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Wednesday morning, February 11, 2009

Today is one of those mornings where the sight of the sun signals an end to the struggles of the night, and provides hope that the light of day will bring about some healing and peace.

Yesterday was pretty rough.  Although I woke up feeling “with it,” I had a series of near-fainting spells throughout the day.  Luckily, my home healthcare nurse had just stressed the importance of attaching my cell phone to my walker so that I could call for help at any time.  So when I felt myself slipping away yesterday morning in the bathroom, I was able to call my mom and she came within 2 minutes to help me.

I had my first appointment at the Jackson South Wound Care Clinic yesterday afternoon to meet with Dr. Carbonell.  Mom pumped me up with enough food and Gatorade to summon enough energy to get into the car and handle the drive to the clinic.  Sure enough, even though we had a mapquest map and directions from the clinic, we (of course) could not find the place.  When we finally did, we were 10 minutes late.  Mom parked illegally and went inside to find a wheelchair.  She immerged with a wheelchair so wide that she had to partially fold it to get it out the door of the building to the car.  You can only imagine, then, how easy it was to get me back inside when sitting in it!  Sitting in this huge wheelchair while holding a VAC, antibiotic drip, my walker, purse, med bag, etc. while keeping my leg up (on my own strength since no wheelchair is designed to accommodate an external fixator)—and then trying to figure out how to get through the narrow door . . . Mom and I decided we had better laugh before we started crying.

Mom and I ended up sitting in a small waiting room for an hour with at least ten of Dr. Carbonell’s patients.  Some were wearing VACS, some wore interesting orthopedic shoes, some had taken the bus from across town just to get some meds, and some were recovering from recent skin grafts, while others were there to get a dressing change.  Most were diabetic and spoke of the ridiculous years of running from this specialist to that specialist—trying to find a doctor who could actually care for their needs.  All of them spoke of Dr. Carbonell as if he was a miracle worker.

Long story short, Dr. Carbonell was thrilled at the sight of my wound.  It really looks great.  He asked his assistant to begin work of getting approval for a skin graft, and signed paperwork to enable me to get a handicapped sticker for whoever is driving me around. 

He and Dr. Jacobsen (my infectious disease doctor) suspect that my night fever is a sign that my PIC line is infected.  They also think that my fainting spells are a sign that my blood levels are off.

Sweet Dr. Jacobsen gave me his personal cell phone number so that I could call him if I got another fever (last night).  Sure enough, by 11:00 last night, I had chills, deep body aches, and a 100.6 fever.  Dr. Jacobsen told me to plan on going in to his office today, getting blood work done, getting the PIC line removed, and using some more antibiotics to kill the bacteria in the blood.

Annika is so worried that I will end up in the hospital again.  She is trying so hard to “go with the flow,” but I really think that she just needs s a few day of “normal.”  Bless her heart.  It just seems like every day has yet another issue that we are dealing with.  I think this is what Dr. Jacobsen is talking about when he says that the next few months will be a “long haul.”

Overall—I almost feel embarrassed that I am so blessed.  Dr. Carbonell arranged that I would be his first patient next week at the wound care center so that I won’t have to wait in the lobby.  Dr. Jacobsen is encouraging me to use his personal cell phone number if I have any weird symptoms.  Unlike the patients I met yesterday, God placed the most talented doctors in my life the FIRST time around—not after several failed experiences with other doctors.  In light of these blessings, the least I can do is joyfully “go with the flow” and patiently suffer through the pain and struggles of getting “better.”

Thanks to Penny Lyn for the awesome exercise mat, my Mom for putting in some long hours, and to all of you who have been filling my house with fruit, meals, cookies, brownies, sweet and encouraging things for the girls, and healthy meals for my family!  You are all a blessing.

Love to you all—


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