Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thursday Morning Doctor Visit

I just returned from my doctor's visit. The implant in my foot wound is doing well so one more week of the wound vacc. However, I have osteomylitis (sp?) in the bone attaching my fourth toe. This means the bone is not regenerating and is still harboring infection. I will probably face one more surgery to remove that piece of bone, since I don't want to carry a little time bomb around in my foot. The doctor thinks the fourth toe will be fine though a bit floppy. He feels its pals on either side will hold it in place as well as scar tissue that develops where the bone was. The decision about when this will happen will be made at next Thursday's office visit, but we all feel this is the best course of action to make the foot as well as possible. It will also mean continued antibiotic infusions until this process is done. So...more prayers for the foot this week and for wise decision making for the future.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday., September 28

Those in prison or convalescing from some serious illness will understand this quote:

"There remains for us only the very narrow way, often extremely difficult to find, of living every day as if it were our last, and yet living in faith and responsibility as though there were to be a great future. It is not easy to be brave and keep the spirit alive, but it is imperative." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

So, I managed to make it upstairs today doing the Gilbert Butt Crawl and I really don't have much butt to work with these days.. I needed to work on the home computer which is upstairs in the office. So, I did several documents and saved them and was in the middle of some intense writing when the screen went blank. The computer had been acting up before I was ill, but my son-in-law Matt fixed it while he was here. So here I am, writing an intensely on a statement of my faith and it all just permanent sleep mode. The computer is still working, I just can't see what's going on because of the blank screen. Matt is going to call later and maybe he can walk me though what he did to get it up least until I can send documents to Karen's laptop for printing. It was either the doing of God, the Devil or just plain lousy luck..each of which has numerous theological implications for life. Then I had to butt crawl back downstairs.
Ah, well! I suppose it's good exercise.

Heading to the foot doctor at 8:15 tomorrow (Thursday) to get the staples out of the implant on my foot and see where we go from here. I hope it goes better than my computer wok did today.

Please pray for my friend, Matt Menger, who is having a heart catheterization (sp?) procedure Friday at 3.

p.s. Sometime try to get up off the floor using just one leg when you can't put weight on the other leg. I'm sure it would have made an amusing youtube video. Sigh.....

Friday, September 24, 2010

I'm Driving!

Here it is - another Friday! Gosh, how does the week fly by so fast? This Friday finds me working on several things and wondering if I can find time for a nap. I've done four sessions of physical therapy. I'm making progress and am now up to 8 minutes on the bicycle, 3 rounds of most all the exercises, working on strengthening those driving muscles and stretching all those leg muscles. Today I drove myself to physical therapy and back home and made it just fine!!!

I've been practicing for a few days to see if I can push on the gas and then move my leg from the gas to the brake and I'm doing all of that with confidence and without pain. Now the real test is to get Tim in the car and me in the car and go somewhere. Thinking about giving that a try tonight!

So, look out world - here we come!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday came so fast!

Well, it's Friday night again with football and the Ranger's game on TV and I'm wondering how did we get to Friday so fast. That means that tomorrow will be filled with college football and Sunday will be NFL football. I have the netflex movie this week and the Hallmark channel. Thank goodness there's a second TV upstairs!

Tim is doing well after his procedure yesterday. The doctor implanted a product called Integra which is used a lot with burn wounds. It'a a bilayer membrane system of skin replacement and they put it into the wound to help it fill in. The doctor was very hopeful that this would fill in the wound and then in several weeks they would be able to close the wound with a skin graft and he could be walking and even driving in the next month! Now, that's a miracle! Pray that this will come to be!

I've completed my second session of physical therapy with lots of pushing and stretching exercises. I even rode the stationary bike today for 5 minutes, which was 1 mile. The goal is to strengthen the right leg and improve the mobility. My goal is to get me to the point that I can drive!!! I'm making progress - have moved from the walker to a cane, climbing the stairs daily and that's getting easier. Also, the motion range needed for the gas and brake pedals is improving. Look out roads, here I come!

This has been a fast week of many accomplishments! We're working hard to get back on our feet! Haha! Hope to be out and about real soon.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Update - Wednesday, Sept. 15

Sorry we haven't blogged for awhile but things have been much the same until now.

