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  #1  
Old 07-06-2013, 09:51 PM
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Len Myers Len Myers is offline
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Default Baring my chest, and rather a lot more.

tl;dr:things were bad, I'm fine and getting better, mentally, physically, and emotionally. I'm writing this because writing is quite distracting, and I need distraction.

I've knowingly been diabetic for about two years. It was determined during prep for cataract surgery, and delayed that surgery for a couple months as I brought the diabetes sort-of under control. I was, I think, a good boy for a year, and slowly, steadily, I lost control habit by habit, and then... I don't want to discuss the crap I started doing to myself.

About four weeks ago, my left foot became infected. By what, I'll never know. The infection seemed to improve (yay), then got bad. In an incredibly short time, I became lethargic.

I have a steady bridge partner, and 3 weeks ago, after I'd unofficially cancelled out on our game for the second time in two days (by just not showing up), he came to my apartment with the apartment manager, pounding on the door. After gaining entrance, he looked at me, and my foot in particular and said "I fear for your life. We're going to a hospital." And so we went in mid-afternoon.

By early evening the hospital staff told me that I would probably lose the foot, though not that day. A surgeon was called in. He called in his boss. By late evening, they determined that surgery would, in fact, begin just after midnight.

I spent the next day in their ICU. It was nice and peaceful. There's a reason why ICUs are generally peaceful. It's because most of the patients there are incredibly sick, barely clinging to life. I discovered this as they wheeled me out towards the end of Day + 1 and I saw bed after bed full of very quiet, very ill patients.

By (very early) Day + 2, I'd moved out of ICU into a semi-private room. Then the nightmare started. I had severe psychological issues going wee-wee into the plastic urinals. Rest assured, that in hindsight, if I'd known how painful a catheter insertion is... I probably still couldn't have gone wee-wee. The good news is that it only hurt -- a lot -- for a short time as it went in -- and let me tell you, it goes in, not on -- and the catheter solved certain problems for a few days.

[aside]I will, here and now, tell you that I find the 95%+ of the staff here, bright, earnest, highly competent, and a pleasure to work with. Rather quickly, it occurred to me that reciprocating in kind would be an excellent strategy, and so it has been.[/aside]

afternoon on Day + 2, the vascular team (surgery) told me that they were going to true-up the leg on day 4 or 5. Meaning they were going to scoop out healthy tissue, with an eye to creating enough of a skin-flap to close the leg, leading to an eventual prosthesis. I mentally figured day 4, and figured they'd be a bit disappointed that they couldn't do it on day 3.

As it happened, Day 3 was selected. This was not enjoyable. I woke up in the recovery room, and thought I learned the meaning of pain. Hah! One of the few things the local staff weren't generally helpful with was the selection of pain medicine. Generally the deal was, "What do you want, morphine, or Percocet?" I didn't have a clue, but eventually a combination of 2 morphene and 1 percocet seemed to do the trick (one at a time, not real close in time). I still felt the pain, rather a lot, but didn't care as much. . Steadily, day by day (almost), the pain subsided. (later, I tried dilaudid, Yikes! Good for sleeping and for feeling high. But not so good for visitors.)

Unfortunately, the surgery was not quite a success. There wasn't enough skin to close properly. So.... I had an open wound, an undetermined re-true up date, and considerable pain.

Update: I may have come out too harshly on the surgical team. Evidently, determination of how much tissue to remove is very much a high-risk art. There are very good reasons to not take out very much healthy tissue, and also very good reasons to take out enough to have skin let over for a flap. All I can ask is for their best medical judgment and best surgical efforts, and I am certain that that's what they did, both times.

This is where a bit of hilarity started settling in. Day +5, maintenance decided to confiscate the fans, because they were dirty, I heard a discussion about this just outside my room. It's here where my reputation started developing. As the rep headed toward the fan, I pointed to the rep, I said in my best Jedi voice, "This is not the fan you're looking for." He cracked up, took the fan anyway, and told everyone about it. Perhaps you had to be there.

The fan was a very important component of room comfort, so I called my bridge friend. He brought a fan, set it up, and I'm pretty sure it's still the only fan on the floor, or just about. It's good to have friends.

At about Day +9, (now my memory for dates is getting fuzzy) we had a fire alarm. No. Two. No, Three!! at midnight yet, and maybe to 2 or 3 AM. Now, I've encountered fire alarms before. Once in a restaurant. You'd think that a restaurant fire alarm might cause people to, like evacuate. You'd be wrong. They sit and talk until they decide, that the noise is too annoying. So I was prepared for this, and regarded it with a sense of amusement.

On Day + 10, I was taken down for the second true-up at 7:00 PM or so, and was wheeled back up to my room at 7:30 PM or so. Fast work? No... Unbelievably there was a power outage at about 7:15, give or take. Now, were I a surgeon I wouldn't find anything about this very funny. But consider... it didn't happen to me. This is a teaching hospital, and one -- were one a bad person -- could imagine the lead surgeon showing his young charge what to do, "now, sonny, here's how you restart the heart...", when suddenly blackness occurs. I couldn't help it, and enjoyed a mild giggle. Hope nobody was hurt.

(The difference between a good surgeon and a bad surgeon? A bad surgeon says "Oops..."; a good surgeon says "There!")

So, the next night, a member of the vascular team dropped in at 9:00 PM (which seems very late), and asked how the procedure had gone. I wasn't fast enough on my back feet foot, and responded, "What procedure?" Oops. She made a call, and a few minutes later, I was re-wheeled downstairs (they use elevators), and there was no escape. I did ask the surgeons if they were still at 100% -- trying to be delicate about it. Again, I did not enjoy the removal of healthy tissue, and the recovery room was again no pleasure.

Most annoying, the second true-up was also not a success when the objective was to create enough of a flap. The surgeons decided to check other options, and at midnight, a day or two later, a supernaturally cheerful plastic surgeon explained to me that he could tear me another one (as it were), and use some skin from my enlarged tush, and use that to help close the wound. This still seems to be the plan.

more events and topics later. I faintly hope this may amuse you. Nothing more.
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Last edited by Len Myers; 11-28-2014 at 12:16 PM.. Reason: "foot", not "feet." And an awkward sentence construction.
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:01 PM
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woah, sorry you're going through all this. sounds horrible.
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:01 PM
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I will read later. I will assume you need a hug.

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Old 07-06-2013, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by The Cuddling Wingman View Post
I will read later. I will assume you need a hug.

my cat does. read the tl;dr.
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"Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. Imaginary good, is boring, real good is always new, marvellous, intoxicating." -- Simone Weil
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:04 PM
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:15 PM
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Holy Hell.

Do you have a support system around you? Where the hell are you???

Somebody quote this.
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Melanie Haber View Post
Holy Hell.

Do you have a support system around you? Where the hell are you???

Somebody quote this.
quoted
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:19 PM
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Wow - that's crazy
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:20 PM
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quoted


Pretty sure she meant the original post...
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:20 PM
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Sorry things have been so tough for you. I hope that your days only improve.
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