Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My First Wheelchair

I don't think I have any pictures of me in my wheelchair. I think my wife took one or two yesterday, but I don't have one.

Don't worry. It's not as bad as it sounds.

Well, don't worry, but do pray. It worries me when I say "don't worry." So let me say, "Lord willing, there's not really any problem here."

The doctors got my blood thinned to an INRating of over 2.0, which means my blood is more than twice as thin as normal (whatever twice as thin means practically). When it was over 2.0 on Sunday morning, they released me from the hospital.

They didn't send me home with any Lovenox, thank God. I'm just on Coumadin, and that is plenty. Yesterday, on the day after I was released from the hospital, I had my INR checked at Prime Care Clinic, and it was 4.7! That is almost thin enough to be alarming. They're trying to get it between 2.0 and 3.0.

The last time I was on Coumadin, I got all the way up to 8.9, blood almost 9 times as thin as average. That did alarm the hospital (last time, Vanderbilt Medical Center was monitoring my Coumadin and INR).

From that experience, I know pretty closely the amount of Coumadin I need even without their telling me. No problem, though, I like the idea of my blood being extra thin so the clot dissolves faster.

Despite the very thin blood, the clot has not dissolved yet. When my leg is elevated, the pain is minimal. When my leg is elevated and I'm on a pain pill (oxycodon, 5 mg), there is no pain whatsoever. However, when I am standing, walking, or running (I can still walk or run with no problem) the pain builds rapidly to an unbearable level.

The best situation is if I'm on a pain pill and my calf is wrapped in an ace wrap, or if I'm wearing a diabetic pressure sock. Then, I can stand or walk around for three or four minutes. Without the ace wrap or sock, even when I'm on a pain pill, I have two minutes at most, sometimes less.

So what I've been doing, say if I need a drink, is to run to the kitchen and grab a glass. Then I run back to the couch and put my foot up. I don't have to put it up on the back of a couch. I can just put it across on the seat, and that's high enough. (I don't know why that is. It seems like it would need to be above my heart.) After a couple minutes of rest there, I run back to the kitchen, pour whatever into the glass, and walk back to the couch.

I do something similar going to the bathroom. I run to the bathroom, or walk really fast, and--male or not--I sit on the toilet no matter what I have to do there. Sitting with my foot on the floor hurts some, but nothing like standing.

Sorry if that's graphic. These are the kind of things you end up dealing with in situations like this.

So last night I borrowed a wheelchair. It was awesome!

I sit in it with my right ankle on my left knee. That elevates the knee enough that my calf doesn't hurt. Then, if I need to eat something, I wheel to the kitchen, and I can stand up quickly to get a plate or glass or food or whatever. (It doesn't help going to the bathroom much, especially because it doesn't really fit through my bedroom door.

Today I took it down to the Selmer Buzz, my business. How convenient! I could do everything for myself ... almost.

Okay, that said, I need to tell you one more thing. My wife and several other women I know complain about my independence. It takes effort for me to ask someone other than my children to go get me something out of the kitchen. My wife really doesn't like it when I go to the kitchen on my own when she's home, even when I had the wheelchair. (I left the wheelchair at the Buzz today because it's a lot more useful to me there. It only helps a little at home.)

It's been suggested that I have a stubborn independent streak. I say I just hate to bother people making them carry out little errands for me that interrupt what I'm doing. The stubborn independent streak may apply to parts of my life, but I don't think that's what's happening here.

What was kind of fun is that the wheelchair prompted an older couple--customers at the Buzz who were "led" to drive to Selmer today, something they rarely do--to pray for me right there in the Buzz. It was very cool, really, because I like them. I did have to make her stop talking at one point, though, so I could go back to talking to a young man who was applying for a job with us, then go to work on the things I had come to the Buzz to do.

The prayers didn't seem to make a difference though I completely believe in instantaneous divine healing, and I've seen a number of amazing cases of it. (See also this blog; I have a friend that has met the author of that blog and seen some of the healings he describes.) I was hopeful, but I can't say that I personally was feeling that God wanted to instantly heal me. I like to know in advance whether my prayers are going to be answered.

After they left, I checked a couple times to see if I was healed. I was hoping maybe they had such great faith that I would just be better. That meant I had to get up out of the wheelchair and stand around for a minute or two. I had both taken a pain pill, and I was wearing compression socks, so it took a bit to begin feeling pain.

No go, though.

Anyway, that's where I'm at right now. Clot hasn't healed yet. My leg doesn't hurt write now because I'm typing in bed. It sure hurts when I get down and move around, though. I sure wouldn't mind that clot clearing up!

Thanks to all of you who follow this. I hope to go to work on turning this web site into a book soon.

I did do an introduction to 1 John today. I love doing podcasts. Hopefully, I'll get to do that more. I'll let you know when I get the podcast uploaded. I think you'll find it interesting.

1 comment: