They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me

Progress Report #67352

The end of May and we'd just gotten back from WisCon and I was thrown back into Butterworth Hospital for a not very unpleasant week, ending up with twice daily IV antibiotic and daily hyperbaric oxygen chamber sessions.

It's the end of July, we just returned from Detcon1, and after two months I am off the at-home IVs and done with the 30 HBO sessions. Still on the 50% weight restriction for the left foot. On oral antibiotics for 4-6 months. Overall, I still feel fine, unlike last year when my actual hospital stays were marked by being Very Sick Indeed until I was discharged to the LTAC and rehab facilities.

The reopened wound on the bottom of my heel continues to heal. The new tissue everyone constantly says looks great, with 100% granular tissue.

The PICC line used for the IVs was pulled out, much easier than putting in (grin), and thankfully having a live hole in my arm into a vein with an extension line dangling from it didn't get snagged on anything. I started with the top cut off a sock and then some nice double-wide wristbands to hold the end of the PICC line in place.

So why do I sometimes still wear a wristband -- on both wrists? Well, the new antibiotic, doxycycline, is one that has an advisory on sun sensitivity. My t-shirts are long, so when outside the wristbands cover up a little more. So far, haven't had a sun problem.

Meanwhile, I had blood work done prior to scheduling a repeat MRI. Depending on what they see and if they want to do surgery, I may get another 10 dives in the HBO tank. About that, I've been meaning to show you the thing.

My tank. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2014 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

This is Tank A. The acrylic is 1½" thick. The latches are huge brass fittings so as to generate no sparks. To the right is Tank B. The HBO unit is in a funny shaped room, along an angled turn in the corridor. So to the left is a door into the corridor, behind here is the main open space and the large 1½ door main entrance. And beyond that on the other back wall perpendicular to the others is Tank C.

The gurney on the right locks onto the end of the tank and then the upper part slides into the tank. Coiled on the door are the monitoring pads that get stuck on. They're there to see if you're still alive and to remove chest hair. The little white cylinder with the red button clipped to the right side of the door is the call button. I'm assuming the contacts on all these things are sealed so you don't blow yourself up inside at 2 atm 100% oxygen. Just inside the tank is a double wide wedge covered in a white sheet to hold my legs in place -- that's for me. One of the other "tankers" used to sit propped up in his tank with one or both knees up. But between lack of feeling and control of that left foot and needing to keep the heel off the bed, it was the wedge for me.

The black triangular wedges on top of the tank are armrests, shoved in carefully to not catch on the telemetry wires. Or a PICC line or even a hospital gown. They're designed to squeeze in tight. You can just make out the top of the small HDTV that slides on rails atop the tank. You can't see the two speakers in the top of the tank by the opening.

If I go back for another 10 hours, I've not decided what movies to see. Been through most of the SF films. There's a bunch of action films. Or... ten hours will get me most of the way through the theatrical length of The Lord of the Rings, I reckon. (dark-grin)

Anyway, for the moment I am doing good. Hopefully we keep it that way, buy you never know.

Dr. Phil

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