Another reconstructive foot surgery ...

Discussion in 'Prayer Requests / Praise Reports' started by Echodelta, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. Tek7@Work

    Tek7@Work CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President

    @Echodelta Continuing to pray! In my experience, chronic pain either drives one closer to or farther away from God. It does not allow the comfortable cultural Christianity popular in churches that teach "health and wealth" Prosperity Gospel rubbish.

    And hey, on a lighter note, it looks like your dictation software is doing a fantastic job! :)
     
  2. anlptgtsg

    anlptgtsg Member

    Nice to hear from you again. I'm trilled to read that there is some signs of healing in your foot. I pray that you continue to recover and for the operation on your elbow will be successful. I'll try to remember you and pray on Nov. 16.
     
  3. Rajkapoor220

    Rajkapoor220 New Member

    I hope your sergery was successfully.
     
  4. LITSAFALDA

    LITSAFALDA Prayer Angel, Moderator

    OMGOODNESS HONEY here we go again HUH? I hope things are doing better for you. Some days it's just one day at a time to get through the basics. You can do this with HIS help. HUGS
     
  5. Echodelta

    Echodelta Member

    Hi everyone,

    A huge thanks to everyone for the prayers. I hope this doesn't sound like a broken record, but I am truly appreciative for them. It's now been two weeks that I had the elbow operation. Yesterday the stitches were finally removed. But before I get into the next part, I figure I'd share some info concerning the operation and what happened afterward. When I got out of surgery I was still groggy and my doctor said that when he operated my elbow showed no signs of ligament damage. He just cleaned it out of all the inflammation. As I became more coherent I refused to leave until I spoke with the doctor again about the ligament damage (I had to wait until he finished with another operation). Again he stated that my elbow did not show ligament damage even after I stated again that I felt my elbow pop or snap back in May. I hope he's right because I don't want to go through this again :)

    The next day my arm was itching and I just attributed to the large amount of painkillers I had to take. The arm continued to feel weird and by Saturday I knew something was wrong. On Sunday I went to urgent care. When the bandages were removed it was a shock to see that nearly the entire underside of my arm and the point of the elbow was a huge rash. Also the point of the elbow seem to explode in blisters. The rash also creeped up on the incision. Apparently I had an allergic reaction to the pre-scrub solution used to sterilize the arm. As the days went on, the rash became worse and the only thing that helped were ice packs. Anything that touched the arm irritated it and felt like fiberglass dust. It got so bad that I stopped using the sling. Last Friday I noticed the incision had a slight infection due to the rash. The incision was red, very tender and slightly more swollen than usual. If I didn't go through all the pain and complications from the foot operations it probably would have been more frustrating. I'm well aware of setbacks. I did the most reliable thing I could do and that is to trust, hope and pray.

    As of today thankfully the rash is almost gone. The elbow has a new skin and the infection is also gone. Yesterday I discussed the allergic reaction with my doctor . He said that they began using a new chemical to sterilize for operations. I forgot what the name as it was a long word :) I did make sure to have it added to the list of allergies in my medical record. My doctor advised to continue with limited use of the arm for another month and not lift anything over a pound. But even lifting a coffee cup causes pain. I'm still taking about one Percocet per day to help ease the pain from the elbow and my foot. My next appointment for the elbow is on December 30.

    Well it seems like there's always something when it comes to having an operation. BTW, the only news to share regarding my foot is that the shoes and orthotics are delayed due to an error by my workers compensation. No change in the numbness of my foot and I still walk with a limp.

    Again thank you for the prayers,
    Ed
     
  6. The Mighty Gerbil

    The Mighty Gerbil Tribe of Judah TF 2 Chapter Leader & CGA Admin Staff Member

    Getting it from both ends now OUCH! Still praying Echo.
     
  7. ursen

    ursen Officer SOE/LoE/Where's "here"?

    Echo I almost missed this entry. You sure do make me exercsize my prayer muscles. Thank you for making me practice. Will continue to pray for you.
     
  8. Echodelta

    Echodelta Member

    Hi everyone,

    Figure I should provide a new update before the beginning of the new year. I have a lot of important information to share regarding my right foot. But first here’s a small update regarding my elbow. It’s been about six weeks since the operation. I find that keeping a compression elbow sleeve over it not only allows me to use it for small tasks but also reduces the pain. The rash is almost gone and it no longer irritates my skin. I am taking Zyrtec daily now.

