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Dutch & Di

Surgery

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Hi Gang--

Just a note to let you know Dutch will be operated on tomorrow in Phoenix, Arizona. He has had this problem for years and years but he has just been in such pain and discomfort for the last 6 months that he finally gave in and is going to have a total ankle replacement on his right ankle. :waahYikes, what an ordeal!!

I'd appreciate your keeping him in your thoughts. I'll update you as I know more. After all, we have to get him "All Better" for May Madness!!!!! :laugh::laugh: Hugs, Di

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Dutch’s surgery went very well. It took closer to 4 hours than the expected 2-1/2 hours but they had some re-shaping of the bone to do from all the years of walking bone on bone. We finally left recovery and had him in telemetry by 8 pm. He slept well when buzzers weren’t going off and had relatively little pain. Of course the nerve blocks helped quite a bit. He had several sessions of Atrial Fibrilation during the night. He has been on meds for years but they seemed to not be helping. By this morning his BP was still quite low so they tried several things but none worked so at 2, they took him into Intensive Care. He is still having bouts with AFib & low BP then going back to normal. They are hoping to get him stabilized so they can get him out of Intensive care by tonight. He is alert and eating and really not in much pain. They are still talking about getting him into a chair yet today but not if they can’t get him stable. Will keep you posted as I know more. Keep good thoughts for him. Hugs, Di.

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Dutch Update: Sorry for the delay in letting you know Dutch’s progress but it’s been hectic and exhausting!

He came out of intensive care late Tuesday night. Wednesday they said he was to go to a rehab center as he needed help-not what we were hoping to hear-then about 3 hours later they said that was wrong and they were discharging him with in home care. That works better for us so I got him dressed and we waited. At 6:30 they said they couldn’t get the final paperwork approved so they couldn’t discharge him “safely” which meant another night in the hospital. I undressed him and we settled in for another night. I have to be honest; Dutch was not going to get better with all the stress they were causing him so I called for a patient advocate. The came right up and said they would take care of everything. Thanksgiving mid morning brought no progress so I made more phone calls. They finally coordinated home health care so I got him dressed again. The discharge finally came through at 3 pm. I was amazed at how well Dutch did getting into the truck. An hour and a half later found me pulling into our RV site at the Escapee Park in Casa Grande. Dutch & I got him out of the truck and he went up the RV steps on his butt and made it into the 5th wheel. By using his arms and sliding backwards he managed to get to the 2nd step at the bathroom entry once inside. That put us in position and between him, me and the walker he got to his feet and bunny hopped to the couch-his new home for 2 weeks! I settled him in and put on the “cold” pack machine on his operated ankle and compression pack on his good leg to help prevent clots. He only has to have it on every other hour during the day and off at night. He slept a lot and had no desire for food. I kept food light [a can of soup was not what we usually enjoy for Thanksgiving dinner] and had him drink as much as he could tolerate. Percocet helped him sleep fairly well during the night. I’ll be sleeping in my recliner for the next 2 weeks so I can be there if he needs anything and to help get him to the portable potty now adorning our living room. He isn’t allowed to tackle our bathroom at this time.

We are walking/hoping several times today and have cut way back on pain meds which means he is more alert-no glazed look anymore- which allows me to get a bit more food in him to keep up his strength. He really looks good and says he has little pain in his ankle. He had visitors this afternoon for about 10 minutes, friends who had picked up a few things at the market for me. I think the visit perked him up a bit more! He is housebound til Tuesday when we drive to Mesa to the surgeon.

That place is a bleepin` circus. The surgeon was perfect—the staff and in house physician were a joke. Every single time they brought him meds, I had to physically check them as they were either the wrong dosage or pill. I was fortunate to have his meds with me so I just had them watch me as I showed them the proper pill/pills and had them watch while Dutch took them. I had to ask why he didn’t have any food and they said “Oh, you have to get a menu and order it yourself”. I found the “food” area at the nursing station that had coffee, ice cream, cereal, toast, etc and kept fixing him what he felt he could handle. The staff seemed to prefer spending their time in front of the computer-not just for us, I assure you. No instructions on what to bring for his discharge so I was fortunate that I had tossed in a pair of “jogging” pants for me in case I got cold or he wouldn’t have had any pants that would fit over his bandages to go home in. Please don’t ever go to Banner Desert Medical Center/Hospital in Mesa, AZ. You might not come out alive~

BUT---The main thing is he is home, not in real pain and has me “Nurse Ratchet” as he calls me to nurse him back to health. Hopefully in 3 to 5 months he will be walking, golfing, hiking and dancing like he used to do.

