Surgeries for the New Year
The recovery has more or less plateaued since my last writing. I am continuing to put little weight on my right arm for another three weeks. I’ve been wearing the brace less often which lets me wear jackets and long sleeve shirts. The pain in the arm has almost completely gone away, which in turn has helped me to sleep a little better at night. It is difficult coping with the fused elbow. Not having the ability to bend it means that I still must do nearly all actions with my left arm. The overuse on my left arm is already taking its toll with tennis elbow, but I don’t really have other options. Until medical technology improves, my right elbow will remain locked and the arm’s function will continue to be limited.
- Surgeries -
Next month I have a couple serious operations scheduled. On January 16th, Dr. William Pederson from the Hand Center of San Antonio will be working to repair some of the nerves in my right forearm and hand. The odds for success are not in my favor, but any improvement, however small, would be fantastic. The hope is to regain the ability to extend my fingers (I can only grasp right now), increase sensation, and rebuild strength. He is also going to do some minor plastic/reconstructive surgery to smooth out the scars left over from the metal frame. Plus, there are a couple pesky staples that managed to stay in my arm from some initial operations last year. It’s like having a pebble stuck in your shoe, except that this is under my skin. In other words, the staples are really annoying. The surgery will be outpatient, and is planned to last about three hours.
A week after that, an orthopedic team along with a plastic surgeon are going to do some “revisions” of my left thigh. They are planning to remove some excess soft tissue and realign some of the muscles that had to be tied into the end of my femur. That area continues to cause severe pain even when simply laying in bed. Activities like walking on prosthetics further aggravate the area. I can’t expect to be pain free in such a severely damaged part of my body like this, but anything the doctors can do to reduce the pain will be greatly appreciated.
Finally, I want to give a huge thank you to Jim Tommins and everyone who helped organize, donated to, or participated in the Sticks for Soldiers lacrosse tournament held last month. I was a beneficiary of the charities raised this year, and it was nothing short of a huge success. For all of you who braved the cold in Fairfield, CT to support me, thank you.
Thank you also to the New England Patriots organization for making my game-day experiences unforgettable. And to each of you who keep taking care of me in body and spirit, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.