Tezero’s Blog

{March 27, 2012}   Where have I been?

Time flies and life can pass by in the blink of an eye.  So I will just pick up where I left off.  We came home from the hospital with my husband missing one leg.  We were all still shell shocked, especially Ron.  He was assigned home health care, but I would not let anyone else change his dressings.  That was MY job.  It was the least I could do.  The nurses that came by would comment on how clean and neat I kept his stump ( a very HARD word to learn to say) and were impressed with how quickly he was healing

Three months went by and Ron decided he was ready to go back to work.  The staples had come out and he had an appointment with the lady who would make his new artificial leg. He was ready to get back to living.  So each morning I would get him up, help him to his new shower seat and get him ready to go to work.  Those first few months he was in a wheelchair and I would drive him there and pick him up when work was over.  He is an IT Manager, so luckily lots of his work could be done behind his desk.

Our community was SO supportive, bringing food, building a ramp to our back door, cutting our grass… the list goes on and on.  The amazing thing is that Ron never ONCE complained.  His attitude was, and still remains, that he did not lose a leg, he gained his life.  THAT right there. Attitude.  Makes all the difference.  He inspired us – he inspired his friends – he inspired his co-workers and he inspired his community.

Next blog will be about him walking for the first time after being fitted with his new leg. EMOTIONAL to say the least. Oh and a hint on how well he did….. less than a year after his surgery, he walked in the local Walk for Diabetes 5K!

Good things were happening, but life wasn’t through surprising us yet.


Exhausted. Beyond tired. I don’t even know how to describe the level of tiredness I have. I don’t want to whine, but at some point I know I am going to have to get more rest or I am going to totally loose it. I had to leave Ron on Tuesday with my mom while I went to my Neurologist appointment. Before I could even open my mouth to tell him what had been going on, he said, “You need something for sleep”. I guess I had not realized how much it showed. I told him I had been unable to use my CPAP machine since we got home because my face hurt so bad. Stress. Tension he said. He gave me something, but not too heavy. I have to be able to hear if Ron calls in the night. My brain feels like jello, and my thoughts swirl around in a sea of confusion. But each time I feel like I can’t go on, I take a deep breath, breathe out slowly and remember WHY I am doing this. And then I go on.

Ron has had a fairly good week. His sugar has been stable and his pain has been at a minimum. Until last night. He needed a pain pill at 10pm and then at 2am. He hardly slept at all because of the deep ache in his stump. (Still a hard word to say). We went to visit our family physician today, just to update his doctor on all that has gone on. THAT was quite an event; more on that later. The doctor looked at the wound and was concerned about one section of it. It is a place I have been watching for several days as well. We are going back to the surgeon who did the surgery for our first follow up tomorrow. Our doctor said if we weren’t going the next day, he would have taken a culture and tested it. Now that’s all I can think about. Is the infection back? WHAT kind of infection was it in the first place? Answers we hope to get tomorrow.

So I found out that getting my husband out today was a bit more than I expected. He is so tired of having to be dependent on everyone for everything that he wanted to do this all by himself. I think he would have tried to drive the truck if I had offered! He is able to get into the wheelchair fine and is fairly stable at getting from the wheelchair up into the truck. It’s the wheeling of said chair that we butted heads over. He wanted to hit the straightaways going 200 and bank the turns tight and high. He watches way too much NASCAR. We finally got him home and settled back in his room but tensions were high on both ends. Later, I realized that having to seen in a wheelchair for the first time out in public had to be hard on him. I also caught him staring at the handicapped placard several times. I can’t imagine what goes through his mind sometimes. So I brought him a sugar free Jello and told him I loved him.

We are both learning what our roles are in this journey. We will make mistakes. We will get frustrated, angry and we will cry. But we will prevail.

Happy 19th Anniversary

I Do

I Do

Will post an update on Ron tomorrow.

{March 8, 2009}   Saturday Night’s All Right

So we have been home for 3 days and we have begun developing somewhat of a routine. I am still exhausted beyond belief, but I know at some point I will get to sleep some day.

Ron is doing GREAT. He was able to go to the living room this afternoon and spend some family time with all of us. We watched “The Prestige” (great movie) and just hung out and laughed for a while. He was quite tired when all was said and done, but great to see him feeling like his old self.

Our 15 year old daughter watched my change the dressing the other night and afterwords said she was not sure she was ready to see that. Last night our 17 year old son saw the amputation site for the first time. It wasn’t easy, but I wanted both kids to go ahead and see it; things are usually much worse in your imagination than in reality. They both seem to be dealing with all of this extremely well, but at moments, we all have our private breakdowns.

I have been having to clean and dress the wound daily, give him his insulin 4 times a day, his other meds 2 times a day, measure and count out his meal portions and check his blood sugar and blood pressure MANY times throughout the day. I am amazed that I am able to do these things, because in the past, the mere idea of giving someone a shot or cleaning a nasty wound would send me over the edge. But when it is someone we love, it seems we can find the strength to do anything.

The moment the doctor told us yesterday that Ron could go home I began to get a dull ache in the back of my head. As the parade of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, etc began to come through with their instructions and recommendations, the ache became a steady pulse of pain. Don’t get me wrong. I was so happy to be able to be taking him home, but I knew that the responsibility of his care would fall primarily to me, at least for the time being. While in the hospital, the RNs kept up with his meds, his insulin dosages, times, etc. Now that was my responsibility. How much can I handle I thought? We loaded him into the truck and began our hour and a half journey home. The pain worsened the closer to home we got.

