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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Recovery In the WINTER

Most repeat readers and friends of mine know that I have been through Absolute Medical HELL this year with it all beginning on the night of February 9 with a fall at home and a badly broken Tibia directly above the right ankle. I had surgery the next day then proceeded to have everything & anything that could go wrong....go horribly wrong.

The incision from surgery allowed infection to enter the picture and for the next 7 months I was hospitalized (reluctantly, I might add) 3 times before the "Medical Experts" began to make some progress, still I was very, very ill. I could have died. Eventually, I spent 8 days in hospital receiving a hardcore regimen of IV Anti-Biotic while undergoing every test known to man that checks the bone for infection, the heart and all my other vital organs. In the end, after 8 months after it began...the infection seems to be in check.

Of course my injuries were still not fully taken care seems I had a major issue that was not even accounted for originally. The Fibula on the right leg was literally crumbling where it meets the Ankle bone to form the Ankle joint. It was so sudden and so serious that I was faced with the real possibility of having my right leg removed 6" below the knee. The alternative was a very complex, low percentage, long recovery procedure to fuse the ankle together after taking several bone graphs and cutting the fibula in two. I would be unable to walk on that leg for at least 3 months and only then would we be able to find out whether the procedure was successful or not.

I chose the fusion and currently I just passed the two month mark since the surgery. It is really tough right now because I feel so helpless not being able to help myself or do something as simple as go for a walk. I can honestly say that this is the first surgery/recovery where I have followed the recovery instructions to the absolute LETTER of the law. And yet I still feel very uncertain about it.

I find it funny how one goes through this progression of thought and expectations. I had a very ambitious time-table and just new that I would recover very quickly, just like I always have whether I had just had spinal/back surgery or my tonsils out. I was sure that I would be able to play golf by the time the Island course here opened in April or so.

Today I am not even sure that I will ever be able to walk again based on how I feel. I still have amputation to fall back on and frankly, I was given the choice to go through a preparedness program for amputation, meeting with other amputees, hearing their stories and seeing their quality of life. It is more then likely that if I had gone that route I would be walking right now with a prosthetic leg and probably doing really well. But you never know...a persons body can reject them...then what?!

But for me in my situation, where I am already on disability and have time on my made perfect sense to play it conservatively and give the fusion a try. I have had a ton of support and as I said I can always amputate if necessary.

The real challenge right now is boredom and sense of purpose....I struggle to stay interested and engaged in life all the while staying off my GOOD leg to preserve it as well. It is often a minute by minute process to get through the day when there are no work or play. It is surreal because with most surgeries at this point the Doc is encouraging one to move to exercise to get on with it. That is not at all the case hear, they want all their boys back in on piece and healed up fully.

I have known for some time that I have bad hips...with the left hip requiring replacement surgery sometime in the next year or so. I have a very sore and painful left knee that I am having looked at tomorrow. Since it is the only leg I can put weight on until my ankle fuses together, I am not a candidate for surgery because I wouldn't be able to get around at all.'s always something isn't it!

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