Thursday, October 22, 2009

Long time....

So, I hear I'm in some trouble for not posting for, well, months now. I apologize - I had honestly thought that since Mom was back in school that most everyone would be in touch with what was going on - that now appears to not be the case, so I'll get back on the ball.

Let me go back a few months and bring you up to date. We had an ortho visit on May 15 - and we were all hoping that would be the day the docs would let her walk. Much our dismay, not only did they not let her walk, but we took some significant steps backward. It was discovered that the plate supporting her bone graft was bent. The docs felt as though she needed to stop putting weight on the right leg until they came to a conclusion. Eventually, we figured out that the plate would bend when under her body weight. As such, they decided to ponder a while, then determine what the next steps should be.

In the meantime, one of those pesky abdominal wall tears required repair. So, Mom had a hernia repaired - and was in surgery about 6 hours! Except for a very unpleasant allergic reaction to the steri strips on her incisions, all went well.

Back to the ortho issues...After a few months of pondering, the docs finally decided to do surgery. They weren't sure as they headed to the operating room exactly what they would do. The options were to put some screws through the existing plate (if it was not permanently bent) into the bone graft. Alternatively, if the plate was permanently bent, they would replace the plate with a stronger one. A few minutes after taking her to surgery, the doc called - the plate was not permanently bent. They would straighten her leg, put in 5 screws, then send her home. After a few hours in surgery, and a few more in recovery, she's good to go!

I'll try to be better about keeping postings up to date... Life just went and got crazy!

Also - a note for those of you who may not know - one of the events of the last few months is that we've welcomed a new member to the family. My brother and his wife welcomed a baby girl about 2 weeks ago! She's as healthy as she can be!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

January 27, 2009

Ok, I've been horrible over the last few weeks about updating posts. So, here's the latest story.

Mom has been back to the trauma docs about the torn muscles in her abdomen. The front tear has healed on its own, and the tear on the back has healed through one layer (there are a total of 3 torn). She'll go back in about 9 months for another CT scan to see how it is healing. There are some risks associated with that being torn, so please keep that in your prayers.

Now, onto Ortho! The ruling for now that there won't be any surgery to repair mom's left foot. So, with that, he has started her back on physical therapy, letting her put weight on it. This past weekend, for the first time since September 29th, I saw my mom stand up. She has to support herself, but she's actually vertical! So, she no longer has to scoot herself everywhere she goes. She can get into chairs she couldn't before - I can't begin to tell you how big of a step that was for her. At physical therapy, she was able to take a small step - again, with help, but a step is a step!!

We'll go back to ortho after Valentine's and they'll check out her bone graft. We don't really know how long it will be before she's able to put weight on the right leg, but we've come so far in the last couple of weeks!

Also, remember that spot on the top of her foot we were worried about healing? I've been working on the scab for weeks, trying to get as much of it off as possible. At physical therapy, the therapist was able to get the entire scab off - IT'S HEALING! While it isn't entirely healed, it has certainly formed over the entire spot - no skin graft will be needed!!!! That's pretty happy news, too!

And, maybe best of all as far as Mom is concerned - she started teaching again yesterday!!! She's thrilled to be back with the kids, even if she can't do everything she used to do. She's so much happier there than at home alone.

So, suffice it to say we've come a LOONG way. Thank you for all your prayers, and please keep Mom in your prayers going forward - we're not through this yet!! Praise the Lord - she's getting better!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

January 5, 2009 - Bone Graft

She's heading to recovery!

They removed the external fixator and one pin from her left foot. Based upon what they see, they are not planning to do any additional surgery on the left foot. They will show it to a doctor from Bone and Joint to be sure, but that's the plan for now. The words "walking boot" were thrown out there, but we don't know for certain how soon she could be putting weight on that foot. Major victory!!

The bone graft also went very well. They did the graft in three pieces, and it all looks great. She's going to be hurting pretty badly in the hip area (that's where they took the bone), so her pain level is really going to be what determines when she is able to go home, but at least a couple of days is the thought right now.

The doctor still hasn't come out to talk to Dad, but one of the residents did. If we learn more when we talk to the doc, I'll let you know!

Thank you for all your prayers - today seems to have been a very successful one. Praise the Lord!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

January 4, 2009

Ok - here's the story!

We have surgery tomorrow. They are planning to do two things. First, they will remove the fixator on her left foot. She's pretty thrilled - it has been driving her crazy! Second, they are going to do the bone graft in her right leg. They'll take some bone from her hip (the doc said Mom will hate him for a few days), combine it with some donor bone, add some synthetic bone protein, and fill the hole! Surgery should take about 3 hours. It is currently scheduled for 8am, but we all know how that goes. I'll let you know when we hear anything.

They've told us she should be in the hospital 2-4 days after surgery, but shouldn't need to go to rehab when she's done.

Here we go again!!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

December 18, 2008

Ok... so things change in a hurry around here.

They removed Mom's gall bladder lapriscopically this morning. The ortho docs and her trauma docs (back from the accident) were not happy about leaving it in for 4-6 weeks - too many risks. So, they took it out this morning. They were not certain if they'd be able to do it lapriscopically, but they did! That's a big deal since Mom has to move herself around using just her arms - if she had a full incision, the recovery is much longer, and moving around would be extremely difficult! They expect to let her go home on Saturday - she should be feeling much better soon!

So! Happy day for us - we still haven't chatted with the ortho doc about his plans for doing the bone graft - so for now, we're hoping we're still on for early January. I'll keep you informed!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

December 16, 2008

I've lost track of how many days it's been now....

