This month’s Blog Carnival subject is about finding humor in things to help us cope. We are supposed to fill in the blanks for, “If I didn’t laugh about _________ then I would ________. “ My first thought was that this will be easy. I have a sense of humor, so this will be a fun one to write. Then I started trying to fill in the blanks and I thought this is not as easy as I thought it would be.
Diabetes. What can I say about it that you don’t already know! It is a pain in the you know what. It is expensive, even with good insurance. If you don’t take the right amount of insulin, your blood sugar can be whacky. If you do take the right amount of insulin, your blood sugar can still be whacky. Get stressed out, your blood sugar might go up. Go to the mall, your blood sugar might go down. The weather changes, who knows what will happen to your blood sugar. Sometimes you have to eat whether you are hungry or not. It interrupts your sleep and could care less that you have an important meeting at work the next day and need to be at your best. That is just another day in the life with diabetes and I still have to fill in those blanks!
I thought about using my walker to fill in the blanks. I use a walker because of the neuropathy. I go out and turn a lot of heads when people see someone that is not 80 years old walking with a walker. OK, maybe not the best reason to turn heads, but I can turn heads! A lot of people ask if I had a hip or knee replacement. As I started writing this, it dawned on me what I could say. My foot! How many people have dead people in their foot!
If I didn’t laugh about the dead people in my foot, then I would run away.
On Friday, March 10, 2006, I had surgery on my foot to remove a lot of the bone because of the infection I had. At that point, I had already been dealing with my foot for a year. It was the scariest day of my life. Prior to going into surgery, my surgeon called me a challenge. Besides having the infection, I had also broken my foot. He was not sure what would happen until he actually opened up my foot. He explained it to me as taking the guts out of your car and just having the frame left – I had the shell of the bone left in my heel. The plan was to have a second surgery to remove the antibiotic beads that he put in my foot during the first surgery. Once they knew for sure the infection was gone, I would have a third surgery for a bone graft.
After I came home from the hospital, my cousin Judy called me. During the conversation, she mentioned she had talked to my brother Rick who was at the hospital the day of my first surgery. Rick told Judy that they might be using cadaver bones for the bone graft. After I talked to my cousin, I called my sister and confirmed what my cousin told me. That did not go over very well with me because I have an issue with dead people and the thought of having someone else’s bones in my body was not something I wanted to think about.
I had the bone graft surgery in May. My brother-in-law drew the short stick and took me to Pittsburgh for my appointment when they scheduled the surgery. He wanted to ask what they were going to put in my foot and I wouldn’t let him. I didn’t want to know. I figured I had a 50/50 chance of it being something synthetic in my foot.
Several times after I had the bone graft surgery, my doctor had a resident with him and he would explain what he did to my foot. He seemed careful not to say what was in my foot. I was now convinced it was cadaver bones.
In February, 2007, I saw my doctor’s partner for one of my appointments because my doctor was sick. The partner told me that he had actually assisted with my surgery. I knew that my doctor had taken the MRIs I brought with me back to his office to come up with a plan and he had reviewed them with his partner, but I did not know until that day that the partner had actually assisted with the surgery. He also told me that they had used a new material in my foot. If it was a new material, it couldn’t be cadaver bones, right!
I decided to get records from the hospital so I could find out what was in my foot. I had already been told not to let anyone do anything too fast with my foot. I thought I should know what is in there and if it was synthetic, I was safe to get the records. Wrong! They used something called AlloMatrix in my foot. It has a kind of putty in to hold the cadaver bones in place. The putty part is what was new. I had dead people in my foot!
It was about a year after I had the bone graft surgery until I got the records, so by then, I knew that there was nothing “bad” about having cadaver bones in my foot. Now, I blame everything that goes wrong on the dead people in my foot though.
“This post is my September entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2011/september-dsma-blog-carnival/“