25 November 2007: No Leg Yet

Category: General
Posted by: mike
Another month is gone and the recovery is s-t-i-l-l s-t-a-l-l-e-d waiting (kind of like boiling 10 gallons of water with a birthday candle) for a prosthetic. I was prepared for the stump to take a long time to heal enough to accept the prosthetic sleeve. I was not prepared for several months of delays after getting the "all systems go" from the surgical/wound care team. This waiting has been the most lonely and emotionally draining part of the recovery so far.

10/27 Sat. Rained all day, so no three mile hike with the forearm crutches on the bike trail today.

10/28 Sun. It was an absolutely gorgeous day. Started my hike at the "old powder plant" as usual. I walked one mile past then back to the paved switch-back path and home. That was a record 5 mile hike. It took a little over 3 hrs. I felt spent, my wrists were sore and I raised a small left palm blister but in all felt pretty good.

10/29-31 PT on Monday with Emily continues to go well with the focus on balance and flexibility. I mentioned the left hand forth digit trigger finger (inflammation of the tendon sheath that locks the finger in a bent position). She thinks that 5 miles on forearm crutches might be too much shock to the wrist and fingers.

Adam (Tuesday's Overload session) used a gymnastic grip hook on all of the machines that require grip. The strength gains are starting to level off across all the machines. I have been fatiguing in less than 3 minutes @ 280 lbs on the leg press for a couple of weeks now. This is not a bad thing. I'm in really good physical condition right now.

Wednesday Erin called and asked if I read the blog guest book lately. I hadn't. There has been so little change that even I'm getting bored with it. So, thanks to Denita (RN that administered a home insurance physical), Joyce (PT Metro) and Matt (partner in crime at work and bowling). My slumping enthusiasm benefits from the pep-talk.

11/5 Mon. A follow-up visit with physiologist, Dr. No (that's what his staff calls him), went well. He seemed to be a little more interested in what Overload is about. My conditioning and mobility on forearm crutches continues to impress. He expressed concern about tight adductor muscles that need more stretching. I'll put both Emily and Adam on it. He also punctuates Emily's assertion to back off the marathon crutch walks. My trigger finger issue is not severe at the moment but if aggravation continues, corrective surgery could be required. He said I should chill. I said "Get me a #*#*ing leg already and I'll stop walking on my hands". Sitting in my wheel chair all day without exercise is no good and moving around on crutches is bad too. I'm stuck balancing between the lesser of two evils. But again this issue is loose change in the grand scheme of things. Dr. No also reinforced the fact that nobody can predict how the grafted stump is going to react to the prosthetic sleeve. He's pretty sure there will be vacuum (that is what keeps the leg from falling off) issues and a waist belt might be necessary until my stump matures a bit more. He cautioned against thinking its all down hill after I get my leg. The appointment with Dr. No pushed me out of Emily's time slot so I had a very pregnant substitute therapist (her name escapes me). She has since delivered - Hope she and son Jack are doing well.

11/17 Sat. Pat (hanger prosthetist) canceled the Monday appointment to cast over the sleeve. The sleeve is manufactured somewhere in the south west and had not arrived as scheduled. We'll make another appointment as soon as he nails down a new delivery date. I feel like the fish that was swimming with a buddy and collided with a concrete wall - DAM!

11/18 Sun. Daughter Ruthie spent the night preceding a Monday morning seminar, in Columbus. She's got a great story but you'll have give her a call and hear it from her.

Thanksgiving in Valley View with GiGi, Marsha, Phyllis and about 40 other friends and relatives was delightful. How appropriate. Got into a debate about religion and politics (the two seem to be inseparable these days) just before I left for home. How inappropriate. Someday I'll learn (maybe). It was so nice to "visit" - it doesn't feel like I live there anymore.

Rumor has it I may be traveling to Mississippi (another first) so stay tuned.

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