Posted on March 12, 2018
Dylan was really looking forward to his trip to Redding and Mt. Shasta this weekend. The weather was amazing, especially compared to the bitter cold 2 weeks ago. We headed up on Thursday after the follow-up orthopedic appointment with with Dr. Golz. It was mostly good, positive news, but we did get some clarification on his left leg injuries and a more conservative prognosis on his right leg.
After reviewing the MRI, Dr. Goltz let us know that Dylan’s knee injury is actually significant and may need surgical intervention a later date. He said his knee cap (patella) had been dislocated in the accident and at some point set back in place. Because of the past dislocation, the ligament holding the left patella in place on the right side is cleanly severed. In addition, Dylan’s left ACL is almost completely torn, but still intact. According to the MD, while these are significant injuries on their own, when viewed against the other injuries, they need to take a back seat and will be dealt with at a later date after Dylan’s femur has healed. He said Dylan’s age will work well in his favor and that the ACL could actually heal completely on its own. While he patella injury could also heal on its own, but he seemed to indicate that was a more remote possibility. In any event, Dr. Goltz said no decisions would be made on treatment of his left knee until his right leg is healed.
As for the right leg, the healing has begun and the doctor highlighted calcification to Dylan that has already started to show on the x-ray. There is still a long way for all the bone to grow back, but the process has begun. I saw more shards of bone that I would have liked to see and asked the MD several times if things looked normal and he said definitely and seemingly reading my mind, he explained how all the shards will be nicely smoothed over and knit together once he is healed.
Positively, he said that Dylan could now put 20 pounds of pressure on his right leg and that he would not need to be seen or x-rayed again for one month. Negatively, Dr. Goltz was more conservative on when he thought Dylan would get off his crutches. When we mentioned that Dylan had been told he would be waking full weight on his right leg by April, D. Goltz countered that he never told us that and he actually thought mid-May was more realistic. He advised that a femur break of his magnitude just could not be rushed and that he was committed to getting Dylan back on both feet as soon as possible, but that he thought it was at least another 2 months of crutches. Not what Dylan had wanted to hear, but looking at the x-rays and the amount of bone healing that needs to still take place it made sense.
After the appointment, we headed to Redding and Mt. Shasta. Thursday night we heard an incredible motivational speaker at Bethel Church. She really connected with Dylan and at times seemed to be talking directly to him. Afterwards, we introduced ourselves to her and I realized that I had actually met her before back in August 2010 when she had really inspired me personally at another event. The re-connection with her was a lot of fun and Dylan looks forward to meeting her again. Afterwards, we ate at the landmark, old-school Redding restaurant ‘Jack’s Grill’ and had a fried chicken feast!
Friday we took an art class together that featured painting exercises centered on healing, the perfect theme for Dylan! That evening, we met Joshua Stallings for a Chinese feast at Lim's Cafe, an 85 year old restaurant serving chinese/american food (think recipes from the 30s like chop suey, chow mien, and egg foo young) and still owned by Lim's daughters. Joshua is the son of Gary and Cathy Stallings who Dylan did volunteer work with in Uruguay last year. They run an orphanage and Dylan took a group of Pepperdine Students to visit for a weekend. It was definitely one of his highlights from his experience in South America.
Saturday we spent the morning connecting with our Air B&B hosts. Sometimes the Air B&B experience is just a lodging experience and other times it provides a real connection. This trip was definitely the latter. We stayed with Ron and Janet at their beautiful ‘Wild At Heart’ organic farm outside Redding where they have goats and chickens and make essential oils from the plants on their property and market the products under the brand Pirate’s Secret. If you know Dylan, you know that he LOVES essential oils, so he really enjoyed seeing the property and the process and receiving some product. We also made breakfast with Ace and Blake, our hosts’ daughter and son-in-law. Blake is 23 and he and Dylan particularly had a lot in common and really connected.
After breakfast, we grabbed some more turmeric kombucha and headed back up to Mt. Shasta. This time it was not freezing and snowing, but sunny and warm. Dylan amusingly chose to repeat almost everything we did from two weeks ago. We had the same lunch in the same health food store (Berryville), then went to the headwaters and once again, Dylan sang and played guitar by the rushing spring waters. We even met some of the same interesting people again there, including Wyatt, who remembered our names just like we remembered his! We again ended the day with a couple pots of tea at the Sereni-Tea Tea House and enjoyed chatting with the owner again as if we were old friends. Finally, we once again got homemade barbecue, potato salad, and coleslaw from our friend A.J. at the Shasta Market and headed back to Redding. The Mt. Shasta redux trip was a lot of fun for Dylan and much more pleasant at 67 degrees than it was at 37 degrees!
I’ll add that Dylan was far more himself and engaged with me and everyone we met than he was during the last visit just two weeks ago. I can confirm that he is 100% himself emotionally and mentally now. He just needs his body to catch up.
On the way home, we picked up a kombucha mother and starter from our friend Gabe and his family. Amazingly enough, they live less than a quarter mile from our Air B&B. That synchronicity was incredible, as we had thought our Air B&B was so far out of town that the kombucha pick up would be inconvenient and take us out of our way. We literally could have walked! As an aside, Dylan is very excited to make his own kombucha and I am equally excited to stop paying so much money for Dylan’s kombucha habit!
We ended the night eating our barbecue dinner around a campfire with our hosts Janet and Ron talking about their lives. Janet is a mom and entrepreneur. She had her own experience with injured kids when her daughter Ace was injured severely in an ATV accident. She was very sympathetic to Dylan’s situation and seemed to now exactly the process we had just navigated. Ron regaled us with stories of working on the railroad and growing up in Dunsmuir in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, which sounded like an idyllic childhood! We are hoping to return to the Wild at Heart farm at some point soon.
We are now back in Marin and Dylan will start an online Spanish class with Arizona State University tomorrow. It is seven weeks long and will take him right up to his summer session at Pepperdine starting May 7th. Thanks again for all the support and healing prayers.