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Hello from the Cold & Snowy Midwest

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello everyone!

My name is Mike, & as the subject title says, i reside in the Midwest with my wife, two grown sons, a grandson who turns two in 51 days 13 hours, 44 minutes, & 33 seconds, two dogs, & two cats (all black.. No.. we're not into black.. it just happened) I fix PC's for a living, & have created a few websites for businesses. Thank God For Computers! For with out them i might not own the roof, I'm sitting under.

To understand the last statement above, I'll have to explain what brings me to a site such as this:

I'm a bilateral BK (below knee) amputee. Since the age of 11, I've had more infections then i can count (or would care to) because of Meningococcal Meningitis. From the onset of meningitis, till probably the age of 30, i spent more time in hospitals having skin grafts, bone grafts (Ankle b4 2d amputation, wrist, finger amputations..) needless to say.. I've had my share of trials & woes.

What brings me here is what happened back in late 1993. For a long time i had a ulcer on my left knee (stump). It stayed open for at least 1.5 yrs. Well.. one day during that 1.5 yrs.. I woke up at 5am to go to work, & felt a pain i had never felt before in what felt like my ribs. I called in & stayed home because i knew i wasn't going to be able to sit in my work chair for 8.5 hrs. So after calling in, I went to sit in a recliner hoping the pain would go away. By 8am the throbbing was so bad i couldn't move off the recliner without my wife's help (my wife is great!). Somewhere between 8:30 & 9am, my wife decided she needed to call an ambulance because anytime i moved, I'd scream in pain. Big red flag to her because she's seen me in bad pain before, & I have never screamed from it. Ok.. here's the part where i show just how brain dead i can be *grin*.. well.. for the record.. i've seen other men do similar things so its not just me *wink*. ANYWAYS!!.. I tell my wife, "No honey, don't call the ambulance.. we'll go in the car.. they'll just wake up all the neighbors, & everyone will see me being carried out in the boxers" (I wore boxers back then.. what can i say.. i liked em)Ok.. so now i've made my big executive decision for the day.. "My wife is driving me! No ambulance." So.. from the chair i was sitting in screaming, to the door, i'd say was about 20 feet..I knew i could get to that car.. I'm a man damn it! 9:05am.. I need my wife to help me up, after she found my crutches. The ones that have been in storage for a good ten years (probably more). My two toddlers (at the time) were watching all this.. so i really had to make it to that car! between 9:05 & 9:15am, I struggled to get the crutch under my right arm (couldn't stand straight..Oh this is going to be fun)... from 9:15 to 9:45, I had made about 6 crutch steps.. (right left, right left).. somewhere between there (the kitchen stove, & the kitchen door where i had three steps to go down.. I decided I no longer wanted to make executive decisions anymore for a while.. so i gave my wife the thumbs up, & she called the ambulance! Looking back on that event, if the situation had been reversed, & it was my wife screaming in pain every time she moved.. No way would i want to drive her anywhere! it was bad enough going in the ambulance (must have had spring suspension).. it was still hell getting to the hospital. But at least i was on a gurney, going somewhere they could tell me why i was in this pain, & fix it (by the grace of God.. i was hoping).. in the mean time they could stop most of the pain (HAHA). In the ER, I asked for my primary doctor.. because he knew just about everything about me. Since he was on staff, they called his office, come back & tell me what i should have known.. "he's on vacation!" okay.. I'll try & make this shorter. ER doc comes in about an hour before he's going off duty. See's me holding the side bars, stiff as a board in pain. I know what he's thinking, "THANK GOD i'm off in one hour (the nurse told me during our polite conversation) First thing Mr M.D. wants, is me to lay flat on my back, & lift both of my stumps in the air one at a time.. I tried to roll off my side.. but just as soon as i moved I had to let out another scream. I saw the look on the guys face as i let that scream out. For some reason, this doc wasn't convinced. He asked me to try again, & that's where it happened... I told him to "Go to hell first.. then I'll try rolling again! NO PROMISES JERKOFF". I know now that was outta line, but when your in that kind of pain, what can you do, the truth flies no matter what. Okay.. so now he starts doing what i wanted.. Ordering blood test, X-Rays, & CT.. Of course during all that time testing, I was screaming because this guy wasn't convinced. It was between the X-Ray & CT he left because when i got back to my room his buddy was there now with all the test results. He didn't have dis-belief on his face, & seemed nice, & after he FINALLY ordered something for pain.. I really thought this guy was it. The one that would fix me.. & then let me go home (HAHA). He tells me "he was all my results.. and i have a bad infection at the t-10 thru t-12." I ask, "so whats that mean?" his reply, "long term I.V. antibiotics inpatient." Me: "Long term? what 6 weeks" Him: don't know yet... but i need to know how long you've been injecting?" Me: "Injecting what?" him: "what street drugs do you inject?.. I can find out easy with blood test." Me: "I've never injected anything into myself, & the only ones that have EVER injected anything in me had M.D, or R.N after their names!" I was livid & wanted to get the hell out of that hospital.... until he apologized. Right after apologizing to me, he left my room, went to my wife, & asked her to fess up to what i was injecting... Oh jeepers.. I have to run & get my wife from work... so i have to close up.

