Wednesday, April 29, 2009

stitches no more

dustin's stitches came out yesterday!!! and that will be our last visit to the orthopedic surgeon until after dustin has his first fitting for his new leg.

yesterday we also met with the prosthetist, who gave dustin a shrink sock, which is designed to constrict dustin's stump to shrink it and shape it to the proper form for his prosthetic. we were also able to see an example of what dustin'n new knee and foot will look like. the knee he is getting is best described as looking like a small car jack. it is hydraulic so that when he bends it it will swing back out on its own. and his ankle has a swivel function that will allow him to still play golf, and it has springs that lead into the foot. the springs allow him to jump, and offer him shock support. what we were really excited about is that dustin will be able to personalize his leg. the prosthetist told him to think about what he wants his leg to look this he means that dustin gets to come up with some sort of design, logo, emblem to put on his leg. so he instructed us to find a t-shirt/piece of material to incorporate into the construction of his knee to reflect him and his personality.

according to the prosthetist dustin will get a cast made next thursday to create the socket, then in about 7-10 days he will have his new leg built!

Monday, April 27, 2009

stitches gone tomorrow

well tomorrow we meet with dustins orthopedic doctor again, this time to REMOVE the stitches. we are so excited that they will finally be gone. this means less maintenace and dustin can take a shower without having to worry about putting a plastic bag over his right leg.

we will also begin therapy at a new location this week. dustin will start more grueling physical therapy to help him gain more strength so he will be ready to get his leg...

speaking of his new leg, they say he should have it in 3 weeks!!!! we will meet breifly with his prosthetist tomorrow as well. dustin will get his shrink sock, which will help to properly shape his stump to get fitted for his prosthethis, and next week they will take a cast of his leg to build the socket.

things are moving right along, soon enough dustin will be up and walking all on his own

Thursday, April 23, 2009

dustin's 32nd birthday

an invitation to all:

my mom has offered to host a BBQ for dustin's birthday at her home in the spring/klein/tomball area of town this sunday. We are thinking that it should begin around 1 pm. we will be cooking the basics, but feel free to BYOB...shoot me an email for directions or more info

tomorrow i will post info regarding our other doctors appointments from this week, hope everyone has a great friday!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

another step

Dustin took a shower today!!!! he decided that he no longer needed sponge baths (even though he REALLY likes his nurse) so he took the plunge and took his first actual shower in over 3 weeks!!! we of course had to tape up his leg, but he has able to get into the shower, sit on his shower chair, and with the help of a handheld shower head he was able to bathe himself and wash his own hair.

i, of course, was a nervous wreck when we decided to try this out today, but he did great!!!! his left leg has gotten so much stronger since we have left the hospital, and he is so good at using his walker to support him that i need to let him do things on his own...and each and every time he has tried out a new task he astonishes me with how far he has come

Monday, April 20, 2009

this weekend

Dustin is getting around more and more each day. everyday we try to get out of the house for at least a little while. Some days its just for a walk/roll around the block, some days we do things a little bit more exciting.

For our outing on saturday we decided to venture out into the monsoon weather and head to kevin's dealership, republic harley davidson (where dustin bought his bike), to go to a bike show. dustin was thrilled to get out of the house to do something he loves. however the day made him a little sad. not sad because it made him think of the accident but sad because he is not able to ride right now. when we left the dealership he talked to me about dyna (the bike) and how pretty she was, about how i would have loved the seat, he even told me about the pin-striping on broke my heart to hear him speak about what he loves so much, but is unable to truely enjoy at this time. its all temporary, right?

Sunday we went to our old church, fellowship of the woodlands, which was nice...the place has gotten so big now. they talked about how God has a plan, it may not be in line with your plans, but He is so big and so amazing, that if you accept that he will unveil his plan to you over may not understand it now, but trust that He does have one.

Today we went to see dustin's orthopedic doctor...we had high hopes of getting his stitches out, but the doctor said he needs to keep them in for another week. his leg is healing really nicely...and definitely stitches will be removed next monday. since they did not remove the stitches when we were hoping i think therapy/prosthetic plans are set back a little bit...but we need him 100% before we move him to the next step.

i just want to give everyone a heads up, dustin's birthday is this saturday...i am not sure what exactly we are doing yet, but i will let yall know as soon as we have it squared away

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

progress at home

sorry its been a delay since my last post, we have been working on mastering the art of manuevering around the home with the walker, building muscle and working on a routine.

