by aajonus vonderplanitz, phd nutrition
March 9, 2007, I decided to drive a heavy Harley Davidson motorcycle in a small town in Thailand. I had not ridden such a large motorcycle since 1968. I thought that I would be safe in a small town but a group of 5 tourists stepped into the street about 20 feet in front of me without looking first. There were no intersection, crossing, drive or other signs but they crossed the street carelessly.
There were cars on my right, so I could not pull to that lane and avoid hitting the pedestrians. Although I was traveling only 18 miles per hour, I did not have the experience to know how to avoid hitting them. I slammed on the brakes and skidded sideways toward them. The motorcycle fell onto the pavement on top of my right leg.
The bike did not have a leg bar to prevent injury, so when the motorcycle hit pavement, my leg was caught between the cycle and pavement. The cycle pulled my leg with it while the pavement worked opposite the momentum and pulled my thigh and hip away from my lower leg.
My right tibia was split from the knee to mid-shin. The backside of the tibia bone had a wedged space about 1/8-inch wide. Skin, muscle and bone were scraped by the asphalt from my right palm, wrist, forearm, elbow, upper arm, back, outside knee, lower leg, ankle and foot. I was lying on the street in excruciating pain for about 15 minutes.
The pain was relentless to the point that I thought my leg had been torn from me at my knee. It took me about 1.5 minutes after the accident before I looked to see if my leg was attached to my body. It was, but looked mangled at the knee.
I refused to go to hospital. I paid a canopy-covered pickup taxi driver to transport me to my hotel. I cleaned my wounds with lime juice and coated them with coconut cream and honey. I did not have any gauze to cover and protect them so I left them open to air. About twp hours after the accident, the pain had not subsided. Normally, I would not have sought medical help but I thought that my knee had been dislocated because it was mangled and excruciatingly painful. I went to the hospital to have my leg realigned.
At the hospital, physicians refused to do anything until I had x-rays. I agreed to only two x-rays, top and outside views of the knee and connecting bones. After x-ray analysis, doctors said that they needed to reunite the two tibia segments and pin them together. Portions of the top of the tibia broke, splintered and logged into the femur joint concave. Doctors said that if they did not perform surgery and remove the fragments, I would never walk.
Tendons on both sides of my knee had been torn completely from the bone at opposite ends of each tendon, causing lumps the size of golf balls. Doctors said that they had to reattach them or I would never be able to lift my leg at the knee. The chief osteosurgeon planned to cut the outside of my right leg from the ankle to the hip, including muscles, reunite the tibia and pin it with 6-10 metal screws, scrape the tibia bone fragments from the femur knee joint, reattach the knee tendons and stitch the leg incision.
They wanted to call in a plastic surgeon to graft skin from my buttocks and left thigh to my hand, arm, elbow and leg. Since my leg was not dislocated, I declined medical assistance, saying I was on a diet that could heal it without surgery. The main surgeon winced at my insane-to-him statement. I told them that if I could not walk in 6 weeks, I would return for their help. That placated the chief surgeon because he was certain that I would need help. I did not request nor did they offer to apply a cast.
I returned to the hotel and ate a slightly different diet regimen. Instead of enjoying several small portions of different unripe fruits for my once-daily fruit meal, to help bone-healing I made a mixture of 1 cup pineapple, 3/4 cup coconut cream, 1/2 cup honey and 1 cup raw milk. I drank some of that every 3-4 hours, eating about 2 tablespoons of cheese prior to each time I drank the mixture. That regimen helped cleanse and restructure my bones and naturally mend my tendons. Plus, I drank 1 quart of raw milk daily. Because I was in the tropics and did not use air-conditioning, my meat intake was less than I eat while I'm in temperate climates. I found that most people need less meat in tropical climates if drinking enough milk. My girlfriend shopped and prepared my food for me, and helped tend my wounds.
For my abrasions where skin, muscle and a little bone were scraped from my right palm, arm, back, leg and foot, I gently applied lime juice for 3 minutes. That stung terribly. Without rinsing the lime juice from the wound, I gently applied a thin layer of coconut cream. That also stung. After that, I or my girlfriend gently applied a layer of unheated honey which also stung. We moistened cotton gauze with coconut cream and coated one side with 1/32-inch layer of raw butter to prevent my wounds from drying and gauze from sticking to my many abrasions. We loosely wrapped the leg with an Ace bandage.
