Almost died...

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Sooner Boomer

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Back, end of Feb. first of March I got really sick. Thought I had a bad case of the flu or something. Went to the Dr. the next Mon. Really lucky I did. He had me admitted through the ER to the hospital right then (good thing it was just next door!). I had a small wound on the outside edge of my right foot (I think a callus has split open or something). I have diabetic nerve damage in that foot so I wasn't aware of how bad the it was. The wound had gotten infected, and the infection had gotten into my blood. A couple more days without attention and I could have died. I was on the edge of shock when I went into the ER and they debated doing dialysis (they didn't tell me this until later) because of how messed up my blood tests were. While I was in the hospital, they pumped antibiotics through an IV around the clock. Despite this, the infection moved up into my little toe. It damaged the tissue in the toe so badly, it died. Cutting a long and painful story short, (following a bunch of tests to make certain there were no hidden problems) I had an operation to amputate the toe and part of the foot. There also were some very large holes in the bottom of my foot. We're (I am) very fortunate to have a wound care center locally that specializes in agressive treatment of diabetic wounds. https://www.normanregional.com/en/service_detail.html?service_line=diabetic+limb+salvage Besides "normal" treatment with dressing changes and antibiotics, they also started me on hyperbaric oxygen treatments. I had one every weekday for eight weeks (40 treatments). Additionally, they started treatment with a woundvac system (a pump that applies a slight vacuum through the dressing on the wound area). This was to help improve blood flow to the area and to ensure that the wound healed from the inside out (the amputation site was not sewn closed for this reason). Unfortunately, I've been unemployed for the past few years, and have no health insurance. These have turned out to be an incredibly expensive past few months, with more to come. I've started a go fund me site, to ask for your help. I'm lucky that the hospital has forgiven part of the debt, but I'm going to be paying this off for a really long time. Anything you fine folks could do to help would be greatly appreciated (even if it's just prayers and hopeful thoughts). The site is: https://www.gofundme.com/help-heal-dan
 

Bat-mite

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Wow. Glad you made it through. Many don't. Sadly, most people don't realize that the complications of diabetes can be worse than the disease itself. I have been a type 1 for 50 years (next month). I'll send a little something your way.
 

K'Tesh

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Added you to the Prayers tonight...

Also praying for a cure for diabetes.

You get well now... OK?

God Bless!
 

ksaves2

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Added you to the Prayers tonight...

Also praying for a cure for diabetes.

You get well now... OK?

God Bless!
No cure for now but diet, weight loss (if obese) and exercise can help a lot. Kurt
 

Sooner Boomer

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Thanks for the kind replies. One thing that's made this emotionally as well as physically painful is the progress I has made last year. In about 2000/2001 I found out I was diabetic. I was overweight and because my jobs had become more thought than action, I was fairly sedentary. In 2009 I started consulting an new research project at OU. I'd been trying a variety of different drugs until then, but nothing really kept my blood sugar under control. While I was working at OU my doctor had me try a couple of injectable drugs. I think these actually made things worse. I started developing pancreatitis. The mostly irritating neuropathy in my feet became a demon. I was taking 240 Lortab a month. By the end of the project in Dec. 2014 I was miserable. In late 2015, my doctor put me on a new kind of medication, Invokana and Jardiance. They control blood sugar by preventing the kidneys from re-absorbing sugar into the blood. My blood sugar became controllable and I started to lose weight. Last summer, I weighed less than 220 lbs - less than I have in more than 30 years (I'm 6'2" - my weight had gotten over 275 at one point). I was on a walking program and getting fit. I had stopped taking Lortab, and with a little experimentation (with doctor's guidance), only took a morphine tablet a few times a week, just before bed. Then this happened. I've kept the weight off (there's a joke about losing more in there somewhere). One thing I really hated was that I had to have higher than normal blood sugar for the hyperbaric oxygen treatments. It kicks your metabolism into high gear. I've had my blood sugar drop more than 100 points during a two hour treatment. I think those are done now, but will start them back if the wound care doctor sees the need. I *hope* I can get back to my walking/exercise program by next Spring.
 

boatgeek

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I'm glad you're recovering. Re: lack of insurance, can you get on Medicaid in your state?
 

tmacklin

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Getting old sucks!

