Todd Orr. 10/5/16.
Good afternoon everyone!
I was doing better yesterday until surgery rolled around.
I thought I could slip into the hospital unnoticed but maybe it was the Frankenstein scar on my head that gave me away. 🙂
I chose a local nerve block instead of general anesthesia so I could watch the surgery and listen to the Docs commentary as it progressed.
While being wheeled down the hallway, I was threatened with having to listen to music from the Indigo Girls during my surgery. Luckily they pulled up a playlist of old school 70s and 80s classics.
It was a fantastic few hours to watch the entire surgery unfold and interact with the team. What a great Doctor and person as well. He was also the doc behind my shoulder surgery after a snowmobile accident years ago. And happy to see another buddy of mine was part of the surgical team as well.
Unfortunately, things were a bit worse than expected once I was opened up. Some nerve and tendon trauma in one wound will heal over time. But another showed two tendons separated from the muscle tissue and the muscle looked like hamburger meat. After some time, everything was reattached and hopefully new scar tissue will form and help keep everything strong and intact.
A final wound of concern revealed bone damage with a bone chip bit out from the bears canine tooth. It was very deep but luckily minimal tendon and nerve damage as the tooth had somehow slipped between them.
I’m now put back together but I swear the doc had carved his initials with all the incisions and following stitches. He chuckled the comment off but we will see in time. 🙂
So a late evening at the hospital and sleepless night of pain and pressure, but i was finally able to sleep a hour or two this morning. Trying to avoid the pain meds if possible but downing the antibiotics as prescribed. Nothing like a mouth full of teeth and carnage ripping into you. Please no infection!!!
I hope everyone enjoys their day!
Dave DezanOctober 6, 2016 at 4:43 am
Ask your doc for OFIRMEV. It’s a non opioid pain killer that is very effective without the side effects. It’s IV Acetaminophen.
Sue RupertOctober 6, 2016 at 5:45 am
We are all so glad you are here to tell your story, Todd…to over 37 million people!! Amazing! Let us know if your fellow employees can help in any way.
Lois RobinsonOctober 6, 2016 at 5:49 am
I tried staying off pain meds too as was told you heal faster tho Dr says opposite. Your body needs some help so might want to take your pain meds. Get well and keep safe.
Glee PapczynskiOctober 6, 2016 at 8:47 am
Thanks for the update Todd. Indiana born, my husband and I love Montana. In mid September we spent time in a Hyalite canyon cabin. He did some elk tracking and I hiked. No bears were spotted but skat was frequently sighted. I like being at the top of the food chain. Was frightened while hiking alone.
Thank you for sharing your story. Though horrific for you; Gratefully you have survived to make us all better informed. Best wishes on your recovery. Thanks again for sharing.
Claudia WeissOctober 7, 2016 at 9:40 am
Three cheers for Todd! What a man! ?
wanda jenkinsOctober 7, 2016 at 3:47 pm
Todd I own property in Montana and love the state and the people. As a retired MD with a Ph.D. in Immunology also I assure you that you will heal faster with pain meds so please reconsider and use them.
You have already won the award for resiliency and calmness in the face of disaster. Heal well! By the way, where was your rifle? Best wishes for a fast recovery.
Mel StewartOctober 7, 2016 at 6:58 pm
Hang in there, stay away from the narcotics as much as possible, messes with your other systems badly, good luck!
jim petersonOctober 7, 2016 at 9:36 pm
heal up and get back out there you beast !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Todd JordanOctober 12, 2016 at 11:12 am
I lived in The Flathead Valley for a few years and met some of the toughest people ever, but you may take the cake! Thank you for sharing your encounter, and overall experience. I hope you never see another cub on the trail again, and the best of luck in a speedy recovery.
Josh MastOctober 13, 2016 at 2:20 am
Maybe consider the THC oils for pain relief. Way safer than pharms and truly effective for most people, although I don’t know about your ability to gain access to those there. I lived in Jackson Hole for a bit while working in Teton Village at a ski resort…and running into a bear was always my greatest fear. Thankful that my 2 encounters ended uneventfully for me, although one bear was euthanized after I saw him in the village. Seems silly to say now that I’m a flat-lander again though that I’m afraid of bears.
DianneOctober 13, 2016 at 10:00 pm
This seem like such an inane comment but thank you for not killing mama bear. This is hind sight of course. I am sorry about your bad experience, but it is a great lesson for those of us who go into the wilderness. I do hope the bear spray was helpful; perhaps she would have been more vicious to you if you hadn’t shot her with it. I will be watching for news of your recovery.
I hope it is rapid and that you suffer no side effects. Thanks for sharing your your story and keep in mind that there are many of us whom you do not know that are holding you in our hearts and wishing the best for you.
Taunya DoyleOctober 14, 2016 at 4:15 am
Greetings Todd. Remarkable…thank you for the update, your experience is fascinating. Stay strong and take care of yourself during this critical healing process.
DocOctober 15, 2016 at 9:21 am
From a supportive MD -Consider a lidocaine patch – non-narcotic and not likely to sedate you in any way or cloud judgement. It’s not particularly strong but will help – you can use two and get some relief. Other options besides IV narcotics are available – rest is needed for good healing, so do what you need to to get comfortable enough to rest well. No medals given for the guy who took the least pain meds – it is also very unlikely you’ll need them more than short term postoperatively.
JoOctober 15, 2016 at 7:57 pm
Hi Todd, I’m not a backcountry girl, but I am a nurse, with experience in the acute care postoperative setting. I would like to suggest that you take medical advice only from qualified medical personnel, preferably a physician. There are posts here that suggest that pain relief will somehow impair your healing or “mess with” your system. These statements are not correct. I would follow the advice of the physicians who wrote in, who all agree that pain relief is a positive thing overall. If you choose not to use pain meds for your own personal reasons, that’s perfectly legitimate. But I hope that well-meaning but inaccurate advice will not cause you to forgo necessary pain relief. God bless you and may your recovery proceed quickly!!
ArtOctober 15, 2016 at 8:13 pm
I am glad you are recovering and that you did all the right things! Stay strong and consider some pain medications. It has been mentioned earlier, but there is research that indicates you will heal faster with them. Good luck.
June PerryDecember 17, 2016 at 11:51 am
Many blessings on your way to recovery from this experience. I too love the outdoors but live in the city now due to accident back in 2010. I am so happy that you can continue to enjoy the things you love most. What I wouldn’t give for a nice elk steak…lol. I spent my hunting years in CO, WY, NE, and even Manitoba. Saw a mountain lion one year and a couple of black bears. Continue to enjoy life…when is the wedding ? Another great adventure awaits you…life is good.
Love and light from Rhode Island.