I started doing updates here to keep the bandwidth usage down. There's no reason to download all of those pictures every day.
1-29-08 - Not much to report today. I cancelled the arteriogram that was scheduled for today. My wife and I just didn't feel right about the surgeon. He really messed up her mother's arm a few years ago when she had ports for dialysis ports out in. I also understood him to say that I'd end up with 2 of the 3 arteries working, and may have had to have surgery to get that.
I hoped to hear back from my doctor today to see about getting a new arterial surgeon. I have a list of 5 in Indianapolis that use the new procedure I was told about.
The leg is feeling a bit better. The swelling has gone down some more. I can bend my knee and move my ankle better. My foot tingles though. Every time I get up - I'm hanging my foot down , not putting any pressure on it - and the calf muscle tightens up and hurts. It's like it goes into a spasm.
1-30-08 - Not much to report today. I'm going to my family doctor tomorrow morning. We need to find a vascular surgeon. I want him to check the tendon connecting my thigh muscle to my knee. I can't straighten my leg all of the way and it really hurts when I try. I can bend my knee about all of the way since the swelling has gone down more. The ankle is still swollen, bruised and sore, but I can move it around more. The bottom of my foot is still numb, but I can feel my toes and the bottom of my heel. I can't lay in bed very long. My foot starts throbbing after just a few minutes. Nights are the worst time, I need pain pills to get any sleep at all.
1-31-08 I have an appointment with a vascular surgeon in Indianapolis on Tuesday morning. Unless something unusual happens between now and then I won't have any more update until Tuesday afternoon.
2-2-08 I wasn't planning on updating until after I talked to the vascular surgeon, but something has presented itself in a fairly big way. As I have written, the bottom of my foot is completely numb. I can feel my toes and the front edge of my foot where my toes attach. I can also feel the bottom of my heel. The rest of the sole is numb. The area just above this is VERY tender. That is all well and good at this point. My problem is this intermittent stabbing pain that runs down the right side of my right foot. I can't find any "cause and effect" for the pain. I have been thinking it must be a pinched nerve, but then I had another idea. What if it was a lack of blood supply to that area of my foot? I know there is an artery (and a vein, I think) that runs along there. I looked up heart attack on Wikipedia. The reason I did this is because people having a heart attack often have a shooting pain down their left arm. There is a condition called "Ischemia" that could be the cause. It sounds kind of serious, so I hope this isn't it. I'll be sure to ask the vascular surgeon about it on Tuesday. Yesterday marked two weeks since my injury. My leg and the wounds feel a lot better, but my arteries still aren't fixed and my foot is acting up.
2-5-08 I went to see the vascular surgeon today. Much to my surprise, he said small fistulas close off on their own a lot of the time. He usually waits 3 months to see if this happens before considering surgery. I'm going next week for an angiogram. This involves dyes and a catheter. I go see a neurologist tomorrow. The pain in my foot is unbearable. Luckily it's intermittent.
I don't like the sound of this:
2-6-08 I went to the neurologist today. He was fascinated with my story and wounds. He said I damaged a nerve up in my leg (obviously). He gave me some pills (Lyrica P-D) for the nerve pain and wants me to get physical therapy. My wife wants me to wait until after my angiogram next Wednesday. She's afraid the therapy might interfere with my arteries and fistula. It make sense to me. As long as the pills take care of that horrible pain I'll be a happy man
My daughter cleaned up my wounds really well - she's a nursing student and I took new pictures.
These were taken before we cleaned them up. They actually don't look as bad as they appear to in these photos.
First wound, and entry
Second wound, an exit
Wound three, another entry
Wound four, the final exit
Just so everyone knows that I'm a pretty good shot when I'm actually TRYING to hit a target, here are my last three targets from the day before my injury. The targets were set at 7 yards, no double taps, but I was unloading the magazines as fast as I could return the sights to the target.
2-7-08 This morning I decided that I was going to take the Band Aids off and leave them off. Each wound had a thin scab and they weren't oozing or anything. Then my daughter heard my plan and she wasn't happy. She's in nursing school and she brought over a textbook that said letting it form a scab actually slows down the healing. It's better to keep it covered so it will stay clean and moist. So now the big Band Aids are back.
I read up on the medicine I got for the nerve pain. The manufacturer said "it may begin working in as little as a week". That is NOT what I wanted to hear. It has knocked the pain level down to where it's at least bearable and the pain doesn't last as long. I still can't lay in bed. As soon as I lay my leg down my foot starts throbbing. What sleep I've gotten has been in my Cat Napper recliner. I'm going to go to physical therapy next Thursday, the day after my angiogram.
