Saturday, May 26, 2007

Me and My Dad

He was still in the hospital where surgery had been performed, but the other day he was finally moved to a rehabilitation hospital where he can do more work on learning to live without that right foot, and where they can work up the best prosthetic for him.

When this picture was taken he was almost done his antibiotics (you can see the shunt on his left arm) and was certainly much perkier than I recall him being for some time. I loaned him some books that weekend and he read five chapters of one the first day, which is an excellent sign, since he wasn't able to read so much as a Post-It note just a few days before.

Before he can be fitted with the prosthetic, he also needs to have his stump shaped. They wrap it with special bandages and mould it so that it fits better. There are also a whole swack of staples holding the graft in place (when they amputated, they left the skin from the back of the calf and pulled it up. Interestingly, this may be where some so-called phantom pains come from, as he can feel nonexistent muscles pulling whenever he stretches out, likely from nerves that were left in the skin), as well as a wound that needs to recover.

The trick for all this will be for him to be able to deal with the loss of muscle mass from lying around in bed so much (and they've had him doing some physio already, to get him back in shape), and he'll also need to work around his ruined joints in his hands and fingers (if he needs crutches) and his other foot, which is also severely buggered up, to the point where he kind of has a reverse arch that does a U, which requires a special orthotic boot.

So, 6-8 weeks of rehab before he can come home, or at least that's the latest I've heard. Now that he's there they'll know better soon.

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Here's hoping it all goes according to plan!
Let's hope all goes well. There's every reason to expect it -- those bone and joint surgeons know their stuff, judging from people I know with a hip replacement, and from my pal John Herbert who had a disastrous shoulder injury in November and has been recovering well. Good wishes to your dad for good rehab just like John had!
Derryl: Please pass along my best wishes and regards to your father. He looks positive and upbeat in that picture, and I hope he is able to find some peace after such an invasive operation. More power to him! - Randy
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