Lots to Celebrate!
I have been getting stronger day by day. Going from using the walker to now going around with just a cane for assistance. I am even starting to try to get around without the cane, being mindful of my gate and how I walk. It still takes some mental thinking when I step as my right glute muscle doesn't fully activate and there was a great deal of atrophy from not using it for so long. That causes my right leg to get tired fairly easily. When standing, the pressure in the sacrum where the rod/screw is located is getting better and less painful as the bone calcifies around it. Likewise when I sit the right lower pelvis (butt bone), which was shattered, isn't as painful anymore as there is a great deal of ossification around the broken pieces creating like a large ball of bone around it. I give a lot of credit to my healing and general ability to get around with less pain from my weekly treatments with my holistic healer, Pete, whom has been helping me since we arrived back from Denver. It's quite amazing--the areas that I have pain or restrictions in will be gone after just one visit from him.
I met with my orthopedic surgeon at the Mayo this past week (4/27). He walked into the room with a smile from ear to ear to through his mask. He goes, "When I saw you walk down the hall into the room, I was thrilled. It is the first time seeing you walk! If I am thrilled, you have to be too!" He explained what they see in the x-rays with the various ossification and confirming that the hardware is still intact. "You are two deviations above predicted healing," he mentioned. That is the pace of my healing in the 97th percentile! I would say that is anything short of a miracle! One of my staples in the pubic symphysis has fallen out of the bone, but my surgeon does not believe it should migrate any further. He confirmed that they will remove both staples when it is time for my urethra reconstructive surgery. That too is great news! That means my bones are well enough to stay in place without that hardware.
I also had a 2 hour MRI at the Mayo this past week to examine all the various internal tissues, muscles, and the urethra itself. I was actually able to fall asleep for the first hour, but in the end the radiologist came in and instructed me to pee (or attempt to) while inside the machine. The radiologist had a thick Boston accent, yelling over the intercom, "PUSH PUSH PUSH." It was an interesting experience to say the least. They got the images they needed. Now the next procedure will be a cystoscopy on June 11th to determine when my reconstructive urethra surgery will be.
Next week I will begin outpatient PT at the University of Minnesota. Given that I have a genetic condition called Ehlers Danlos, I have been waiting to see a PT specialist who knows how to work with patients like myself. This will be another big step to help build my strength back and continue to work on stimulating the nerve growth. Since I am healing so well, we will be taking a celebratory trip to St. Thomas USVI with my mom, step-dad, and brother next week. Our last little vacation was obviously ruined, so this will be a nice time to relax and spend time together not having to worry about doctor appointments and celebrate many big events: like our recovery, my mom's 50th birthday, and Collin's soon-to-be graduation with his MBA (coincidentally from St. Thomas University). Thank you all for the continued support, well-wishes, and prayers. I would not be at this point in my healing without all of you.
-Austin & Collin
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