I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the summer of 2008. In addition my urologist observed pre-cancerous tumors in my urinary bladder. As part of my pre-op examination, another doctor determined that I was pre-diabetic and suggested some fad diet and 20 minutes of walking per day. Having been self employed since 1973, I had no health insurance and at 63 not yet eligible for medicare. Fortunately, Texas had changed the law and so I was able to take out a home equity loan on our paid off home. So to live, I started a new 30 year mortgage on the family farm that will never get paid off. But $100,000 later with 80 radioactive iodine seeds implanted into my prostate, I survived. I still have dreams, but they're not wet. Life goes on and I invented the Guillotine Fin Jig in 2011.

I have had a half dozen or so TURBT procedures on my bladder and there may well be more in the future. That and the medications I take have caused me incontinence and now I have for the second time come down with the shingles, caused by the herpes zoster virus from chicken pox as a child. I don't think shingles ever killed anyone, it just makes you wish they would!

I fight my health battles with a heavy dose of sarcastic humor. Some days, if it weren't for aches and pains, I wouldn't have no feelings at all! :wink:

Hang in there Sooner Boomer!
 

Sooner Boomer

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I'm glad you're recovering. Re: lack of insurance, can you get on Medicaid in your state?
For some reason, in OK you can't apply directly, you have to apply for Social Security benefits. The state then looks over the case. Just faxed my paperwork Friday. A friend told me that when he began dialysis, he was automatically enrolled. I want to avoid that path.
 

TopRamen

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You are in my thoughts and prayers tonight for certain and then some Friend!
Glad I checked in tonight to see what's been going on, and all the best! If you need anything drop a line.

Dave
 

hornet driver

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Oh my gosh!!! Deb and I were talking the other night and wondered were you had been--no posts lately--I thought you were just really busy like me. Glad to hear your on the mend. My father went through almost the exact same thing. Just a head's up, be cautious walking as you heal. He had a problem falling after the same surgery. That little toe and that side of your foot dose a lot more than you would think. Just be aware of it. We'll send some bucks your way as we are able---H
 

Sooner Boomer

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Getting old sucks! I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the summer of 2008. I fight my health battles with a heavy dose of sarcastic humor. Some days, if it weren't for aches and pains, I wouldn't have no feelings at all! :wink:
It seems like we're faced with a lot of challenges as we get up in years. Hopefully by then we have the wisdom and patience to deal with them. Sometime we have to use humor as a shield.
Hang in there Sooner Boomer!
Yup. And you, too. I'm praying for you, too.
 

Sooner Boomer

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Oh my gosh!!! Deb and I were talking the other night and wondered were you had been--no posts lately--I thought you were just really busy like me. Glad to hear your on the mend. My father went through almost the exact same thing. Just a head's up, be cautious walking as you heal. He had a problem falling after the same surgery. That little toe and that side of your foot dose a lot more than you would think. Just be aware of it. We'll send some bucks your way as we are able---H
I guess it's good to be noticed, if only by one's absence . I'm still under doctor's orders not to walk (much) and to avoid driving (just to/from appointments and necessary shopping). I'm still wearing a load bearing boot (which makes driving difficult - interferes with pedals), but not using a cane or crutches. Both of those have messed up my shoulder and hip because of the change in the way my body weight is carried.
 

