The Aftermath, Part 6
Five days after discharge, I was crammed into a car (my leg would not bend to allow me to sit up). We made it to the surgical center where, because of an emergency surgery being performed, I had to wait about three hours as my anxiety continued to build. This was my fifth surgery on my leg, and I assumed it would be the last. That was some comfort.
They removed the antibiotic beads, cut away the scar tissue that had formed, and in general cleaned the wound out. They did suture the incision shut, so no more packing of the wound would be needed.
In the recovery room, they were generous with pain meds. After a couple hours in the recovery room, they stuffed me back in the car, still unable to sit, to endure a very long, painful ride home.
Next, came the agony of crawling up the front steps of my house with a fresh incision. I left the center on the same ineffective meds I had been on all along despite the fact that I had just had surgery. They did place me on oral antibiotics for six months.
The next few weeks were filled with appointment after appointment. Of course they were not at the same place or the same time which meant numerous trips to see the surgeon, the infectious disease doctor, the lab for tests and radiology for x-rays.
In between, I was trying to figure out how to meet my financial needs and maintain a house to live in.
I developed a routine of spending Mondays calling everyone I could think of for financial help. I would sit with the phone book making calls all the while receiving a mailbox full of nasty collection letters. No one could help. Each organization had their own reasons I didn’t qualify. I was too young, too old, had no minor children in my home, owned my house, didn’t work, did have a small amount of income from my retirement fund, lived in the wrong city, county, etc, and etc. Most of the rest of the week I spent in tears of anguish over what to do, as well as being in pain and agony.
Once my IV therapy was over the nurse and bath aide left, I had no help at home. I learned to eat cold food from cans. My house was beginning to resemble that of the Adam’s family. Dust, dirt and cobwebs were everywhere.
It was a long summer. I was afraid to use the air conditioner as I had no way to pay for it. I was in fear of losing my house and becoming homeless. I also feared running out of food and starving.
Not once, did a neighbor stop by and ask if I could use some help. A friend of mine did come over once every week or two and do the meager shopping I could afford. Other than that, I was pretty much alone. Weeks went by when I didn’t see another person. My dog was my soul source of comfort most of the time.
I did have a monthly appointment with my surgeon, who didn’t seem to care about my pain. He ignored the fact that I cried every time I saw him and his routine recommendation, was to “stay the course.” The problem was that he had no idea what course I was on.
To be continued…