Featured Post

My burns and the struggles I"ve faced with my leg - Pt. 2


As the pictures in my last post shown so well my leg wasn't looking all that good. The very fact I was able to work as long as I did surprised most people. It took over twenty some years after the wounds developed on my ankle before I found a doctor willing to help get me on disability.

One things to keep in mind - I worked throughout all this time in type job that required standing and walking for hours at a time.None of which was good for my leg or easy on me to do. Yet I worked in and managed and enjoyed my jobs. As I continued to work and my leg got worse it became more and more difficult for me to stand and walk. Where once I used to work for hours at a time standing and walk, I was now finding myself sitting down more and working less. I used to enjoy going to the mall and would speed walk. Losing my friends in the crowd. Now I couldn't handle walking into the mall.

Finally in 2008, after moving to Flint, Michigan in 2005 with Diana, I found a doctor willing to help me get on disability. I told her if she will help I will stop working within the next two weeks. She said she would and so I gave my two weeks notice. My last day of work was May 3rd. I applied for Disability and prepared for the long, agonizing, torturous wait as they argued with me a thousand ways and reasons why I didn't deserve disability.

To my surprise, delight, and overwhelming shock I was approved for temporary disability starting the following month in June. I still can't believe that happened. But I was in for a bigger surprise. I figured that was the easiest thing I could hope for. A few months later I received my approval letter for full disability.

My first hope from this point forward was getting wound care treatment for my leg. I manged to get in with a wound care specialty clinic at a local hospital but they didn't really do much more then what I was doing. So I changed to a different medical place and again had same results.

What is troubling is that none of them referred me to get further treatment outside of what they were doing. What is even more troubling is that not one doctor, hospital or specialist would do anything until I had insurance. It is pretty sad that we live in a world where money is more important then the Hippocratic oath.

Before moving back to this area, Davenport, IA, I called the local wound care facility to make an appointment. Doing that assured I would have continued wound care for my leg once I got here. That clinic was surprised I did that since most people wait til after they move to set up stuff like that.

So here are the events that took place to get me where I am today:

I reported to the wound care clinic at the local hospital ten minutes from my mom's place. They started working on cleaning up the wound. After two weeks of that the doctor there said he was sending me to a plastic surgeon that has wound care experience.

The plastic surgeon looked at my wounds and right away said he wanted me to see the burn and wound unit in Iowa City University Hospital. Because I spent most of my childhood at that hospital I felt he was sending me home. I still get a feeling of peace and warmth when ever I go there.

I arrived at the burn/wound clinic for my first appointment March 19th. Three doctors looked over my wounds. All of them agreed it needed to be cleaned up (aka: debridement - removal of dead, damaged, or infected tissue to promote healing). They arranged to have me see another doctor who had more experience in that area and scheduled an appointment on April 2nd. They also wanted a biopsy done which agreed to right away. They did it then and there. After which they sent me to vascular to check blood flow. It was here that I learned that not only was I scheduled to return April 2nd but they already had me scheduled for surgery April 3rd as well. Yippy....Oh my lands.

I ran the gantlet of emotion the weeks leading up to my next appointment. On one hand I was excited about everything happening. Shocked it was happening at all. Scared because of all the unknown and freaking out because I kept thinking too much about the possible pain I would be in.

I arrived to my appointment on April 2nd not really sure what all they were going to do. I was hoping they would keep me so I didn't have to drive back for surgery on the 3rd. The drive is about an hour from where I live. They took off my bandages and the doctor performing the surgery looked over my leg. She seemed really nice and explains everything completely that I needed and wanted to know. After talking with her they wrapped my leg and I thought I was done. Oops...I wasn't. My appointment was for 10am in burn/wound care but couldn't see the anesthesiologist until 3pm.

Surgery was scheduled for 11am Friday, April 3rd but I had to be there by 9:30 for pre-op stuff. So I ask mom to drive me up and drop me off. Which she did thankfully. Surgery went well as the pictures I shared in part of this series shown.

I am now a week and a day past surgery. The following pictures were taken this morning after I took a shower and cleaned them up. According to the nurse and doctor that has seen them here they are healing nicely.  Here are today's pictures. Most people will say they look the same as the first and I agree, however the doctors assure me they are looking better so I am stuck with that for now.