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written by Dian, 3/16/17 - There's a lot going on right now in Del's life. Aaron and I created this site so that family and friends can visit, comment, and get information about how he's doing. When Del came to live with us last June he was complaining about pain in his feet. We tried to get him in to see a doctor using his VA benefits, but they seemed unable to comprehend that Wyoming is a STATE not a city, and it's very large. The VA kept making appointments for Del that would require round-trip travel of 150 miles or more, rather than using the doctors within a mile of our home. Eventually, inaccessible medical care, coupled with our 7400 ft altitude (minimal oxygen which caused Del breathing distress) and Aaron's concurrent job search, led us to Utah where Aaron currently works at the VA facility and Del is receiving quality medical treatment and can breathe more easily.
We arrive in Utah in September of 2016. Del had a complete medical workup at that time. It was determined that he had a portion of his heart that was not working at capacity. He was prescribed some drug therapy and began physical and occupational therapy to help with the balance, walking, and hand paralysis left behind by the stroke he suffered several years ago. Del seemed to be doing much better and was enthusiastically joining us as we searched for a home to purchase, but that pain in his feet never seemed to subside.
About 90 days ago, the foot pain increased drastically. A small red spot appeared beneath the skin. It looked as if he might have banged the side of his foot, leaving a tiny bruise. Within two weeks the spot had increased in size, and Del's pain was becoming intolerable. Del saw a doctor who told him the sore was growing because he has little or no circulation in his legs and feet, so the sore could not heal. He made an appointment for Del to see a vascular surgeon the following week to discuss surgical treatment. In the interim, Aaron and I left for a business trip to Laramie where Aaron taught at Wyotech for a week and I met with tax clients. When we returned to Utah five days later, Del's small red spot had become an open sore. He was in constant pain, wasn't sleeping, and was eating very little. Two days later (3-11-17), I took Del to the VA emergency room to get some help. The open wound was becoming infected.
Del came home from the ER with pain medication and a follow-up appointment which took place on Tuesday of this week (3-14-17). Yesterday, I received a phone call from a nurse who told me that they needed to see Del today for some tests which would take about 6 hours to complete during which time they would determine if surgery to open the arteries in the leg and reroute the blood flow was a possibility. I took him to the VA for the requested testing at 8:00 this morning (3-16-17). Aaron and I will update this blog as we have more information. For those who have his phone number, he loves phone calls and really appreciates contact with you.