I’m sitting in a new recliner in my new two bedroom apartment working on a new laptop. This is the first time I’ve been out of a hospital or rehab facility since the 22nd of August, and I am feeling particularly grateful to the universe and some of its denizens. So how did we get here? Well, it’s not a funny story, or a particularly positive story, but it is something I promised I would share when I got back to the typing machine.
So, the week after I got back from Gen Con I was feeling under the weather with what I now recognize as symptoms of critically high blood sugar. I was an undiagnosed, and more dangerously, untreated diabetic. During the middle of that week, I had a blister that developed and popped, spilling bacteria down my leg. I tried to treat with Neosporin and band aids, as I have been taught for any, many years. I wasn’t thinking very clearly because of the high blood sugar, and this also complicated my body’s ability to heal and fight off infections.
My business partner was concerned when I didn’t call her on a Thursday night so the following Friday morning, I was greeted by Police and Paramedics in my house. The paramedics informed me that I was not in good shape, that the blister had degenerated tissue in my foot and it had gone septic. I was also informed that my blood sugar was right around 400 (that’s a bad number by the way). I went to the ER, and was admitted to my local hospital.
The prognosis wasn’t good. I had multiple infections eating away at my foot, and if I had waited any longer, it would have probably killed me. Oh, and I was diabetic.
I spent 5 days at that hospital and had one surgical procedure where the doctors went in and cut away and removed dead and dying tissue from my foot. My sister in law was concerned that I wasn’t getting the care I needed, so I transferred to the University of Kansas Medical Center in KC and spent another three weeks there. During that time I underwent two more surgical procedures to clear away dead tissue. The possibility of amputation was very real during the first few days at the hospital and they weren’t sure I was going to get to go home on two feet.
Luckily, I ended up with a very skilled surgical team who specialized in orthopedics and they were able to save the foot and clear out the dead tissue, though I do have a surgical scar on my right leg that runs basically from my knee all the way down the front of my shin to the ankle. I had one more procedure to close up the wound area as best they could and scheduled me for a skin graft. I had lost enough tissue that without the graft, the wound on my foot would never heal over.
After three long weeks in the hospital, I ended up with a Wound Vac attached to my leg (it’s a miniature vacuum pump that does two equally important things. It a, maintains a seal over the injured location and b, sucks out dead cells and fluids to promote healing. This is about as fun as it sounds. I was also on three different antibiotics to kill the infections, and thankfully, they did their jobs. They also trashed my sense of balance which would become an issue later on at rehab.
After my hospital stay, I ended up at rehab hospital/skilled nursing facility. I needed both sides of this, because I wasn’t exceptionally mobile on my one good foot, and the dressing on my wound vac had to be changed three times a week. That was a roller coaster of an experience, with ups and downs involving my diabetic diet, a room mate that needed a hobby (and a CPAP Machine) and misadventures with a wheelchair. I’m still using a wheel chair as my primary means of locomotion, but I am much better with it than I used to be. I am also capable of standing on one foot for short periods of time.
Now while I was staying at rehab, I had a 5th operation, the aforementioned skin graft. That was not as good an experience as the first few as I woke in blinding pain and I think the pain coupled with stress and anesthesia gave me one of the worst bouts of nausea I have ever had. I ended up staying at the hospital that night and heading back to rehab the next day.
The prognosis looks good at this point. My leg/foot are healing in the best possible way according to the Doctors and nurses. I am out of rehab now and like I said at the start, I am sitting in a new chair in my new apartment. The next appointment I have is on the 26th and that’s to see if I need to have another skin graft (for a spot over my tendon. The Doctors were hoping that spot might heal on its own naturally, so we’ll find out if that faith is rewarded when I go back up to see them.
On the diabetic front, everything is looking good. My blood sugars are under control, and I am currently embracing the diabetic diet. I’m also off pop, which is a nice change of pace for someone who’s been addict for over thirty years. Soon I’ll be getting back to work, both here on the blog and at my day job. That’s where we are now, and we’ll get back to making content for you guys soon. You can expect a pretty deep dive into Wild West Exodus, Doomtown, and some other games we liked a lot from Gen Con.
Hopefully we get some original content published as well, and we are really hoping our friends over at Pinnacle send us a copy of the new edition of Savage Worlds to check out.
Also keep an eye out for new features, some old ideas getting new polish and an overall return to form for the Blog. (We’re going to be trying out Kill Team and some other things along the way). Expect pictures and maybe some more videos in the soon to near future.
Game On, Game Fans.