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Thursday, April 23, 2009

It has taken me a few days to write because I have been digesting some things that have happened this week.  I find that I am having a hard time getting excited about improvements in my situation because they are always counter-balanced with real, potential set-backs.  I am continuing to have a positive attitude and everything--it just seems like all good news is always followed by a big warning of caution. 

So--here is my news . . .

Good: My wound is getting smaller.  It really is.  I can see it with my eyes.  Even though Dr. Carbonell thought it would have closed by now, he still thinks that in about 6 weeks it should be closed.
The Not-So Good:  The problem is that the wound needs to close over metal hardware (see the pictures?).  Everything we have done so far (foreskin, horse heart, etc.) has rejected the metal.
My infectious disease doctor, Dr. Jacobsen (the guy who always tells all the bad jokes), does NOT believe my wound will ever close over the metal hardware.  He and Dr. C. had a nice talk and agree that I should have surgery to remove the hardware if the wound does not start to close.  In that case, I would have a skin graft to cover the wound.  I would welcome the surgery (let's get things moving) but don't want to push for it if my body can do it on its own with a little time.

Good: Dr. Jacobsen took me off of the antibiotics!  Shocking!  I couldn't believe it when he said it.  He had the nurses pull the PICC line out of my arm and everything.  I was able to take my first shower last night since I fell because I don't have to keep my arm dry anymore.  This is all very liberating!  I can't believe that I don't have to cart around syringes and antibiotics with me everywhere I go!  

The Not So Good:  The only reason he took me off of them was because I have been on them for 13 weeks and my body really can't take much more.  He says that the antibiotics have done all they can and now it is a "wait and see" situation to see if the bone starts to get infected and die.  Cheery.  In that case, they would start to do surgeries to remove the dying bone and fill it with cadaver bone.  

The Good:  I am starting physical therapy next Wednesday.  A parent at school had a similar injury two years ago and had a wonderful physical therapist that she felt was very instrumental in her recovery.  So, I just got it all finalized today that I will get to use the same therapist to get me walking again.  

The Not So Good:  I am really not supposed to start PT until my wound is closed.  The open wound will really hinder what they can do with me.  Dr. Carbonell just didn't want me waiting around for another 6 weeks to start PT.  Hopefully, this amazing therapist (Margarita--I already am loving her name!) will be able to work wonders without disrupting the healing of my wound.

The Good:  It feels good to put weight on my foot.  It really does!  I have really good range of motion and can really believe that I will walk again.

The Not So Good:  They keep warning me that the bone may be dying and will shatter under my body weight during the next 6 months.  This thought scares me to death.  Everyone says, "Oh, that won't happen . . ."--but it might.  And it would really, really stink if it does.  It is mentally discouraging to me to think that all of the improvements I have patiently waited for could mean nothing, if--indeed--the bone is dying.  This is the one thing I really need to get past.  It will take me a while to figure out how I am going to put a mental spin on this so it doesn't mess with my head.

Just Plain Good:  I have been working all week at school putting together the Art Fair.  It is so great to see the kids and feel like a person again.  Driving has been WONDERFUL.  I can get to my appointments without my Mommy (although I miss seeing her as much!).  I feel like a teenager with a new license.  My four-wheeled walker is due to arrive in a week so I can start chasing the kids down the street (haha).  It will even have a fold-down seat for when I need to take a rest (but no cup-holder--the insurance wouldn't spring for that luxury).  

I really do love all of you and appreciate your continued faithfulness.  It seems very slow right now but I know that things are moving forward.


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