Sunday, May 27, 2007

Walking Without Crutches

On Friday I was alllowed to start walking on my bad foot. I ditched the crutches and went back to my walking stick. The difference is amazing.

Now I can carry things. This makes a huge difference with things like the process of making a bowl of cereal for breakfast. On crutches, I could stand in place and move things from one surface to another, then take a step and move them again, and so on. Without crutches, I can just pick up my cereal and walk it back to my bedside table.

On Friday, I limited myself to going to the bathroom and the kitchen, and I was also able to do some long-neglected maintenance tasks on JediMac, our downstairs iMac. (The poor thing had been up and running without a restart for more than 53 days...okay, it's a Mac, but I do like to restart it every month or so.)

On Saturday, I went upstairs (very slowly and carefully) to check on Ascher, our upstairs hamster. (Ascher is the child of Koltar, our downstairs hamster. We found homes for Kol's other five kids, but this whole foot thing sidetracked our efforts to locate a new family for Ascher.)

Today, Sunday, Dad picked me up around 11 am. We went to the fruit stand and the grocery store, and then to Dad's house, where I took a shower for the first time since March. Boy, did that feel good! I went to Dad's to shower because (a) Dad's shower has grab bars installed, and (b) I'm not stupid enough to get into the shower when I'm by myself.

After the shower we had lunch, visited a while, and then ate dinner. By 6 pm I was home and back in my sickbed, tired but triumphant.

My foot still hurts, although it's definitely better when I have it up. And I'm tired after so much exertion...but things will get better. Every day, I hope, will be better.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Stitches Out

Went to see Dr. Giardina today. He took out my stitches, and seemed pleased at how things are coming along.

On Friday I will be able to unwrap the foot and get it wet. And I will also be allowed to start walking on it -- as Dr. G says, I will start to wean myself off the crutches.

As far as we know, my IV antibiotics will continue through the end of the month. I could be happier; these thrice-daily IVs are getting tedious for Thomas and me.

This is going to be a challenging time. On Wednesday evening, Thomas leaves for Los Angeles and the Star Wars 30th Anniverdary Celebration. He returns the following Wednesday morning. While he's gone, I will have to do my own IVs, as well as make my own meals and everything ele. Fortunately, my father lives less than a mile away, and he will come whenever I need him.

In other news, Meerkat Meade now has a satellite dish: we signed up with DirecTV. We have a DVR, and hundreds of channels, and we couldn't be happier. The DVR (which is a kind of Tivo-wannabe) is great; it automatically records programs on its inboard hard drive. We can tell it to record (for example) all first-run episodes of The Simpsons, and we can use the DirecTV software to search upcoming shows and schedule recordings from the results.

The coolest feature: the DVR buffers live programming. So, for instance, if we start watching a program and then decide we'd like to record it...a press of the button, and the DVR saves the buffered program from the beginning. This feature also allows us to pause, rewind, and fast-forward live programming, which has come in handy already.

DirecTV is very recommended.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Back From the Podiatrist

Today we went to see Dr. Giardina, my podiatrist, for a followup visit. It's been 9 days since my operation.

Dr. Giardina was pleased with what he saw. He said that I'm doing very well, even a little ahead of schedule. Swelling is down (although there's still some) and the sewed-up incision looks good. (Well, okay, it looks good to a surgeon -- to Thomas and me, it looks appallingly awful.)

I m now allowed to put some weight on the foot, but only on the heel. I still have to use crutches to walk, but when I'm standing I can steady myself with my right foot. And I'm allowed to sit up sometimes, resting both feet on the floor. I can even cross my ankles (bad foot on top), which feels surprisingly good.

On Monday we will go back and Dr. G will take out my stiches. After that, he says, I can put more weight on it and (more important) get the foot wet. Soon after, I should be able to ditch the crutches and go back to my walking stick. (Using crutches is hard -- and if you'e been flat on your back for almost two months, it's even harder.)

Meanwhile, things are getting better. The foot hurts, but the pain is nowhere near as bad as it's been. I am taking ibuprofen most of the time, although I have been popping a percocet at bedtime. I'm still keeping the foot up almost all the time, because it starts to hurt more when it's been down for a bit.

Still, all is going well, and getting better every day. I want to thank all my friends and coworkers who keep sending cards, emails, and even presents. It's wonderful to know that there are so many people out there who care for me.


Friday, May 11, 2007

Friday Update

On Monday I had surgery to take out infected bones in my right foot -- they pretty much took off my big toe. And now I feel a hundred times better.

Everything is stitched up and healing nicely. It hurt like hell at first, but in the last day or two it's gotten a lot better. Before this, I was living on percocet (painkiller), but now I'm making do with just an ibuprofen or two.

My first post-operative visit, on Wednesday, went fine. I go back next Wednesday -- the doctor said the stitches probably won't be ready to come out until a few days after that, but he expects I will make a full recovery and be back on my feet very soon.

As for the big toe...oh, well, it had a good run. I think I can live without it. :)


Monday, May 07, 2007

Surgery Successful

Don is home from foot surgery and resting comfortably.

In outpatient surgery at St. Agnes Hospital, Dr. Giradina took out all the infected bone and cleaned up infected tissue, and stitched everything up.

Don lost most, if not all, of his great toe on the right foot. Besides expecting a little difficulty wearing flip-flops, there should be little lasting impact.

We are all hoping that this is the end of the infected foot. After 2-3 weeks of recovery, Don hopes to be back to his (ab)normal life.

Further bulletins as events warrant.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Surgery Scheduled

My surgery is scheduled for 2 pm on Monday, May 7.

It's an outpatient procedure, and should take about an hour or so. I'll be able to go home afterwards, although I am guessing (hoping!) that I will be drugged up and pretty much out of things.

I will ask Thomas to get the word out regarding the outcome, but you can always check back here for updates.