Once home, I helped him out of the truck and into the wheelchair. We both were able to laugh at my trying to get up enough power to push him up the ramp. The headache began to ease up somewhat. Finally he realized he could use his hands on the wheels to make things a little easier for him. I had called the local furniture shop earlier that morning to deliver a nice, deep pocket semi-firm mattress set to replace the ‘bowl’ that pretended to be a mattress on our son’s bed. Since the master bedroom in our home is upstairs, we have had to move Ron into our son’s room. We have had to get a walker, wheelchair, bath seat and high toilet seat to help him adjust at home. I got him settled in bed and left with a fist full of prescriptions and list of necessities. About 8:30 his blood sugar bottomed out to 48. This was something we had never had to deal with! I got the juice and some crackers, help him change his clothes and sheets because he had massive sweating from the drop and got him ready for bed. I was in tears when he told me not to worry. That I was doing great. Nice to hear, but not sure if I believe it yet. However, by the time I laid my head on my pillow, in my own bed, in my own house, my headache was gone.

So aside from any mis-steps on my part, Ron doing AMAZINGLY well. He is so strong and determined. The Home Health Nurse that came today was very impressed with his progress. He is mobile with his walker from bed to recliner and to the bathroom. Later, he had a tough workout with the home Physical Therapist today and has fallen asleep now. Will have to wake him to check his blood sugar and give him all of his night meds soon, but it is wonderful to see him resting in OUR HOME.

We have a wonderful group of family and friends that have surrounded us with love. My mom has been here for 11 days now, and says she is staying until she is not needed anymore. (HAHA – does she really realize what she has offered me? ) Needless to say my house is cleaner than when we moved in with Mom around. The company Ron works for, ARP, built a wheelchair ramp before we ever got home. It is made so solid that Ron joked our house may be destroyed by a hurricane but that ramp will survive. I also have not had to cook one thing yet – supper has been provided and will continue to be brought to us for several weeks. I have people lined up ready to cut the grass or clean the pool or do WHATEVER we need. I am so humbled by the outpouring of love our community has shown us.

There is still so much to learn and I feel like I am running in circles sometimes, but at the end of day Ron is here with us. And that is what matters the most.

I wake up at 5am this morning to the sound of Ron vomiting in his hospital bed. It’s amazing how something so normally not that big of a deal has become magnified to terror inducing proportions. I run to the nurses station to get help. He’s ok – probably just the meds making him sick. Nothing to worry about they say. Really? Right now it feels like the rest of my life will be filled with worry.

The steady parade of doctors that have become his ‘Team’ begin arriving around 6am.

The Endocrinologist: Sugar looks good. Will go home with 4 shots of insulin a day.

Infectious Disease Doctor: Finally, we are infection free. Will take him off of IV antibiotics today. Great News!

Surgeon (our hero!): Ron is progressing at an amazing rate. May actually go home tomorrow. Ron is thrilled. I am terrified. But it’s good news. He has had no fever, which is a blessing. The stump (that is a horrible word and difficult to say) is healing nicely.

Physical Therapy comes by: time to get him up and moving. He uses a walker again and gets out of bed and down the hall. He is sitting in an orthopedic chair right now and is told he needs to sit up most of the day.

I am happy that things are progressing so well and that we may be going home, but I know, deep down inside, that home will never be the same again.

{February 28, 2009}   A Whole New World

You never know what life is going to bring you.  You wake up one morning and head out to your daily activities and things seem pretty darn good. Then the phone rings. “I’m at the ER”. It’s my husband and things will never be the same.

He had a crushing foot injury back in August, but because of the neuropathy in his feet from diabetes that was not under control, he did not feel all the bones breaking.  He didn’t realize how serious things could get. And he didn’t go to a doctor.

Months went by and the kids and I kept telling him that there was something seriously wrong. His foot constantly bleed in several different places and was grotesquely swollen and bruised. As the bones began to heal and fuse back together, infection began to set in. He kept telling us it was getting better, that it wasn’t that bad and besides, he couldn’t feel it so how bad could it be?

He noticed last Friday that the top of his foot had become flaming red and hot with fever. He waited until Monday to go to the hospital.  By then it was too late.

Gangrene had set in at some point, and he was infected down to the bone. This is civil war stuff, not 2009 stuff! I was stunned when I saw how bad it looked.

The doctors at our local ER sent him by ambulance to another hospital 100 miles away in Mobile. He was immediately taken into surgery.  The surgeon, Dr. McGinley, opened up the top of the foot and tried to clean out the infection. When I met with him after surgery, he said he would let the wound drain for several days and then he would have to go back and amputate two toes.

So we waited in the hospital room as my husbands temperature raged to 104 and his blood sugar hit highs over 500. And despite the wide range of aggressive antibiotic treatments the infection continued to spread. I watched as his leg became inflamed with fever and turned the angry red of his foot. My heart sunk as I began to realize this should not be happening. The doctor agreed.

On Thursday he went into his second surgery. Dr. McGinley came out to see me and told me they removed the two toes, but the infection was far worse than first thought and still spreading. They were going to have to amputate. My head could not wrap around what he was saying. He’s going to loose his leg?? But the doctor explained it was either his leg or his life. Not a hard decision at that point.

Friday brought him to his 3rd surgery. The doctor had to remove the right leg 4 inches below the knee. Due to the high risk of infection still being present, he could not close up the site. It was again left open to drain and watch for developing infection.

On Sunday he went back in for his 4th surgery in 6 days. The doctor was pleased with how everything looked and was able to clean everything up and finally close everything up. It’s amazing to look in the bed and see his leg missing. We are all shell-shocked. How do we go from here? I will let you know.

et cetera