I experienced severe pain regularly. Any movement increased pain. I used hot water bottles to increase circulation which increased swelling and ensured increased nutrient flow to injuries. The heat also allowed every thing to relax. Pain subsided but never disappeared. Sometimes I woke to such excruciating pain that I immersed myself in a very warm bath that relaxed my entire body and I could cope with the pain relatively easily. Many times I ate unheated honey/butter mixture to reduce pain. Other times, I ate about 2 inches of unripe banana with 2 tablespoons raw butter to reduce pain.
I urinated in bottles so that I would not have to travel to the bathroom. When I went to the bathroom, I traveled from my bed to the bathroom door in a wheelchair, and from the door to the toilet or bathtub with crutches. I had to sit at one end of the tub, lift my injured leg with my hands, place my leg onto the side of the tub, adjust my body, then lift my leg with my hands and ease it into the tub. For about 2 weeks, the pain was sometimes excruciating.
Several times daily, usually at night, I awoke moaning or screaming. Three times I cried. The only pain relievers I consumed were honey/butter mixture and banana butter combination that usually took effect in minutes. When experiencing excruciating pain, most of the time I immediately made the challenging journey to the bathtub then immersed myself in relaxing and pain-relieving warm water.
Because my right hip and buttock had sustained major bruises, I mainly lied on my left buttocks and hip. I kept my leg raised with pillows, especially one under my knee to reduce stress at the knee. Having to sustain all of my body’s prone weight on the bed every minute that I was not in the bathtub, my left buttock and hip quickly became very sore. Because of that, for the first 2 weeks, I spent about 6 hours daily, 1-2 hours at a time in the bathtub with sea salt and 2 cups coconut cream that made my body buoyant, taking most of the pressure off my prone body and almost completely relieving my agony. Occasionally, I sat in my wheel chair for up to 30 minutes. After several weeks, I sat in my wheel chair up to 2 hours working on my computer at a desk.
Because raw milk was hard to get and coconut cream was very easy to acquire and cheap in Thailand, I used coconut cream. In the USA, I would have used raw milk in the bath instead of coconut cream.
An interesting phenomenon began the day after the accident. Gradually over the next 5 days, my large right thigh muscles considerably diminished to the size of my calve. From my ankle to mid-thigh, my right leg correspondingly hardened like bone that provided a natural cast, protecting my leg.
Baths and changing bandages
Within 10 days my tendons had completely re-grown and reconnected. However, my greatest pain continued to be at the points where the tendons had torn from my knee. Pain traveled from one injured sight to another. On the tenth day, I was able to leave the hotel and walked with crutches without exerting any weight on the leg. On the 12th day, I convinced the hotel owner that she could reduce the chlorine in the pool without causing algae problems to pool surfaces. She agreed and I walked at the deepest end of the pool where my body was so buoyant that my leg received very little pressure from my bodyweight.
After five days the water was green with algae without affecting the pool surfaces but the hotel owner resumed full chlorine treatment. At that 16th-day, I was able to walk with crutches across the street and sandy beach to the sea. I walked about one mile in the sea twice daily at 7 am and 5:30 pm, about 1.5 hours each, exercising my leg. At that time, I had only about 19% body fat (I like to maintain 22-25%). From the accident, I lost about 15 pounds. Nineteen percent body fat was enough to make my body buoyant, reducing my body weight in water to about 1/4. I experienced pain but not severely.
Within 6 weeks, I walked on land without crutches with some pain mainly in the knee. After 6.5 weeks in that hotel room, I returned to the USA. I resumed my larger meat consumption and drank up to 1.5 quarts of raw milk daily. Within 2 months, my body fat level was up to 22%. If I had let the doctors commit surgery, they would have cut my leg from the ankle to the hip, cut away muscle, and severed connective tissue and other tendons to get into the knee socket.
I have seen many people with similar surgeries. The leg on which surgery had been performed is thinner than the other, with atrophied muscles and huge scars. Those people and others who have had less knee/leg surgery than was intended for me have not completely healed after 7 - 25 years. Since I refused surgeries, the only work my body had to do was cleanse and repair the damage, not recover from unnecessary invasive surgeries that cause 2-5 times more damage than the original injuries. The natural cast that my body seemed to form from my thigh muscles gradually softened and my thigh muscles returned correspondingly.
It has been one year since the accident. Although I cannot completely straighten my right leg at the knee, three weeks ago on a beach on Antigua island, I sprinted about 200 yards painlessly. If I run up steps 2 steps at a time, I experience a little pain in the knee. At my present rate of repair, my leg should be able to completely straighten within 4 months more.