I'm still using the crutches. I don't want to put weight on my foot and stir up that nerve.
Oh, I had 100 bullets on my reloading bench. I went down there and loaded them up today. Some people on Glocktalk reloading forum raised some money for me. I used the money to pay for my domain names for 3 years and pay a year ahead on my web hosting service. I had some money left over so I ordered 1,000 bullets and 1,000 cases (the brass thing that holds the primer, the powder and the bullet. It's the only part of ammunition that can be reused) .I have plenty of powder and primers so I'll have something to keep me busy for a while. I need to clean up the blood in the basement. I haven't been able to stand or walk around at all, but I think I can do it now. I'm thinking a bleach / water mixture.
2-10-08 I'm getting around a lot better now. I gave up on the crutches. I can actually walk now, but I have to turn my right foot out at a 45 degree angle. If I try to walk with my foot straight my calf muscle just doesn't want to stretch enough for my foot to bend upwards. I've been using my cane so I don't put too much weight on my foot. No use tempting fate. The Lyrica pills seem to to be working some now. My foot still throbs now and again and for some reason if I lay in bed (and have my leg laying flat) it throbs terribly. My wounds are healing quite well now, I can smack them and they don't hurt. It feels really weird walking on my foot when the bottom is numb. I'd better get used to it. The area just above the numb part is very tender. Now my wonderful wife won't have to drop me off everywhere and go park the car. I'm even driving again.My daughter protested of course. I said "Nobody ever told me that I can't drive". She said it was just common sense. I told her "If I had any common sense I wouldn't have shot myself in the leg". She couldn't argue with that.
I got 1,000 bullets in the mail yesterday and already have 500 of them loaded. <g> I have to wait on my brass (1,000 cases) to get here before I can load any more. It feels good to reload again, to get back to normal in a way.
I keep getting encouragement and kind thoughts in my email, along with a lot of very scary stories of accidental and negligent discharges. I ran into the wife of a coworker (both of which I've always thought highly of) who asked how I was doing. She said they are keeping up with my "blog". It's good to know that I'm not just typing this for myself. <g>
2-13-08 Yesterday the head nurse at my daughter's nursing school, a wound specialist, came and looked at my bullet wounds. She said they looked pretty good. The first one, the deepest hole had scabbed over. She removed that scab and gave me a sheet of a dressing - Algicell - Calcium of Alginate dressing with Antimicrobial Silver. She had to get an order from my doctor first. I go for my angiogram this afternoon. I'm drinking my lasr Coke of the day as I type this. I'm a little apprehensive, my wife is scared to death. She didn't sleep at all last night. I think she might be asleep right now. I'm so sorry I have put her through all of this stuff. We're staying in a hotel near the hospital tonight. They said to expect to stay overnight if any intervention is done and this way my wife will have somewhere to go if she needs to this afternoon. If all goes well we'll have a nice night in a nice hotel and get out of the house for a bit.
2-14-08 I had my angiogram done yesterday. It took a lot longer than the doctor expected to get the pictures, so he ended up using more dye than usual. They kept me overnight in order to flush the dye out of my system, as it can be hard on one's kidneys otherwise. I went to the Indiana Heart Hospital which seems to be a top notch facility. Everyone seemed to go above and beyond in their care for me, especially the nurse in the cath lab, Susan. She told me that the doctor doing the procedure was the best around, and that reassured me, although I already had total faith in my vascular surgeon.
The news was not good, however. The fistula has grown and there is a pocket of blood there now, a "pseudo aneurysm". It needs to be dealt with within a week or so. The surgeon is going to remove a vein from my leg and use it to do a bypass of the artery around the fistula. He said he's "going to try to save all of the arteries". I need to get another CT arteriogram and a heart stress test done before the surgery. This isn't what I hoped to here, but that's the way it is and I'll just have to deal with it..
2-17-08 Not much new to report. I go get my second CT Artetiogram tomorrow and go to a cardiologist on Tuesday. I hope my surgery will be this week. I don't want to put it off a day more than necessary. I thought I'd post one more picture. It's from my first CT Atreriogram. I'm pretty sure the fistula is in this photo. I'm guessing it's the upper anomaly. Look at the lower one. I'm pretty sure that shiny thing there is one of the pieces of the copper jacket. Do either of those pieces affect any artery, vein or nerve? I hope to find out soon. Also note what looks like a large chunk of lead below and to the left of that. I think it's pretty near my second exit wound.
