horrible shooting nerve pain in my lower pelvic region and right leg. The shooting nerve pain then caused me to toss and turn, which resulted in my bone pain. He prescribed a higher dose of Gabapentin which was exactly what I needed. I finally was able to get some relief and have a more restful nights sleep. He sent referrals over to Neurology and Orthopedics for me as well within the M Health System, as I plan to have basic care here in the area while major reconstructive surgeries will be at the Mayo.  

Today, after a good nights rest and very mild nerve pain, I was able to focus on making the phone calls necessary to set up further care. I called Orthopedics first to try to get an appointment, which led me to call Denver Health for my medical records to be sent over. I got a disappointing call back from M Heath Orthopedics, however, with them telling me that they weren't interested in having me as their patient. Frustrated, I decided to go to Plan B and called the Mayo Clinic to see if their Orthopedic division would be able to take on my case and provide me with some much needed answers (when I left Denver Health, the only answer I got about my condition was to not walk for 6-12 weeks, which is a huge range of time and did not provide much clarity).

When I called the Mayo, they saw that I was already a patient in the system being seen by Urology, so they put me on hold to check the schedule, then came back after a minute and said, "Can you be here tomorrow?" What a miracle! I started to tear up, and explained to the secretary that I have been through quite an ordeal and I am so thrilled to finally have quality consistent care and get some clarity on my recovery. At least I can hopefully get an idea of when I will have my T-Bar removed and how well my bones are taking to the internal fixations (rods, pins, screws and staples).

So, I end my busy two days again on a high note. In much less nerve pain and looking forward to my appointment in the morning. Updates to follow, and as always, many thanks for the continued prayers and well wishes! Your prayers are working!

-Austin