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!



10 comments:

  1. Dear Sue, what a scare you have been through, both of you. I`m happy it ended good, even having amputated a leg, isen`t good, -but I totally agree with you, in what ypu are saying. That said, loosing a leg is not for fun, and will change the life of your husband, very much. I wish him all the best for his future, in learning to get around, again.-. The hospital with all those different people, sounds a like a wonderful example for the rest of our world. Hugs, from Dorthe

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    1. Thank you for your kind comments, sweet Dorthe. It has indeed been quite a life change for both of us but determination rules! I hope that you're having a great weekend! Hugs to you, too.

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  2. Hi Sue, I tried to leave a comment, but I don't know if it 'registered'

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    1. HI Lesley. This is the only one that registered. Thanks!

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  3. Hi there Sue,
    We have missed you here in blogland, but understandably so now that you have shared with us the reasons for your absence~
    I am sorry for you both to have gone through this - but your attitudes really did (and will) make the difference.
    The journey ahead may be 'different' than you planned,
    but nonetheless will be joyful and full of life for you both! I appreciate you sharing with us.
    I personnaly can understand what it means to 'live w/o' a limb - as my younger daughter was born without her right hand.
    We have gone through some difficult times that is for sure; but her attitude (and our family's as well) was positive and accepting, and we did just fine!
    (she is now happily married w/3 beautiful kids: )
    It really is our 'outlook', isn't it!?
    Blessings to you both~ Karen O

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    1. HI Karen. I can't tell you how very much I appreciate your kind comments. It's people like you that make my world a sunny place. Your daughter is so lucky to have you for a mother, and I am lucky to have you for a friend. I hope that you are doing well now health wise. Hugs and friendship to you.

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  4. Hi Sue, I had wondered what had happened this summer to you, and then got drawn into my own crisis. I am so sorry to hear about what your husband went thru. But, I am so happy that you are being so positive about it and moving forward. It sucks being handicapped, I know, but at the same time we are STILL HERE and need to make what we can of this life we have left. Big hugs, prayers and thank your hubby for his service to our country. As a former Military Mom I appreciate our service people in this country greatly. xoxoxo

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    1. Thanks for your special words, Nancy. Special thoughts from a special friend. I hope you are doing well and enjoying your new home. It looks like you are in a great town. Hugs back! XO

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  5. I've been thinking of you and hope you are all doing ok. Continued prayers and healing being sent your way! xoxoxo

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    1. It makes my heart sing to know that you are thinking about us. We're in the homestretch now as we are in the process of waiting for the completion of Bob's new leg. He can't wait. Have a great weekend. Hugs to you.

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