Dustin, of course, is progressing extrememly well. between him and my dad he has figured out a way to manage the bathroom with ease, all it took was a little bit of ingenuity (he has to fold one of legs of his walker in a little bit to fit through the door). dustin managed to get his own lunch yesterday: he made it out of his chair to the kitchen, grabbed his soup, took it to the microwave and heated it up all on his own, all he needed was help getting it back to his seat. (i know this seems like a simple task, but try it hopping on one leg while holding onto a walker).
Today dustin and i went to the park. one thing he has learned is that it takes some serious upper body strength to use the wheel chair and walk with your arms. so while at the park today he wheeled about a half mile until he got too tired, then we found a shady spot under a tree for him to do some strength training excersises. dustin has learned how to use his chair and a resistance band to help build up his strength.
next week we meet with the orthopedic doctor to make sure everything is healing properly (and hopefully get the stitches out), and we will also meet with his rehab doctor and prosthetist to start the process of learning how to walk again.
it is amazing that at just over a week since his surgery my husband is already so independent, and dustin's attitude has not faltered at all. he has no problem making jokes about his situation or waving his "nubby" at our nephew or Riley (ricky and dianna's little girl)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

we're home

dustin and i made home to my mom and dad's today...his nurses were sad, but super excited to see us go. its nice to be home but we have already ran into an unexpected challenge. apparently standard size bathroom doors were not meant for walkers..we are working on a solution to this problem.

all in all we are thrilled to be out of the hospital, but it will take some adjustments...but we love a challenge

we are going home!!!

We just received our discharge papers: just about 3 hours shy of exactly 2 WEEKS since dustin was life flighted here to memorial hermann. I know i have said it before but i am so amazed at the progress dustin has made over this short period of time. his physical therapists are very proud of him and are confident he will do great on his own!!!

we will be doctor free for about a week, then we will have follow up appointments with dustin's surgeon as well as his rehab doctor. next tuesday we will meet with the prosthetist again (the leg maker) and get that much closer to dustin getting his new leg. then the real work will begin. dustin will have to teach himself to walk on two legs all over again, but i know my husband and he will surpass the doctors' expectations once again.

we will be staying in houston at my parent's house, so feel free to come visit!!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

going home...soon

We have great news, according to the doctors we will be discharged from the hospital early next week. they are anticipating sunday at the earliest-tuesday at the latest. we cannot wait to get out of our little hospital room.

of course, by home i mean, we will be moving into my parents house while dustin continues rehab and gets ready for his new leg.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

today is a GREAT day!!

Today has been full of great things!!! during physical therapy today dustin STOOD UPand GOT OUT OF BED!!! he went from sitting on the edge of his bed to a standing position using his walker. the first time was a real challenge for him since he had not been out of bed in 12 days. he experienced quite a bit of pain and light headedness when all the blood rushed to his residual limb. but, like all things, they say this pain will decrease each and every time he stands up.

from the walker he was able to turn his body to sit in a wheelchair. and of course, for dustin, sitting was not all he wanted to do. so he took the tour of the 6th floor. he traveled along past the nurses station where all the nurses that have come in contact with him greeted him with smiles and encouraging remarks. from there dustin decided he was up for a little challenge so he traveled to the waiting room where there are ramps. he went down the first ramp with no problem so he decided to go down a second ramp. it was at the bottom that he realized that he had to go back up the ramps to get back to his room. it was a bit of a struggle but he made it to the top of both ramps on his own.

just a few minutes ago his doctor came in to change the dressing on his leg, which showed us that he is healing really well, with no signs of any complications. we were told that if dustin continues with the progress he has made already we may be leaving the hospital early next week!!!!

in about an hour we are meeting with his prosthetist to learn more about getting him his new i said today is a GREAT day!!!

the new life begins

Dustin is doing amazingly well the last two days. thanks to his doctors they have gotten his pain under control. he is doing so well that he has not used his delotin drip since yesterday afternoon. And he has been in a great mood.

Yesterday he started physical therapy (no time for rest on the road to recovery). his therapist showed him some excercises to keep his hip muscles limber. they had him lift and lower his residual limb (the stump) off the bed 10 times, then had him do what is easiest described as snow angels with his legs. they then got him to sit up, and he eased his way to the edge of the bed. He got dizzy and had to lay back down, but great progress for the first day. the dizziness was expected since he lost some blood during surgery.

in about an hour the PTs are coming in with a WALKER, the plan is to get dustin up and out of bed, and take a few steps using his walker. i cannot even express how excited i am for this moment. for those of you who know dustin well, you know he has been in agony being stuck in bed for this long. hopefully tomorrow they will get him in a wheelchair and i will be able to take him out of our room so he can see some of the world again.

Dustin's attitude still amazes me, even though i wouldn't expect anything else from him. Thank you so much for all the well wishes, flowers, gifts and prayers. you can tell that all the prayers are working when you look into his eyes and see....happiness, hope and determination.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

April 7th

i apologize for keeping everyone waiting for today's status went really well , they were able to successfully amputate the leg in a single surgery (they feared it may take 2 tries because of the lack of skin)

Dustin has been suffering from excrutiating pain today, but the doctors and nurses say that today will be the worst, and it will get significantly better from here. Dustin has finally fallen asleep for the evening (at least for now) i am sitting in a chair next to him manning his PCA drip (the pain meds button) that way he can sleep without having to wake up to hit the button when the meds wear off, so every 8 minutes he gets a dose of deloten, until midnight when they bring him another dose of oral meds

tomorrow i will write more, but i wanted to leave you with a quote from my husband...after surgery today he looked at me and asked what the date was, i of course answered April 7th, he responded...

