Thursday, August 31, 2006



This week I learned what it feels like to have your blood sucked out by a vampire. It's ironic really, because last Sunday we had a blood drive at church. I couldn't give blood because it's too close to my surgeries but, later in the week the vamps still got me. Two weeks ago I spoke briefly in church about the accident and how much blood was needed afterward. Seems that I recieved approximately 120 units of blood, which is about 20 people worth. So, this week they took some back.

On Tuesday I saw the doctors and they confirmed the cellulitis and put me back on Cephlex. I told them that I was concerned that the cellulitis might be a symptom of something deeper and they decided to do a bone scan. They told me it would be a two day process. They did not tell me that it would begin by drawing 60 cc's of blood.

Since I've been used as a pin cusion several times since last October it's now very difficult foe them to find a vein, let alone get any blood from it. We're at the point now where I tell the nurse that he/she gets only one try. If they fail they have to get someone else. I thought I was shocked when she got a good vein on the first stick. Then I looked over and saw her attach a syringe the size of a turkey baister to the IV! The most amazing part was that she was able to fill the syringe.

The next thing they did was inject a radioactive medicine that attaches to my bones to highlightthem for the scan. Then they took some pictures and told me to come back in a couple of hours. During that time they separated my blood into red blood cells and white blood cells with plasma. They put a different radioactive medice in the white blood cells and injected them back into my body when I came back.

Wednesday morning I went back to Wishard and they took more scans. It was interesting, mostly because I got to lay in a machine that looked like something out of Star Trek. It even had a flat screen monitor that they lowered so that I could watch the scan. The scan meant nothing to me but it was kinda pretty. (at least until I started snoring)

Today I met with a different doctor to get the results but left the doctors office more confused than I felt after my Physics final in college. All this guy would say was that my femur was hot. He couldn't explain what that meant but, I just got confirmation from Dr. Klein (an old family friend) that it's good news. What's going on with my femur is normal healing and there's no sign of infection in the bone.

I walked into church last week, which I was hoping to do this week as well, but I'll be walking less for a couple of days just to let the cellulitis have some time to heal. However, walking is getting easier. It felt great to walk at church and feel confident walking in public!

Friday, August 25, 2006


Bureaucratic BS

Ok, so I've been bad again! I should have done this yesterday but, once again, the day wore on and it slipped my mind. I don't know what to say, other than I'm sorry. I'll try to do better. Maybe some of you should consider leaving a comment on Wednesday or Thursday that says something like, "Hey! Don't forget to update the blog tonight!"

The good news is that I've been walking more and it's starting to get easier. I'm not drenched in sweat immediately when I stand up anymore and my back seems to be ok as long as I don't make too many turns! In fact, I'm wearing the legs right now!

The frustrating part of the week is that I've had to deal with some issues with Indiana Vocational Rehab. I've applied for assistance from Indiana Voc Rehab for vehicle modifications. Of course, I can't consider buying a vehicle until they approve my application and then a recommendation has to be made about what type of modified vehicle will be best for me. Then Voc Rehab has to get bids and tell me what they'll fund.

Sounds like a long process right? Well, imagine how I felt when I called this week to get an update on my case and discovered that the person who was supposedly handling my case was "no longer with Voc Rehab". Of course, I started asking questions and discovered that nothing had been done with my application since I initially met with them on Aug. 3rd!

On the bright side, they realized how big of a mistake this is and have apologized profusely. In the grand scheme of things I think this process may actually go much faster than it would have if everything had gone smoothly. We'll see in the coming weeks/months just how serious Voc Rehab is when they say they're putting my case on the "fast track".

Oh, I should probably let you all know that the cellulitis is back. I finished the antibiotics last Thursday and a few days later the symptoms started to show up again. It's in a different place now but it's still just as annoying. I'll see the doctor on Tuesday and, hopefully, they'll be able to come up with a more permanent solution. I'll let everyone know how that appointment goes next week.

Friday, August 18, 2006


Small Victories

The thing about small victories, which are things I have to focus on, is that sometimes they are bitter sweet. Sometimes you may achieve something great but find that, while it gets you one step closer to your goal, for what ever reason you're still not at the finish line. Well, that's how I felt this week when after I took my driver's test.

