Friday, August 21, 2009

In Which I Spend So Much Time At The Hospital That I Forget To Blog (For Shame)

I'm alive, I swear!

I'm off shortly to buy some sort of a camping cot, as currently I'm sleeping in a rocking chair. This is not particularly comfortable, especially as I am attempting to sleep gowned up and with rubber gloves on. I would try slathering my hands in lotion right before I put them on so I can pretend I'm getting a hand treatment, but I think that only works with cotton gloves. I bet it would just make the rubber ones slimy, and I don't really want to fall asleep feeling like I'm dipping my hands into ectoplasm or something all night.

Connor is also required to wear gloves, and this is hilarious. For one thing, the gloves are about eight times too big for him. For another, unbeknownst to me whenever I put them on him they somehow turn into Magical Gloves of Lead. I'm serious-- the kid acts like his hands weigh 80 pounds apiece. He just sits there with a hangdog expression on his face and his arms totally limp. Every once in a while he gives a huge sigh and shakes the fingers half-heartedly a couple of times before giving up and going limp again. It's pathetically cute.

Jer went in for a fifth cleaning yesterday afternoon. They also went in and removed some muscle tissue that had died and wired one of the fractured bones in his left foot (the navicular, to be precise) to another, non-damaged bone (the talus). They also took a whole bunch of x-rays and did a CT scan.

So the results are in, and Jer has the dubious honor of having the worst bilateral calcaneal fractures any of the doctors at the hospital have ever seen. Both heels are, to repeat the term they used, "pulverized." They are broken into hundreds and hundreds of little fragments, many of them tiny, and there's no way your standard 'bolt things back together' strategy is going to work. So they aren't sure yet what they'll do-- possibly a fusion, but it's still up in the air. If there was a lot of soft tissue damage I'm pretty sure they'd just amputate the feet as that would probably be less painful and make them more functional in the long run, but since there doesn't seem to be a lot of soft tissue damage it isn't as clear what needs to happen. At any rate, they've decided that he needs to be moved to a Level 1 Trauma hospital instead of a Level 2, as they want someone who specializes in calcaneal trauma to do his surgeries. So we'll be changing hospitals again sometime in the next couple of weeks. Luckily we'll still be in the local area.

He'll go in for another cleaning of the huge wound on his left calf tomorrow, and hopefully they'll start slowly stitching the ends shut. The middle will need a skin graft before it will close. He's feeling okay though, as they're giving him some pretty good pain meds. I'll be taking some pictures and I'll try to post some tonight!

The wonderful get-well cards and messages people are sending have really cheered him up, by the way. We're going to figure out a way to hang them around the hospital room.

One last thing-- you will be happy to know that my mom is here helping out for a few days and is not only taking care of Connor for me, but cleaning my entire house. She's even doing the hated laundry! I am very relieved she's here; it's so nice to know that Connor is being taken care of when he's not at the hospital with me, and coming home to a clean house is really nice. It was getting pretty horrible.

And what does Connor think? It's laundry day! Connor, of course, is thrilled.



Julia O'C said...

I'm *so* happy that your mom is there to help you! I'll bet she's an expert at shaking sheets to make Connor laugh.

Speaking of laughing, you cracked me up with your description of Connor in the rubber gloves.

I'm sorry to hear about Jeremy's feet. It will be interesting to read about how the doctors will proceed from here. You sound like you're in good spirits though, and that must be rubbing off on Jeremy.

We're keeping up our prayers for you and your family! said...

You know that the world's foremost orthopedic foot surgeon is operating out of Harbor View in Seattle. His name escapes me at this time, but there was a great article on him the the Seattle Times a while ago. I don't know if Harbor View is an option for military personnel, but it is worth checking out. The doctor that studied under him is Der. Benirschke and he is also supposed to be excellent.

Anonymous said...

Very good news all 'round. Well, 'cept for the shattered part.

Having the good medical care from people you trust is as much I would hope for myself or Jer and other injured warriors.

Most fortunate you can stay in the area. A tremendous blessing your Mom is there.

Thank you for remembering to blog!

Wow. You have to provide your own cot. *brow furrows*



So glad he's home and all is going well, for the most part. I loved the glove description!

jwg said...

If you need jargon to impress the docs try "commenuted". It means broken in many small pieces. Sounds like you are in for a long siege. Don't forget to take care of yourself.

Holly said...

Hi jess, I just wanted to say that my thoughts are with you and your family. I can't imagine how hard things must be for you right now--and your brave husband, but it sounds like you are keeping in great spirits... What an inspiration you are. I will be thinking about you.

leah said...

Thank goodness your mom came in to help- at least that takes some of the burden of the everyday chores away. Sleeping on a rocking chair isn't a comfortable thing to do, and I can't imagine the pain Jeremy is in (thank God for modern pain medication).

I wonder if they can use one of those bone-mesh-grower things (I'm pretty sure that's the technical term) for a calcaneus bone? They use them for regenerating the skulls of kids who need cranial surgery...

Get well soon, Jeremy!

Anonymous said...

I hope the doctors can figure out what they're going to do soon. So, what hospital will they be moving him to?---I think that your Mom being here is awesome! I'm sure you are a little more relieved, knowing he's in good hands...:), we're keeping Jer in our prayers.

Anonymous said...

First, don't buy a cot!

Wander down to the office of/call the rear party commander, he probably left you his number, and ask him if you could borow an army cot. When your done bring it back.

You'd be suprised what the army is willing to lend family members in need.

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