Friday, September 9, 2016

A Perspective on Life: Where are we Going?

Hello dear friends! This post has been a long time coming, and I'm sorry it took so long. Since my last post, a lot has happened in our lives. Generally, I don't share too much about my personal life. In my experience with "popular" blogs, most readers seem to like to read about the "sunny" side of life. But real lives are not always sunny, and have their stormy periods as well. And as it goes with real lives, in late spring a storm began to blow through ours.

I may have mentioned last year that we spent a good portion of the summer having an infected wound treated on the bottom of the Mister's right foot. Not a great thing when you are a Type 1 diabetic. But with a lot of professional treatment, it did heal, and all was good. Until this past April, when another wound appeared on the side of the same foot. In spite of various rounds of oral antibiotics, it got even worse, so he was finally admitted into the hospital where he spent a week on IV antibiotics with various teams of doctors and surgeons assessing what the best plan would be. After a lot of discussion we decided to go with the recommended course of action, and it was scheduled for a later date. He came home with a PICC line, and we spent 10 days with me administering more IV antibiotics to keep the infection from spreading further, since they had determined that the infection had moved to the bones in his foot. There is no "cure" for infected bones.

So, on August 9th his leg was amputated about 8 inches below the knee. Though this was not the outcome we had hoped for, it was the best one for long-term recovery. The other choice would have been to have major surgery on his foot to remove the infected bone, a lot of pain, and then up to six more months of antibiotics. All of this for an only 50-50 chance that it would work, and a possibility of the infection spreading further and possibly into his bloodstream. The amputation that he had was clean and neat, affording him the "luxury" of knowing that the infection is gone, no further antibiotics would be needed, and the best probability for being able to resume an almost normal life with a fairly functional prosthesis. He came home on August 26th, after spending the last part of his hospital stay in rehab. And it is here that I feel compelled to mention VA hospitals.

Though we have regular medical insurance and could go to basically any hospital,  he is also 100% covered at the VA from his days in the military. The surgery was done at the VA, since who has more experience in dealing with amputations? We have all heard the negative publicity about VA hospitals, and yes, a lot of this is true when it comes to routine medical appointments, wait times to get them, and the hospitals not always being very close to where the patients live. And yes, we ourselves realize that the system needs some major improvements. But between the hospital side, and then the rehab center, we found the entire staff, no matter what their role, to be caring and professional people who were obviously dedicated to the patients. They were patient and upbeat, and we can truly say that we did not have one complaint. This hospital is what I wish could be a microcosm of the world at large. Namely, a group of people of all different nationalities, ethnic backgrounds, religions, native languages, and sexual orientations getting along with and respecting each other, and coming together to reach a common goal. In this case, the recovery of the patient. Oh, that this could become the standing example for the rest of the world!

Driving to the hospital every day, about one hour each way, offered me a lot of time to reflect on our lives in general and where we are going. And you know what? It's going to be OK. In life, everything is relative. We see young men coming home from war missing three limbs or with brain damage, and seeing their child perhaps for the first time. Men who gave it their all in the military, and will forever pay the price of being good patriots. Then we look out ourselves and say "What the hell, its only a leg. We can deal with it".

Where are we going? We are going  forward!

By the way, the above photo was taken in the outside area at the rehab center. The birds were pretty tame! There is beauty everywhere.

Thanks for stopping by. I so appreciate your visit!