March 26th, 2016


Son Of A Dag Nab Gol Darn No Good Friday

The morning in Grand Rapids dawned overcast and cold. Eventually it would enable up blue sky sunny. Not much breeze.

Sat outside and did my sets of 150 with hand weights. Had to come in after a couple sit to stands -- partly a cold breeze and partly fumes from a gas leaf blower. Not very green.

Everyone was excited about me going to Hanger and picking up my leg. Ran it a little close timewise -- finished getting redressed after urinal and bedpan just in time for getting into LIFE's wheelchair. Actually early to Hanger.

It will take getting some time in the leg to get used to it, and we had to make some adjustments. The mount I have has some give in it -- you slide deeper into it as you stand up.

Did a couple of steps. Was able to stand without holding the walker.


When we took it off to make the last adjustment, there was blood dripping from the sock.


Upon removing sock and Ace wrap, what Mrs. Dr. Phil, today's ride-along aide Autumn and Tom the prostheticist could see is that part of the surgical suture line had split. Maybe two inches long. Not a lot of blood, but damn...

We worked on calling the orthopedic surgeon's office -- it was already 2:30-ish on a holiday Friday. Had trouble getting through. Eventually got through to one of Dr. Fras' PAs. Yes, we needed to go to the ER. Yes, he'd call ahead to orthopedics at Butterworth. The secretary had already called ahead to the wheelchair ambulance return number. And here's where it got complicated.

The wheelchair ambulance driver is not allowed to transport to the ER. Discussion with the case manager at Fuller said we couldn't have the wheelchair ride paid for by insurance if we returned to Fuller and got an ambulance there.

So... we had to wait for a full ambulance. Fortunately, it was a lovely afternoon.

Next issues. This was their bari wheelchair and our seat cushion. So the wheelchair guy had to stay. We had the folding bari walker with us. So on a parking lot with no level surfaces, I had to sit to stand, then sit on the stretcher. At Butterworth, Autumn was picked up by the case manager, along with the seat cushion and walker.

Into the ER.

The hardest part was dealing with the uncomfortable hospital gurney. My weight pushes me down on the hardware underneath. Had to shift around a lot.

The orthopedic surgeon consult came down. I got seven plus one whip stitches done by an ER doc.

ER figured I could go back in a wheelchair ambulance. But, my walker was gone and Butterworth didn't have a bari walker. So they cancelled the first call and made a second. Due to arrive at 7:15pm, I was in the back of the bus by 7:10. Along with a shoe and a Kiwi brace that wouldn't go over the bandage.

No real problem missing dinner. Our original plan was to have Jimmy John's for lunch, but they were changed to dinner due to scheduling. So I had a fine dinner.

The consult said it was just a surface skin split -- the tissue below looked in good shape. Will try and get an appointment to see Fras this coming week. Not sure this sounds like too much of a delay. Not sure if we need more offloading on the attachment cap or what.

The prosthetic was feeling better as we worked at the clinic, so it was disappointing not to come back with a leg.

I am assuming the new skin from the revision surgery was too tight and hadn't enough give to it or something. Maybe not enough protection since we took off the Ace bandage layer.

Onward... with some delays.

Dr. Phil

Did We Miss A Step?

The blog title is a line from the movie Apollo 13, when they shut down the command module navigation computer before getting the lunar module's computer up and running. For some seconds, things were chaotic.

Another line I keep on coming up with, one I coined myself, is Hasn't anyone ever done this before?

Saturday is a lovely sunny day. And was supposed to be my PT eval with the new leg, thus putting me back on the clock with insurance. Alas, after yesterday, no leg delivered. And we're in limbo with insurance -- does the medical procedure change my status -- because you can't hope to get any coherent and accurate information on a weekend.

But no, it's dumber than that.

The expectation was, that with a successful eval, we'd start into the new PT regimen on Sunday. Well, I should be able to put on a Kiwi and resume what I've been doing on Sunday.


Dave discharged me from therapy so I could be evalled. And he's not on this weekend. So the person who was going to do the eval is going to have to get in contact with a supervisor.

You can't write this stuff.

And due to a bureaucratic drop kick, it's possible I'm still on the $280/day room and board, with no PT.

It didn't help that I couldn't get up until 11 this morning. Our best aide, Sabina, was on, but there were three admits and other crises. I haven't decided if I'm being a cranky crab or a whiny child when my schedules fall apart. It's a long story. Perhaps in the future I'll reread this entry and wonder what the other issues were this morning. Ah, well.

Onward... at some pace.

Dr. Phil