I found out that the injecting suspicion the doctors had was because the infection i had usually only occurs in I.V. drug users using dirty needles.. so thats a lesson for me.. It took twelve weeks of I.V antibiotics to kill the bug, but by then lots of damage to my spine had been done, & it was in danger of collapse. So i had a spine fusion May 19, 1994 (plate, screws, bone from my rib).. I've been doing fairly okay since then but recently things seem to have changed, & I'm having pain that i believe is connected to the fusion. Which is why i have come here. The doctor that did my surgery is long gone to another state, & I'm not sure what to do anymore. For the last three weeks i have not been able to sleep because of throbing.. Wait.. this isn't the place for this, so i'll post my pain issues when i get back home in a little while in an appropriate room.

BTW..This seems like a wonderful site.. great job who ever put it together



  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. SH is a great site because of all the wonderful members willing to reach out and be there for each other. we are here for you as well. :D please have a look around and get to know us better!! i am in sunny, southern california myself although today it looks like we may get some rain!! be sure and drop by the "Sleep Problems" forum if you are awake at night. I) good luck as you face these new pain issues after your last surgery. keep us posted. Jenny
  • Wowza - what a story. I'm glad you found us too - I love your humor and good spirits in the face of so much!! So sorry you have to suffer as much as you do, but it sounds like you're making the best of it, as we're trying as well. Some days, we're doing great. Others, we just want to give up. And thanks to this amazing support group, we make it through to the next day.

    Welcome to Spine Health!!

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  • It is just amazing that you have been able to keep such a great sense of humor through all that you have been through! I am truly sorry that you are having issues with your fusion and I hope that you can get answers and relief soon. Please keep us posted and I will look forward to seeing you around the forum.
  • Sorry for not getting back to finish. Why is it every time I'm in a hurry i get behind a tractor going slower then i walk? I thought i was never getting home again.. But.. alls well.. once the tractor lost one of its back wheels.. I've never seen anything like it! Almost like God actually heard me this time :jawdrop: ..

    I have gone through every word you guys have typed, & I appreciate your words of encouragement. Its obvious to me, after going through a few other forums here, that #1.. I don't feel so alone right now.. and #2... I'm reminded others are worst off then me, so next time i get on my pity pot, I know where to come for a reality check. I'm sorry anyone (especially children) going through any of the stuff any of us have been through. I've met so many good people in my lifetime, i wouldn't have met if not for my medical issues..

    I think i've had to leave the house four times since starting this, so i think i better end this, eat something & go to bed.

    I'll try & keep my word tomorrow (today) & ask the questions I came here to ask...

    Nite All

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