We left at 8:00 p.m. Sunday night for Oregon Health Sciences University (where the problems go). Mike was complaining and vetching at me the whole way. He DID NOT want to go. Why did I insist he go to this hospital? He has been running fevers and although it is 80 degrees outside, he has wanted the heaters running while he is wrapped up in a heated throw. His legs are bright red, swollen and for the first time, they smell really bad- the house still reeks of this smell. It overpowers even my stinkiest litterpan!
For the first time since I can remember, he was complaining of pain in both of his legs (and he hasn’t been able to feel his legs for quite awhile). He’s been clammy and chilly in the hottest of days, and even on the way to the hospital (It was 73 degrees outside) he insisted I run the car heater full throttle because he was cold. Poor B-Dog,she was in the back and I thought she was going to have heat stroke! Her water bowl was bone dry when we arrived at the hospital. For Mike, something was brewing and I was tired of messing with these so-called doctors and wound-care specialists who have been caring for him for over two years.
He didn’t want to go. He dug in his heels, he complained, he came up with all sorts of excuses. I finally told him this wasn’t a debate, he was to get his butt into my car NOW and I was taking him in. I’m glad I did that even though the ride up, he barely said two kind words to me. LOL We are friends again by the way. I know he was scared.
They have him now on antibiotics, painkillers and IV fluids. He has been seen by ER doctors, vascular surgeons and various other specialists. They have done blood work and cultures, x-rays and ultra sounds, EKG and he will probably have other tests down the road.
When we first arrived they feared either a systemic infection or osteomilitis (where the infection from the ulcer on his foot has moved into his bones) All tests point to that not being the case. YAY! There are no blood clots in his leg.
He does have cellulitus which is a bacterial infection of the skin and tissue and they are very concerned about this, because unchecked if it travels into the blood stream, he would have died quickly, it can cause other nasty surprises as well. They are concerned at the appearance and size of the ulcer on his foot. They want to get this swelling, redness and infection under control before they move on to stage two. I had to leave after 12 hours with him. We had left in such a rush that I didn’t leave enough food out for the animals so I don’t know many of the details of what else they might be planning because he hadn’t been placed in his own room yet. Mike was joking and giving everyone a bad time- he will be on complete bedrest but I don’t know for how long?
I do know that this wonderful team of skilled vascular surgeons will now be taking up his care and they are pretty amazing and nice. They were a bit puzzled when we told them what a “local” vascular surgeon said and how he acted when he saw Mike for the first time on Thursday. It threw both me and Mike into quite a panic until he was actually seen by a team that knows what they are doing and they settled our fears. This local yokel told us to come up to this hospital and be seen by the team. That they would do an angiogram but it would be a “formality” because Mike was facing amputation of both legs above the knee! By the way- this “specialist” didn’t lay ONE FINGER on Mike’s legs (I had unwrapped them beforehand) He seem afraid to touch them and said he couldn’t help us, it was out of his league!
I don’t know how long Mike will be in the hospital- or what else is planned for him. But I wanted to let you know what is going on. The hospital is HUGE- it is where all the problems go. He’s in great hands, I can relax and for the second time in 8 years of caring for him, get a little bit of a break. But one vascular surgeon assured me that amputation of any of his legs will be the last thing they will do to this man. They will go the extra mile to save him and his legs. They are giving him oxycodone for pain, and I will be unable to visit him daily due to the fact of how far away this hospital is from us. The money isn’t there at the moment and I just really need the time to myself.