Day 105 – Updated

Sorry. No photo or text (other than this) today. I got stuck in the hospital with a badly infected toe. Hope to be home soon where I can use a keyboard and not a cell phone.


The contents of Cindy’s purse

When I came downstairs this morning I saw this on the kitchen counter. It didn’t take me long to determine it was the contents of Cindy’s purse, but I was curious as to why they were in two restaurant carry-out boxes. It seems that when Cindy was with some friends at a restaurant Saturday evening, a bowl of cottage cheese jumped off the table and into her purse which was sitting on the floor beside her chair. She removed her belongings so she could wash out the purse, hence the carry-out boxes.

Shortly after taking the photo, Cindy drove me to the emergency room at St. Elisabeth Hospital in Lafayette. I have been seeing a podiatrist for almost a year because of problem with my left big toe, or Great Left Toe as the medical people call it. I think Great Left Toe sounds like it should be a spur to a mountain range, but that is just me. Anyway, overnight the toe went from being swollen to being swollen even more, turning an angry red, and developing ulcers on the top of the toe. I hadn’t been feeling well for a few days, so I was ready to go.

The first nurse to look at my toe in the emergency room asked what had happened to my toe and told us that they would be admitting me and starting me on IV antibiotics. That was confirmed a little while later by the doctor who came in and asked what had happened to my toe. While I waited for a room, a couple of vials of blood were drawn; I was visited by a medical student who was working with the ER doctor, she took a lot of notes on the history of my toe problems; another medical student came in and asked to see my toe because the word was that it was interesting, and wondered what had happened to my toe; and then I was whisked away to a room on the third floor. OK, my memory isn’t clear on whether the IV was hooked up before or after they transported me to the room, but it happened quickly. When I got to the room the nurse who was there asked what had happened to my toe and got me settled in. The doctor came in and asked what had happened to my toe. As good and kind as all of these people are, they should talk to one another so that I don’t have to keep repeating myself. The doctor said that he wanted to consult with a podiatrist, mine if possible, and an infections specialist. Since it was Sunday and a holiday it was not likely they would be in to see me until Monday.

That afternoon my podiatrist, Dr. Moon, came in the room. He looked at the toe, not asking what happened to it, and told us that he was ordering an MRI and an operating room for noon Monday. The extent of the surgery would depend on what the MRI showed, and what he found when he opened up the toe. He and I had discussed surgery in the past, and while he favored it, he was willing to try to heal the toe without it as long as we kept making progress. What had happened was definitely a set-back. The options we had now were minor surgery, partial amputation, or full amputation of the toe. I think he threw us the first option to give us some hope.

Around 9 p.m. they came and took me for the MRI. The tech was very friendly. The first thing he said was, “What kind of music do you like?” When I said either the blues, jazz or folk music; he said, “I can offer you country or classic rock.” Well, I chose classic rock. He said that he would be injecting me with contrast, and did I know what that was? I did. Then he got me on the bed of the machine and told me I need to be completely still because the machine was sensitive to movement. He put my foot in a sort of plastic boot, put headphones on me and left the room. What he hadn’t told me was that I would be there for about half an hour…expected to not move in that time. The headphones came alive and I heard static. About five minutes into this procedure the sound switched from static to country music. The tech told me that he couldn’t locate the classic rock. I told him he could kill the music. About five minutes passed and he asked me if I was moving, because he could detect movement. I told him any movement was involuntary, and asked him about the contrast that he was supposed to inject. He said that he wouldn’t be doing that for another ten minutes or so. That’s when it hit me that I would be there a lot longer than I had first imagined. He came on a couple more times to ask if I was moving, and now I couldn’t deny it because every muscle in my leg and foot, not to mention my other foot was having the occasional involuntary twitch. I tried to relax, but it didn’t work. Finally he came in and injected the contrast, saying it would only be about another five minutes. Maybe he didn’t realize that there was a timer countdown showing just above my head, but the first of the last two series of images started timing with 6:42 to go. The second lasted 4:10. He was obviously a poor judge of timing. At last it was over, and I went back to my room.