For inquiring minds that just want to know. . . .
I had an encounter with a lawn tractor that malfunctioned and I was on the losing end. The transmission was stuck in gear and I could not reach the key to turn off the motor. I slipped and both feet were run over by the tractor as it hit the garage door at Eve's father's place. My left foot was merely ran over and I received a couple of cuts and a broken toe. My right foot was pulled under the tractor wheel and turned sideways and broke the ankle in three places. Eve's father was able to turn off the motor and lift the tractor off my feet! Paramedics were summoned.
Surgery was performed on my right ankle and a metal strap was screwed to my fibula with seven screws and four more screws were installed to keep the other two bones in place. My left foot was cleaned and dressed, then bandaged.
I was having trouble getting my breath and my blood oxygen was low. I was put on oxygen and xrays were taken, as well as having a CAT scan. There was a node on my right lung that concerned the doctor.
Dopler scan ran on my legs discovered a blood clot in my left ankle. Doctor prescribed anti-clotting medication and scheduled more tests.
A bronchoscopy was performed to examine tissues in my lungs. Results showed nothing harmful.
Released from hospital with more outpatient work scheduled. Remained on oxygen, anti-clotting medication (both oral and injected), antibiotics, inhalers and pain killers.
Blood tests revealed I had reached proper level of clotting time and one anti-clotting medication was removed. Maintaining oral anti-clotting medication.
PET scan performed, still waiting for results. This test is specifically designed to detect cancer cells.
Sutures were removed from right ankle and leg was placed in fiberglass cast. Cast to remain in place for three weeks, at which time I will be fitted with a walking boot.
Results from PET scan show "something", but it is not totally conclusive. Have appointment with pulomary specialist on 3/1/04 and will have breating test and will schedule appointment with surgeon at that time. Pulmonary specialist recommends removing node to be on safe side.
I have been released from the oxygen! Had breathing test and the doctor seemed a little surprised at how well I was doing. I still have to see a surgeon in a couple of weeks to see if it necessary to remove the mysterious node on my right lung. More wait-and-see!
The cast is off! I now have a walking boot/brace and can start putting weight on my right foot. It will still be another week or so before I can totally discard the crutches.
As for the lung issue. . . . I am scheduled for surgery on March 30th! I will probably be in the hospital a week and have a 5 to 6 week recovery time. Surgery will be at North Kansas City Hospital. The nodule will be removed and a biopsy performed immediately. If malignant, the rest of that lung lobe will be removed. If benign, they'll close me up and that is all there is to it.
I have survived my first full week back at work! I have one more week of "normal" routine before I go in for surgery. I no longer need crutches and have been using a cane instead. I will discard the cane in a couple of days. I can put some weight on my right foot without the brace, but it is still pretty stiff. I have to do exercises every day to increase the mobility and strength of my right ankle and it gets better every day.
My only remaining medications are the inhalers. Had blood labs done yesterday and went for a pre-surgery analysis this morning. I am all set for my next round of cutting!
This is my last post before my next round of surgery!
I am walking with regular shoes on both feet! No crutches, no cane, no brace. My pace, however, is somewhat slow. There is still some swelling and lack of flexibility, but my ankle is progressing on schedule. I have reached my goal for unassisted walking before going in for my next hospital stay.
I check in to North Kansas City Hospital at 6:00am on Tuesday, 3/30/04. Surgery is scheduled for 7:30am. I will be getting a thoracotomy and wedge resection (a 7 inch incision below my right armpit and a pie shaped section of lung containing the suspect nodule will be removed). A biopsy will be performed on the wedge immediately. If benign, the surgeon will close me up. If malignant, a lobectomy will be performed (removal of upper right lung lobe). I will be in the hospital approximately one week and will have a recovery time at home of 4 to 6 weeks, depending on how much lung gets removed.
Went into surgery around noon. Biopsy on nodule was positive for cancer so a lobectomy on upper right lobe was performed. All indications are cancer is totally removed and I will not require chemo or radiation!
Released from hospital in late afternoon. I am back on oxygen and restricted to home for about six weeks. Quick math lesson: Thorocotomy + wedge resection + lobectomy = OUCH!
Recovery is slow and painful, but I am progressing well. I have a follow-up visit with orthopedic surgeon tomorrow afternoon to verify all is OK with my ankle. (It feels great, with only slight swelling!) I go back to thoracic surgeon on the 29th for follow-up. I have been given a tentative return-to-work date of May 17th for light duty desk work only. Fortunately, I have very little motivation to do much at present, so boredom hasn't become too much of a factor yet! (Note that this round of updates has taken two weeks since release from hospital!)
This is my last week of recovery at home! I go back to work on Monday, the 17th! Hooray! The ankle is almost completely back to normal with just a little lack of range in motion and some strength loss. It gets better every day, though, so it should be back to dancing form soon! My chest still hurts some, but nothing like it did a few weeks ago. I have been released from both the orthopedic surgeon and the thoracic surgeon and only have to follow up with the pulmonary specialist once in a while. I also have a follow-up with the thoracic surgeon in six months.
Special Note: I would like to thank all of you that called, sent cards and e-mail and visited me these last few months. I have no doubt it aided my recovery and helped keep my spirits up. Again, a very big