Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How it's supposed to go...

I saw my podiatrist today for my pre-surgical visit. I started it by showing him the new wound on my ankle. Y'see, the exterior of the cast is rather rough, and so I've been wrapping it with an old shirt and an ace bandage to protect my "good" leg, (which isn't very good). But I haven't been covering it as far down as the ankle, as there's been no real contact between the exposed ankle and the cast. That apparently changed yesterday, and I discovered my sock was bloody from a collision I never felt. Brilliant, eh?

Anyway, I am to be at the hospital by 2:00 PM tomorrow. The intake will be done by either a "hospitalist" or an infectious disease team. With luck, they'll start me on IV antibiotics right away. It'll also be up to them as to how my meds are handled. I'm hoping to get a break from the regimen of pills that I take and get the IV form of all that "fun" stuff. Even while I sat with the doctor, my morning dose of pain meds was wearing off, and my hip was starting to ache fiercely.

My podiatrist should be making a cameo appearance at my room some time in the evening.

At some point on Thursday, I'll have the surgery. I'm scheduled for 2:00 PM, but cancellations or emergencies can always skewer a schedule.

Then things become a bit of a mystery. My doctor has no idea how much of me will have to be removed. He may have to only take off the tip. He may encounter "mushy" bone and have to take the next...and the next...and the metatarsal after that. But anymore than that and he'll have to stop and wait for me to recover enough to discuss it. He'd likely have to wait until Friday, as trying to discuss serious surgical matters with someone recovering from twilight anesthesia isn't recommended (by lawyers). His opinion at this point is that he will probably have to remove the distal and part of the middle phalanges.

The problem with this whole procedure is that he won't know anything with 100% certainty until I'm on the table and he's cutting away the bad pieces. He doesn't believe, at this time, that he'll have to take out so much. He said that if it were THAT infected, we'd see a distinct red streak going from the toe and up my foot...

What I failed to point out to the doctor was that I have yet to be "normal" about a few of my diabetes complications. Like the last time I had osteomyelitis. The only symptoms I displayed were swelling and pain. It took various tests to show that I actually had a bone infection. There was no severe redness and I didn't have a fever. Just pain and swelling...like I have now.

Unfortunately, the doctor was distracted. I believe he was also prepping another patient for office surgery, and wasn't in his usual friendly mood. Too much going on to make bad jokes about my pending doom, I guess.

His receptionist handed me paperwork that I must have with me when I arrive at the hospital. She added that she wouldn't be at all surprised if I was out by Friday. And while that would be nice for Becky and me, I honestly hope they keep me over the weekend at the very least to give me a full three days of post-operative IV antibiotics.

Meanwhile, I should be on my way. I have a bag to pack and nerves to settle. Be well, and DFTBA!

Edit: I made a post about my pending surgery on Facebook, and one of my friends said (about not knowing how much will come off the toe), "Make sure he promises that if it's more than half the toe, he gives you a prosthetic that shoots lasers."

My response: "I was thinking missiles instead of lasers. This way I could literally have missile-toe."

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