Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Puttin' a schedule together

Alright, so in the shower this morning the doc was unequivocal about the fact that there will be NO amputation with respect to my body. He'd pretty much said so before, but he made it official today, which is nice. Now, so that means that we get to move into the planning and scheduling phase for the skin graft on my foot.

On Monday, the doc will put me on the graft schedule for next week. It appears that they make those schedules weekly so that's the next opportunity to make that happen. In the meantime, I'll be taking in my antibiotics as they annihilate the infection in my foot. The doc will also be watching the top of my foot for progress. There's a chance, though I'm not holding my breath, that the skin may recover and even the graft may become unneccessary. In any case, he'll keep watching that up until the time of the operation and we can cancel at any time if need be, so that's cool.

While I'm hanging out and waiting for the antibiotics to do their thing and my foot to steal some skin from my hip, everything else will be healing like crazy, so by the time I get out of here I should be much better able to take care of myself than if I left earlier. My left foot and hand are in really good shape with the open wounds healing real nicely. I'll lose my thumbnail and my big toenail for sure and perhaps a few others, but that's not too out of the ordinary for me. I'm hoping the skin on my right foot will start closing up in the healthier areas soon and get a little easier to take care of.

Physical therapy continues to be a nice diversion during the day. Lately I've been burning my upright time by walking to my showers and back, so fewer laps around the unit. Because of the foot infection (which also causes extraordinary pain when my foot hangs down) they want to discourage too much use of the walker at the moment. But, I've been cranking away on the hand bike, free weights (10 pound max, what kinda gym is this?) and some thera-bands. I'm also getting pretty slick at piloting my wheelchair through the halls, though I don't think I'm quite ready to give it a try on the stairs yet.

Every time the dressings come off my feet and I see the old black sharpie lines indicating where this story could have ended, I just shake my head and try to wrap my brain around just how lucky I've been. I don't think it has all sunk in yet and I'm not sure that it ever will. But, even if I can't quite grasp the magnitude of my luck I can't help but be overwhelmed with thankfulness for the amazing staff down here as well as in Jackson for being aware of the options in Salt Lake. The support from family and friends continues to blow me away as well. I can't say this enough, thank you.


  1. ya-hey. sounds like good progress! see if you can get them to give you any hammer products to speed things up with the skin...


  2. Chris - what wonderful news! Keep up the good work! Martha Church

  3. Chris,
    good to hear that you will keep your feet. Sorry about the loss of all those brain cells, but I assume that was a pre-existing condition, not covered by this hospital stay.

    Anyway, we will be thinking of you while we get sunburned on a Florida beach and think about making the trek across some hot sand to the bathrooms.

    Doug and Mary Edmonson

  4. hey there buddy! Hope you are doing alright. Let me know how long you will be in Salt Lake City for, since I aim to make a trek out to visit you within the next couple weeks.

    -Ben Harvey

  5. Hey Chris--

    i linked to your site through Matt Hart's site, who is a friend of a friend. i'm a nurse at LDS hospital, and in the NP program. i get up to the U of U a lot-- just finished doing a rotation in the ER there, and had i known about you then, i would have stopped in to say hello. i'm going to read through your blog, but i want you to know that i'm wishing you the best and know that you will pull through this with amazing grace and style! if you need anything while you are here in SLC or just need a friendly face to stop and say hello, give me a shout, okay? we backcountry folks stick together like a bonded snowpack.

    best to you,
    missy b


  6. Who takes a shower with their doctor?

  7. Sweetheart, he was wearing a showercap . . .

  8. Biz,
    Glad to hear that you will keep your limbs. Keep it up and good luck!

    -Chris Marshall

  9. awesome news you get to keep all the digits!!

  10. Chris,
    It is good to hear that your progressing well and that you get to keep all the piggies, I wish you a speedy recovery so I can see you out on the trails this summer.
    Luke Nelson

  11. I was thinking maybe you could turn this into a competition - you know a race. Maybe get some other patients down there and start up some time trials with the wheel chairs?

    Good to hear this positive news. Rooting for you

  12. Hi Chris,

    Thanks so much for commenting on my blog. It meant a lot to me. Sorry to hear about the ordeal you are going through, but that's awesome that the treatment you've received was able to save your feet. I'll be following along with your progress.


    Jill in Juneau

  13. Chris,

    Really great news! Hooley passed along the blog to me a couple of days back, and Sarah and I have been anxious to check in -- and are so happy to see all of the wonderful (and sometimes appropriately humorous) support that you've been getting :)

    Your 'tude is AMAZING, although it comes as no surprise.

    Hang in there and recover well.

    PS I'm trying to dig up this nice photo of you and Schrader in Keeley's fold-up school bus from your trip to Winthrop ages back. Lori, where do I send it :)

  14. oh you send it right here, Erik Brooks:

    thanks, it will up post haste.