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 firstname.lastname@example.org . 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.