The only thing worse than a patient in a lot of pain is a patient who's suffering from excessive boredom. They begin to think irrationally about their injury. They're so tired of just laying around that they're willing to take chances just so they can squash the boredom.
Only 10 days after trying to cut off his leg, Dan was back in the wood pile, splitting logs. He'd been eyeing Brian & Becca's new machinery for a couple of days and finally succumbed to its wicked allure. The first day he'd gone to look at the log splitter, almost simultaneously Brian and I hollered at him. "Step away from the power equipment!" Dan pshawed and argued that the log splitter was infinitely safer than a running chainsaw.
On Sunday evening Dan decided he'd had enough of being couped up and he went to give the log splitter a test drive.
Brian's dad Keith heard the machine running and came out to see what the crazy kid was doing. It's actually a pretty impressive machine. You just lay the log on the cutting area, pull the lever, and a giant blade slowly slices into the wood.
In terms of mobility, Dan can walk around pretty easily with his crutches and knee immobilizer and now he's walking mostly just with a cane. If he's standing still he has enough strength to lift a small log (nothing too heavy) and put it on the splitter, but he can't carry anything and walk at the same time. He still has to concentrate all of his strength and coordination when he's walking.
He goes in for his first follow-up visit with the surgeon this Monday, the 22nd. The doc from Kemmerer called this afternoon to see how he was doing. Dan was out at the woodpile and (thankfully) the doc told him that he still needed to take it really easy because the wound was still at risk of rupturing, even two weeks out from the date of the injury. Dan's been trying to get as mobile as possible because he's worried about adhesions (scars) forming on the wound, thereby decreasing his muscles' ability to return to full strength. But the doc told him that because of how developed his quad muscles were (gotta love those sexy biker legs) and the way that the skin naturally tapers above the knee, the wound is under a lot of tension, so you just have to take it super easy and let it heal. You just plan on getting some adhesions and then working them out in physical therapy.
We'll know more after the visit on Monday, but for today, Dan at least walked away from the wood pile after getting off the phone with Dr. Hinshaw. Reason prevailed, if only for a brief moment.
Hopefully that will save me another night of "I told you so" when Dan comes to bed in agony, saying he overdid it again.
You gotta admit, though, it's nice to see him up, looking sexy in his Carhartts.