The Aftermath, Part 7
Trial of Therapy
The infectious disease doctor decided after six months I could discontinue the antibiotic pills as the osteomylitis had healed. The surgeon felt it was safe to begin weight-bearing with the use of a walker and sent me to physical therapy.
Therapy sessions were extremely painful and unproductive. I was able to move a slight bit better, but the pain was excruciating. By that time, the surgeon had taken me off of my pain pills thinking I was just drug-seeking. Three times a week for a couple of months I struggled though these therapy sessions, often in tears. The therapist felt I was not motivated and that I could do better if I would just try harder. He told me that frequently, too.
I felt absolutely broken and defeated. I still was not able to work. I was sick all the time with an unexplained fever, night sweats and chills. Others in my life felt I just enjoyed the dependency of being disabled, and what little help they had provided, dried up quickly. I was sick, alone and in poverty. Depression had always been a problem for me, and I was feeling its full force. I couldn’t afford to see my psychiatrist or to take my medications on a regular basis. I would take half a dose or take it every other day depending on which medication it was.
It was a few days after Thanksgiving, when I heard something in my leg snap, and was immediately in excruciating pain. I couldn’t bear weight at all, even with the assistance of a walker. I tried to get an appointment with my surgeon, but he was overbooked due to the holidays. I did try to go to physical therapy, but with these new symptoms, they wouldn’t see me.
When I finally was able to be seen by the surgeon the next week, he did the usual x-ray. He brought it in and showed to me that two of the screws holding my fracture site in place had broken and the heads of the screws were floating around my knee.
He explained to me that the osteomyelitis had likely returned and I would need further surgery to reset the bone and remove the infected area. He told me to come back after Christmas for what I assumed would be a preoperative consultation.
I actually felt relieved that there was something truly wrong, and there was hope to fix it. So I hunkered down for a month of pain and waited for the surgery. Christmas came and went, and all I wished for was this nightmare to end. That wouldn’t happen for quite some time. I stayed in bed, my computer had quit working and the only reason I had to get up was to care for my very special beagle, Zoey, who kept me company and gave me reason to live.
To be continued…