Sooner Boomer

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Part of the therapy I had at the Wound Treatment Center was HBO. No, not the cable channel, HyperBaric Oxygen. It's a long clear plastic tube that you're slid into and the door sealed. The therapy they use in 100% oxygen at 1 atmosphere (above ambient) for two hours. Yeah, 14.7 psi pure oxygen...where have we heard that before? I mentioned my concern to the nurse in charge, and asked if he had ever heard of Apollo 1. He said no, but that he had seen the Apollo 13 movie and understood. (sigh) Kids these days. The only two things that kept me from losing my cool from being locked up in that tube were 1) it's transparent, so it's not quite as "closed in" feeling, and 2) I watched Fox News on a TV mounted above the chamber. No, not for news or analysis, but because it was the only channel on that has a clock on the screen. I knew how long it took for the chamber to come up to pressure, how long it "sat there", and how long to depressurize. This is what they look like (blue box in front is electronic blood pressure/temp doodad - checked before/after treatment).

HBO tank.jpg
 

tmacklin

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You know, us men bring a lot of this pain upon ourselves. We all too often try to "tough it out", often with dire consequences. As in, "Oh, it's just a scratch".

Recently, my diabetes problem has resulted in cracked skin on my feet and toes which is compounded by always wearing boots with sufficient arch support to minimize my back problems which stem from a slipped disk. Instead of taking the time off from normal activities and taking proper care of my feet, I push things too far and the skin damage only gets worse. Then my stupidity comes into play. I developed a nasty callus on the instep of my big toe on my right foot and picked at a loose flap of dried skin, tearing it away from the underlying tissue and exposing the underlying flesh to infection...which it did. The toe did not heal and I finally had to seek professional medical attention. After about a month, the wound healed. I'd learned my lesson, right? Wrong!

For the past three months I've been helping my son with his building project, doing frame carpentry which involves lots of walking and standing on my sore feet. So I develop a brand new sore in the same old spot and once again, pick at it until it bleeds and again gets infected. I'm a freaking idiot!!! Now I have no option but to take proper care of my feet unless I want to end up in a HyperBaric Oxygen cylinder next to Dan!

The root cause of all of this misery is my failure to heed sound medical advice from medical professionals including my wife, a registered pharmacist. I allowed myself to become obese, which led to Type II Diabetes. I allowed myself to smoke cigarettes for 37 years which led to bladder tumors in 2008. I allowed myself to ignore good dental practices which led to total tooth extraction in 2001.

Am I a dumb ass or what? Don't be a dumb ass! Quit smoking, drink only in moderation or not at all, brush your teeth and have regular dental care, eat right and exercise. And have your PSA checked if you are over 40. Make rocketry fun again!
 

FMarvinS

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Dan,

I wish you a full & speedy recovery and thank heaven that you will be launching rockets again in the near future.

All the best,
Fred
 

Zeus-cat

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Part of the therapy I had at the Wound Treatment Center was HBO. No, not the cable channel, HyperBaric Oxygen. It's a long clear plastic tube that you're slid into and the door sealed. The therapy they use in 100% oxygen at 1 atmosphere (above ambient) for two hours. Yeah, 14.7 psi pure oxygen...where have we heard that before? I mentioned my concern to the nurse in charge, and asked if he had ever heard of Apollo 1. He said no, but that he had seen the Apollo 13 movie and understood. (sigh) Kids these days.
You should have made a point to grab a pack of cigarettes before they put you in the chamber. The nurse would have probably fainted! To be fair, if the nurse is less than 50 years old he really would have no reason to know about Apollo 1. I'm 58 and I only know about it because I am interested in the space program.
 

Mushtang

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So glad you didn't die! It's weird how something that doesn't seem like a big deal can turn into one.

I didn't come *close* to dying, but I had a small thing happen that turned into a big deal. A splinter in the side of my finger didn't come all the way out. After a few weeks it began to hurt a lot and seemed infected so I went to the doc-in-a-box where they cut it open and pulled it out. Three weeks later a really huge bump had grown over the top of where it was, which they cut off. A few weeks later, it was back. After that I went to a dermatologist. He cut a hunk out of the side of my finger, and three weeks later did it one last time. Apparently I'd developed a Pyogenic granuloma because of the splinter and it kept growing back because they didn't get all of it when they'd cut. The hunk they cut out of the side of my finger each time was about the size of a pencil eraser and I was surprised there was that much to cut. The 3 or 4 shots into the finger hurt the worst, and the smell of the cauterization about made me sick. I was also surprised it was going to grow back but it eventually did. I have pictures of the burned section missing but decided not to post them here. You're welcome.
 