    Regarding my right foot, there’s still been no improvement in the numb pale areas. Funny how I thought that the completely numb toe would be the biggest issue. However, for the past month, it seems my foot continues to grow weaker in the pale areas on the bottom. I’ve already mentioned I walk with a limp and it’s getting worse. From as far as I can tell the pain there is not due to the bones but due to the paleness coming from the tissue. It feels like it's very swollen there but it's not. This is new territory because the pain is usually chronic or comes from the bones. For the past two weeks I have stopped myself from falling due to the foot giving out. It’s like I take a step and the pain causes my foot to spike and then I need to stop myself from falling over. It’s important that I prevent this because if I were to fall my immediate reaction is to brace myself with my right arm :) It was recommended that I try Lyrica for nerve pain but after reading the side effects, I decided against it. Another medication for it is Neurontin. I've taken that in high amounts with no improvement.

    Over the past 3.5 years with all these operations, it’s always been a test of willpower to improve even if the odds are not favorable. Even while I was recovering from the elbow operation, I kept up at home with physical therapy for my feet. But it seemed like no matter how hard I worked there was no improvement. So about 10 days ago I decided it was time for a change. The weather was nice out with no rain and I started walking again every other day. These are trips around the neighborhood and I can only go 30 minutes with a slow pace. I need to be careful when I walk because any uneven ground or even a transition to a sidewalk can cause me to fall. The last two trips I started taking my cane. Honestly I’ve had to swallow a lot of pride to take a cane because the only mobility aid I’ve ever agreed with are custom shoes and orthotics. I still don’t want the cane to be permanent.

    In January I plan to search for new doctor for second opinion. Also given how I was quickly discharged for my last doctor, it’s been very unsettling. I need some spiritual guidance of whether to seek a lawyer for a medical malpractice lawsuit. I’ve read the operative notes and nothing seems out of the ordinary. But given that the same procedure was performed on my left foot with no complications, I am still concerned for what happened to the right foot and how my doctor reacted. Unsure if this is the right thing to do. The pursuit of a disability retirement is on hold. There needs to be an official medical closure to my feet first. I know the Lord’s thoughts are higher than my own and there’s something brewing in the back of my mind which I won’t reveal yet as for why God allowed this to happen. I’ve always trusted God; He’s never let me down. Throughout all the pain and complications, I’ve remained faithful. That’ll never change.

    I can’t say it enough, but thank you for the support and prayers throughout all these years.

    -Ed
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
  9. The Mighty Gerbil

    The Mighty Gerbil Tribe of Judah TF 2 Chapter Leader & CGA Admin Staff Member

    Been wanting to write you a pm but, as I may never get to it at this rate, I'll post here to at least let you know we still remember and pray for you Echo :) .
     
  10. Echodelta

    Echodelta Member

    Hi CGA,

    It's been awhile since I've written an update. While I did have a few updates to share the past couple months, I’ve been waiting on a new diagnosis (CRPS) so I could compile it into one post. This may be a long update.

    It’s now been about 11 months since last April’s reconstruction to my right foot. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much improvement. I still deal with excessive pain when walking, standing, or even sitting. The only improvement is that I no longer need a cane but I still walk with a slight limp. A simple walk to check the mail across the street can trigger enough pain to sideline me for hours. Many times throughout the day, I need to sit and elevate my foot. Even without walking or standing, my right foot can still throb with pain. Pain can wake me up early in the morning and keep me awake at night.

    A lot occurred in January but the most important news to share is the decision to have my right foot amputated. Although I loosely explored the idea back in 2015, I wasn’t serious. In early January however, my podiatrist raised the issue of “quality of life.” She suggested the foot amputation and I was at 50% whether to go through with it. As the month of January went on, I continued to pray about it, I researched lower limb amputations, watched some YouTube videos, and spoke to my prothetist who offered professional advice as well as prosthetic limb options. At the end of January, I leaned about 95% for it and what sealed the decision was meeting an amputee in person. More on the amputation decision later.

    As with my December update, I still needed a new doctor and the search began in January. My case manager suggested I find a physician who will oversee my foot issues. This person could then send out referrals to other specialty doctors. I was turned away by the first physician who stated my case was too complicated. The second agreed to meet for a consultation. That was on February 1. He was so shocked when I provided the history of the crush injury that he said I was the most complex case he's ever encountered. Fortunately, he agreed to take me as a client. This doctor serves as the medical liaison between my worker’s comp and me. First thing he did was to ensure that I have continuous access to pain medication. This has been a blessing. He next stated that I should never work again. He also ordered new xrays. He believes I have a condition in my right foot called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or CRPS. This can occur as the result of a traumatic injury. He did diagnose osteopenia, which is a precursor to osteoporosis. Numerous doctors over the years have stated I already have osteoporosis but I never believed it because my feet should have had a few broken bones since the original injury but it’s never occurred.