2-19-08 I had my second CT Arteriogram done yesterday. Today I got clearance for surgery from a cardiologist. My surgery is scheduled now - it isn't until next Wednesday, eight days from now. I was hoping to have it sooner. He is going to try to repair the fistula. If he can't do that he will do an arterial bypass. If he does the bypass I will be in the hospital for 2 - 4 days, less if he can repair the fistula.
2-23-08 I got the results of my second CT Arteriogram today. By law, if you ask for your medical records they have to give them to you. Here is a short video of both of my CT Arteriograms. At the beginning you can see the lead near my last exit wound. The first 18 seconds is the first test. The small white spots are arteries or veins. The bright things are the pieces of the copper jacket. I'm stepping up and down past them. Then you see the second test. The large white blob is the pseudo aneurysm. The shrapnel is below the pseudo aneurysm. At the end of the video you can see a side view of my vascular system in my lower leg. The big blob is the pseudo aneurysm. I go down Monday for a "pre-op appointment" which will take 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (?) Surgery is Wednesday morning. I finally cleaned up the blood in the basement. It basically made a huge brown spot, but it looks better than it did.The top two wounds are almost healed, I took the bandages off, they are scabbed over now. That last exit wound is still open and looks a little nasty.
Here are some photos to illustrate
From left to right
1. Start of first piece of shrapnel - bright object. White spots are arteries and/or veins
2. Shows artery between shrapnel pieces
3. Second piece of shrapnel
4. Shows piece of lead very near last exit wound
1. Start of pseudo aneurysm. White blob between bones. Blood shows up white in these photos Each photo is a little lower in my leg
2. More of the aneurysm.
4. Second shrapnel
5. Shows where arteries and/or veins are - the white spots
Shows vascular system of lower legs. First scan on left, second scan on right. I assume large blob in second scan is the pseudo aneurysm.
2-25-08 I have 3 of the 4 wounds uncovered now. Only the last exit wound is still covered.
Just waiting for my surgery Wednesday morning.
2/28/08 Dad had his surgery yesterday. It took 4 hours to do. They cut the artery supplying the aneurysm, and then cut a vein from the other side of his vein, and bypassed the aneurysm. He woke up in severe pain. They kept him in ICU until later in the day. He is on a regular floor now, and could possibly go home tomorrow. He is walking with a walker, and his leg is huge. He was able to see it when the doctor came. He apparently has two 8-10 inch cuts on his lower leg. One of them goes through the muscle that pulls his foot up.. I just wanted to give a quick update. Angie
2/29/08 I'm home now. The surgeon said it was very inflamed in there, so he wasn't able to dig the pseudo aneurysm out. He cut right down the center of the muscle, so it's going to take me a while to get back to normal.
The incision on the left is the main one, the one on the right is where he got the vein from.
3-1-08 I'm walking on my foot with the help of a cane. I started out with a walker, that lasted about 5 minutes. I switched to crutches. My foot KILLED me whenever I got up. I was waiting for the swelling to go down. This morning I decided to actually try what the doctors and nurses said to do. They said walking on it would help get the circulation going. Walk on it some and keep it propped up otherwise. I deduced on my own that standing wasn't good, because I wouldn't be using my calf muscle, and it also wouldn't be propped up. It hurts like the devil for the first few steps, then gets manageable. It's gradually getting better. I'm trying not to use up all of my pain pills now, trying to save some for later.
I got cold running around in shorts. I cleaned the dried blood away by picking the big pieces off with tweezers, applying Neosporin and carefully removing more dried blood with gauze. I didn't mess with the big things, like the exit wound he cut right through. I hope he got that piece of lead out. It looked like it was right next to the wound on the CT Scans. Anyhow, I applied some Iodex, which has iodine in it and worked well on bullet hole #3. I filled the hole up with Iodex when it was mostly healed up.. We called that "Black Medicine" when I was a kid and weput it on everything. The phot above is a new one, taken after I cleaned it up. I covered it with non stick pads, put a net thing they used in the hospital and put my long johns on. I plan on ignoring the whole thing as long as possible. <g>
The medical bills have started rolling in. My wife has pretty good insurance. The E.R. was just over $2,000. The angiogram was just pennies under $11,000. So far the bills have come to $20,979.30. I'm having trouble figuring out what we will have to pay, but it LOOKS LIKE so far our part is $994.96.That doesn't include my 4 hour surgery, 3 day hospital bill including a few hours in intensive care. I have another CT Arteriogram coming up. That will be another 3 grand. I planned on being back to work in about 6 weeks, which is today. If I let the latest medical bills go for a while we'll be good for another month at least. Our tax refund came in handy this year, that's for sure.
