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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hey, Hey, my friends! Our family reunion in Marco is over, the suitcases have been unpacked, the pile of mail waiting for us has been processed, and we are back to our summer chores.
We had a wonderful time reconnecting with my brothers and their families. Once again, we were able to borrow a friend's condo in Marco Island for wonderful evening dinners, walks on the beach, and time to roll around with the cousins. Elise even got to come home to her 8th birthday celebration on 07/08/09. Very exciting.

Even though we were able to get away, that doesn't mean that I haven't had my regular dates with my good doctors! During my last two visits to Wound Care, we have all been encouraged at the progress being made using the Oasis (pig intenstine). The wound itself has actually grown larger because it is spreading out a little. However, as a result, the wound is not as deep and (as Dr. Carbonell said last week) my foot is starting to look like a foot (you can enjoy the current wound pics if you click on "Great Fall Wound Pics").

I have decided to throw out all timelines and just be happy when it is all over. I made a comment to one of my nurses that I have been hearing, "it should be closed within 4-6 weeks," for about 6 months now. She said, "Oh, that's just what we tell people otherwise they would be overwhelmed by the reality of how long it takes to close up a wound." I was like . . . oh!--would have been nice if someone had told me that 6 months ago!

So--truly--I think my wound might actually be healed in 4-6 weeks--really!

As for the bone . . . I have been waiting for the 6 month mark to have my final X-ray. At four months, the X-ray had shown that the talus bone was dying around the outside of the bone. However, Dr. Carbonell had said that if the bone was going to die completely, we would be able to tell on the 6 month X-ray. So . . . with fear and trepidation, I went to his office yesterday to get the news.

It was awesome to see the X-ray. It is so funny to see MY foot with all these screws and plates inside of it. I forget that I am walking around with half of Home Depot inside my foot! The good news is that the bone has not died any further than what we had seen at the 4-month point. This means that the blood supply has returned to the bone, and that the time in my bone-growth stimulator has been time well spent!

The not so great news is that the tibia is resting right on top of the talus without any cartilage to act as a cushion or lubricant. Dr. Carbonell thinks that I will probably be able to tolerate this for a year or two, but over time, the area will become very arthritic and painful. At that point, I would probably undergo an ankle fusion (a four-month process). Dr. Carbonell showed me how they would use two long screws to permanently fuse the tibia and talus so that the ankle is unable to bend. As this certainly is less than desirable--being able to walk is definitely something to celebrate!

On July 17, we will have been at this for 6 months. I feel like Doug, the girls, and I have slowly allowed ourselves to relax, breathe, and move out of "anticipating-the-next-disaster" mode. We don't really think about the fact that I wear a boot, cart around walkers, sit by the edge of the pool with a bag on my leg, or use the electric scooter at the grocery store. This is our new reality.

We will just keep rolling along with the progress as it comes.

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