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Gregory K Wiggers
1/13/2017 Latest post:
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
At the early age of twenty-two months I was diagnosed with diabetes. From that time till now I have fought a different fight than most and continue fight a constant battle with my health and the blows it deals me, on a daily basis.
For those of you who know me and have followed my updates on FaceBook, this may seem a bit redundant at first. There are many others who do not have FaceBook who are wondering about my status as well and thus I have decided to begin a CaringBridge site.
It was the day after Thanksgiving, 2016 – November 25- when I realized something very different was taking place in my legs. I’ve fought with neuropathy and arterial and venous disease for that past ten years and knew a day would come that I’d either lose my legs through amputation or some other way.
Theresa, Alex and I had been to Wisconsin to visit my parents for Thanksgiving. It seemed as if nothing really was wrong that day but then in the afternoon I noticed I was no longer able to move my legs like I had before. Theresa and I went out Friday and did a bit of shopping and then went back home that evening. Saturday morning came and I knew then that my worse fear of not being able to walk had come true.
Saturday night I lost mobility 100%. Theresa and Alex helped me to the bathroom a couple of times that night from the bed. It became obvious that I’d need help from outside sources to move around so Theresa call the ambulance to have them come get me down the twenty two steps we have to get into the apartment we now live in.
Things moved quickly after that. I was transferred to our local Hospital and then to St. Cloud, MN. After several hours in the E.R. in St. Cloud the Doctor decided they didn’t have the right team to treat me and sent me on to Minneapolis to Hennepin County Medical Center.
A team of 17 doctors were brought in to begin a rigorous workup to see if they could figure out what might have happened. I kept telling them, it’s the diabetes! They had to do the workup and all the tests though. I had scans, MRI’s and an EMG done. Finally, when all was done and said the lead Neurologist told me, we can’t help you! The diabetic neuropathy has taken its toll on you along with the vein and arterial clotting and hardening.
I was told I’d need PT / OT to determine my options for living as there’s no way I’d be able to go up and down 22 steps anymore. So, after a few phone calls, my step-daughter Megan was able to locate a nursing home in Little Falls that had a room available.
I was transferred to St. Otto’s Care Center on the second of December, 2016 where I’m currently living now. For the next three weeks, I was moved to a wheelchair and the bathroom by machine. I could not move my lower extremities at all. Somehow, through all this I managed to keep my head up and not give up. Let me tell you, that’s a great temptation during times like this, but I somehow hung on.
On December 28th, the day was moving along as normal as always. I was sitting in my wheelchair waiting for lunch. It was ten minutes to twelve when suddenly, a sharp pain shot through my left shoulder from my back! I wasn’t sure at first what it could be from; I’ve had heartburn in the past and thought it might be that. The pain intensified very rapidly and I finally gave in a put my light on to call for help.
I’ll make this short too. I was rushed to the hospital which is right next door. After a CT scan verified that I’d had two blood clots dislodge from my right leg and pass through my heart and the split off one landing in my left lung and the other in the right.
I was put on blood thinners to dissolve the clots and immediately found improvement in the muscle activity in my left and right legs and feet. Within one week from this happening I was again able to walk short distances. Therapy was restarted and I’m now facing another major challenge to walk distances that will be necessary for basic living needs.
One would feel the story should end there, but God has different plans for me. In the first week after the clots I’ve developed severe chest pains and have been restricted from doing aggressive therapy to help with regaining strength to walk. I’m able to ambulate but haven’t gained as much strength as is needed to climb the twenty two steps in our apartment, so I’m here till we find a different place with appropriate accommodations.
I'll continue to update from this point. Thank you for your interest.