So many of you have sent messages to me about my health problems, that I felt the need to bring my STT friends up to date.
Last Wednesday, March 14th, Jackie and I had an appointment with two orthopedic surgeons at UVA on recommendation of my new infectious disease doctor. The ID doctor was recommending that I have my infected artificial knee replaced. He felt two years of experimenting with six different drug therapies with antibiotics and antifungal drugs, without a cure, was enough. We were not able to conquer the staph infection I have as a result of my original knee replacement in Oct, 2009. The 'super-bug' infection was sewn into my leg at the hospital at that time.
We didn't get the news we were expecting from the orthopedic surgeons. They said a long range knee replacement with a possible 70% chance of a cure was one of two alternatives I had. The other alternative is amputation of a leg that has suffered serious bone and tissue deterioration. They said I have about 2 years to go before it would be a question of amputation or death by the infection that would gain a superior advantage over any medication.
So, we have decided to do the long range, two step surgical procedure and take the 70% chance I'll be healed. The process will begin in early May-
> a week in the hospital to remove the present artificial knee,
> clean out the knee cavity and install a plastic, medicated post in place of the knee plus other medications as needed,
> spend 6-8 weeks in a nursing home with continuing IV medication of the knee area. Having no direct connection between thigh bone and lower leg means confinement to bed.
> if all goes well, a second surgery would take place the third/forth week of June in which I would have a new artifical knee installed.
> after a week in the hospital, I would then spend 6/8 weeks in a rehab center learning to walk again.
> I should be home again in mid-August. If the infection is no longer evident, I will be tremendously blessed.
> If the infection is still in the knee or leg, we will have to amputate the leg above the knee in September. I would then spend another 6 weeks in a rehab center learning to use an artificial leg. If we reach this level, I will still be tremendously blessed. Being free of daily, debilitating pain would be the most blessed thing that can happen to me.
I don't begrudge the two year treatments I've had in an attempt to kill this insidious infection. I have lost 65 lbs. during this time and the good things that have happened, makes me feel better about the challenges ahead.
I have a lot to be thankful for. I am looking forward to driving my vehicles, especially my Lark and trucks, as well as having the absence of chronic pain. Wish me well, my friends. Frank
Posted on Mar 20, 2012, 6:23 PM from IP address 22.214.171.124