Last month I agreed to the earliest possible slot on Friday 31 October 2014. What we discussed was 8:15. What I saw on the printout a week ago was 9:15. You can't do an exam, rewrap the foot and drive from the Medical Mile in Grand Rapids to Western in Kalamazoo in 45 minutes -- I would never have agreed to that. But rescheduling was a problem. Finally Dr. Smith said he'd come in early for an 8:15 appointment. Thank you!
Of course, my current schedule has the 1st alarm at 6:20, up by 6:30 and out the door by 7:30. I didn't want to be late, so we backed up the schedule by half an hour. And of course the Gales of November, immortalized in Gordon Lightfoot's The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald were forecast for the last day of October. Those poor trick or treaters tonight -- wind gusts up to 50mph, high around 39°F and rain during parts of the day and perhaps up to 1" of snow late. Or sometime. Who knew? So we got out of the house by 7am, and managed only a light drizzle on the way downtown. Traffic wasn't bad and I managed the poorly designed left hand merge from M-45 to I-196 eastbound without much trouble. Wasn't even 7:45 when we got inside the parking structure and the door to 221 Michigan... Of course the office door was closed, the office dark, but at least there was a nice wooden park bench by the elevator to sit and wait.
We actually got in the examining room by 8:15 and started the bandaging at 8:37, and afterward I had time to use the bathroom before leaving at 9:01. Was dry and not raining, so Mrs. Dr. Phil, who had ridden down with me, apparently made it to the bus at the GVSU Health Sciences building without trouble. Yay.
So... these days we are up to four areas of concern:
-- The original wound continues to heal over and while you can still probe into it with a stick if you try, it looks good and isn't causing much trouble.
-- Exit Wound #1, caused by combining an old tunnel from last year with the emergence of a lost piece of hydraferra blue in August had been healing, somewhat, but goes through bouts of being bleedy or having other things. Last night Mrs. Dr. Phil thought there was some pus, but it seems to have maybe been some lymph leaking out. You can still poke a stick quite deep into it. As in deep.
-- Exit Wound #2, caused by a second lost piece of hydraferra blue which came out just before the last visit, and was in there for a couple of months and worked its way through several inches of tissue to come out of the back of the heel, had some hypergranular tissue poking out and bleeds from time to time. It was cauterized with silver nitrate.
-- The tough callus patch on the inside of the ankle, which had been softened for many months by application of a urea cream, acted like a blister and split the other week. Its hole isn't deep and the doctor trimmed away the broken and dead skin. So maybe that bit can resolve. (There was an amusing Halloween type discussion of methods of trimming the skin by untrained hands and the wrong tools -- I think we worked out way up to hedge trimmers and chainsaws. And felt that chainsaws in the house just smelled bad and weren't very precise.) (scary-grin)
In December we will meet with all three doctors -- Wound, Podiatric surgeon and Infectious Diseases -- and probably run another MRI as the six month course of antibiotics runs out. The doctor today was concerned that things aren't healing in a way that suggests that the infection in the heel bone is burned out. Which means we are back to thinking what to do with the foot and when to do it.
Now I'm an optimist and while amputation has always been on the table, the two major current areas of concern are the ones caused by the errant pieces of hydraferra blue which had to work their way through tissues until expelled. That's not a direct result of any infection inside, but just a bad deal. So... in my infinite and misguided wisdom, I tend to feel things are better than bad, and just need some more healing time.
Not quite time to give up on this old foot yet, IMHO.
So, now all I had to do was get to work on time. Amazingly, I caught every green light -- Coit onto Michigan, Michigan onto College, College onto I-196. I had gone that way so that I could cross five lanes and take the left-hand exit to US-131 South, otherwise I would have had to flip either at Lane on I-196 or Leonard on US-131 -- or drive through the heart of downtown GR. Caught all/most of the green lights in Kalamazoo, as in I don't recall having to stop. The Prime Number One handicapped space was free and it was dry, almost sunny and not raining as I rolled from Lot 61 to 1104 Rood Hall just at the tower clock started tolling ten times and proceeded to play with Executive Time Wasters and swinging bowling balls from the ceiling. Yup. Conservation of Total Mechanical Energy and (nearly) Totally Elastic Collisions. Plus the Ballistic Pendulum problem on the board.