Friday, November 20, 2009

In Which I Update You All On Jer's Medical Status And Show You A Gratuitous Photo Of Our Cats

Our cats spend a whole lot of time pretending like they absolutely can't stand each other. Then every once in a while we find them like this.

They like to keep us guessing, I think. Crazy cats.

On a completely different topic: Jeremy's physical therapist came to the house again today. He pronounced Jer's right ankle rotation to be much improved, which is great! The man's been working hard at his rotation exercises.

Here's an update on how he's doing:

He's starting to get a little bit of feeling back in the graft site along the bottom edge. He describes it as sort of a "springy" sensation. His feet and ankles have complete feeling except for a couple of "dead" spots on his left foot. He can make pretty decent ovals (he's getting slowly closer to circles) with the right ankle, and while the left ankle will never make full circles again he can move it up and down. His toes have regained full flexibility on the right side, and on the left they continue to slowly improve, though the big toe remains relatively stiff.

The holes left from the wires are all scabbed over and are healing well, and all of his incision sites have fully closed and look great! He lost a good bit of the fat pad off his left foot, so he may have some difficulty standing on hard surfaces with that side, but the right one is a little more intact. He has mostly new skin now on his feet and the graft site has filled in-- it's baby-soft, which is kind of funny-- and it's lost that lizardy look it had due to the perforations they'd made to stretch out the skin before they stapled it on.

He's had no trouble with his spine-- the fracture should be fully healed by now, so hopefully it won't ever cause him to have issues in the future. The oversensitive nerves in his feet are much improved, though that and the changes in circulation still cause him issues if he has his feet in a totally lowered position for more than a couple minutes. He's slowly building up a tolerance, though-- leaving his feet in a lowered position for longer and longer each day, so hopefully by the time he's cleared to weight bear again his feet will be able to handle the circulation changes.

Despite losing the outer calf muscle on the left leg, he's able to move that leg well. Hopefully there won't be too much of a difference as far as muscle strength goes as the inner calf muscle can compensate, but we won't know until he's weight bearing again if that's the case.
He's slowly working down off the heavy pain medication, and overall his pain is very well-managed. He's having to take very little break-through medication, though we've been told to expect that to change once he begins more intensive therapy.

Several of you have asked for pictures of Jer's injuries, and while he has his boots on right now I'll take some pictures tomorrow when he's got them off for therapy. They really look much better than you'd think-- his feet aren't that swollen any more, and while the scarring is impressive, his donor graft site is still an angry red, and his calf muscle has an interesting contour to it now, otherwise things look surprisingly good.

He has an appointment in the first week of December with the orthopedic surgeon, and we're hoping at that time they'll clear him to begin some weight bearing activities. He'll probably start with weight bearing exercises in a swimming pool and they'll work up from there. By then he'll have been totally non-weight bearing for nearly four months. It's still possible that they'll tell him he needs to continue to stay off one (probably the left) or both of his feet for up to two more months, but he seems to be healing up really well so with any luck they'll clear him to start learning to walk again.

I'll keep you all posted!


1 comment:

littleterr said...

Ever since starting to work at Texas Scottish Rite for Children, I am unceasingly impressed by what can be done by a good orthopedic surgeon. The most difficult work, though, is certainly done by the patient. Jer has an amazing work ethic. No doubt his recovery will be the kind doctors like to show off to their cohorts. Love to you all.

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