3-5-08 Not much new to report. I go the 13th to have the staples removed. My foot has been red. Pressing on it with my fingers leaves white "fingerprints" which quickly disappear. I called and talked to a nurse today. The swelling has not gone down much and it is still red. She assured me that this was normal, to give it time and prop it up when I'm sitting down. I can walk with virtually no pain now. My leg and foot ACHE from the knee to the top of my foot. Something new it a prickly sensation in my foot and especially in my big toe. I just noticed that the swelling is down a bit more and I can almost see one of the veins in the top of my foot.
3-8-08 Things are progressing. The swelling is going down very gradually. Here's a picture of the first 3 bullet holes. The 4th bullet hole is now part of the incision from the surgery.
I can't wait to get these staples out. five more days.
3-14-08 I went to the surgeon today. I thought I was going to get my staples and stitches out. He was concerned about my lower leg and foot still being swollen. I have a strong pulse in my foot, which is good. He removed the stitches and every other staple. He said that he doesn't want it to "pop open" I go back in a week to get the rest of the staples out and have to get another CT Arteriogram before that. He said that it was a very difficult surgery and that he just couldn't get to the pseudo aneurysm. He cut the arteries and veins going to it, harvested a vein and used it to bypass the pseudo aneurysm. He said to wrap the leg with an Ace bandage to help with the swelling. I guess I'll know more next Friday.
3-17-08 The swelling is FINALLY going down. I decided to try some support hose to keep the swelling down so I could walk more, which encourages circulation and the formation of new blood vessels. I measured the circumference of my calf and it was 16 inches. I got men's dress knee highs with firm support. That was a mistake, they were way too tight. Not only that, they were so tight they aggravated a problem in my foot which required me to have two nerves cut out in '95. I switched to knee high tube socks. I went to the local mall and walked two miles this morning. My foot bothered me most, then the staples still in my leg. My calf is 15 inches in circumference, the left calf is 14 inches. I get my third CT Arteriogram tomorrow and I'll find out the results on Friday.
3-21-08 This is a bit weird. Remember how I had a fistula and then it turned into a huge pseudo aneurysm? Well, the pseudo aneurysm is gone now, but the fistula is still there. I'm going to go back to work in 2 or 3 weeks and get another CT Arteriogram in 3 months. I FINALLY got all of the staples out. My leg feels a lot better already. Parts of the incisions are still sore and a lot of the staple holes are red and inflamed. I still have swelling, but I'll deal with that with T.E.D. hose, I guess. My 6 year old grandson went with me to the doctor. He saw that I had put band aids over some of my staples, so he put band aids on his leg, too. I'll post a picture as soon as I transfer it from my daughter's phone. My only question is how will I know if another pseudo aneurysm before I go back in June? I had no symptoms with the last one. I got a copy of the CT Arteriogram and the disk they sent me didn't have the pictures of the vascular system like the last one did. Getting shot sucks.
3-22-08 I started carrying my pistol again the other day. They have all been locked up in my safe since I got home from the E.R. that first night. My wife got so scared and shocked at how close she came to losing me that she originally wanted me to sell all of my guns. She thought about it and decided not to make me do that because reloading and shooting are such a big part of my life. She also remembered what a devastating effect it was on her father, who had a bad heart when he was told he couldn't go fishing any more. I didn't bring up the gun thing all of this time, I waited until she was comfortable enough to bring it up. I have told her that if I ever have another ND I will sell all of my guns because if I have another one after this, I don't DESERVE to own any guns. I am still not going to the range, but I have 2,500 rounds loaded up in anticipation of the day. When I handle my pistol now, I am VERY careful, of course!! I usually don't even hold it by the grip, and if I do I usually don't activate the grip safety. I keep my finger away from the trigger, of course. That is ingrained in me completely. When I do hold the pistol normally, I always activate the laser so I can see EXACTLY where that muzzle is pointing.
Here's the picture of my grandson's leg
Two photos from my CT Arteriogram. They mainly show the staples and shrapnel.
This is my preferred way of handling my 1911 now when I'm moving it, etc. Notice that the grip safety is on (not depressed by my hand), the thumb safety is on and of course my finger is no where near the trigger.