    In meeting with him last Wednesday, he sent out a referral to a pain clinic. His idea to reduce the amount of pain I have is for spinal injections in order to deaden the nerves that travel to my feet. There’s no timetable on how long a spinal injection would last. It could be a few days to a month. He also intends to order a bone scan from a medical imaging service. A bone scan is another method to diagnose CRPS as well as provide better detail if there’s actual issues with the bones in my right foot. In 2014, I had an MRI of the right foot but it did not reveal anything suspect.
    My new doctor understands my reasoning for a foot amputation. He doesn’t want that to happen. I believe he is doing everything he can to keep the pain to a minimum and I respect him for that. While I’m for the spinal injections, I’m at the end of my rope. With 25 operations, my right foot has endured enough. The end of April will mark one year since last year’s foot reconstruction. I’m giving my foot until the end of October to improve. That’ll put the heal time at 1.5 years. If there hasn’t been improvement, then I will request the foot amputation.

    I’ll provide an update after the spinal injection as it should occur within a month.

    Thank you for the prayers,
    Ed
     
  11. The Mighty Gerbil

    The Mighty Gerbil Tribe of Judah TF 2 Chapter Leader & CGA Admin Staff Member

    Echo there were a lot of things I had wanted to say to you but having no experience in life I believed I had no right. Shamefully I probably should have said a few things but there are already too many people in the world giving easy answers when the results don't effect them. Some of what you said here is admittedly a relief.

    Most importantly I want to say it's not whether you want to keep your feet it's what God would have you do. Some are called to sacrifice their lives in a moment while others are called to live and carry their cross every day. Only you can make that judgement but it's one that should be made not through fear or pain but practical experience and prayer. Since the goal is to serve God I believe talking to an amputee, hopefully a Christian one, is the best thing you could have done for determining the action you should take. On one hand God could be calling you to be faithful and patiently await healing on the other it seems like you are a prisoner now and He could be calling you to make a sacrifice to better serve Him. It's a hard decision and I thank God you met someone with the authority to say "I've been there, this is what you gain and this is what you lose". Pain is hard, going through it alone is worse.

    I've also had a number of random thoughts in the interim. Like I wondered if there was some method of nerve deadening that would allow you to keep your feet but lose the pain. Yes you'd lose feeling but I'd think it still be better than a prosthetic (nvm just re-read your post and somehow missed what the spinal injections were for). I also wondered if parts from one foot could be used in the other. Yes I know they are mirrored but muscle was taken from another location when my Father had his knee surgery. If there was a good part in the bad right one that could help the left why waste it? I'm sure you know far, far, more about than I but I wouldn't be ashamed of asking the Doctor every question, even the dumb ones, in something this permanent.

    Again I was never for one way or the other, I don't know enough about your situation to say. I only know pick the one best allows you to serve God. Glad to hear you can walk without a cane now at least that's something :) . Praying for you and will still pray for you whatever decision you make.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
  12. LITSAFALDA

    LITSAFALDA Prayer Angel, Moderator

    HUGS honey, Life brings us up and down over mountains and through valleys. Please keep us up to date on how things are going.

    Blessings,

    (I tried to send you a new PM, but I've not figured out the new forums.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2017
  13. The Mighty Gerbil

    The Mighty Gerbil Tribe of Judah TF 2 Chapter Leader & CGA Admin Staff Member

    I don't think Echo will mind me telling you here :) . Left click on the person's name and then "Start a conversation" or ghost over the inbox button in the upper right for the option there if you know their name. Conversations = PMs.
     
  14. LITSAFALDA

    LITSAFALDA Prayer Angel, Moderator

    I did but there wasn't away to "send it." I had a whole conversation typed out and it disappeared.
     
  15. The Mighty Gerbil

    The Mighty Gerbil Tribe of Judah TF 2 Chapter Leader & CGA Admin Staff Member

    It should have a "Start a conversation" button under the message box next to the upload a file and preview buttons. I don't think you can press it to send until you fill in the tile, message and recipient boxes. Hmmm I've sent you a pm to test from my end and continue the conversation there, it should show an alert around your inbox button. I'm sure you already know most of this I'm just covering all the bases :) .
     
  16. Echodelta

    Echodelta Member

    I've had problems with the new messaging system as well. I've typed something out only to have to have it disappear. What I've begun doing is either type it in a word processing program then copy/paste here or I'll copy the text before I reply just in case it disappears.

    I have a small update:

    I still have yet to have the spinal injections. Apparently, a popular pain clinic closed down. Other pain clinics (including the one my doctor referred me to) have been flooded with new patients that's enough that I haven't received an appointment yet.

