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The A Word and Me

I’m an a*****e now. I’ve only recently become an a*****e, but the potential has been there for several years. I never wanted to be an a*****e, but most people never aspire to be one. it wouldn’t have happened to me if I had been even a little more diligent.

I certainly never set out to become an a*****e. In fact, the root word in any form of the word made me uncomfortable. it was right up there with third-degree burns. It wasn’t some thing I had experience, so I could say the word, but preferred not to dwell on that topic for long. if you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m not using stars to cover up another word that begins with A and ends with E with the same number of letters. You know, a name people having even a little bit of road rage will call other drivers. Yes, that one.

Maybe you are wondering why I can’t type it. It’s because my eyesight is so bad I have to use the dictate function on my iPhone. So, to write the word I have to say the word. And I would rather not hear voice over pronouncing the word when it is about me. I prefer synonymous words like lost or removed. To be clear, I’m not in denial about what has happened. I am confident that one day I will be able to say the word along with all forms of it. Take it from me, the loss of a body part is pretty much impossible to deny or ignore. i’ve almost got into where I can pronounce the nickname of the root word, amp. I will take it in baby steps, which is ironic, considering I no longer have most of my right foot.

Here’s how it happened. Last spring I was having problems with low blood pressure, which caused me to fall. I never completely lost conscious, I was just dizzy. Somehow, in the last weekend of May, I fell and sustained a tiny cut on the bottom of my right foot. Someday, I’ll be able to forgive myself for not going to the emergency room at that time, but I just didn’t. A week later, on June 5, after not being able to put any weight on it for a week, I called an ambulance to take me to the hospital. After a few days, I was told I had a nasty infection and would need to have my little toe removed. It was easy to except, because it wasn’t likely to be noticed unless someone was paying close attention. Besides, I didn’t have many occasions to takeoff my shoes in public. It was pretty rare for me to go to a swimming pool. on June 12 I had the surgery to take it off.

The following day, the surgeon removed the bandage and told me my fourth toe wasn’t viable and that if I only had that one a****ate it, it would make me more likely to get a skin ulcer on the remaining three toes. So, on June 15 I lost the front half of my foot. After a week, I went to a rehab hospital and got some good physical therapy and wound care. I won’t go into all of the details of my boomerang which included a few days at home, another surgery for the bride minute at OHSU, another rehab hospital where are received IV antibiotics over several weeks, and rinse wash and repeat. The weekend before September 11 the pain in my foot flared up again and I had to be taken to the hospital once more. It turned out the bones left in my foot were still infected. On September 18 I lost more of that foot. Now all that is left is my right heel. the good news is there was enough skin for the doctor to suture it closed, unlike the June 15 surgery which left me with a big open wound that was more at risk for an infection.

The days leading up to the September 18 surgery were especially tough emotionally. I had excepted the fact that half of my foot was gone. All I would need was an orthotic to be placed in the front of my right shoe and I would be almost as good as new. Since that surgery, I haven’t been allowed to put any weight on that foot at all. I’ve gotten pretty toned again using a walker with just my left foot. Currently, I am in another rehab hospital, this time down in McMinnville. Because of me being immuno suppressed from organ transplant, I have to have a private room and this is the only one the hospital could find last week. Being immuno compromised also allowed the infection to run rampant in only a few days last May.

The foot must be completely healed before I can work with someone to make a prosthetic or orthotic to help me keep my balance. The surgeon has assured me that if I am at home I can go without the prosthetic or orthotic and eventually will be able to take a shower standing up. I possibly might have to have an ankle brace. It’s just hard to know for sure at this point. 2023 will be remembered as my worst year ever. But I’m looking ahead to the future, when my life will be restored to some sort of normalcy With the help of some sort of man-made device to complement what’s left of my foot. I have to have faith. Past experience with faith has taught me that just because I don’t know how things might improve, it doesn’t mean they won’t.