Thank all of you for your posts-I’ve read them all to Dutch-, e-mails and phone calls, they helped so much!!!!!!! Hugs, Di

Edited by Dutch & Di
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Update on Dutch:

Tuesday: Wow, it’s been a week and a day already!! He endured the 140 mile round trip to the surgeon’s office remarkably well. The doctor removed the wrappings and we were amazed at how much smaller the stitch line was compared to what we were thinking it would be.

He moved Dutch’s ankle and surprisingly no pain. Dutch told him his pain level has never gone above a 6 on a 1-10 scale. The doctor is really pleased. He took and showed us x-rays of the implant. He’s now Bionic Ankle Guy. He wrapped Dutch back up and said he has to maintain the same vigil at home for one more week. One hour on and off the cold pack machine during the day but not at night. Walk/hop when he can. Of course Dutch mentioned he has a tee time for January 20th. The doctor said “Hmmm, wouldn’t rule it out 100%”. I chimed in: “Don’t tell him that, he’ll be bugging you and me about going golfing forever!!! Back home he was ready for a nice long nap. He has been able to eat whatever he wants or feels up to.

Wednesday: More improvement each day. The SKP park we’re in has an abundance of “stuff” and I was able to borrow a wheel chair and took him out for a nice long walk ride. He is getting quite adept at scooting on his butt out the door and down the stairs and back in again. Maybe I should try that-it sure looks like good exercise. He visited his way around the park. Back home, after a rest, he worked hard on me about helping him get up the 2 steps to he could use our own bathroom. I relented as long as he figured out how to NOT climb. He came up with a plan that not only works for the bathroom, but we now feel confident that we can also get him into his bed tonight. A wonderful change for him and no more sleeping in the recliner for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He can now get easily into the truck so we’re not housebound anymore and with the wheel chair I can drag him into the stores with me!!

He has been off all pain meds since yesterday and has only one problem: HE’S BORED ALREADY!!!! I told him I would fix him up starting tomorrow by letting him call out invoices, for me to enter into the computer, sorting paperwork to file and I’ll set him up so he can make up brochure packets for me. That’ll keep him busy! I think he’s actually looking forward to that.

Will post more after he sees the doctor next week. Thanks again for all the good thoughts---Hugs, Di

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Dutch Update: He is 2/3rds of the way through his week of 80 pounds of pressure on his booted foot with his walker and well on his way to 120 pounds.

He is breaking all the PT records and is well into advanced therapy. He is already riding a stationary bike and using the sliding board to work his legs.

AND Merry Christmas to Dutch—He Drove!!! 1st the golf cart for 18 holes to squire around his beloved “Nurse Ratchet” so she could play golf on Christmas Day-part of her Christmas present--then he drove us home!!!

Hugs & Merry Christmas, Di

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This is excellent news!! Tell him way to go, and keep up the good work!! And Merry Christmas to you all also!

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glad he is progressing well :ok:

now hurry and get him back to idaho so we can keep him from making that expensive mistake....

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Dutch?s Ankle: The Final Journey!

The last update had him in an air cast adding 40-80-120 pounds of weight on his foot respectively-still using the walker so he didn?t accidently put more weight than he was supposed to. After 2 weeks of PT they told him not to come back as he had far surpassed anything they could do for him. At 160 pounds of weight he was walking in the air boot with no aid. He is now using a stretch brace starting at 2-1/2 hours of use at a time with a cane then back to the boot. He adds a half hour a day and will eventually get rid of the boot and the cane.

Last Sunday he was allowed to chip and putt!!!!! He actually walked most of the day at the Litchfield Park, AZ Zoo Tuesday. He has been doing little things to the truck & 5th wheel and today started v-e-r-y s?l?o?w?l?y on repacking the bearings on the 5th wheel. Of course Nurse Ratchet checks regularly to be sure he isn?t overdoing it and makes him take lots of breaks! angry.gif

I?ll try to add a picture of Dutch?s bionic ankle implant. If it doesn?t work and you would like to see it just e-mail me at plugitright at gmail.com and I?ll get it to you that way.

Thanks for all your kind words and support we both appreciate them kiss.gif.

Can?t wait to see you all again. Hugs, Di

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Edited by Dutch & Di
added picture

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This is fantastic!! He is healing very fast!! Tell him to keep up the good work but not to overdo it!! Going backwards or starting over is just not much fun!! (My Dr. was very pleased with my arm. He said: "I'm sure glad it is healing well and not having any set backs" . . . I told him he put the 'fear' in me when he told me that it would heal just fine unless I messed it up further and then he would probably have to go in and put in a plate and screws in it!! I told him there was no way that I wanted that to happen so I was always on my best behavior!!)

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