Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dragging Feet, Pulling Legs, Etc. - UPDATED

This morning at the crack of dawn I visited an orthopedist selected by my PCP. According to him, old and new X-rays combined indicate that my right foot and ankle should be amputated below the knee. I asked about alternatives; like most surgeons, he was contemptuous of nonsurgical options. He said modern medicine could drag out the process of losing the foot for years, nonetheless losing it in the end, whereas an amputee stands a reasonable chance of returning to something of a normal life within a year. Hmph, said I, and thanked him for his candor.

I immediately sought advice from my PCP, the aforementioned Dr. B. He promptly suggested another option that needs to be investigated, and is attempting to arrange me affordable admission for a major hospital's wound care center, which also deals with diabetes-related injuries. Tomorrow (Friday) I meet with their admissions department to determine what kind of deal we can strike for self-pay. If we agree, I will be admitted immediately to begin stabilization and attempted disinfection of my increasingly messed-up foot. That suits me, because even getting from room to room at home is nearly impossible right now. I have a pretty good borrowed walker and a really heavy, almost unusable rental wheelchair in house; I presume I'll take the first of those with me in case I'm admitted, and I'm resisting dumping the wheelchair in the bayou (instead returning it and finding something more suitable).

Which brings me to the YSS. I doubt I'll be able to post it from Memorial Hermann hospital; I have no wifi privileges there that I know of, and I doubt a daily list of my complaints would be of much interest anyway. If I come back home tomorrow, you'll hear from me that night. If not, I could be gone three weeks or more. I presume y'all will take care of things for me.

I know it's not yet Friday, but note that Samantha is getting very finicky about taking some of her medical treatments. She's been exceptionally sweet to me lately; keep your fingers crossed for her well-being as well as mine.

UPDATE: the new doc at the hospital's wound care center says the wound is completely healed (yay!) but that he is not an orthopedist, and I need one of those to determine what I really should do. He did offer one observation: the original orthopedist was waaaay premature and overbearing in insisting on immediate amputation unless my life was in serious danger; that he needed far more info to make that determination, and that I should never be bolted into such a decision in such haste... and with so little basis. I'm glad to know that more of the medical profession is sane than not. (Some of these guys have offered unsolicited opinions... on health care reform, unasked by me. So far, no one backs Obama's version, but some object for my reasons and some for reasons that sound as if they came from a Tea Party mailer.)


  1. Not a shining prognosis but at least there are options. Best wishes. We'll take care of the intertubes while you are indisposed.
    Keep us posted as you can.+

  2. We'll keep he fires burning while you're gone, and keep you and Sam in our thoughts.

  3. Damn Steve, bad and good news----at least something to work from. Take care, heal well. You'll be in our thoughts everyday! Peace, friend MandT & Bodhi Dog.

  4. Thanks, Bryan, Fallenmonk, MandT, Bodhi Dog. Obviously I am back at home, but I have some more information, and I'll append it to an update to the post.

  5. They obviously need to put the bones back in place to prevent them from causing internal injury and relieve the pain.

    We need Medicare for All, and we need it now.

  6. OMG Steve. Thank goodness you got a second/ third/ fourth opinion. Some doctors forget they're treating... you know... PEOPLE.

    Here's hoping for good results.

  7. damn, dude! you could have kicked some serious ass if you'd taken them up on the bionic leg!

    i'm really, really glad to hear that the wound care experts have pronounced the wound fully healed. that bit of good news doesn't do much to alleviate the grief that leg is giving you, but i'm really, really glad to hear that your life is NOT in danger and that you've got options and a pcp who is looking out for you.

    word verification: zometh

  8. Thanks, all. I'll resume the tale of my own woes after some sad breaking news on another story.



• Click here to view existing comments.
• Or enter your new rhyme or reason
in the new comment box here.
• Or click the first Reply link below an existing
comment or reply and type in the
new reply box provided.
• Scrolling manually up and down the page
is also OK.

Static Pages (About, Quotes, etc.)

No Police Like H•lmes