Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Well, I guess it's official now....

I had an eventful Monday, in the way of doctor visits.

(Note: remind me to tell you about my accident on June 25, 2001 and all the happenings since then. My wife Renee keeps telling me I need to write a book, I guess I could start the manuscript here)

Back to Monday.
The day started off by dropping off my girls (13 & 3) at Renee's friend's house.

Then off to see Dr. K. I have been seeing Dr. K for about a year, as a result of excruciating pain in the ankle (as a result of the accident briefly mentioned above). In December, 2002, after a few office visits, Dr. K performed a surgery consisting of hardware removal, ankle fusion and local bone graft. To make a long story short, that surgery didn’t help, and I had to have an additional surgery to get the hardware from December removed. Dr. K wanted an MRI to attempt to locate the cause of the pain. An MRI was done last week, and Monday was my ‘review the MRI findings’ day.
Bad news: Dr. K, and others, are unable to determine the medical reason for the pain, and advises he has nothing further available to him to assist me. A couple of months back, I had mentioned to him that I had even thought about amputation, as a possible resolution. Dr K advised that my options now were either pain management via narcotics and/or continue discussions with Dr. Ertl (my amputation specialist – more to follow).

Following a relaxing lunch at Panera Bread, it was off to see the pain management specialist, Dr. S.

Dr. S spend a good deal of time inquiring as to how my current medication was working for me. After Renee and I explained our observations (and observations from friends), he decided it was time to change medications. He explained that the stuff I was currently taking was actually, gram for gram, stronger than morphine. However, the stuff he wanted to put me on was actually stronger than that. So strong in fact, that instead of being measured in milligrams, it is actually measured in micrograms. Also, it is dispensed via a 72 hour patch. The only kicker: I would have to stop taking my current medication when I put the patch on, even though it takes approx. 48-72 hours for the patch medication to kick in. (that was a miserable 2.5 days, in regards to the ankle pain). I have a two week supply of the patches, and have to return in two weeks for a follow-up review, before I get any more patches.

I have placed a call into Dr. Ertl’s office to determine what steps we need to take (no pun intended) in order to get the ultimate surgery scheduled. In a previous appointment, Dr. Ertl had mentioned the need for several tests to determine the actual health of my leg, prior to an amputation.

I will provide more information in the future, as well as explain the difference between using Dr. K & Dr. S naming convention, but then naming Dr. Ertl's actual name. I will aslo explain the June 25, 2001 day as some point.

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