"April 7th; that seems like a day to remember"

Saturday, April 4, 2009

the date has been set

After multiple talks with dustin's orthopedic doctor and the prosthetic team he has come to realize his decision. Dustin has chosen the route that should lead to quickest recovery possible. He has chosen living his life over waiting, hoping that someday he will have a life again. After much thought, prayer, information, and soul searching dustin has decided to let the doctors take his leg.

As i mentioned before they will be removing the leg above his knee (approx. where the break is), after surgery we will be in the hospital for another week or two; but therapy will start almost immediately. they will begin working with his thigh muscle in his residual limb (the remaining part of his right leg) to strengthen those muscles and get him ready to wear his prosthesis. the doctor's feel that the break in his left leg will not prohibit him from standing on it right away (the fracture was minimal), and the rehab team will help to strenghten that leg and teach him to adjust to having to rely on the prosthesis.

this rehab process will be grueling, but is necessary for him to regain normal function in his leg. he is preparing himself for the battle ahead, and knows that his willingness to work is everything. dustin has goals of walking, running, working out, getting back to work, starting a family with me, and eventually getting back on a bike again. with these goals in sight he will be able to keep his eye on the target.

Tuesday will be the day that we say good bye to dustin's right leg.

as the doctor told us "this is not the end; just a new beginning"

Friday, April 3, 2009

meeting with doctors

After surgery yesterday dustin was able to meet with 2 of his doctors to discuss the current situation with his leg.

surgery yesterday was again to clean the wound and reset the knee, dustin also asked that both the orthopedic and plastic surgery teams to be in the room so that they could reassess his status.

Dustin was able to ask Dr Martin (from the orthopedic team) if she thought there was any change in their diagnosis....he was not looking for a miraculous recovery, just information. The doctor explained to him that from a bone standpoint that his knee is completely shattered and that they would be able to pin and needle it back together; however it would NEVER function properly again. He would most likely never regain the ability to lift his foot up and down (due to nerve damage) and he would lose the "hinge" function in his knee. He would always have a limp, which could inturn lead to other issues in both his hip and ankle. He asked what her professional opinion would be, and she explained that if amputation is the route he chooses to go he will have a rough recovery, but will lead a normal and healthy life...the surgery route he never would (and that at some point they would end up taking his leg regardless)

today (friday) the prosthetic team is coming to meet with us, to provide us with information, guidance and poin us in the right direction for the kind of support that dustin will need. he feels that his decision is pretty muh made...he does not feel like he has given up the fight to save his leg, but has made the right decision to continue on with the life that he loves.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

our address

many of you have asked where you can send cards, flowers and well wishes...our address is:

Memorial Hermann - Texas Medical Center
6411 FanninHouston, Texas 77030
(713) 704-4000Room 606

dustin's direct ph# is 713 704 8606...he may not always be able to answer the phone, but if he is awake and I am there we would love to hear from yall

if this info changes i will let you know

thursday, surgery #3

Dustin just went off to surgery # 3, this one again is to clean his wound and remove any dead tissue. We will be asking the doctor's if there are any changes with his condition, and get updated statistics for saving his leg. he of course is in good spirits, but naturally nervous about the operation again.

we have asked to speak to people in the prosthetics department so that we can be better informed if that is the route we choose to take.

****if you have not read yesterdays blog, please do so, it will give you a better understanding as to what is going on with us***

thank you for all the heart felt messages of support, they keep us going each day

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

we got a room!

Late last night after dustin's surgery we were moved from the SIMU (intermediate care facility) to our own room! We are now located on the 6th floor of the jones pavillion...less restricted visitation so feel free to come see us.

however, yesterday we learned just how BAD dustin's injury really is:

as i mentioned before dustin sustained multiple injuries to his legs, to be more specific he fractured his left leg below the knee. and his right knee is completely shattered, he broke both the bone below and above his knee (all of which could be repairable) however he lost the majority of the tissue and skin in that area ....this is the info we already knew.

after surgery yesterday dustin's plastic surgeon met with me and my family to show me the photos taken during his procedure. i could have never prepared myself for what i saw. the top portion of dustin's thigh is normal, but from above his knee to about mid calf it is just muscle, bones and blood vessels. along the outer portion of his knee is an approx 2 inch piece of skin holding it all together. none of us knew how bad it was!!

the doctor explained to dustin and i that he has a couple of options and they are willing to go either way with us. At this point he can let them take the leg (above the knee) or we can start the process of MULTIPLE surgeries. with each and every surgery they will go in, clean the wound, save what they can and check for infection. they will have to start grafting skin from other parts of his body to hopefully begin to fill in what he is missing. this will involve taking skin from other parts of his body to repair the knee. This second option will leave dustin in pain not only during the surgeries, but perhaps for the rest of his life. and scariest of all there is no guarantee that after all this effort that he will be able to keep the leg.

Dustin is still weighing the decision (as of course any of us would be) time will bring him peace with what he chooses.

We have found oursleves wondering why something like this would happen to such a strong, passionate and loving person. our only condolence is that God must have a plan for my husband and know that he is strong enough to make it through this .

we feel your prayers every moment of every day, and will need them even more throughout this process...thank you to all of you for all the support