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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

“OK . . . don’t get excited.  Don’t react.  I have good news, but . . . the news could go bad at any second.  So again, don’t get excited.  But I do have good news.”

This is the general gist of what I heard today.  So I am going to pass my good news along to you—but remember . . . DON’T GET EXCITED! 

Good News: The most recent bacteria culture they took a few days ago came back negative.  We have finally beaten the gram-negative rod bacteria!  I can now go home late Friday (to my house—shocking!) and administer the antibiotics on my own for about the next two months. 

Doctor’s Voice of Reason:  This is a positive step but the bacteria can easily mutate and begin attacking my wound from a different angle.  I need to know that this is going to be a “long haul.”  I need to be on the constant lookout for new signs of infection.  I may also have problems (yeast infection, thrush, diarrhea, etc.) from killing off the “good” bacteria with the antibiotics.

Good News:  The wound is healing beautifully.  The VAC has encouraged a ton of new, healthy tissue that is full of bright, red blood (the first picture shows all the dead tissue from when I first got readmitted to the hospital, the second was from Monday, and the third was from today).  The new tissue is slowly covering the exposed metal hardware that they screwed into my bone.  If the tissue stays healthy and continues to “fill in” the wound, I will get a skin graft in a few weeks.

Doctor’s Voice of Reason:  Although the wound is looking good, there is small pocket below the wound that keeps filling up with gook.  We keep trying to get the VAC to suck it up, but the pocket is just a little too deep.  Hopefully, the home health nurse who will visit me every other day to change my VAC will be able to stay on top of removing the gook and keep it from getting infected.

Good News:  The wound is healing and we have the infection under control.

Doctor’s Voice of Reason:  If we can keep this up, the bone will have a good chance to stay alive and heal.  However, the fact still remains that the talus bone was badly broken, the cartilage was destroyed, and many essential parts of the talus bone are missing (left behind in my front yard and/or floating around in my ankle).  There will be a long road ahead as Dr. Carbonell rebuilds the talus bone and tries to get it to function properly.

OK—so I won’t get excited (well—maybe just a little).  But I will tell you one thing:  I look forward to step into my own house, eat with my family, sleep next to my sweet husband, cuddle with my precious girls, stroke our dog, smell fresh air, and boldly step into the next “leg” of my journey.  Thank you so much for coming along for the ride!  With much love--Anne

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