As the (W)Heel Turns: One-Half Year Post-Trauma

I’ll bet you all thought you’d heard the last of my husband’s sad broken heel story. But we’re back with an update.

Tomorrow marks 6 months since David shattered his heel in that snowy, icy car accident. And the surgical wound has never healed. So, he is facing his 6th and most major surgery/procedure yet, with the exception of the emergency surgery the night of the accident.

Because tissue refuses to grow over the last little 1/2 to 3/4-inch bit of calcaneal bone, we’ve been passed off to plastics. Since my last post in April,  right after the first collagen and amniotic fluid procedure, David had another collagen implant. That was in May. He also gets to electro-magnetize his foot in a little black box every night for 30 minutes to encourage bone growth. While we have been dubious about the “magic box,” we really thought the collagen was working. The wound got so small that we were able to send the wound vac back to the medical supply company. We could have sworn that the bone was covered. In fact, he was finally able to put 50% weight on his foot two weeks ago.

Then last week, the doctor tapped the white spot and declared that it was indeed bone. Dang. Since the bone is healed, David was given the go-ahead to put 100% weight on it with the use of a cane. This is important because the body thinks that the bone is no longer needed due to lack of use, so the calcaneous is currently pitted and suffering from osteoporosis. Putting weight on the bone will help trigger density and strength. Unfortunately putting weight on the foot also has pulled back the skin, uncovering some of the barely covered bone. A nasty Catch-22.

So, yesterday found us consulting with a plastic surgeon who specializes in complicated wound reconstruction. Depending on the vascular health of his foot, the surgeon can either do a 2-3 hr. surgery that uses foot muscle to fill the void–or he will have to do a “free flap,” which transplants tissue from the leg to the wound. That is much more complicated and is a 5-6 hr . surgery and a 4-day hospital stay.

Regardless, our summer is toast. Recovery will require 4-6 weeks non-weight bearing and with his foot up, like he was in January. Fortunately, this time around, we won’t be dealing with a broken sternum (or broken calcaneal bone, for that matter).

Perhaps by Dec. 11, 2014, he will be walking again.

In the meantime, we continue to plod along with one foot in front of the other. Our Diabetic Dean the cat turned out to also have something called stomacitis, which resulted in his having all of his teeth extracted last month. He is now worth his weight in gold. The puppies are growing by leaps and bounds–while leaping and bounding through the house. They are currently sitting here in the living room drying off after a June mudbath.

And while we are stalled, our children are not. Kate’s had two proms, and Sam actually went to the 8th grade dance. He graduated from 8th grade last week and has left middle school in his dust. In April, Kate got a job and her driver’s license and is now a senior in high school. And David and I were pleased to attend Peter’s 4.0 awards breakfast, as he wrapped up his 7th grade year.

And because there is just never any down time in this family, Sam starts summer school on Thursday to take care of a high school requirement and then starts driver’s ed on Monday evening! Kate has started staring at the Common Application for college entrances and has one more ACT exam on the 14th.

About CarolineChicago

I am a freelance marketing strategist and content/copy writer living in the Chicago area. I enjoy writing on several different topics of personal interest, especially food and cooking.
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