News, updates, and happenings with the Kragnes family: Phil, our Seeing Eye Dogs, and (me) Rebecca.

Archive for February, 2015

I’m in bed early, because it’s so cold here! I am so sick of cold; and things have been better with both doors. Phil is learning all he can but says he is probably coming to the end of what he can be taught. Garron is adjusting there beautifully, and the couple times he landed on the wound it didn’t seem to hurt. Phil says it probably didn’t do much to help the healing, which is the other reason he is still there. He’s hoping the pre-release meeting is scheduled for this week. He’s still on oral pain medication which makes him drowsy, but he is still himself. We’re saving our money on transit and just using the phone, because it’s likely we’ll have to cover whatever insurance won’t in buying  a wheelchair. It will be better for getting around the house than that monster walker he has. Toward the tale end of rehab, he and a physical therapist will visit the home to get modifications settled. There may need to be a crab bar near the toilet, and even one of my sighted friends says she can’t envision how it will be done.I’m trying not to worry about the days ahead, but have concerns both dealing with Phil’s coming home and not related to it at all. After sending this, it’s time to escape under warm blankets and into a good book.

Phil is going to rehab.

Hey people! Writing to say that Phil sounds so good! He still is getting some pain meds, but oral pain meds don’t seem to affect him the way IV meds do. He’s lucid, and best of all, he’s moving to acute rehab today!!! I talked about the fact they would push him, and he said their idea of pushing probably didn’t match his. It will be very interesting to hear what life is like in acute rehab. I keep using the adjective, because this is different than transitional care, which is considered normal rehab. He’s hearing he’ll be there seven to ten days, so maybe by the first of March, he’ll be coming home. I really think this is a momentous step, and it will be so interesting to compare the way he was arriving home without rehab and arriving home after acute rehab.

As for me, I feel a lot more hopeful now. As much as I have enjoyed seting my own schedule, it’s the one advantage in a long list of disadvantages of having Phil and Garron away. The other one is the ability to move about more freely with big laundry baskets, and there’s going to be a lot of that happening in the next days.

Catching you up on Phil’s Medical Condition

I’ve been sending Facebook posts, but haven’t been good about updating blog readers. Things have happened so quickly that it seemed wise to wait until things slowed down a bit.

I believe when I last wrote, Phil was headed for an angiogram to examine a possible blockage in his leg. The blockage was quite sizable affecting all three arteries, so he was scheduled for a bypass surgery to create an alternate route for blood flow. He had that surgery on January 23rd and was back in the OR less than 24 hours later to get rid of a hematoma which is a glob of blood under the skin which is quite painful!! The hemtoma was the result of the doctor using blood thinners during the first surgery. The blood thinnerso were stopped, and the wound from the surgery grew bigger after the second.

Monday Phil was back in the OR for the doctors to sew at least one side of the wound. However, while in surgery, it was discovered that the bypass graft done on Friday had clotted. I heard from two doctors that Moday the 26th, and both sounded very grim. They opened the graft with balloons, but were pretty sure it would clot again. They warned us that if it did, amputation was the next step. The doctors said they felt due to the tinyness of Phil’s arteries in his foot, it would eventually come down to the leg coming off. They also told me on some sort of blood flow scale, healing occurred at 50. The blood flow in Phil’s leg was at 7.
Phil was in a tremendous amount of pain, and true to their word, when they went to sew another part of the wound on Friday the 30th, despite the low dose of blood thinners, the graft had clotted. Phil agreed to amputation Saturday the cannotast asking the doctor to try to keep it below the knee like his other leg. The amputation was Monday February 2nd. So now he suffers the post-amputation pain. As a reminder, this makes him a double amputee. He’s still determined to come home rather than going to a rehab center. I understand his reasons, but being the one responsible when the professionals have left really worries me a great deal!! Still I understand the motivation to get up will be stronger knowing his way around the house rather than some strange rehab center. There is quite a bit of pain yet to be managed, and the physical and occupational therapists are now just starting to get him out of bed. The very earliest any release will occur is the first part of next week.

Garron is at friends’ so Zane and I can come and go without leaving him alone. I am trying to avoid visiting Phil when therapists are likely to work with him. Zane and I could be physical obstacles, and listening to him enduring pain is difficult enough on the phone or live when he’s still in bed.

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