Sooner Boomer

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You know, us men bring a lot of this pain upon ourselves.
This sounds exactly like the conversation I just had with my ("normal" - non-wound care) doctor.

Recently, my diabetes problem has resulted in cracked skin on my feet and toes...
I developed a nasty callus on the instep of my big toe on my right foot and picked at a loose flap of dried skin, tearing it away from the underlying tissue and exposing the underlying flesh to infection...which it did. The toe did not heal and I finally had to seek professional medical attention. After about a month, the wound healed.
Sounds exactly like what I went through a few years ago. My toe took several years to heal.

The root cause of all of this misery is my failure to heed sound medical advice from medical professionals including my wife, a registered pharmacist. I allowed myself to become obese, which led to Type II Diabetes. I allowed myself to smoke cigarettes for 37 years which led to bladder tumors in 2008. I allowed myself to ignore good dental practices which led to total tooth extraction in 2001.

Am I a dumb ass or what? Don't be a dumb ass! Quit smoking, drink only in moderation or not at all, brush your teeth and have regular dental care, eat right and exercise. And have your PSA checked if you are over 40. Make rocketry fun again!
One of THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS to keeping your skin healthy (plus everything inside your skin...) and having wounds heal quickly is keeping your blood sugar under control, and keeping it in "normal" values (about 150 ng/ml). There are a whole bunch of medications out there now - some pills, some injections. The first time I had to inject myself, it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. And if one medication doesn't work, try another until you find one (or a combination) that does work. Eat right, lose weight. Once you start to lose a few pounds, it becomes easier to lose more. Then it becomes easier to move and exercise (and lose more weight).

I'm 58 now. I look around and see family/friends getting older, too. That's a good thing, except that most of them are putting on weight, slowing down, and getting a bit (or a lot) flabby. I'm amazed that I'm doing the opposite. I can't wait until this foot heals up and I can get back to an exercise program. I weigh less now than I have in 30 years or more. Getting older doesn't mean you have to fall apart!
 

tmacklin

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This sounds exactly like the conversation I just had with my ("normal" - non-wound care) doctor.



Sounds exactly like what I went through a few years ago. My toe took several years to heal.



One of THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS to keeping your skin healthy (plus everything inside your skin...) and having wounds heal quickly is keeping your blood sugar under control, and keeping it in "normal" values (about 150 ng/ml). There are a whole bunch of medications out there now - some pills, some injections. The first time I had to inject myself, it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. And if one medication doesn't work, try another until you find one (or a combination) that does work. Eat right, lose weight. Once you start to lose a few pounds, it becomes easier to lose more. Then it becomes easier to move and exercise (and lose more weight).

I'm 58 now. I look around and see family/friends getting older, too. That's a good thing, except that most of them are putting on weight, slowing down, and getting a bit (or a lot) flabby. I'm amazed that I'm doing the opposite. I can't wait until this foot heals up and I can get back to an exercise program. I weigh less now than I have in 30 years or more. Getting older doesn't mean you have to fall apart!
Yes, yes and yes. During the past few months while assisting my son with his building finish-out and at his insistence, I have made an earnest attempt to change my diet. I have severely limited my intake of carbohydrates, increased my consumption of green veggies and stopped drinking most all juices, especially orange juice. This coupled with hard work has caused me to lose 25-30 pounds from my 240 pounds at the beginning of March. My feet still hurt but not nearly as much as before and both my blood sugar and pressure levels are much improved. Breaking bad habits is difficult at any age and the longer one waits the more difficult it gets.

