Healing Progress

So, many of you who have read about my foot amputation and healing have only, up to now, imagined what that entailed. I figured some of you would be interested in pictures so you could see the progress from start till now, as its taken months. I lost my foot on Halloween and it’s still healing. Part of this is due to complications which I will detail below. So here are the pictures. WARNING: They are pretty intense so I am only making them visible from links. If you don’t like gory stuff don’t click because it’s ugly. This is what I have been dealing with all this time.

So this first picture is of my foot before the first operation. They tried to save it at first. You can see how red my leg is from infection and under those bandages were huge pus blisters. I’ll spare you that shot but this is our starting point. My foot became infected because I had an ulcer on it that started as a blister and didn’t heal due to diabetes. It was healing but it took months and while I took care to clean it everyday and bandage it, it still got infected some how. The infection had turned septic which means it got in my blood and I was close to death before I check myself into the hospital. I just thought I was sick from something. Because I had waited too long the infection had progressed enough that it was shutting down my organs. If I waited another day I might have died. This is why you should not put off the doctor if you have a serious sickness. I was so weak when I checked myself in I could barely get out of a chair.

The docs operated on my foot, cutting away dead tissue and you can see all that black meat inside is also dead. My foot was too far gone at this point. Those blisters are of puss and there were more than you can see here.

So I told the doc it was ok to take my foot. It was the source of my infection, and it had got into my bones. if it wasn’t removed it would have infected the rest of me and I could not risk that. This is what the amputation looked like afterward. They sew a skin flap from your leg over to cover the cut and it heals eventually with little scarring. Provided there are no complications, it should heal in a month.

Of course, the day I got out of the hospital I fell on my stump in my landlady’s garage as I was trying to get inside the house. I transferred to a walker they gave me which was a piece of junk and lost my balance. I fell on concrete. It surprisingly didn’t hurt but I bruised some ribs. However, it caused the dreaded complications afterward when I had my dressing changed I saw this necrotic tissue. And deep inside the leg tunneling started which are big gaps that fill with dead blood that becomes clots. I needed another operation.

So this is after the first operation. They cut away all the dead flesh. Inside you see white gunk which is also dying flesh and that had to be cut away in a second procedure. Notice how big the hole in my leg is. What isn’t easy to see here is the tunnels. But they were three inches deep and went in different directions. They had to heal from the inside before I could get this closed up again.

So they cut that stuff out and put me on a wound vac. It’s a small device attached to a tube that goes to the would which is sealed in a clear plastic. It sucks out all the fluids and dead blood to keep the would fresh. This little machine runs 24/7 and goes with me everywhere but it cuts healing time in half. The doctor said I was looking at 3-4 more months without it. And there was always the risk of more infection. The wound vac sucks away all the fluids that were at risk of getting infected. A nurse comes by three times a week to change the dressing so the seal is kept clean and tight.

She came today but I forgot to take a picture of where it is now. I will post that on Friday so you can see how far I have come. I am happy to say the tunneling has closed up and the would has shrunk. It’s still about 7×4 centimeters but it’s pink and looking good. Come back for the update on Friday if you are interested.

I suspect I will have to be here another month or so before its all healed. We’ll see. Then my next step is to try to get a prosthetic foot so I can get out of this wheel chair and walk again.

What I really hate is I have been out of work all this time and can’t apply for any jobs until I am healed because I am stuck in this small town where there are no jobs for what I do (Internet Developer). Fortunately people have donated generously to my fund and that has allowed me to pay my bills and stay off the streets and fed. The Hero Initiative has paid for my motel costs for these two months I will be staying here and that has been a huge help.

I will probably be unable to work till April and then I will also have to somehow find a place to live, so I can still use some help. Anything you can do is a blessing and is much appreciated. Thank you.

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