Wow, it’s been quite some time since I last posted. We have had some problems with our blog and the server, hopefully things are worked out and there will be no more inconveniences to the people log in or us trying to post.
There hasn’t been much to report since my last post in regards to changes in my physical abilities. I still have no motor control of any of my muscles below my level of injury, the 10th thoracic vertebrae. I do continue to experience some nerve sensory changes in my legs(quads, hamstrings, calves, knees), feet(ankles & toes), buttocks, groin, hip-joints, lower abdominal, and lower back(hips). The nerves are telling my brain that the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in these areas are sensing movement when these associated areas are manipulated and moved. The tingling, or buzzing sensations in the feet are a constant and increase when I exercise and move. It is such an odd feeling to experience these sensory inputs into my neurological system. I can’t relate to them as I never dealt with any of these types of inputs when I was able to walk, they are totally alien to my memories. Therefore, it is impossible to explain them to others as there is no basis for comparison to verbalize their sensory inputs. Weird, huh?
Just before Thanksgiving, I developed a pressure sore on my left heel. I think the foot-bed of my walking braces rubbed on my heel causing the skin to breakdown, resulting in an ulcer. Since then we had made numerous trips to the doctor’s office, the ER, and wound-clinic. The wound became infected with 2 types of staph bacteria, MRSA and Proteus. How I got 2-staph infections is beyond me. What are the odds of that occurring? Anyway, I was on a regimen of both oral andIV transfused antibiotics to combat the infection. The drugs did their job as the infection is no longer prevalent in my foot. Unfortunately, we can’t seem to get the wound to heal. It has been almost a month since this first occurred, the one side of my heel is still dripping blood when the compression-bandages are removed. Being a paraplegic causes my lower body to suffer from lack of circulation as my leg muscles don’t pump my blood back to the lungs as a healthy person’s body does. This lack of circulation is inhibiting the healing process. It is going to take a long process to get this pressure-sore to heal. In the meantime, there is no PT, not walking, and I’ve had to greatly modify my workouts at the gym to minimize the impact on my foot. Too bad we can’t get some stem cells to treat my wound. When we were in India this past February, they treated my 2nd-degree burned stomach with stem cells added to a salve. It was amazing how fast those burns healed. In 2 days all but one of the blisters were gone. It was simply incredible. All of this has resulted in a great holiday season so far.
Due to the fact I had MRSA, our daughter Megan (who had driven over from Denver to spread Thanksgiving with us) got scared and didn’t want to be around because of her pregnancy, so she went back home. We notified Kathy’s parents of the situation and because Kathy’s dad is in remission from his Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, they choose to not to come to Thanksgiving either, as did my mom. All because of the MRSA. Needless to say this has been an ordeal for Kathy and I to deal with that is beyond our capability to comprehend. Researching MRSA we learned that 2% of the general population carries MRSA at all times and 7% of health-care workers also carry the bacteria. Scary.
On January 14, 2011 I lose my job with Xcel Energy. After 33 years with this company they are closing the power plant that I have spent most of my adult life working in. All of the other operators and maintenance personnel are transferring to plants on the eastern slope of Colorado, but because I am on long-term disability Xcel does not want to retain me in any capacity, any where. I have put 11 transfers in to the local Xcel operation center in Grand Junction, but there are no positions that I qualify for because of my disability. I have also applied for numerous jobs with the federal government as they seem to be the only ones with funds to hire anyone. With the expansion of the federal government there are several jobs available. Once again, the fact that I’m a 53 year old disabled individual works against me. No one wants to hire a disabled person when they can hire an able-bodied person. So, once I have been terminated from my job I will go on full-time LTD, with Xcel Energy footing the bill for my benefits. Xcel will probably force me to file for a Social Security Disability as this will offset the amount they must pay me per their plan and my union’s collective bargaining agreement. We will start the new year off with a great deal of uncertainty and strife. I will continue to workout, get PT, and actively seek employment in the upcoming year. Only time will tell what my destiny has in store for me.
Kathy and I want to wish everyone a very Merry Chritmas and a Joyous New Years! May your lives be fruitful, happy, and content. Peace.