On July 3rd, 2022 I looped a slow wheelie on my friend’s YZ250FX dirt bike. I missed the rear brake and stepped off the back and fell onto my left knee at 12-13mph. My knee disclocated doing a bunch of damage and was medically labeled as an open compound tibial fracture. The injuries listed below put me into a 0.02% category of occurrence. Basically, it’s about the worst you can have with not losing your leg entirely.
My kneecap fractured and patellar tendon was severed. My kneecap recessed itself into my quadricep. My femur crushed down onto my tibial plateau, breaking it off. In that process, my tibial spine was crushed, severing my ACL and my MCL and tearing my PCL, and my tibia saw daylight. My meniscus was damaged, flipping upside down.
I’ve been out of work since July and was unable to save up any money to get my family through the winter off season. I generally save up around 15k to last us from mid November through mid March of the next year.
If you’d like to help us out, you can donate through gofundme or you can buy photos through 4theriders.com or donate directly through my paypal link.
I can’t even begin to thank everyone enough for the outpouring of love and support over the last 3 and a half months. I still can’t walk yet and I’ve only got 30 degrees of flexion so far…It’ll be January or February before I can walk again.
The entries below are copied and pasted from my facebook feed.
0800 wake up call from the surgeon… Just updated me on what he’d done yesterday as well as what he intends on doing tomorrow…
In my best Aussieman Review voice, “destination fucked!”
He said in 27 years, he’s never seen so much damage. He was talking reconstructive surgery as my patellar tendon is severed and my tibial spine is also crushed (taking the ACL with it). My MCL is also torn.
So add those to the tibial plateau fracture, the compound patella fracture, and the dislocation of my knee entirely.
My best guesstimate was that I was doing approximately 12 to 14mph when I looped the wheelie. I haven’t looped a wheelie since I was 14. And I’ve never before broken a bone from a dirtbike…
I guess I’m just getting real old. It was an awkward landing on my knee, for sure…but dang. This road to recovery is gonna be a little steeper than I realized…I got this shit. I’m still gonna send it!
Ps – Sorry, bribri! I love you!
July 6th, “News”
July 19 “Realizing how bad it really is.”
I’ve steered clear of social media all week. I’ve fallen behind on work stuff. I’ve mostly avoided any and all text messages and phone calls.
I’ve been going through all the emotions. Anger, guilt, more anger, more guilt…that’s been mostly towards the top. I’ve never been so injured before. Especially from such an easy off. I’ve binned it far harder than that and walked away with a bruise or a scrape. Not complete knee destruction.
Bribri has been my rock. She’s never seen me cry as much as I have the last two weeks since my injury. She’s a beast. Taking everything in stride, taking care of my helpless dumb ass. I bet she’d even wipe my ass if I needed it (thankfully I can do that myself). Bribri is my fucking rock.
I’m doing my best to stay positive. I’m in constant, non-stop pain…right now, my BONES hurt. Constant ache deep inside my atrophied, useless leg, sometimes little electric jolts that shock my knee joint, causing me to flinch, causing that ache to become more of a pounding, thumping pain sensation.
It hurts most at night, it seems. Last night was sleepless as I “tossed and turned” all night. And by toss and turn, I mean wiggling an inch or so to one side and rotating my hips 1-2 degrees…I’m pretty much stuck on my back with my leg elevated 24/7. I watched the sun rise this morning, even though my window faces west.
I’ve had a few small victories. With bribri’s help, I’ve managed to use my walker to get from the bedroom into the “land of the living” room and back. I think 3 times now. There was one time where I had to stop and take two breaks in the 25ft journey…I cried when I made it to the bed and gave bribri a high five. Fucking exhausted, accomplished, happy tears of triumph.
Bribri’s mom is here, helping with the kiddo. Katie and Sean were pivotal while I was in the hospital, giving bribri the chance to visit me while I was there. Frank and Tracy came by to visit at the house too. Fucking gems, the lot of ya. Absolute champions.
My 3rd surgery is scheduled for Monday. 6 more sleeps…6 more sleepless nights?
All in all, FUCK YOU, UNIVERSE! fuck you for dealing such a garbage injury! Hehe. I know I’ve got a long way…but..BUT this will be a memory soon enough. I’ll look back and not laugh (cause this shit fucking sucks). Eh, I prolly will laugh. Fuck it.