I got the paperwork today to go back to work. The date is April 4th, 11 days from now. I hope I can am ready. I REALLY need to do some serious walking, at least. My job entails about 2 hours of standing followed by about 8 miles of walking. I'm not too worried about my leg, but my foot is another thing. It's still numb on bottom and very tender around the edges of the numb area. It's still swollen somewhat, too. Anyhow, here's the letter explaining exactly what my surgery was all about. Any medical people that can explain this to me in normal English please email me. Thanks.
It had a typo in it. It said I went to the office on the 18th, I actually went on the 14th. I changed it to the 13th because there were no 4s in the letter and the 13th was pretty close.
4-1-08 I went to my family doctor yesterday. He explained that the main blood vessels have been removed from the fistula, but small ones still feed it slightly. Since the blood flow to it is so slight and slow, the vessels are expected to clot shut. He also explained the swelling. It is only partly due to the fistula. most of the swelling left is due to damage to my lymphatic system. It moves fluid throughout the body and once the lymph vessels are damaged, they don't really repair themselves. He said my right leg will always be a bit larger than my left leg. Of course, he suggested T.E.D. stockings. I've tried knee high support stockings without much success. They are way too tight on my foot, so I cut them off at the ankle. That helps some. I'll just have to try it out when I go back to work and see what happens. He said standing will be more of a challenge than walking, since the calf muscles help pump blood back up my leg. I just took the stocking off and am having some shooting pains in my foot. It sounds like I will never be back to "normal". We didn't really discuss the numbness in my foot, I'll deal with that on my own.
4-10-08 I finally got back to the shooting range last Friday. I got there early, as usual. I like it that way because I'm usually the only one there. I don't have to wait on others to change their targets or worry about others having to wait on me to change mine. I shot about 200 rounds, mostly through my Rock Island, my carry weapon, but also through my Springfield Champion. The Springfield was my first 1911 style pistol, a Colt Commander clone. It's an inch shorter than a full size 1911. I never liked the trigger on it. I put a Wilson Combat sear which lightened the trigger pull. I like it a lot better now. Their sears are a lot better than their so called "drop in" beavertail grip safety. Those things are nightmares, at least when trying to fit them into my Rock Island.
I also went back to work on Monday. It's been a real mixed bag. The good news is that my leg and foot aren't swollen much at all now, and standing and walking all day didn't cause overall swelling to increase, either. That was a big load off of my mind. I'm pretty sure that somewhere along the line I was told that walking helps the veins and / or arteries regrow. If that's true, they should be all back any day now. <g> It's been a rough three days though. I'm really struggling to make it around my route (I'm a city letter carrier). My butt is dragging and my legs are aching long before I get to the end of my route. This is as much a result of me sitting around for 11 weeks as anything else. I can't walk fast and going up and down steps, walking across uneven surfaces like yards is really hard on my legs and foot. Their is localized swelling in the ball of my foot (the part behind my toes and in front of my arch) It's in the middle of that. I don't know what this is, it painful. Yesterday the muscles on the front of my lower legs hurt before I ever got to work. Every day is a little easier, though and I have four days off to rest up. Next week I work six days straight, though. I'm not looking forward to that.
4-15-08 I take back at least part of what I said about the swelling. The swelling in my leg and foot isn't any better, just not any worse. The weird thing is he area in the center of the ball of my foot. I can feel that is is definitely swollen. Even weirder it seems to be worse when I first get up in the morning. My foot feels better when it is in my shoe. I'm going to get a couple of pairs of padded insoles and cut holes in all but the top one where the swelling is to see if I can relieve some of the pressure on it. On a happier note, after working for three days last week and getting four days to rest up, my legs seem to be doing better. I may go to my family doctor and see what he thinks about my foot.
4-26-08 I went to my family doctor on Monday about my foot. There is an area in the ball of my foot (right behind my toes) that swells and is painful, especially after I walk on it all day. My first three toes hurt intermittently, but not all at the same time. He thought I may have gout in the ends of my metatarsals, the bones that the toes attach to. He sent me for X Rays, which showed no arthritis. He didn't have my blood checked for high uric acid levels though. I suppose it may actually be gout. I'm going to see a foot surgeon on May 14th.
5-7-08 Things are going pretty well health wise.
My leg feels pretty good. I get an occasional shooting pain here and there, but they pass pretty quickly.
My general strength is about up to normal. I get tired, but not nearly as badly as I did when I first went back to work.
As for my foot, I go see a foot surgeon next Wednesday. I don't plan on having any surgery on it though. I want to find out what is acting up though.
