Tuesday, September 1, 2009

In Which I Talk About Bones And Fruit

So we had a long overdue talk with the orthopedic surgeon today, in which we got a whole bunch of questions answered. I'm going to talk about it with you, but first I'm going to use a whole bunch of analogies involving oranges.

So let's talk about oranges, shall we? Hard, thick rind on the outside, soft pulpy middle. Delicious! That's pretty much what your heel, or calcaneus, is like (only without the delicious part unless you are a cannibal and we're not getting into that here); very hard, thick bone on the outside, and soft, pulpy bone on the inside. So imagine taking an orange and dropping an anvil on it or something. What happens? The orange doesn't just shatter. The rind on the outside breaks, and the inside is crushed. The orange becomes shorter, and it spreads out at the bottom.

That's pretty much what Jeremy's heels look like.

Now, you can put the pieces of the rind back together. You can't just fit the orange pulp back together though-- there are parts of it that are definitely squished beyond repair, and they're a totally different shape now, so they aren't going to fit back nicely. So what you end up doing is fitting the hard rind back together. Then you wait for the orange inside to grow back (Or if it was an actual orange, give up and eat or before it molds. Which is pretty much all it would be doing.)

So they'll be going in tomorrow and fitting as many pieces of Jer's heels back together as they can, probably using enough hardware for him to magnetize his feet and walk up the side of the refrigerator when he gets home. He'll have to wait for about a year before he becomes the human fly, though. This is because for the first three months while the inside of the bone grows back he'll be allowed to put no weight on his heels at all, and then for the next nine months after that he'll be very, very slowly working up to walking again. So we'll be looking at a wheelchair for a while, folks.

They're putting Jeremy in as one of the last surgeries of the day, though he still has to quit eating or drinking anything at midnight in case they decide to bump the surgery up. He's thrilled about this, let me tell you, but at least we got to the point where we signed a consent form this time so we're pretty sure the surgery is really going to happen. They're going to start on the right heel and provided it's not two or three in the morning when they're finished with it, they're going to try and do the left heel too. If they do manage to do both heels it's possible that he might be coming home as early as next week. I'm going to have his equipment delivered some time in the next couple of days so I can figure out where to put it all before he gets back.

I probably won't get the chance to blog tomorrow, as I am spending the night in the hospital and their internet is password protected, but I'll let you know how it goes as soon as I can!



Anonymous said...

Well this citrus-fruit vendor will be putting weight on the joints between her calcanei and her femurs in prayer today the rebuilding of Jeremy's bilateral oranges.

leah said...

I'm sending my prayers your way, so that his "pulp" will grow back. Thank God you're already in an accessible apartment (so that you don't have to move on top of everything else). Here's to a very successful surgery (or surgeries) tomorrow!

Helene said...

Thoughts and prayers coming your way.

Julia O'C said...

We'll step the prayers.

Emmett's shunt is programmed with magnets, so we throw a lot of jokes around about that. Picturing Jeremy walking up your fridge made for an *awesome* visual.

In all seriousness though, we're thinking about guys and praying for a miracle.

Wherever HE Leads We'll Go said...

Interesting visuals come to mind with this post. Praying that the surgery goes well and the growing will begin!

Julia said...

Good luck with the surgery and recovery. I'll be thinking of all of you tomorrow.

Julia O'C said...

Gah. I meant to write that we will step UP the prayers.


Elizabeth said...

Good luck and many wishes and prayers to you and Jeremy.

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Cathy said...

Our prayers are with you too.

terena said...

sending you and he many good, healing thoughts and prayers.

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