Sorry for the long delay between posts.

We went to the plastic surgeon in early December. As far as she is concerned, they can do the surgery to do her bone graft any time. She's done with Mom as long as Mom doesn't need her. Good news!

A week later, we went to see the ortho docs. MUCH happier news this time. It appears that her body is making bone around the area where she is missing bone in her right leg. That's fantastic news - the doc says that indicates her body will help when they go do to the bone graft. So, when's that going to be?

Well.... we're not entirely sure. His plan was to do it around the January 5 /6 time frame. However, we've hit another bump. After being horribly sick for a week, Mom was finally diagnosed with an infected gall bladder yesterday. As a result, they're putting her on antibiotics to get the inflammation down. They'll do surgery in 4-6 weeks to remove her gall bladder. We're still waiting on word regarding whether the ortho docs will want to wait until after the gall bladder is removed to do the bone graft. Mom's in the hospital for a few days right now (back at OU), so hopefully we'll get that answer by the time they send her home.

So, that's the story of late. Prior to getting this gall bladder issue, Mom was really doing well. She's very mobile - she can get herself all over the place very efficiently. She is in pretty good spirits, but definitely ready to be on the road to improvement. She was even going to try to make some schnetka on Sunday (that was when we still thought she'd be getting better!!). So, she's getting more active and doing things that she truly enjoys.

So, please keep her in your prayers - we've still got a LOT in front of us. I'll put up another post when we get word on what ortho plans to do.

Until next time...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Day 57 - November 25, 2008

Alright - we've had some doctor visits.

We went back to the trauma doctors, and they informed us that Mom will need surgery to repair one of the abdominal muscle tears. Apparently, it is completely severed, and unless they repair it surgically, it will begin to bulge as time passes. Please keep this muscle in your prayers. Mom really doesn't want to have the surgery. This would be a nice miracle! We'll go back for an MRI in January to see how it looks and make some decisions from there.

We also saw the ortho doc. Suffice it to say, we're all discouraged. Let's start with the antibiotic and infection. As many of you know, she's been on an IV antibiotic for almost six weeks, due to the infection that attacked her right leg. She'll discontinue that antibiotic on Monday. We'll wait two weeks, then do blood work. The ortho doc tells us that if the infection is going to come back, they'll see the signs of it within two weeks. If no infection comes back after two weeks, we'll start making plans to repair the right leg (the one missing the piece of bone). There are several options for repairing the right leg. At this point, we're leaning toward the bone graft. They'll take some bone from her hip, donor bone, and grind it to a paste. They add synthetic bone protein, and pack it into the gap in her bone. Then, we wait. If all goes according to plan, her body will calcify around this graft, and she'll have a solid bone. If there is no infection after the two week period, we'd probably be planning this surgery in January. Best case scenario, it would be about 4 months after they do the graft before she would be putting any weight on that leg.

So, then there's the left foot. She's still got a pretty big wound on her foot. They don't want to do anything to the foot until that scab goes away. They want to be sure there is sufficient skin under it for them to be able to close any wounds they might have to make if they do surgery. It is possible that the bones in her foot may calcify on their own in a manner that is acceptable to the docs. If they do, the only surgery they will do is to remove the fixator and pins from her foot. If that is the eventual outcome, she would be able to begin putting weight on it shortly thereafter. If it doesn't calcify on its own, and they have to do surgery, it would be 3-5 months from that surgery before they will let her put weight on the left foot.

So, you can see why we are all discouraged. We have many, many, many days and weeks of this ahead of us. Which leads into my next topic. It would seem that Mom will be in a similar condition to what she is now for an extended period of time. She's doing better and better on a daily basis of being able to do many things for herself. So, on an on-going basis, it may not be necessary to have someone with her 24 hours a day for medical reasons. However, for those of you that know Mom, she won't be in very good spirits if she is at home by herself all day, every day. So, now we're approaching that time that we've talked to many of you about over the past two months. So far, we've had a good arrangement having her home. The lady teachers from CBA have been wonderful to come keep her company during the day. However, that's obviously not a long-term solution (School must go on!!). So, here is my request. If you are willing / able to go to the house and stay with Mom for a couple hours, half a day, or a whole day, please let me know your willingness / availability. I think we are largely squared away through the first week of December, but haven't really planned much beyond that. I'm sure you're wondering what staying with her would entail. Largely, it is keeping her company. If you're around during lunch time, it would be immensely helpful if you'd make her sandwich or heat up a bowl of soup for her (you don't need to bring anything - we even have lunch for you!). If she needs something that is out of reach (or in another room), you can get those things for her. If you're really feeling adventurous, you could water her plants. On occasion, there may be other things she needs done, but that's the gist of it. So, if you are willing / able, please let me know. You can always email me at . Also, feel free to call my cell phone and leave a message. For obvious reasons, I don't want to post that phone number here, but many of you have it already. If you don't, feel free to call the house to get it. I'll handle the scheduling so Mom doesn't have to worry about it, but she's happy to pass along the cell phone number. Don't get frustrated if I can't answer the phone (that pesky day job...) - feel free to leave me a message, and I'll get back to you when I can!

As always, thank you for your prayers. We continue to need them. It seems this adventure is just beginning. Also, the first two weeks of December are going to be big - we need this infection to stay away - please keep that in your prayers.

In the event that I don't get another post up before Thanksgiving, please have a very happy Thanksgiving. Also, give those loved ones a hug and make sure they know you are thankful for them - you don't always have as much time as you anticipate.