Clean Up, Aisle 9

Today started out pretty uneventfully. My physical therapist, Karl, came over a little after noon and we did the exercises I learned yesterday, as well as a few new ones. He was very pleased with my work ethic, but kept making us stop because my blood pressure was spiking due to the pain. I have always had a high pain tolerance, but apparently just because I can stand it doesn’t mean I should put my heart through the added stress!

Dr. Rapp called while I was working with Karl just to let us know that the pathology report still hadn’t come in. He said that it is not unusual for it to take a week or more with such a large piece of tissue, but he just wanted to touch base so we wouldn’t worry.

Karl and I finished up our exercises and Mema, Joan, LeeAnne and my mom all left to go down to Chinatown and Ground Zero. They wanted to go to the Joes Shanghai Restaurant for soup dumplings and there were some shops they wanted to see down there as well, so they left my dad and me home by ourselves for the first time since my surgery.

I had some ideas for a design project I was thinking about messing around with, so I got up and went around my room grabbing the items I needed to get to work. After I had everything, I leaned my crutches up against my walker and sat back onto my bed. I landed on the edge of the bed just fine. But then I felt my my mesh shorts starting to slide. As I tried to brace myself, my foot slipped out from under me and the next thing I knew I was dropping to the floor…

I landed directly on the end of my amputated right leg. Blood sprayed across the floor and a shockwave seared its way up from the end of the stump through my entire body.
I was yelling.

The crutch later that day before we cleaned it.

I can honestly say that I have never felt such excruciating pain. After looking down and seeing a pool of blood collecting under me, I grabbed a hand towel that was on my bed and pressed it against the incision on the back of my leg. It was immediately saturated. I kept it pressed hard against my leg as I yelled for my dad. No response. I yelled louder, but still nothing. He was all the way across the apartment, in his room on a conference call with the door closed. I looked around and saw my phone sitting about halfway across my bed. I took a deep breath and made a lunge for it. I was just barely able to grab it. I quickly called his number. No answer. I started to think that I was going to have to call my mom and was wondering how long it would take her to get back home when my dad came walking into the room, still on his call. Thankfully, despite being on the phone, he had seen me calling him and had come to see if I needed anything.

Upon seeing me on the floor, shaking in agony, he hurriedly hung up the phone and asked what had happened. I explained as he called my mom and got Dr. Rapp’s number. Doctor Rapp asked us if we thought we could get down to the cancer center, because if we could he could see us right away, but if not we needed to call an ambulance and go to the emergency room. My first thought upon hearing him ask if we could get to the cancer center was, “Just shoot me now.” My entire body was literally shaking. I knew that getting to the cancer center would require me to fight through the pain, wrap my leg with gauze and ace bandages and then walk on crutches down to a car, ride across town and then walk up to his office. Needless to say, it was a rather daunting thought.

We looked at the blood soaked towel in doubt. Then we moved the towel. The new section that I had placed under the injury actually didn’t have much blood on it. My dad had me lift my leg up and took a look, expecting to see the skin separated, but thank God, the stitches had held!!!! There was one area on the left side where blood was still coming out, but other than that it seemed to be in ok shape. I had him get me the gauze and ace bandages and began the process of wrapping up my leg…

My dad called a car service as I finished wrapping my leg and then helped me up from the floor. As I stood the blood rushed back into my leg. For some reason, when the blood rushes into the leg it is very painful. We went downstairs and waited for our car to arrive. The ride to the Cancer Center was a little different that day. Every bump in the road was quite a bit more pronounced. Luckily upon arriving at the Cancer Center Dr. Rapp was able to see us right away. I am continually grateful that we chose Dr. Rapp as my surgeon. I wouldn’t have chosen him if I didn’t think he would do a great job, but he has exceeded all of my expectations. As we undid the bandages he had us repeat the story of what had happened. After relaying the entire account, in all its gory detail, he looked up at me sitting on the elevated chair laughing about it all and said, “You are seriously one tough guy. I don’t know many people who could have made it down here after that.”

He proceeded to inspect the wound and said that it looked like the leg was healing well, and then put in 3 new stitches on the left side to hold the incision together in the place where it was bleeding. We are very thankful that this was all that was needed after such a bad fall!

My leg has ached terribly ever since the accident, but I just count myself lucky that it wasn’t worse. Hopefully tomorrow will prove to be much less eventful!!!

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11 Responses to Clean Up, Aisle 9

  1. peggy redfern says:

    Oh man, that sounds painful. So glad your Dad was there to help you out.
    And I’m glad your phone was within reach!

  2. janie redfearn morris says:

    Precious Rob. What next?!!!! I HATE that this weird accident happened to you. The LAST thing you needed to go through was more pain! Still, just so thankful that you once again came through with your indomitable spirit and characteristic humor. Also so glad that it was only three stitches and that you have such a fine doctor. You take care now, and be safe!!! Love you. Janie

  3. Paula Parris says:

    Whoa, Rob!
    So sorry to hear about your fall and the resulting increase in pain! Just glad it was nothing serious and that your great Dr. Rapp was able to see you and reassure you! Keep working hard but remember to listen to your body as it tells you what you can handle each day.

    Love to you and all of your wonderful family! Paula P.

  4. Patton says:

    Man, are you serious?? That was an intense fall, and sounds like it could have been pretty horrific. Glad you’re OK! Still, you’re the man for having such a good attitude about it, and judging by your title I see your sense of humor came out unscathed. The blog is great, stay strong!!

  5. Anne Kenyon says:

    I agree with Janie on all accounts. Yikes, it was painful just to READ that post. Actually, I just caught up on all of your posts and all I can think is ….what the heck do you need your leg for anyway!!! You are a talented designer, writer and now musician!!! What CAN’T you do??!! I especially loved your Dad’s birthday message. I always tell Jack how lucky he is to be a Gregory. It’s one thing to have a great family and another to know it and appreciate it. All of you are special :D

  6. Brucerugby79 says:

    Dadgone it son-my heart about exploded reading that-Lord have mercy I pray that is the only time that happens–it will be a while before my BP goes back down
    You are something special

  7. caryn says:

    yikes…i am glad you’re okay!

  8. Sam Driskill says:


    I’d like to place an order for you to NOT do that again. Mmmmkay? Thanks.

  9. I was very charmed to find this web-site.I wanted to thank you for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely adored every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff about your site.

  10. Pingback: After the Fall « It's Not a Sprint

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