Monday, December 19, 2011

Alive and Well….all things considered!!

Well......I'm still alive and doing pretty well, considering the alternative!! Here's what's been going on over the past several months and why I have not posted to the blog in a while.............a knee replacement…………..then a manipulation…….. then an infection.

replacement   postinfection

On March 7 I had a full right knee replacement.  Then on June 20 I had the manipulation done as out patient surgery. I had not been able to get my knee to bend more than 90 degrees since the replacement, so the Dr. wanted to manipulate it to hopefully get it to at least 130 degrees.  But he was only able to get it to 110 and it was leveling out at around 100 to 95 degrees which gets me down stairs normally.

Then last June 30 in the evening I started having chills and running a temp of about 102. By the next morning I was in such horrible pain, my wife had to call an ambulance and rush me to the hospital. They admitted me and after draining fluid from my knee, determined I had developed a staph infection in the replacement knee. At first the Infectious Disease Specialist thought it was a strep strain, but after the cultures were all finished it turned out to be staph.  I left the hospital last July 7 for the Harvard Care Center in Harvard, IL(http://www.mercyhealthsystem.org/body.cfm?id=105)

I was in the highest rated rehab center in Illinois, on my own wing,  getting IV antibiotics 3 times a day and a regimen of other drugs every four hours..........physical therapy 2 times a day and specialized wound care 2 times a day. I finally starting to feel a bit better and was in the Care Center until July 29.  I had a PIC line installed for the IV antibiotics and had that removed the end of August!

poststaplesIMG_1083

If the antibiotics didn't work, I would have lost the knee replacement, have to have an antibiotic spacer inserted for 3 months, and get the knee replaced again.  If that doesn't work, then they take the leg off.  But that didn’t  happen, of course, and I finished my last round of antibiotics on Thanksgiving Day!!

I still have a slight limp and can only bend my knee about 65 degrees, but that is much better than the alternative.  By this coming spring I should be as close to normal as I can!!!