Here we go AGAIN

pfllhSeptember 6, 2008

Took Phil to the wound specialist yesterday. A little over a monthe ago he got an open sore on his big toe where the slipper had rubbed as his toe is bent. I've been taking him to the podietrist and we've been using topical and oral antibiotics. The area keep getting bigger and opened more.

This is upsetting to us as this is how it all started with his leg that had to get amputated. No, he is not diabetic. Phil has COPD and is in the last stage of heart failure. His circulation is so poor, he does not heal well. He is on cumidin, plavix and aspirin among all the other medicines that thins his blood.

5 years ago, he got an ingrown nail but said nothing about it. When he showed it to me it was a mess and all infected. After treating it for some time, he was referred to an orthopedic surgeon. After 5 surgeries as gangrene kept setting in, he lost his right leg.

The wound specialist deadened his toe, took a surgerical tool and started cutting out infected bone and tissue. I've seen a lot of things but this was gross. They then packed it with a treated piece of gauze of antibiotics and wrapped it. We go back Monday.

When the doctor was done he talked to us and left. The nurse did the packing. We were talking and she asked which Ortho doctor he had gone to. She shook her head and said they had treated some of his patients with success. In fact they just had a lady the surgeon had told her toe needed amputated. They did pretty much the same thing as Phil just had done and she's doing fine.

My mind started flashing back and going a mile a minute. God, was his leg amputated for nothing? I thought we did as we should and did as the doctors said. Has he gone through all this pain and the horrible treatment at the hospital where I filed complaints. What had I done???? I got tears but was able to not let them roll. The nurse looked at me and said. "you just never know".

I had a horrible time driving all the way home, 45 minute drive. My mind racing and fighting back tears. God forgive me, I just didn't know.

When we got home I got Phil situated as best I could to take a nap. He was just plain wore out.

I called my youngest daughter as she keeps up more on us than the other 2. I had to leave a voice mail. She called a few minutes later as she had just left work and was in the car. I told her I needed to talk to someone and to call me when she got home. She told me to talk now and what was wrong. I explained everything to her. She told me that her daddy was in his right mind back then and that we followed doctors' advise. She said there was not any way I should feel guilty as I'd done nothing wrong.

I told her that when the nurse said that I just kept saying to myself, what if we'd seen this wound specialist. He may have not lost his leg. Maybe that surgeon's answer to infected tissue is cut it off --- period.

I am having a hard time dealing with this. Thank God Phil is hard of hearing and his aide is broke. He didn't hear any of it. I can't give him back his leg. I don't know if the new wound specialist could have saved it. I just don't know anything right now. I should have got a 2nd opinion but the ortho doctor is one of the best in the area.

How?? How do you deal with something like this?


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You trust in God and don't look back. I know this is easier said than done but you have to try. What is done is done, you cannot change it and perhaps loosing his leg is what has given you the extra time with him. We cannont regret our choices or it will drive us off the deep end. As your daughter said, Phil was a voice in that desicion, you did not make it alone.
Now come sit down next to me and have a good cry on my shoulder, let it all out, you will feel better so you can go on.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 7:03AM
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Thank you Linda. It just hit soooo hard. He's just been through so much ad if it didn't have to be, it is just plain wrong.
We trusted the prior wound specialist and the ortho doctor. I just keep doing What if? I know that is not the way to look at it but it keeps going back to that.
Just have to find a way to deal with it.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 10:55AM
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Lynn, Linda is absolutely right. You can't look back and dwell on the "What if's." The reality is that even if you had seen this current wound specialist, your husband still might have had to face the amputation. You don't know, and that nurse certainly doesn't know either. Actually, it was rather thoughtless of her to even make such a comment in your presence.

You made a good decision based on what the "experts" told you. No one can be expected to make perfect decisions. We just do the best we can with the information we've got at the time.

Don't beat yourself up or waste energy wondering about what could have been. The main thing is that even with your husband's pain, hospitalization, etc. your love was his constant. That's worth more than anything. And that's one area where you know you have succeeded.

My thoughts & prayers are with you. We all face these hard decisions for our loved ones. And then we look back and wonder. But it's not productive. We can't be paralyzed by the fear of making a wrong decision. May God give you peace and the strength to continue.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 3:36PM
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I have a song that I have loved from the first time I heard it. Most people know it now from the Jerry Lewis Telethon - You'll Never Walk Alone. This morning around 2 or 3 or somewhere in there, I googled it and found the original female singer. Just closed my eyes and took it all in. Got all tight in the chest and my eyes burned with tears. All the words are so true. Then today I went with my daughter to the Christian book store. Just walked around reading things. Found a bookmark with the serenity prayer. I gave it to my daughter as it has special meaning for a time in her life of few smiles and floods of tears, where alone was a defining word. Then I bought momma a large print Bible. Momma always read her Bible before going to bed. Now I don't know if her sight or mind can do any reading. It doesn't matter if all she does is hold it. I think it will bring back old memories and she'll smile. It made me smile just thinking about it and remembering.
All these things were not planned, just did them. Momma said sometimes God has to yank you by the seat of your pants to get your attention. Each of these things had meaning to me. Now I think of the verse, "And this too shall pass".
I feel more at peace with myself in not taking blame for what happened. Some days it's an effort to put one foot in front of the other without stumbling. If I stumble let me have the grace to accept a helping hand. It is not a sign of weakness, just a human trait.
Don't walk so fast you miss the beauty of each day. Don't talk so loud, you can't hear nature's songs. Don't close your eyes where the rainbows you miss. Just open up and take it all in even if only for a moment.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 10:11PM
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I understand totally how you feel - if DH had pursued surgery on his esophagus to cut out where the tumor was he might not have had to go thru the 2 rounds of chemo this year - but his oncologist said he wasn't a candidate and they weren't recommending it and he really didn't want it and I didn't "force the issue" although I am certain we could have found someone else to do it last year.

Second guessing only makes you crazy - don't do it.


    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 12:36PM
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spiraling self doubt is a killer..I believe it must be countered with self talk which has emotional integrity by which I mean try some version of emotional freedom technique.. EFT..I use it now and then and find it helpful. Anyway, I understand what you are feeling and encourage you to just note how you feel and let it your feeling just so you acknowledge them but don't stay there..and keep returning to your most positive feelings of love and support for your husband..the emotional intelligence will automatically help you with future decisions..take care

    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 7:30AM
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Thank you. I have to go forward, can't change the past. His toe is still healing but at least it's healing. Will take time but thats OK.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 10:10PM
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