My New Footwear….
I have previously discussed some of the tubes, IV’s, and such that were connected to me. Now, let’s get to the boot. The one fashion accessory that I could have certainly done without. We were informed when Scott and I went in for the consultation, prior to my mandibular resection, (in layman’s terms – jaw replacement) that the doctors would replace part of my jaw with what is called a free flap. Scooter and I were also given the “clue” that I would be my own donor. Yes, you heard that one correctly. I would donate bone from my right leg and skin from the upper section of the same limb. So enters my new, lovely, foot and partial leg covering. The concern was that the arteries from my skin would not have proper blood flow. Throw into the mix the fact that I am a type one diabetic and the healing process may be more difficult. Thankfully, as the old saying goes – So Far, So Good.
Mandibular Resection Surgery is a surgery that is done to treat oral cancer or cancer of the mouth. The mandible or the bone of the jaw, not only defines the face but is also essential for speech and chewing of food.
Microvascular free tissue transfer is what is commonly referred to as a free flap. It is a complex reconstructive surgical procedure that allows for the transplantation of tissue from one part of the body to another.
Count Your Blessings….
In spite of a successful surgery I chose to focus on a great deal of negatives. I perceived myself as being damaged goods underneath that boot, among other places. As time went on, I was told to do some walking to strengthen my muscles. The movement was good for my mind, as well. You know there is only so much daytime television you can watch. Jack and Janet, at the “Regal Beagle”, would have to wait.
This Boot Was Made for Walkin’….
My mother, Madeline, was approximately 80 years old at this time. Her significant other, Rick was 70. Mom had been through a stroke 3 years prior to my latest sojourn and walked with a cane, but that did not stop either of them from making the trek to the hospital on a regular basis. There were certainly days when exhaustion would overtake my body. In this case, I would text my sister, Sandy and ask her to phone mother. “Please tell them not to come over, today. I simply can’t.” Madeline and Rick were not tech savvy in the least. I needed to go through channels before the two of them showed up in my doorway. “Oh, you’re here.” When the two of them did make the scene, we three would walk down to the end of the hallway. Mom and I would lock arms. At the end of the corridor was a glass table and chairs. It sat directly in the sun. We would sit for a few minutes as I stared out the window and contemplated what the rest of the world was doing. Where are “they” going? The answer was never revealed, but life slowly moved forward.
And Now, A Different Kind of Boot….
After more weeks had passed I was informed that I would be transferring to a nursing home/rehab. The social worker came to my room to inform me of the latest events that would be taking place and made no bones about the fact that it was to be taken of immediately. As in two days, to be exact. She called Scott and asked him when he would be coming back for a visit. “This evening”, he replied. “Great. I will be down to see you on my way out”, she exclaimed. True to her word, as my insurance would not cover me to be in the hospital for much longer, there she was. “Kelly is scheduled to leave within a couple of days. Here is a list of nursing homes. Pick one. Goodnight.” What just happened here? Scott looked as though he wanted to open the window in my room and jump. I began to cry as he launched into mumbling some incoherent words and then went into my restroom to collect his thoughts. When he returned he growled, “Well, I better get started.” The nursing homes that were at the top of our list did not accept patients with trach tubes or my insurance company did not cover them. Scooter was able to find one that claimed they were familiar with the tracheostomy tube and it was in, of all places, Scott Township. A sign of good things to come? I’ll let you be the judge.