Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wednesday, June 3

The photo is what Jennifer correctly calls my nest where these rambling are rattled off the laptop. It has been my home through two foot surgeries and it is a struggle to keep it as, uh, clean as this fuzzy pic indicates.

I took today off; I've have quite a few vacation days to burn so I don't lose them. This is sometimes difficult to do in IT, as many things have to be done after hours so the production train stays on the the passengers are mildly irritated when the choo-choo jumps the tracks.

Yesterday was my 7-week post-op mark. Next Wednesday, June 10, I go back for my 8-week checkup with Dr. Ohlson. He'll have an x-ray taken of my stump and will want to see the fuzzy image where the bones have grown together. My Ertl has a screw holding the bridge together, some do not use hardware but I trust this will be best for me. My CP Larry Wiley plans to go with me; if all looks good I will be in his care for the start of my prosthesis fitting. If the bones aren't quite ready I might have to wait another 4 weeks or so. If the bridge has not grown together, well, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

I am having a consistent tiny spot or two of blood on my shrinker when I check it. I wash it about every three days and hope not to find any spots. So far every time there is a dot or two of the red marker. I still have the Steri-Strips over the incision; I am careful when I wash the stump not to disturb them and they are all intact.

I ran out of Gabapentin and have switched back to Lyrica at a higher dose to see if it helps with the dreaded phantom pain. Hard to say after one day, but it is certainly no worse. I'll see how it goes at work tomorrow. As I write this I can feel the rawness of the heel and the electrical tingle in the first metatarsal in a foot seven weeks severed.

Today I worked on a couple of upcoming posts, one about running from my current sideline seat and then other about someone I deeply admire, Oscar Pistorius. A great champion in every regard, legs or no legs. After watching a number of YouTube videos of his races and interviews, I am seeing less of a man on running blades and more of the very essence of the model athlete as embodied in a runner. He raises the human race up one full measure. God knows we need it.

I just finished my PT. My chest muscle pull is slowly getting better; it doesn't have shooting pains when I lie down as much. I am still avoiding doing pushups, although I did 10 tonight because I wanted to see if I could. Yep!

I have been looking for some sort of a wrap-around limb massager for my stump. When I can use either my hands or the Wahl massager on it, I get some relief as long as I employ them. At work the phantom pains typically get stronger as the day goes on...a couple of times I had to take a pain pill to take off the jagged edge. I thought if I could get an electric hands free device then I could avoid the medication and the loss of my alleged mental acuity. After beating up the keyboard on Google, I found the "RevitaLeg Portable Leg Massager" and ordered it through Amazon. From the description it sounded perfect, but some personal reviews said it was cheaply made and didn't work well. I am so desperate for the promised relief that I'll have to give it a chance.

It is after 10 pm as I write this so I need to think about going to bed. I had a deep nap late this afternoon; I think I hit the very bottom of the sleeping well. Overall I am sleeping a bit better since I upped the nerve med dosage.

Today I found someone also in pain, who lost their love in a tragic accident. I nearly lost Jennifer to a drowning accident a few years ago; I can imagine but know I cannot possibly understand such a loss. The death of someone near is not unlike phantom pain. The object is gone, ripped from life, thrown in that deep black pit of sorrow that goes on and on. Indeed, time heals all wounds, but time knows not itself.

Although losing this foot is, as things go, insignificant, it continues to show and teach me a greater awareness outside this 56-year-old body. We all must keep going, there is no looking back, nothing to see there, keep climbing the mountain.

Where we stop we will have time enough to enjoy the view.

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