Thank you, everyone! Thank you for your support! I can see how easily one could further fall into despair without help from their friends.
I love you guys. //more tears.
Aug 9, “This is real? Having full mental breakdowns.”
Never in my life did I think I would be so debilitatingly injured. Multiple surgeries to fix an injury simply had never crossed my mind before.
I’ve lost weight, and unfortunately, most of which has been due to my muscles having atrophied to nearly useless ability.
People who have had injuries similar to my own have messaged me, sharing their stories of months of rehab and months until they could walk. Words of encouragement and support… Words that have helped me to stay positive.
People who haven’t suffered my injuries also message me words of encouragement and support. Words that have also encouraged me to keep fighting the good fight.
I haven’t posted an update since I got home. Today is my 5th day being home. It’s been a really difficult transition. Surprisinly, the external fixator is easier to manage than my 3/4 leg brace I have on now. I have less pain overall, but far more pain when trying to reposition my leg or move my leg, really, at all.
I can’t really do anything for myself. If it’s not within my immediate reach, I’m pretty much SOL. At the hospital, I had a call button. If I pressed it, a stranger who was being paid to do so would come at any hour, day or night, and assist me with whatever I needed; more water, to turn my leg 1° to the left, wash my back, get me pain meds… Now, I have the woman I love most dearly, just a text or a phone call away at any hour, day or night. But because I love her so much, I try to ask for as little as possible. She’s already got the baby to take care of, let alone having to take care of me.
I carry so much guilt. All if this is my fault. Sure, I didn’t mean to loop a slow wheelie on a dirt bike… But the fact of the matter is that I did. I fucked up. Because of my fuck up, I can’t work, I’m in heaps of pain 24/7, and my other half is in a constant state of exhaustion from catering to the both of us non-stop.
The transition has been hard.
I’ve had two breakdowns so far in the 5 days I’ve been home. Oddly enough, both times were while sitting in the toilet. Technically, one was more of an outbursts while the first one was a full fledged nervous breakdown. Sobbing uncontrollably while repeatedly apologizing for putting our family in this position.
The second one was out of sheer frustration turned to anger and pain. I’d forgotten about taking stool softeners since getting home and my trip to the bathroom was excruciating. Like nothing I’ve ever had to deal with in my life.
And then I couldn’t get off the toilet. I was stuck. Even with bribri’s help, the first, second, and even third attempt to get up off the toilet were unsuccessful. So much pain for one, but mostly because my body is so weak, I didn’t have the strength to pull myself up to my one “good” leg. This frustrated me at first.. Then infuriated me. I’ve always been the big strong man that’ll try to move mountains. Now I’m frail, broken and weak and struggle to go from a seated position to a standing position.
I punched the wall and started slamming my walker into the ground while screaming “fuuuuuuck! Fuck fuck fuck!” at the top of my lungs. Not my finest moment, but rage fueled my sorry state, and perhaps having filled bribri with adrenaline as I’ve never done such a thing in front of her before, together we hoisted myself off the toilet and to my right foot and my walker.
I’m pretty embarrassed these days. I keep putting myself out there with this fucking injury and receive nothing but positives.. But I still feel pretty vulnerable. I feel like a fool for having made such a silly error and missing the rear brake. The punishment doesn’t feel like it fits the crime. I’m still angry at the universe for such a shitty hand dealt.
I’m embarrassed that there’s a go fund me to help us out… But I realize that without it, we won’t make it through the winter with me not being able to work.
Thank you to everyone who’s donated. I can’t express how grateful I am for it. Thank you so much.
Here’s the link if you’re so inclined to help out too.
I’ll continue to do my best.. Even if that means having a total meltdown every time I have to go poop. The guilt is heavy though. And I see bribri wearing down every day, more and more. She’s even turned off all notifications on her phone except for mine. The messages she gets are just too overwhelming with all the responsibilities she has right now.
It’s looking like it’ll be closer to 6 months before I’m able to walk again. I’m looking to get a wheelchair for the time being so that I’m not just stuck in bed constantly, mostly alone. I’ve watched all the movies on Netflix, Hulu, etc.. some even twice.
I forget that real life even exists anymore. It’s been a trying 5 weeks. Cheers to progression day by day, moment by moment.
Chin up, Joe. Chin up.
Aug 14, “No sleep.”