Karen is doing great. She is in outpatient physical therapy twice a week, moving her off the walker to a cane and hopefully away from those things completely. She's been told by the doctor she can drive when she feels like it, but at the moment she's trying to build the strength back in her right leg to be able to do that. It won't be too long...:-).

I am going into the Baylor Surgical Hospital tomorrow afternoon for a pr4ocedure to implant "integra" (artificially grown tissue) in t5he bottom of my foot. Hopefully, this will allow a skin graft to be done on the foot and close that wound within a couple of weeks. I'll be pretty much immobile for the next week after the surgery and still will have the wound vac on it. Once the bottom wound has closed, I may still be facing another surgery. The toe bone of one of the toes was still harboring some infection in xrays taken a month ago. We took some new xrays of it last Thursday, but I have not heard the result. If we can't get rid of the infection, they may go back in from the top of my foot (which heals much easier than the bottom) take the bone and do a procedure to attach the boneless toe to the one next to it so it won't be floppy. We shall see. In the meantime, real progress is about to be made.

We'll do a new post after the procedure tomorrow and give you any updates of information we learn.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Where did the week go?

I find it hard to believe that a week has passed and we've not written any updates. It was a very busy week with visits from friends, doctors appointments, home health visits, PT assessment and a trip to Dallas!

I saw my surgeon on Tuesday and she was very pleased with all that was going on. She is basically releasing me to do as I feel like it - so work, driving, etc is on that list. She has referred me to outpatient physical therapy which I will begin tomorrow. I went Thursday for my assessment and that was not too bad. I'm still on medical leave and still not driving. Remember, I have to be able to get in the car, push on the gas and brake and move my foot from the gas pedal to the brake pedal. I don't think you want me on the road just yet! Hopefully after a few PT visits, I'll have the ability to move my leg in the motions that are required for driving as well as walking without a limp.

Friday, I was able to go to Dallas for a much needed haircut! yea, thank you Carolyn for the ride. We had lunch with friends and it was a good day. I was tired when we got home but it was a good tired.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Good Report

I visited the Baylor/All Saints Wound Clinic this morning. I have been going to the HEB Wound Care Clinic, but my orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Wagner, wanted me to see Dr. Reaves, a plastic surgeon who works through the Baylor/All Saints clinic. This morning I saw Dr. Motley, who does the work ups for Dr. Reaves (who is presently out for a two week vacation for his 35th wedding anniversary. I think we can allow that! lol) The first words out of his mouth when he looked at the big wound on the bottom of my foot were, "This is a piece of cake!" That's very important because Dr. Sotman, my infectious disease doctor and the one who's been working on it at the HEB Wound Care Clinic, was concerned that they wouldn't know what progress has been made. In fact, they are very happy with what they saw and Dr. Motley says he will use something called "integra" (some sort of artificial tissue...don't ask me, I won't see what it is until next week...:-) and he believes that by the time Dr. Reaves returns we'll be ready for a skin graft to close the wound. He also said the wound vacc was doing well, but by itself it would probably take another two months to fill to the point where we could do skin graft.

In the meantime, I'll still have my trusty wound vacc and will probably keep taking antibiotic infusions as long as the wound is big and open so I won't get any more infection. This report gives me a goal to work towards with a definite end. And that means the freedom to get back to work and to church and just to roam the city to get groceries, etc. I also hope to be able to return to visiting the Hatch in Dallas near White Rock Lake with my friend Cap'n Ron Williams.

The doctor also was very complimentary about my new habits for controlling my diabetes and my blood sugars and being careful what I eat. Without that commitment, all the other things will not work. Evidently, there are many more people who don't take care of their diabetes than those who do. I'm grateful for all your prayers and care for me. Now pray that I can stay the course and that my foot will continue to improve as it has been doing.

I'm still reminded by Jean-Pierre de Caussade: "If we have abandoned ourselves to God, there is only one rule for us: the duty of the present moment." I'm trying to remember to live the sacrament of the present moment - that what is before me in the present moment of every day is the task God has for me. For those of you who've ever seen the newest version of the movie The Four Feathers will understand what it means to say, "Whatever God puts in my way!" :-)

I'll try to post more regular updates as the process moves froward.