    The pain medication I've been taking have run its course. If I double up on the pain medication then it helps but I'll run out soon. Plus it's not something my doctor wants me to do. And it's dangerous to do that. I'm not one to overdose :)

    I returned to physical therapy at the clinic in January. I took about 6 weeks off due to recovering from the elbow surgery in November. In February, I was told I could no longer go because my insurance hasn't paid dating back to last year. I've looked into it myself and have provided information to the PT department but it's now April and it hasn't been resolved yet. I do PT at home daily but I don't have all the equipment. Plus they provide foot massages.

    My right foot was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome 1 (CRPS). It seems to explain a lot of other issues I have including joint pain, muscle issues, swelling, nerve pain, nerve damage, etc.

    Here's something I've never shared before. It's part of a letter from my insurance that states they've accepted the CRPS condition. It also includes every diagnosed medical condition to my feet. I think it's still not complete.

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B04SOPIycaXoazlmLUREVWZGbjg
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
  17. Tek7@Work

    Tek7@Work CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President

    Sorry to hear you've both had trouble with the new PM system. (I don't know if I'll ever get used to XenForo calling private messages "Conversations" after years of using vBulletin.)

    If you all still have trouble with Conversations after the latest forum update (which I installed on March 22), please let me know and I'll investigate. Right now, I'm wearing quite a few hats and Forums Admin is one of them. :>

    Demand for health care is most definitely outpacing supply of providers and facilities right now. As someone who works in a technical role supporting a health care organization and as the spouse of a doctor, I can understand why doctors are retiring and clinics are closing. US health care is in a bad place right now.

    The insurance companies are a big part of why health care is broken in the US. I'll refrain from going on a tirade here, but I wanted to at least say I can sympathize with frustration with medical insurance.

    That's...a lot of ICD codes. :(

    As always, I'll be praying for you, @Echodelta. Chronic pain presents so many challenges that many people dismiss or try to address in well-meaning but ultimately unhelpful ways. It's my sincere hope that we can at least help in some small way and reaffirm your faith in God during your suffering. In His sovereignty, God does not always take away our pain or even give an explanation for it, but He promises He will stay with us through it. It's an unpopular message (and would probably drop some jaws of folks I used to attend church with in Oklahoma), but it's comforting to know our Creator is with us in times of suffering.
     
  18. LITSAFALDA

    LITSAFALDA Prayer Angel, Moderator

     
    Tek7@Work likes this.
  19. anlptgtsg

    anlptgtsg Member

    Praying. *Hugs*
     
  20. Echodelta

    Echodelta Member

    Hi CGA.

    It's been a little over 2 months and I have a few minor updates.

    First and most important is I have postponed the amputation for my right foot. After nearly 1 year of constant pain, my right foot began showing signs of improvement in May. Right now, the pain is almost equal to my left foot. Last week I told my doctor that I've decided to not have it amputated due to these improvements. I did state that both feet could probably benefit from being amputated but I couldn't go through with it at this point.

    My right foot has developed 2 new issues though. I'm sure I've written about it in the past that the big toe fused itself and has no movement. Last year, xrays confirmed it was severely arthritic. One of the procedures for that April reconstruction was to fuse it. About a week prior to the operation, I told my doctor not to fuse it because it had no pain and it didn't move anyways. Over the past 6 weeks, the toe's arthritis has shown itself now. It hurts to touch and when I walk, it spikes with pain. On the other end, the fifth toe has a new problem too. I've written about this pinky toe too where after last April's operation, it went completely numb and was paler than the rest of my toes. After 13 months now, it remains pale and only some feeling has returned. The tendon that attaches to it has begun to shrink rather quickly which has made the toe shift upwards. I first noticed this in March but it was minor. Now it's more prominent and is even visible when wearing a shoe or sock. This was the main reason the 4th toe on my left foot was amputated. It had shifted so greatly that near its end, it sat on top of the fifth toe. My doctor said just say the word, and he will write a referral to have both toes examined by an orthopedic surgeon. I'll probably begin that in late August.

    I did have an initial consultation with a doctor at the pain clinic who stated that spinal injections may not help but was willing to try. That was on May 9th. After numerous phone calls, I haven't heard anything since. No response from them. I've given up. My feet continue to have pain. Walking can still sideline me for the rest of the day. But not a day goes by where I don't do some form of exercise in an effort to improve them. I still have this intrinsic belief that there will always be some improvement to be made and it starts with being able to withstand the pain and do something about it.

    Thank you for the support and prayers. I'll provide another update in August when I seek an orthopedic surgeon for my toes.
    Blessings,
    Ed
     

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