Archive for July, 2012

HOW AM I DOING AFTER CHARCOT SURGERY?

July of 2007, I under went surgery to save my right foot after being diagnosed with Charcot. I just realized it is now July of 2012. I have had several ask me how I am doing now. THAT’S BEEN FIVE YEARS AGO!

I feel so blessed and grateful to have my ability to walk and to care for my feet. Many days are very normal, however, I have had some issues. One has been with my custom shoes. They are nice, but the size and width had to be adjusted which lead to the orthotics having to be modified. The latest was the fifth metatarsal rubbing a callus, becoming sore and uncomfortable.

Though, I am not to wear sandals, however, I found a pair of Propet leather sandals with velcro straps that allow the shoe to fit perfectly. I like the closed in heel and the 1 1/4″ heel and thick sole that gives me a lot of support. I am very conscience of my toes and where I walk as I don’t want to injure my toes. They are very comfortable to walk in. I usually use these when the weather is dry and hot. Otherwise I wear the custom shoes that I have decorated. They are a conversation piece.

It is really important that one takes care of their feet whether they have Charcot or not. You just feel better if your feet feel good.

Normally, I go to the pool and exercise in deep water for about an hour a day at least 5 days a week unless we are traveling. Unfortunately, I have been delinquent for several months. I was reminded of this, this past week, when one of the young life guards saw me in Safeway. I have now promised I will be back in the water SOON.

I did feel so much better when I was there. I just seemed to think I was too busy to go and it was easier to sleep in and avoid going. Anyway, you know how that goes I’m sure.

We just got back from a five week trip to Western Nebraska and the farm where I lived as a child. It was good to see everyone, quite a change since Grandpas day. I was amazed at how quickly the crops grow. When we arrived we could step over the corn and when we left it was taller than me.

I try to stay involved in social activities such as this foundation, hoping to expand it more, and attend theatre productions. This year we took on a major remodeling project which still isn’t complete. We had to live in or RV for over 5 months. We re-did three bathrooms, the kitchen and enlarged the dining room…this also meant re carpeting much of the house. I was involved with the planning and decorating. The biggest challenge now is what to put back in and what to do with all the rest of the STUFF. We are working with a glass artist for a piece in our master shower and will soon be working with our builder and landscaper to finish the outside work.

Thanks to my husband, son and friends I stay busy and because of this I don’t really have time to feel sorry for myself. This keeps me happy, laughing and challenged.

Annita’s continued story

Brought to you by Charcot Awareness Education Foundation

Fitting The Prothesis

Second week of April 2004, my orthopedic doctor, Dr. Chung, advised me I that my left foot stump was healed and ready for prosthesis fitting. He was sending Trevor Munger to do the fitting.

That afternoon, I met another miracle person. He would be a big influence on my healing, mentally and physically and, as far as I am concerned, a friend for a lifetime. This young man (early thirties at the time) with the biggest smile, a bucket and paraphernalia in one hand (left) as his right hand/arm was amputated below the right shoulder. I probably thought, “How is he going to accomplish fitting me for a foot prosthesis.”

Trevor said, “Hello! Are you ready to start the next phase of recovery. ” Still smiling. I said, “Yes, I think so.” I was still hesitant in believing he could do this. He said, “Before we get started let me tell you my story.”

Trevor was born with the right arm not being developed. He became a very active young man. His family encouraged him in all aspects of his life. His disability did not stop him from doing anything and everything he wanted to accomplish. In high school in Kenai, Alaska he became a trophy winning football player and continued on to college to learn the art of making prosthesis. He is now the leading prosthesis maker in Alaska (That’s my opinion, but from what I have read and am told, it’s true.)

I was in awe of this young man. I figured YES. I can do this with God’s grace and help. Trevor explained that first he had to make a cast of my left leg/stump, then design a prosthesis. It would take several fittings before the final product was ready for me to use. That it would take adjustments at different times, as I became used to walking with a prosthesis.

I was in my wheelchair and Trevor sat on floor. Very handily he began the process of building the cast using both arms expertly. At the same time building my confidence of him and his ability to do his job.

I think it took about a week and one day before in he walked with the prosthesis and said let’s put this to good work. I wheeled myself into the exercise room that had the bars to hold onto as I had learned to stand and eventually walk there. What a strange wonderful and scary sensation, putting on the prosthesis and standing on both feet for maybe 10 seconds before setting down.

Trevor told me,”You gotta go easy. Make sure there are no breakdowns in skin, that no sores or blisters start because of rubbing from ill fitting prosthesis.” I was on cloud nine and very happy, but lots of work yet to build up the stump and rest of my body. By the end of second week in therapy I was getting very proficient at dressing myself, using the slide board to transfer from bed ,wheelchair and exercise mat. So onto bigger and better things, learning how to shower, do kitchen jobs and getting into the car (They had an actual small car in the rehab area.) using the slide board. I was feeling pretty smart by then and knowing the lord was with me every step of the way. I was continually praying for guidance and giving him all the praise and glory for my accomplishments.

