Nov 21, 2018 Latest post:
Jun 25, 2019
My journey started about 4 yrs ago. I started getting swelling in both of my legs! It got so bad that you couldn't even see my toes! I started doing the lymphedema wraps on both legs. Plus I started seeing a nephrologist and he got me started on water pills. We tried every water pill possible and for some reason the swelling just would not go away! We would get it down so far and then it would start again! I finally found out that the valves in my legs stay open all the time instead of opening and closing. So now we knew why and so we just kept working with the lymphedema wraps. After 2 yrs of trying it ended up being that i would have to go on dialysis. It wasn't an easy decision! Trust me many tears were shed while we decided what to do! We chose peritoneal dialysis therapy which I could do at home. It was done every night while I slept. It took about 10 1/2 hrs. When my legs finally got down to a decent size....I lost 13 1/2 inches in my right leg and 15 1/2 inches in my left leg! We were shocked! So needless to say I'm still doing the lymphedema wraps on both legs! Last November and December I ended up in ICU in Grand Forks ND being septic from my diabetic medication! I almost died both times! I lost a total of about 6 days! What a horrible feeling! Then in January I was sent to the rehab center in the south campus of the Altru hospital . What a great place to get stronger! We were all like one big happy family! Met some very great people who became long time friends! Then in February I started to get blisters on my feet! Talk about painful! Over the next few months we changed the dressings on both feet twice a day! Plus doing the lymphedema wraps! Bernie had a full time job just doing all that! I finally had to have my left fòot debraided. What they do is they put me under and then scrape all the dead skin off my foot along with the infection. However it was down to the bone and I ended up with staff infection in the bone. Not good! Then I got a bigger blister then what was already there on my right. On the 31st of May I had both feet debraided and talk about painful! Ive never had that much pain in all my life! The Dr sent me home and said that it would be good for me to walk on them! Yeah right!! I couldn't even walk to the restroom in the motel! Bernie had to wheel me in there and all I could do was stand and pivot! Sunday came around and I started to run a temperature! I called the number they told me to call and they said to go to the ER! Well that Dr took one look at my left foot and admitted me! There was also a horrible oder coming from my foot which the other Dr knew about but didn't put me on any antibiotics! So I got admmited on the 3rd of June in Grand Forks ND with lots of Drs by my side. Did realize one person could have so many Drs at one time. Once they figured out what strain of staff it was I got put on some pretty heavy-duty antibiotics. Now....to find a place that would take me to help me heal. I had to go on hemodialysis in order for any place to take me. Boy what a struggle that was! I wasnt sick enough to stay in the hospital but i needed to go somewhere! Well on the 21st of June I was taken to Vibra hospital in Fargo ND. I fought tooth and nail not to go there because I didn't want to be futher away from home then I already was but evidently that's where I was suppose to be! They put wound vacs on both feet the day I got there. I had no clue how they worked or how well they would work. I had them on 7 days a week, 24 hrs a day! Wow did they do wonders! Granted all I could do was stand and pivot but it was well worth it! I had them until the 3rd week in August at which time I was finally able to walk! Dont ever take anything for granted! Even the little things mean a lot! So on September 5th I was transfered to Roseau MN which is only 20 minutes from home verses 3 1/2-4 hrs away! I was there for 3 weeks and I finally got to go home!! Iwas so excited!! Remember the last time that I was home was May 30th! September 25th I finally got to go home! Things were looking up. I was getting stronger every day and my left foot was almost healed! Right foot was completely healed! What a relief! I was home a week and a day and I got admitted again! Damn staff infection decided to rear its ugly head and came back with a vengeance! I was so upset! I had fought for so long and so hard to be sure that that damn infection wouldn't come back! I was in the hospital in Grand Forks again for 12 days. I went home on IV antibiotics that I had to do 3 days a week for 6 weeks. We could handle that! Bernie didn't have to do much other than learn how to do in case I had any trouble! During this whole timeline the talk of amputation has always been on the back of our minds. And Bernie and I had talked about it at length many times! On November 5th I met with my infection disease Dr and she didn't like the way my left foot looked like. Plus my numbers had risen from the previous week. She went to talk to her boss and we kind of figured what was going to happen! I was getting admitted AGAIN!!!! I had had enough and so had Bernie! On the ride to Grand Forks we had a very long talk! Things needed to change! Didn't see any Drs that night but boy did they come out of the woodwork on Tuesday! Lots of tests and a MRI and a few xrays later we were talking with Dr. L. And he really put things into perspective! I was basically playing a game of russian roulette. One of these times the infection could possibly spread throughout my whole body and I would become septic! I've been through that once already I wasn't going to go through it again! No thanks! So.....the decision was made by both of us and all the Drs were on-board that we amputate my left leg below the knee! Now pick your jaws up off the floor.....it's all ok! On Thursday the 8th I had the surgery! It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be! I definitely was uneasy trying to figure out how to stand! I was brought to rehab on the south campus of Altru on Monday the 12th and here I sit! Last week was an up and down week! Learning lots of new things! My whole life is going to change! But, it's for the best! I will keep you posted everyday on how things are going! Any and all prayers are welcomed!