I've also discovered that finding a good doctor is more difficult than finding a good sheetrocker who is fluent in English. :rant:
 

ksaves2

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Getting old sucks!

I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the summer of 2008. In addition my urologist observed pre-cancerous tumors in my urinary bladder. As part of my pre-op examination, another doctor determined that I was pre-diabetic and suggested some fad diet and 20 minutes of walking per day. Having been self employed since 1973, I had no health insurance and at 63 not yet eligible for medicare. Fortunately, Texas had changed the law and so I was able to take out a home equity loan on our paid off home. So to live, I started a new 30 year mortgage on the family farm that will never get paid off. But $100,000 later with 80 radioactive iodine seeds implanted into my prostate, I survived. I still have dreams, but they're not wet. Life goes on and I invented the Guillotine Fin Jig in 2011.

I have had a half dozen or so TURBT procedures on my bladder and there may well be more in the future. That and the medications I take have caused me incontinence and now I have for the second time come down with the shingles, caused by the herpes zoster virus from chicken pox as a child. I don't think shingles ever killed anyone, it just makes you wish they would!

I fight my health battles with a heavy dose of sarcastic humor. Some days, if it weren't for aches and pains, I wouldn't have no feelings at all! :wink:

Hang in there Sooner Boomer!
That sucks. And the ivory tower academic b******s wanted to take away PSA's off screening tests! Got in the same boat at 59. Had robotic surgery. Opted for that because if confined to the prostate one is cured. Tumor was anterior and close to
the capsule so in 6 week followup PSA was not where is should be. Choline PET scan showed a little got out locally and got blasted with radiation. Concentrated on the area in question and all the lymph nodes below the renal arteries.
Doing great now. Can't tell by look'in at me. Pee like a race horse and it don't run down my leg either! Weird thing, no family history, was getting PSA's every two years by criteria as they seemed to be fixed in the mid 2 range and I was "late" by 6 months in getting the last screening. Was only 6 but I pursued it aggressively with a blind biopsy (15 minutes mind you) couldn't feel a tumor on rectal exam or see it on the ultrasound. 12 quadrant trans rectal biopsy is an absolute 15 minute piece o' cake with local anesthetic these days. A couple of pinpricks with lidocaine they are hardly a PITA and can drive home yourself! Certainly nothing like the tumor localizations the ladies have to go through for breast lesions.
If a guy is below 60, start getting the test at 50 yearly thereafter. Risk is worse if Dad had prostate cancer and is A LOT worse if your brother had it! That's weird. I think it's important to pick up early in the "younger" age class 'cause once it's out of the pelvis you're going to be in trouble. A fair number of us boomers are getting into the "danger zone". Remember, I had no family history whatsoever! Oh if family member has it below 60, rule of thumb is
subtract 10 from the age of onset to determine your age to start screening. Even then, might want to start a little earlier and do yearly. If you get through the age where family member "had it" and your PSA is "decimal point
something" example: .44 or it is staying nice and low with no trending up, you might have won the genetic crapshoot and don't have the predisposition to get it.

85 years old and diagnosed with it? One might die of something else but even then, sometimes those guys have aggressive tumors if they allow a biopsy and if they are at a good level of functioning, some radiation implants and tomotherapy can improve their quality of life. If the tumor is low grade on biopsy they don't have to worry about it. The actor Ben Stiller got nailed with it too. He was pretty young: https://www.cnn.com/2016/10/04/health/ben-stiller-prostate-cancer/index.html God bless 'em for going public to get the word out.
Kurt
 

Kallahan11

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PSA you don't have to be old to get a skin infection, spent four days at the hospital on IV antibiotics in April this year for cellulitis. I was only 32, non-smoker non-drinker my whole life.
 

rstaff3

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I just learned it is fairly common in young children. A friend's grandson was bitten by a mosquito while camping. Within a day he was in the hospital on IVs. The infection was secondary to the bite evidently.
 
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