I've been battling with the horrifying thought of going home after only one month post-amputation. I'm not strong enough yet and my apartment is horrid. I can't even get into the bathroom with my power chair. But, they are determined to send me home ---- no matter what! The end of February and I am on my way. Home. Sweet, yet bittersweet.
The Visiting Nurse came a day late to visit me. I don't think she likes me. She is very critical of my transfers from one surface to another. What the heck! At least I get there safely. It may not look like a ballet, but it does me fine. She determines that I am too "dangerous" to be on my own and, therefore, VNA won't take me on as a client. Talk about covering their tooshies!!! The next day, the VNA Social Worker and a Physical Terrorist came. (Emphasis intended and soulfully felt!) They both were concerned about me being at home. But the difference is that they got to work on finding a solution instead of throwing me out with the other trash! They spent a good 2 hours on both their cell phones. Calling in all sorts of sources and government agencies and representatives. Finally, it is determined that I will call an ambulance and tell them my DR insists on the ER admitting me to West Allis Memorial Medical Center where they will work up a plan for me and arrange for a facility to take me on.
Got one! Birchwood Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in the northwest side of town!!! It's OK but some of their policies make me want to rip them a new ummmm ...... hole ...... if you know what I mean. I can see we are going to cross swords and horns many times. And, of course, I want to get out of here as soon as I can!! I like my freedom but I do need the therapy. I will have to give up my apartment soon if I qualify for Title XIX as they will only let you keep your residence for six months. I just don't know how I am going to do it.
We are now trying to treat a wound on the right foot on top of the old one that had healed before I lost my left foot. I am battling lymphedema and infections and I just don't know what end is up.
Let's skip some of the more mundane details of daily life. In late March or early April, I got some sort of respiratory thing that was going around. Coughed so hard my ribs hurt me. They didn't even pay attention to it or try to treat it until I spiked a good-sized fever!! It took weeks of meds and a continual cough, but I did manage to get the best of it.
On the evening of May 18, I came home from an all-afternoon meeting. I felt OK up til the time I got on the van. By the time I reached the home. I wheeled myself right up to my room and bypassed the dining room. All I can recall from that moment on was trying to get off the commode and failing. I was too weak. I didn't even have the strength to put on my nightgown by myself. They needed a mechanical device to lift me up and into bed. After that, I recall very little. I was spiking a high fever and vomiting up about 5 times. (You know I am sick when I do that. I just don't barf!) Then someone must have called the DR and they decided to send me to the ER. I don't remember much more than that for a few days because I was delirious with fever. They later told me I was going into acute renal (kidneys) failure! Just what a diabetic wants to hear! I did get better but then I found out that I was also fighting a staph infection that caused cellulitis in the right leg! Can there be anything else? It hurts and now my leg is back to twice the size we got it down to!! So, if you were wondering where I had been hiding during the end of May, that's where. Another hospital stay! I got sent back to the home with a PICC line and the promise of IV antibiotics for another 3-4 weeks.
Before I got sick, we received the first attempt at a prosthetic. We put it on really weird. (I have to find a way to describe it in another blog, but it's kind of cool!) Once we got it on, I got out of my chair and took 10 or so steps (within the parallel bars) for the first time in months!! We have to take it slow, but I am on my way!! REJOICE!! PRAISE THE LORD!!! AMEN!!!! I'm on the way despite an evil entity's efforts to keep me down and crawling in the muck.
In all the hustle of things going awry, I was at a residents' meeting. I looked just a little too intently and got cornered into accepting the presidency of the residents' council. Me and my big mouth!! HA! She told me that if I hadn't volunteered, she would have asked me later! Sucker!!
Also, following some homes that I saw on TV, they organized a "Prom" for the residents. I thought it was a super idea! Only, my last trip to the hospital lasted 8 days and I didn't make it back until the evening after the prom! They even drew names for king and queen. DRATS! I just remembered. I had gone out the weekend before and bought myself a dress for the prom and missed it! Isn't it just like my luck?!!!