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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

On Monday, I went in to see Dr. Carbonell with my faithful friend and teaching assistant, Lisa Arslan. My head was full of a lot of things.

- My Dad had been admitted to the hospital over the weekend with strange, serious symptoms. While at the office, my Mom called and told me that Dad had tested positive for a mersa infection and that his liver and heart were under a great deal of stress.

- Doug’s Dad was continuing to have many up and down days in the hospital. We were hoping that new tests might reveal a better way to help him to improve.

- I was in a lot of pain and was concerned about taking more and more Percocet to get through each day. Yuck.

When we arrived, Dr. Carbonell was able to see me right away and started assessing what was going on. Our first surprise when we took off my bandages was to see that my wound was healed! It had been acting like it was going to close over the previous weeks but we weren’t sure when if would finally happen. The closed wound looks like a squished bellybutton—just big enough to hold a tick-tack (gross!). Dr. Carbonell told me that when I have my big surgery, he will cut out the bellybutton and sew it back together as a flat piece of skin. Who cares—I can take a real shower now for the first time in 10 months!!!

The next thing he did was to take out three huge needles and fill my ankle joints with Cortizone. Although I didn’t feel any difference while at his office, I felt like I was ready to take up ballet dancing by the next morning. It was wonderful to live without pain for a few days.

Finally, we took a new X-ray of my ankle. When we looked at the image of my foot on the screen, the first thing I noticed was that the metal was gone. Duh—I knew I had just had a surgery to take it out but I hadn’t seen it until just then on the X-ray. The next thing we noticed made us all go, “Ohhh . . . .” My talus had collapsed. The talus is the bone that was shattered in the fall, put together by my brilliant doctor, started to die, but was holding its own. The plan was to fuse it together to my tibia this summer—making it unable to move but pain-free (hopefully).

The fact that it has collapsed means that I really need to do the surgery right away. When you look at the X-ray, you can see that the tibia is out of place on top of the talus. This explains why I have been in so much pain (thank goodness--I was beginning to wonder if I was just being wimpy). Dr. Carbonell will take some cadaver bone and build up the area that has collapsed so that my legs won’t end up being different lengths. Then he will continue on as planned, putting screws through my foot at different angles so that it will hopefully “fuse” into one solid piece. The recovery will be intense and long. Right now, I am hoping that we can do the surgery soon so that I will only miss the three weeks between Thanksgiving Break and Christmas Break. Time will tell.

Now that we have had some time to think and do a little research, I am planning to meet with Dr. Carbonell on Monday (the 23rd) to figure out what we will do.

Good News mixed with Bad News.

Today we give thanks for a closed wound. We have prayed for this for so long. I had imagined a Wound Closing party for a long time and now it is kind of mixed in with a whole new hurdle. That’s OK. I am almost relieved to just take this battle on and get it over with. If this is God’s plan, I’m all about it.

Love to you all--


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