The test went well. The examiner talked to me the whole time about the accident, her own bout with a disabling illness, and school zones. Let me tell you, she has some very strong feelings about school zones! At the end of the drive she wished me good luck and I got a look at the score sheet. The score sheet had my name on it and she had circled the word "pass". She hadn't written anything else down, which is funny, because I know I made a few small mistakes. Polite conversation apparently goes a long way when trying to distract the examiner from your performance!

The bitter sweet part is that now I have my license but have no car to drive. When I got home my roommate was laying in bed, dealing with some back problems. My first thought was to ask if he needed me to go out and get anything for him and then it hit me. I don't have a car!

So, the car hunt begins. The only issue is that I'll still have to wait a couple of months before I can purchase something. I've applied for assistance through Indiana Vocational Rehab to fund the vehicle modifications that will be necessary. There are a lot of great vehicle modifications out there, and the process would go much faster if I were paying for the modifications myself. But, the less I spend on the vehicle the more I'll have to put towards the permanent prostheses.

On the walking front things are steadily improving. Renee is a bit perturbed at me because I'm not spending enough time on my feet. It's a comfort issue, both physical and mental. That bruising pain that I've mentioned before is getting a lot better but it intensifies when I wear the prostheses. That's the physical hold up. I want that pain to go away completely! The mental hang up is simply a matter of being comfortable with my environment. At therapy I can walk 200 feet and feel completely stable. At home I can walk about twenty feet and feel like a baby deer taking it's first awkward steps! But, I'm going to force myself to practice more and, hopefully, start to get away from the wheelchair. I'll keep you posted on the progress!

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Thanks for all the support!

The good news is that my leg is responding to the oral antibiotic! It's not fully healed yet and they put me on 7 more days of the drug but it's definitely looking better. Thanks for all your supportive words and your suggestions. Rest assured, they are helping!

There's one important thing that I left out last week, and this week has had it's important moments as well! What I forgot to mention was that, last week, I went to dinner with some old friends and wore the legs to the restaurant. It felt great to walk in, although I was glad that it was a slow night, so that I wouldn't cause too much of a scene. I would love to be telepathic so that I could hear what the people were thinking! It felt even better to walk out after a glass of wine and some great food!

This week I went to the Jimmy Buffet concert with some good friends and my Mom and Dad. The concert was great, and the company was even better! I didn't wear the legs to the concert because, as Renee pointed out, I do not want to spill Beer or Tequilla on $10,000.00 pieces of equipment!

Speaking of the legs, I got a new socket today and it seems to fit well. There is a debate between Renee and myself about whether the height is correct. For a very long time now my left leg has been too long. This is part of the back pain. The previous leg provided more balance and the height seemed better than the one before, but the socket was too tight. The new socket is much more comfortable and I definitely walk better with it but, I think it's too short. I don't have as much balance as I did last week. Renee thinks it's actually closer to the correct height but that I'm so used to it being too tall that it feels too short. I'll practice with it this week and we'll see how it goes. The Prosthetists stand ready to make adjustments as we see fit! I still want my hover jets but they haven't figured that one out yet!

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Need a little help...

So, the swim was great! What was so fitting was that my first swim after the accident was in the same pool that I learned to dive in and probably really learned to swim in. However, the swim was also exhausting and I didn't really feel very good that night. There's been some pain, a little like bruising, at the end of my left leg since the surgeries in May and June. That night, after the swim, it really began to intensify.

A few days later there was a little redness and now it's warm to the touch. Some of you can already see where this is headed. These are signs of infection. What's strange is that the signs aren't always there. Renee and I are hopeful but, I need prayers now more than ever that the infections do not come back and, if they are coming back, that they go away. The pieces of my life are finally starting to fall back into place and I cannot accept another setback on the scale of the last bout with infections.

There is a doctor in the Orthopedics department at Wishard who thinks the symptoms sound like Cellulitis. So, he has prescribed an anti-biotic for me to take orally for the next week and I have an appointment to see him and Dr. Mckinley (the doctor who performed the first Irrigation and Debridement surgery in May) next Tuesday. With luck this Anti-biotic will do the trick.

In regards to walking, I got the new sockets on Monday. The right one fits perfectly. The left still leaves a lot to be desired. They took new measurements today and I'll probably get the replacement on Thursday. Speaking of Thursday's, right now it seems like I have more info for all of you on Thursday's. How would you feel if I waited until Thursday's for the update?

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