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On May 23, 2015, my motorcycle was struck by a careless driver in a large van. My left foot was crushed, the great toe and first metatarsal shattered, while pieces of the first, second, and third metatarsals exploded out through the top and bottom of my foot.

My first hospital stay lasted eight days. There, the orthopedic trauma surgeon saved my foot from the immediate threat of amputation and sent me home with a vacuum-assisted closure device for the wound, while the plastic surgeons figured out how to close the large hole on the bottom of my foot.

After a week, I was admitted to a second hospital for a skin graft, but the surgery was aborted because of the size of the wound. Finally, I was admitted to the limb-salvage center at yet another hospital, where a team of surgeons transplanted skin, fat, muscle, vein and nerve from my thigh to my foot. By the time I went home 10 days later, I had been in and out of hospitals for more than four weeks, heavily medicated for pain — with varying degrees of success — with both immediate-release and extended-release oxycodone as well as intravenous morphine, fentanyl and Dilaudid (hydromorphone).

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Washington Post

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