Thanks for writing
Ruth T. Bird
bird at brinet.com
Thu Apr 27 20:07:07 PDT 2000
I'm Ruth, writing for my good husband of 52 years. Dave is a healthy,83
yr old active outdoors man having done Landscaping services for many
clients here in our development in H'ville, NC. He weighed 175 lbs.
before surgery.The stump is ???long---just above the knee.
Thurs. Feb.3rd @ 4:00 PM. he came into the house complaining of a sore
right calf and a painful foot. By 6:00PM we were in the ER. By 10:00 PM
he was on the Operating table to try to remove blood clots from the knee
and ankle.All unsuccessful because of too many blood clots and too much
plaque in the arteries. A femoral bi-pass was unable to be done.
Six painful days later after many blood tests, scans, and O2 testing,
pneumonia. He fell out of bed
with an epidural cath pulled out as well as a foley cath, and 2 IV'S-
The next day he went to surgery for an above the knee amputation.
Fortunately he does not remember these days!!!!!. The day after Surgery,
PT got him out of bed, The next day he hopped in the room, and the
following day,he "walked" across the hall and back !!!
Seven days after surgery he was transfered to the Pardee Care Center
where he had 22 days of marvelous attention in the PT gym with many
exercises and OT instruction. His first weight after surgery was 149
lbs. ! And now maybe is 152 lbs.
With Dave's being away from home for 37 days I had time to 'get' things
arranged here at home. Throw rugs removed. Two doors taken off. Hand
shower installed. Three grab bars up. Bought one wheel chair, have 2
smaller ones from the Medical loan closet,and a shower 'extended'chair.
Bought a commode from the Loan closet (which Dave didn't like) was able
to exchange it for toilet handles.Also bought a
collapsable walker Lucky me--the loan closet then GAVE me a regular
one.It's nice to be a member of the Church that runs this very popular
Medical Loan Closet.
We had a stair lift /glide installed in our 12 step stairway ($4020.00)
!!!!!!(NOT covered by Medicare) and the next day I brought him home !
For 3 weeks he went for the Out Patient PT 3x's a week at Pardee. He
continues his exercises here at home 2x's a day.
WE chose the Hanger Prosthetic Office here in H'ville for the
Prosthesis. Anita there is a jewel.
Dave has done well with the extra small shrinker. The plaster of paris
socket was made. Several changes have had to be made in the Plastic
Yesterday it sure looked ackward to see him try to 'lift ' the
prosthesis. I've got it all on my video camera (*-*) Anita was right
down there in front of him, instructing him to lower the heel and press
forward with the toes---it looked as if the "leg" swung out to the right
as he tried to put the foot down.Anita only let him take about 3 or 4
made steps. Some one was close behind him with the wheel chair. Wonder
if our Anita has any video on "Learning to walk"?
We don't go back again to Anita until Monday.
Palm Sunday we made our first appearance in Church. Not in the choir
where we both had been singing regularily. The Priest came back to where
we were sitting and announced to the congregation Dave's return. The
Congregation gave a loud applause!!! Guess we'll have to wait til Dave
can manage 5 or 6 steps to get to the choir stall (the back way) before
we can be back in the choir.
Wed. May 3rd is a BIG day for us. Our 2 sons have convinced us we MUST
be in Minneapolis for # 1 granddaughters wedding. We are flying NWA from
Greenville. I plan to KEEP the wheel chair with us as far as the
boarding gate, then their aisle chair and have them store the chair on
the plane. Wish us success! I'll ask at the check in counter to have the
collapsable walker put in a "box' and checked thru. Any airplane
suggestions? We transfer in Detroit.
I have a 'hidden' concern about Dave's left leg.Have had an Ultra sound
of the arteries---no clots
but a lot of plaque. Also a venous Ultra sound . The valves are not 100%
OK. His toes are some times dark, and some edema of the foot . He does
take Lasix and 80mg Aspirin. Today the surgeon has ordered a support
hose. Dave has been sooo positive thru out all of this BUT I wonder
what our life would be like IF he lost his left leg too ??????
Thanks for taking the time to write and to read this, Peace, Ruth
George Boyer wrote:
> Hi Dave - I'm an AK also, for eight years now. Anita is right on with
> her observations and her advice will stand you in good stead. In order
> that we may follow your progress more insightfully it would be
> interesting to know a few more things: how old you are? how long is
> your stump? what was the cause of your amputation? how much do you
> weigh? Also, how has the recovery been going and what troubles have you
> had both pre and post op? Hey, we get right in there and probe, but it
> pays off. You certainly sound sprightly and game enough!! This is THE
> place to come for advice, and commiseration too. How did you find us,
> anyway?? Cheers, George Boyer.
> "Ruth T. Bird" wrote:
> > I had my FIRST try at it yesterday !
> > Had difficulty in pressing from heel to toe to make the knee bend.
> > Thanks, Dave Bird
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