Saturday Update on Mark

I went to Mom’s house a little before noon yesterday to begin the trek to the doctor’s office.  Dave Davis came to help us get Mark out of the house and into the car since there were steps involved.  Mark is not one to sit around—even when he broke the 18 bones in his body, we could not keep him still.  We know he is in great pain because he barely moves from the recliner—only a couple of times a day with a walker a short distance down the hall to the restroom.   It was around noon when we pulled out of the driveway and about 3 p.m. when we pulled back into the driveway.  Having his leg hanging down that long caused a significant amount of additional swelling in his foot.

Every bump in the road caused some moans.  At the office, we got a wheelchair and took the elevator to the second floor.  We were in the waiting room until 1:30 before being called in.  There was paperwork to be filled out, but it was mostly just waiting.  We had a list of questions and concerns with us.  After the preliminaries of questions, blood pressure, and temperature check (which were all good, by the way), we waited a few more minutes for the doctor.  Dr. John is very nice and obviously recognized Mark right away since he was the general care doctor who cared for Mark at Oakwood Hospital.  He spent a lot of time with us.

One of the first topics we discussed was the pain.  According to the original plan, Mark should already be dropping down to a lower dose of the medication.  The healing has been incredibly slow, the wounds wide open and significantly swollen, so that it makes going to a lower dosage seem very unreasonable.  Both Dr. John and his partner very much agreed.  Mom will have to call Monday morning to set up an appointment with the pain doctor to regulate the medication—perhaps even increasing it a little.  He really should be having therapy, but that has not been provided at this point.  Better management of the pain may enable him to get up and move around at home better, which would be the next best thing to formal physical therapy.

Another reason why the doctors did not think it was the time to be decreasing the pain meds is that they are hoping he will be having another surgery soon to close up one side of the leg.  We see the surgeon on Wednesday, so I’m sure they will give us a better idea of the timing of upcoming surgery.  In the midst of the medical questions, we discussed Medicaid again.  Seems like this may eventually be enacted.  Dr. John seemed to indicate that once it is in place, the surgery would be soon.   I think this very much surprised both Mom and me as we expected that to be much further down the road.  We have been changing his dressing daily and it just doesn’t seem possible to close that wide and bulging of a wound up, but we are certainly not doctors!

The general care doctors did not open the dressing and look at the leg.  Mom had pictures and nothing seemed overly worrisome to them, although they both agreed that it was the biggest wound they’d ever dealt with on an outpatient basis.  I’m sure the surgeon will do a thorough exam next Wednesday.  (We are guessing there may be some debreeding (sp?) involved, too.)  There didn’t seem to be any alarm with the doctors concerning the low-grade fever and Mark’s lack of color.  We are to go back for another follow-up appointment in 3-4 weeks.

Yesterday we ran out of the wound care gel which is one of the most important products we use.  Mom ordered three tubes of it last Sunday, but they still have not been delivered.  She was very reluctant to use Vaseline which was suggested as an OK second choice, but since it was her only option, that is what was used last night.  When we changed the dressing today, we both noticed a difference—for the good.  We are attributing it to one of two things (or both).  First, Mark’s leg was hanging down for three hours yesterday, which was incredibly painful for him, but we are wondering if the moving around and different position caused the blood to flow.  There was more bleeding in the dressing change today than usual, but we were told that is a good thing.  The tissue looked healthy today.  The second reason may be the switch to Vaseline.  The layers were removed so much easier today that it wasn’t nearly as painful.  The wound gel did not arrive again today, so we used Vaseline again—we’ll observe the effects of it tomorrow.  One additional change is that we elevated his leg more yesterday to try to alleviate some of the additional swelling that occurred in his foot after being out for three hours.

We were disappointed that the wound nurse never came today—no call or visit.  I was very thankful, though, for a couple in our church that spent the afternoon with Mom and Mark.  My heart is rejoicing at the blessing of our local church body.  God is very good to us.


2 Responses to “Saturday Update on Mark”

  1. 1 Aunt Cathy
    September 21, 2009 at 9:12 am

    So appreciate your updates on Mark. I will keep him in prayer and your mom also.

  2. 2 Connie V
    September 21, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Thanks for the updates on Mark. I will continue to pray for him and the family. Sometimes situations seem disappointing, like running out of wound gel and having to use Vaseline, but sometimes those situations work out for the better. You would not have tried anything different if you had not run out. I Praise the Lord for his provisions and guidance.

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