Sunday, March 29, 2009

Is it PAIN or a SENSATION?

My daughter Becky Jamison is posting this update for me since I'm still not able to get to a computer, nor do I have the strength or stamina to write a story for you.

I'm starting my 5th week of residency in the Skilled Nursing facility at Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo, CO. When I checked into Parkview on Feb 16th I thought I'd be returning to my home 2 weeks later. While I've been disappointed that I wasn't able to do that, I'm happy with the wonderful care I'm receiving here as I recover from the 3 arterial bypasses that were done on my right leg. Because of diabetes, I developed a very large sore area on my right ankle and I've been getting daily care and treatment on that since my bypass operation Feb. 20th. The doctor installed a "Wound Vac" on that wound to enable faster healing. I'm thinking the word "faster" is not the right word. If I can just experience ANY HEALING, I'll be happy. There's nothing "fast" about any of my recovery this time around. But if the doctor sees any progress at all, I'm satisfied. This wound vac has had its share of problems, like most mechanical devices! Either it doesn't pump, or it gets clogged. The nursing staff cleans the wound daily---a very painful ordeal for me. But they're generous with the pain pills.

Pain pills---friend or enemy? While I'm happy to have help in dealing with pain, I sure don't like the side effects. I can't imagine people taking them to feel "better (?)". I want to stay in touch with REALITY! After I had anesthesia for that bypass surgery I had what I call an "out of body experience". It was horrible!! And these pain pills make me feel woozy, drowsy, and askew. I dream crazy things that seems entirely REAL! That's not for me!

But I'm happy that I'm able to think clearly, I can read the daily newspaper, watch just a bit of TV, and visit with the nurses, CNAs and therapists that take care of me daily. And I'm hoping that in a few days I can go back to Canon City and get into a nursing home for a few more weeks of therapy and good nursing care on the diabetic ulcer on my ankle. It's a huge wound--about the size of a tennis ball and exhibits LOTS of varying colors!

This weekend I've experienced excruciating pain on that right foot as I've walked with the Physical Therapists. I call it PAIN. They call it "SENSATION"! The nurse explained that the "SENSATION" may be a good sign, indicating growth of nerve endings in tissue that previously had no feeling. Growth of the new nerve endings which increases FEELING is good, no feeling is bad! But I sure wish the nerve endings sent the "sensation" of pleasure to my brain instead of the "sensation" of pain!

We'll see what tomorrow brings.

6 comments:

Harriet said...

So glad to get an update on your recovery. It is slow sometimes but hang in there.

GrannyPam said...

Hang in there. Seems like you are plenty tough enough to make it through this. I hope you will be closer to home soon. Love and prayers from Michigan.

Greta Koehl said...

Ernie, I will keep you in my prayers. This must be so tough to get through, but I agree with Granny Pam that you have what it takes to tough it out. Best wishes and hope everything goes well.

Linda Wyman said...

Hang in there, Ernie. I certainly hope you get to feeling better soon. Perhaps when you get back to Canon City you'll have access to your own computer and will feel like tapping on the keyboard a bit. I miss your emails----but I'm glad you're sounding alert and ready to get back in the swing of things. You've have a great deal of trauma to your body, so let it heal. Patience, Mr. Patient. I'm also glad your daughter enjoyed her vacation, but it's nice to have her back so we can communicate with YOU!
Linda

Terri said...

We sure do miss your stories, Ernie - Healing after the surgery you had is a slow process. We'll keep you in our prayers!

Janice Tracy said...

Thank you, Ernie, for updating us on your rehabilitation and therapy. It sounds as if the healing process is not an easy one, but your personal strength and the prayers of those who know you will help you get through this. I hope you will be back at your computer keyboard soon - I miss your stories!