Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thursday turmoil ~ Surgery as the Best Option?

So this week has seen a slew of doctor and brace maker visits with more today and tomorrow. Some have been for my DH (darling hubby) but most have been for me.

Physical therapy has stopped once again due to my spasticity. Considering my insurance allows for 75 visits a year, I've still got more appointments left for this year and it's September!

 Monday kicked off with my hubby's pain management appointment. No biggie that's a normal monthly thing. I was discharged from PT at my request the spasticity is back with a vengeance. Again no biggie have done this a couple of times this year already. The pinched nerve is handled by the home traction unit. The pain is only once a day so long as I don't over do it.

The leg that's another can of worms. I was making good progress on healing my pressure sore until Tuesday. All Hades broke loose literally. I had an appointment with my brace maker for more adjustments on my AFO (ankle, foot orthodic) that enables me to walk. I started having renewed pain and swelling in spite of the last adjustment and $225 shoe that they said would correct the problem.

You know me, Ms. Abby Normal. The spasticity is undoing all the good the orthodic is supposed to fix. When I took off my brace there was a blood stain on it. When I looked at my sock it was crusted with blood. In fact the sock was glued to my foot by it. The pressure sore which had been healing well ruptured again. A month's worth of debridements, wet/dry dressings, medicines etc down the drain. There is also no more adjustments that can be made to my AFO without damaging its structural support. A new one can't be molded for another 3 1/2 years unless I want to pay out of pocket for it.

Long story short, surgery is highly recommended to correct the inversion and alleviate the pressure. Which meant an added visit to my orthopedist for a consult for a triple arthodesis procedure. The procedure will permanently fix my ankle in a 90 degree angle with pins and screws. Seems kind of drastic doesn't it?

Lengthening the tendons nonsurgically isn't working. During high spasticity, there's nothing to be done. Today I'm having another round of Botox, but it will be a week before it takes effect.

While my house is newly renovated for wheelchair access, it's not a choice I'd like to make because of pressure sores. The down side is I could lose my foot. But neither my husband or myself could lift a wheelchair in and out of the car. I have to be mobile. It's better than a mile to the nearest grocery store or pharmacy. Customizing my van for roll in access is impossible. I'd have to buy a new one because of the weight distribution. I cannot afford one.

The surgery itself carries risks, but for me the risks triple. I'm facing the possibility of another stroke or death. The last time I under went general anesthesia surgery my heart stopped twice so a forty-five minute procedue lasted two and a half hours. The idea of another stroke just scares the heck out of me. Six weeks of nonweight bearing on the leg is a challenge but doable. Four months in a cast is also doable.

But if successful...no more pressure sores. No more AFO and I can kiss my cane goodbye. I could actually wear normal shoes again. No danger of falls, no balance issues causes by the built up shoes. I wouldn't face being wheelchair bound and its expense. Just imagine the savings.

I'll have to get permission from both my cardiologist and neurologist. Both have continually said no to any procedure including dental work for almost 18 months. I see the neurologist today. Wish me luck.

I hope y'all are having a better week.




7 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jo, whatever decision you make, I will be praying God works a miracle.

Elizabeth, John and Jack said...

Ugh..I'm so sorry. The risk/benefit of surgery is always so hard to weigh and ultimately only comes down to you and your support system. Whatever you decide I wish you the best outcome, continued improvement and an amazing recovery. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

S.P. Bowers said...

What a difficult decision. I'm hoping that whatever happens is for the best and that you are able to heal. Good luck.

Zan Marie said...

{{{{hugs}}}} Jo, you are in my prayers. May God's peace bless you whatever the outcome.

Amy said...

Oh geez, that is a bad week. :/ I'm sorry, sending you good vibes to make the right decision!

J.L. Murphey said...

It has gotten to be a better week see late Friday post.

Michelle Miller said...

Oh, Jo, I'm so sorry that all this is going on. What a hard decision to have to make. I'm sending positive thoughts your way that all works out for the best. Hang in there. <3