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?!!!

Views: 24

Tags: Money, Mr., amputation, failure, hospital, prosthetic, renal

Comment by twiddlemthumbs on May 28, 2010 at 10:58pm
Hi Lois just wanted to say Hi and wish you all the very best
Comment by Brunetta on May 29, 2010 at 3:17am
So good to hear from you Dear Lois!!! Yoiu are strong and such a fighter, and so positive....Even after all your most recent health and residence challenges, you are still cheerful and positive. How wonderful you are getting a prosthetic.. You will be independently walking in time!! I am so happy for that!!!

It seems that others see your leadership skills and positive pushiness, Ms. Prez..God sees this in you, He gave it to you these gifts; and this could just be your "purpose" at this facility: to help others while you are on the mend....

Love ya,
God Bless,
Brunetta
Comment by FatCatAnna on May 29, 2010 at 7:03am
Madam President! I like the sound of that. You got "roped" into it just like I did with West Island Diabetes Association here in Montreal (except I've resigned at end of June - long story there - but glad to be out of it - and hopefully back to places like Tudiabetes, etc.).

So, you got to relive your Prom again, and remember about it!

Glad to see you've got that great sense of humour - never lose it - this is what keeps us sane (tho' I'm not sure about myself sometimes - have some neat colourful material that would make an awesome looking straight jacket for me to wear).
Comment by Jan on May 30, 2010 at 1:54pm
Hi, Lois: You have had serious set-backs but I hope you are on the mend. What a nightmare but I'm glad it is almost over. Sounds like you need more time to recouperate but I'll bet you will soon be feeling better and I expect to hear you will adjust to the wheelchair and be up and about on your prothetics as soon as you are able. Have had occasion to visit Shriners Childrens Hospital in Philly and I can attest to the fact that kids are having wheelchair races in the halls and walking around on artificial limbs just as well as I can. I'm sure it takes time and is quite an adjustment but same time next year you will be good as new, I just know it. Take care!
Comment by Diane Faust-Counsellor on May 30, 2010 at 10:32pm
So glad to hear from you! I think about how you are doing.My prayers are with you!
Comment by Emmy on May 31, 2010 at 11:53am
You have really been through the wringer haven't you? I hope the summer is way better than spring was.

Sorry you missed your "prom". I missed mine too, way back when...
Comment by elaine peterson on June 1, 2010 at 6:40am
Lois...there IS no keeping you down....you were born to soar. Aren't you lucky that you already have your dress for next year's prom!? Can't wait to hear more about your cool prosthetic. Hope you are feeling better.
Comment by Doris D on June 1, 2010 at 4:46pm
Lois.......................Your as funny as ever!! Looking at the glass half full! YOU GO GIRL!!!!!! Here's a "Hug" for you!!!!!
Comment by Cathy Jacobson on June 2, 2010 at 8:27pm
WOW, wondering where you were and what was up.....but it sounds like you've been very busy....but not a good busy. Get to feeling better and up on that good leg....you are a hoot, more of us should have your great attitude.
Comment by Anna Kingsbury on June 3, 2010 at 5:01am
I was getting worried about you......and will continue my daily prayers for you to get past all this.

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