Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Oh man, it’s ugly!

I got my first look this morning at the cleaned up wound. When I changed the dressing last night, DH was sitting in a chair with his foot hanging over the end. He had bled through all of the dressing and into the padded ankle “boot” he had on. I had to throw it in the wash as spot cleaning would not have helped.

I put quite a large dressing on the foot and then covered the whole thing with a newborn diaper. LOL, I figure if it holds “yuck” then it could be used to hold (potentially) any blood or drainage from the hole.

When we went to bed I made sure to prop DH’s foot up on a pillow so his heel was hanging off and not touching anything. I woke up two or three times and all was quiet so I was hoping that he was in the same position he’d been when I turned out the lights. He didn’t seem to have moved.

With the peripheral neuropathy in his feet, he really has no idea of where his feet are or how much pressure he’s exerting on them. He has no upper body strength from the prior neck surgeries, trembles, and is basically in pretty poor overall health. I had a hard time helping him transfer from point A to point B without him putting his foot down on the floor for stability. I kept telling him to get off his foot. Even getting into bed he was pushing down on the mattress to position himself in the bed.

This morning I got to see the full effect of why the doctor was so upset. His foot is bad, really bad. It’s so bad I wouldn’t even take a picture to show him. He’s pretty upset and worried right now and I didn’t want to make it worse for him. I re-dressed it and added a maxi-pad to the stack. I did put the diaper back on, too. If nothing else, I am resourceful! We’re still waiting on insurance approval to get the new wound care items. The pharmacy (and my doctor’s office) has been waiting since Friday for insurance to say that yes, they’ll cover these items. They are expensive so I’m sure they’re hesitant as to the “need” of these items. Maybe they’d like to cover the amputation and follow-up care for months instead??? Insurance companies… Sometimes they like to play “god” on earth.

I need a trapeze and trapeze floor stand but they’re very expensive and not something I can afford right now. We have to have the floor stand and the trapeze – which are sold separately. I’m not sure I can even find what I need online. I tried the local center for independent living to see if they have one I can borrow but they do not carry that kind of equipment. Oh well, back to the drawing board!

I called the doctor’s office to see if they’d consider putting DH in the hospital. Maybe insurance wouldn’t throw a fit over that if it meant that he’d retain his foot and they wouldn’t have to cover some major medical expense. His last amputation ended up being close to $100,000 in expenses. We paid quite a bit out of our pocket; in fact, I just paid off one of the bills last fall. Visiting nurses were $60 per week, doctor visits were $20-40 per week, the wound vac cost over $2,000, etc. On top of everything else and besides the emotional cost, I’m not looking forward to the financial cost. If he went into the hospital today, I’d have a $100 co-pay. Of course, we’d lose any salary but he’s already off work this week anyway.

DH has a really good outlook on life but even this is something that he’s having a hard time dealing with on a day-to-day basis. It would be depressing to know you only had ½ of one foot and the outlook for the other foot was grim. I’m not sure I could handle it. I give him kudos for his attitude.

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