It has been a crazy year and it's just March. I've been meaning to give an update to everyone but this is the first time I've actually been able to come up for air... If you're not familiar, let me start at the beginning. We have had a fairly harsh winter. In late January a rain and quick freeze created a lot of black ice in central Colorado and Debbie fell on the ice on the sidewalk in front of our house. When I got the call from her and Alex, it sounded bad. I was at a work-related dinner at the Tech Center and exited quickly to come help her up as she couldn't get up on her own. About half-way home it was obvious that things were worse than anticipated so I called an ambulance. Hours later in ER, the conclusion was severely broken ankle, actually, pulverized ankle; broken in three places, the leg was broken in two place and one of the areas of the ankle was literally pulverized and could not be rebuilt or fixed.
A few days later, she had surgery number one where they put an external fixater on her leg, which is scary since Debbie is a diabetic. The surgery went well, the recovery did not, she was in the hospital for several days.
About two weeks later, when the swelling went down she had surgery number two, which entailed two plates and twenty-six screws. The surgery went well but the recovery did not and she was in the hospital for several days.
My planned knee replacement surgery happened a week later. Luckily my brother flew in from Indiana to help us out for a couple of months, which made it all possible. My surgery went very well. I was only in the hospital one day vs. 4 days with the last one. I was only on the heavy pain meds for a few days vs. 4-5 weeks with the last one. I was walking with a cane and driving in under three weeks, it was a couple of months last time - so all going well. The only complication has been a bit of a kidney infection and I am probably spending too much time sitting and working so I am getting a bit of swelling, which is hurting my flexibility a bit but overall, a very strong recovery and experience. I'm a month in now and am excited about getting past the next few months.
A week after I got home, Debbie had another scary incident. One day she just started making no sense, she was disoriented and confused. I thought that maybe it was the medicine she was taking but we ultimately had to call an ambulance again when she tried to walk on her ankle. She ended up in ICU for 8 days with severe low serum sodium levels in her blood. Our sodium levels are supposed to be 135; if it's higher than 135 it can cause dangerously high blood pressure. If it is loser then around 120 it can cause death, brain injury, stroke, seizures, etc., Debbie's was 109. There were some touch and go days and life was pretty stressful.
Things are starting to look up for Debbie. She's getting stronger, they've been able to balance out her sodium levels and we're cautiously optimistic about her further recovery though it is going to be a long road for her ankle. she's got about 4 more weeks of the cast and then will get a walking boot and start intensive physical therapy. Please keep Debbie and the family in your prayers. We are both looking forward to better days and better mobility but wow, what a tough start to the year...