Bonnie’s continuing story

Brought to you by Charcot Awareness Education Foundation

Sharon’s Surprise & My Continuing Rehabilitation

Second week of April 2004, my orthopedic doctor, Dr. Chung, advised me I that my left foot stump was healed and ready for prosthesis fitting. He was sending Trevor Munger to do the fitting.

That afternoon, I met another miracle person. He would be a big influence on my healing, mentally and physically and, as far as I am concerned, a friend for a lifetime. This young man (early thirties at the time) with the biggest smile, a bucket and paraphernalia in one hand (left) as his right hand/arm was amputated below the right shoulder. I probably thought, “How is he going to accomplish fitting me for a foot prosthesis.”

Trevor said, “Hello! Are you ready to start the next phase of recovery. ” Still smiling. I said, “Yes, I think so.” I was still hesitant in believing he could do this. He said, “Before we get started let me tell you my story.”

Trevor was born with the right arm not being developed. He became a very active young man. His family encouraged him in all aspects of his life. His disability did not stop him from doing anything and everything he wanted to accomplish. In high school in Kenai, Alaska he became a trophy winning football player and continued on to college to learn the art of making prosthesis. He is now the leading prosthesis maker in Alaska (That’s my opinion, but from what I have read and am told, it’s true.)

I was in awe of this young man. I figured YES. I can do this with God’s grace and help. Trevor explained that first he had to make a cast of my left leg/stump, then design a prosthesis. It would take several fittings before the final product was ready for me to use. That it would take adjustments at different times, as I became used to walking with a prosthesis.

I was in my wheelchair and Trevor sat on floor. Very handily he began the process of building the cast using both arms expertly. At the same time building my confidence of him and his ability to do his job.

I think it took about a week and one day before in he walked with the prosthesis and said let’s put this to good work. I wheeled myself into the exercise room that had the bars to hold onto as I had learned to stand and eventually walk there. What a strange wonderful and scary sensation, putting on the prosthesis and standing on both feet for maybe 10 seconds before setting down.

Trevor told me,”You gotta go easy. Make sure there are no breakdowns in skin, that no sores or blisters start because of rubbing from ill fitting prosthesis.” I was on cloud nine and very happy, but lots of work yet to build up the stump and rest of my body. By the end of second week in therapy I was getting very proficient at dressing myself, using the slide board to transfer from bed ,wheelchair and exercise mat. So onto bigger and better things, learning how to shower, do kitchen jobs and getting into the car (They had an actual small car in the rehab area.) using the slide board. I was feeling pretty smart by then and knowing the lord was with me every step of the way. I was continually praying for guidance and giving him all the praise and glory for my accomplishments.

Bonnie’s continuing story

Brought to you by Charcot Awareness Education Foundation

April: Recovery Really Begins

Because of kidney failure, being in ICU, my muscles, and the ability to even set up in bed was not easy. I was placed in the wheelchair with a lift. When I would try to set up, I would get so dizzy. I would almost faint, or get sick to my stomach. So I had to use a “Hoyer Lift”. They lifted me out of the wheelchair to get my weight each time before dialysis. And also, how I was placed in the chair for dialysis. It was neither a pretty picture nor self-esteem builder, but a day to day task.

Rehab at the assisted living place was slow. They took me to a king-sized bed to practice sitting up. Quite a few days was just repeatedly stretching, sitting up from a laying position and to remain sitting up for 5 minutes at a time. It took awhile. Eventually, I got to 15 minutes at a time. Then I progressed to learn to use a “Slide Board”. It was used for moving from a sitting position on the bed, to wheelchair and back to bed. (had not been fitted for prosthesis yet).

First part of March, my breathing/oxygen levels were not good. So, I was on oxygen quite a bit. I did breathing exercises each day also. That was pretty much the extent of rehab that month in between going to dialysis 3 days a week for 4 hours each trip, which were very cold and bumpy. The last 10 days of March was my getting sicker every day again. Low and behold pneumonia struck again and back to Providence Hospital for care.

It was a very rough 10 days, but the GREATEST WAS PRAYER ANSWERED IN THAT TIME – MY KIDNEYS CAME BACK – WHAT A GLORIOUS DAY THAT WAS AND MANY TEARS AND PRAYERS OF THANKS TO THE LORD!! Believe me I fought hard every day to get stronger and continued “The Serenity Prayer continually”.

During this month of March, I also had my most embarrassing moment- hilarious (in a way). Probably bout the 10th of March, a male nurse shows up early in the morning and says “Good morning Bonnie – I have been assigned to give you your first shower (all this time 3 months were bed type baths), but if you would prefer a female nurse just let me know.” I thought about it a moment and started laughing. And I said, “You are a professional person. Part of your job is bathing males/females and at this point everyone/everybody in this place has seen me from one end to the other and giving me a shower isn’t going to change how I look. So, lets get it done.” There you have it -my most embarrassing/hilarious moment. The nurse laughed to and we got it completed.

Bonnie’s continuing story

Brought to you by Charcot Awareness Education Foundation