Welcome to Anne's blog!

If you are new to the blog, you probably want to start at the beginning of the whole sad story. To get there, use the "Blog Archive" tool in the right column of the blog and click on "2009," and then "January 25." From there you can continue to click on each week to see the weekly entries.

I would love to hear from you! If you would like to leave a message, you can reach me at aheetderks@wcsmiami.org!

Thursday, September 30 -10:40

They just took out my nerve block pain pump so I am trying to distract myself from what might be coming. The pain management doctor was incredible. She would like to avoid putting me on the morphine and go straight to an oral pain medication so I can go home. She says that there are so many nasty germs in the hospital that I am better off getting home tomorrow. She is also going to put me on a medication called neurontin that is a medication that targets nerve pain. I know that many amputees have been helped by this medication so I am excited to try it.

Doug and I slept for 11 hours last night. I think we should vacation in the hospital more often.

The man in the room to the left of me has been screaming constantly since last night. The man on the other side of me likes to sing. Doug said that he was singing out all the things on his breakfast tray the last time he passed by. The man two doors down apparently committed a serious crime two nights ago so there are two policemen outside his door at all times. Makes me feel like I don't need to worry about my laptop sitting out in plain view. Miami's finest have got the place covered.

Just in case you are getting the impression that I am not pleased with my stay here at Jackson Memorial--let me set you straight. The staff here is LOVELY. Everyone is happy and helpful--very compassionate and willing to get what you need at a moment's notice. I had my brother on speaker on my cell phone last night when a male nurse came in. The nurse introduced himself, helped me move my rear end to make room for the pain pump, and then told me the names of the other evening nurses. He told me how well I was moving my body and did a little dance while he explained that I should keep trying to keep my body limber. When he left, I checked back with my brother to see if he was still on the phone. He said, "Gee--are you at DisneyWorld or something? Sounds like the happiest place on Earth! You have Jonny, Janet, and Jennell helping you tonight and they even dance and sing!" Yes, despite my noisy neighbors, I feel like I am in a good place.

Dr. Hutson woke us up this morning and answered our gazillion questions. He explained a bit more about how he performed the surgery. As for the nerves, he said that he isolated each one, stretched it out, and then cut it so that it would retract back into the leg. He said that this keeps the nerve endings away from the bottom of the stump. He was also pleased that he used an extra piece of the tibia that still had arteries attached to it to create the bone bridge at the base of the tibia and fibula. This would make it more likely to heal and connect with the other bones. Doug wanted to know if he spent any time going through my ankle (I think Doug would have liked to do a dissection of it just to see what a mess it was). He said that he would never have done that because it creates the possibility of introducing bacteria to the sterile part of my good leg. We thanked him for taking his time to do a great job. What a kind man.

Well, it is now 11:05 and the pain is starting to kick in. I am going to rest now.

I thank you again for all the love. Doug sat this morning and read each email to me out loud. He can hardly get through any of them without his voice cracking or starting to tear up. Such a honey.

Thanks for coming along on this journey with us.


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