Lemonade Isn’t Always a Drink

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I need to start making more lemonade. Oh, not the kind you drink — I know how to do that, and can even make it using real lemons instead of that powdered stuff you add to water. No, I mean the kind you make “when life hands you lemons.”

My latest “lemon” is that there was so much drainage from my last surgery on May 10, the incision was too wet and came open. Now, as soon as it dries up, it appears I will be going back into the operating room to have it cleaned out really good and stitched up (again).

Part of getting it to dry up is to stop taking my current IV antibiotic, which takes about half an hour to run, and only once a day, and change to another one. I don’t know yet how long the new one will take to run: I only know that I have to take it every six hours.

Now, what every six hours will disturb me the least? Midnight, 6 AM, noon, and 6 PM? (Then repeat as often as necessary?) Eleven o’clock(s) and five o’clocks? Nope. Too darned early in the mornings. Ones and sevens? I’m usually up at 1 AM., but not always. (Actually, sometimes I’m not awake at 1 PM, either. Frank the cat likes me to nap with him. At least, that’s my excuse.)

The saga began on March 20. That’s March 20, 2009. Yes, more than one year ago. On that day, I was going up the back steps, carrying groceries into the house. I got three steps up, heard a “pop!” and felt something roll up the back of my leg. I had ruptured my Achilles tendon. I crawled up the remaining two steps and made my way across the back porch holding onto everything I could find and into the house.

I had surgery to repair the tendon in April. The wound didn’t heal well, so I had two more surgeries that included skin grafts. Then I had surgery to remove the screw that was holding the tendon to my calcaneus (heel bone) because it just wasn’t coming out in the office.

Then I got osteomylitis (a bone infection) and had part of my calcaneus removed. And darned if I didn’t get osteomylitis again and have more bone removed. As I understand it, the doc took off about the bottom half inch of my calcaneus. Then the incision opened up.

Yes, it hurts to walk. I’m beginning to wonder if I will ever be able to walk again. Between that and osteoarthritis, it isn’t looking good. Knee replacement? Nope. I have now had osteomylitis from having a pin in my toe in 2000 and again — my current ongoing saga — from a screw in my heel. Go for a foreign object in my body and risk osteomylitis again? Ain’t gonna happen.

I think I’m taking all of this well. Not that I’m Pollyanna; but sometimes stuff just happens and there’s nothing to do about it except deal with it the best you can. I’ve stayed off my foot as much as possible. I’ve kept my HbA1c within guidelines. I’ve taken so many different antibiotics for so long that it’s a wonder bacteria dares to come anywhere near my body.

There has been lemonade made around here. For example, I got a deck for my birthday because I had trouble getting up and down the steps to the house. There are only about five steps at each door, but five was about…oh, five too many. The deck has a ramp and I can hop on my mobility scooter and go. It has the added advantage of being a place to sit outdoors and enjoy the backyard, fire up the grill, and maybe, one of these days, have some friends over for a cookout.

It hasn’t stopped me from traveling. In fact, it seems that every time my traveling bud, Sandy, and I plan a short hop out of town, it’s preceded by surgery. It’s gotten to be somewhat of a joke. The last time, I called her and said: “We’re really going to Chicago next week: I’m having surgery on Monday!” I even took my grandson to New York City on a “grandma trip.”

My husband and grandchildren have been wonderful, taking care of things for me. Like doing the laundry because the washer and dryer are in the basement and I can’t handle the steps. Gathering up ingredients for me when I cook. Changing my dressings. Getting my scooter in and out of the van. And much, much more.

In fact, come to think of it, there’s lemonade all around me.

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