I still get swelling in the ball of my foot - the area behind my toes. It's uncomfortable, but not what I'd call painful. It's more of a nuisance than anything. It feels a LOT like the same foot did back in '95 when I had nerves removed from the same area.
It's much better now then it was even a couple of weeks ago.
The leg still swells (and always will). I haven't been able to wear the support hose, even open toed ones because they squeeze my foot and aggravate the bad spot.
I've been taking Lyrica for nerve pain in my foot. It was so bad I couldn't sleep. I quit taking it about a week or two ago and the pain isn't back. My foot does this weird tingling thing though. It feels really weird but I like to think the nerves are waking up.
I'm in good spirits and look forward to my days off because I can go to the range.
HERE are my results today, 7 yards rapid fire. One with my Rock Island with Crimson Trace grips, the other with my Taurus PT1911 with it's Heiny sights. The one on the left is with the Taurus. Two low shots were from setting Bullseye on top of front sight instead of placing front dot over bullseye.
I also tried out my HAMMR rest with disappointing results. I set it up on the 25 yard line, shots were spread all over. I have my Springfield Champion attached. I never did thing it was the least bit accurate. The table was a bit wobbly though. It couldn't have been my reloads, could it? <g>
The next time I'll switch pistols and either switch to the 50 yard line (solid tables) or drive further for what I think will be better tables and 25 yard range.
Oh, the pneumatic cylinder leaked, too.
I got a new camera and am having fun with it. I'll update again next week after I go see the surgeon
5-15-08 I went to the foot surgeon yesterday. I found that there is no really bad problem that requires surgery. The ends of my meta tarsals are very prominent and the ends of them may have dropped a little because of muscle changes or something like that. He gave me some felt pads that go I haven't walked a lot with them yet, but the pad seems to help a lot. Things are looking up.
Here are the X Rays of my foot.
I am SO glad I went to the foot surgeon. I finally have my foot fixed up so I hardly notice it any more. I have orthotic inserts in my shoes for heel spurs. I added a thick piece of moleskin on the front of it and it supports the front of my arch and relieves the pressure on the ball of my foot. I got a pair of T.E.D. support hose with a mild compression. I can wear it all day. This keeps the swelling in my leg and foot down so my shoes aren't rubbing anything raw like before. I'm a happy guy.
I have a 4 day weekend this week. The last time I did that I messed it up by shooting myself.
Here's what happens if I wear the wrong kind of sock.
I don't know what I'm going to do this summer when I start wearing shorts. I guess I'll get a flesh colored hose and have a REALLY funny tan.
6-4-08 I got my first doppler test today. I get one every three months for the first year, then less frequently thereafter. The technician put a blood pressure cuff on my arm, listened to the blood rushing through an artery - the machine spit out a graph of my pulse, a practice hat would be repeated at each step. He then inflated the cuff and listened to what the reading was on the cuff when my pulse resumed in the artery. He repeated this in the other arm, then moved the cuff to my ankle and tested both arteries in each foot the same way. He then tested in my leg on the back side of my knee joint and the femoral artery up near my groin.
Then he got a different machine and took photos of the blood running through the artery in my leg that was repaired. This part was really interesting and he kindly printed out a few photos. Unfortunately, they show the fistula. I'm assuming that this means it's still getting blood. The photos show the fistula and the bullet fragments (actually pieces of the bullet's copper jacket) in my leg. The third photo shows (I believe) the now detached artery with the bullet fragments. It looks to me, a layman, that the fragments are right there in the artery. I should get the test results by mail in a few weeks and I have another CT Arteriogram scheduled for the 25th. I'll see the surgeon on July 2nd and then I'll know what's going on. I'm fearing another surgery.
6-25-08 GOOD NEWS (I think). I had my CT Arteriogram done today. I got the results from it and the 3d views from my post op test done March 18th.
The top two are from 3-18-08, the bottom two are from today. I don't see anything like what was there before the surgery (photo further up the page). I'll know for sure next Tuesday.
On a less optimistic note, even though it's been over 5 months now and the swelling is pretty much gone (as gone as it's going to get) there is NO change in the numbness of the bottom of my foot. I wonder if the feeling will ever return.
07-01-08 I went to the surgeon today. He said the fistula is still there. There's no danger of it "popping loose" (my words). He is going to call an interventional radiologist to see if they can fix it with a catheter. He only gives this a 50/50 chance of working. He doesn't want to do another surgery because my leg is "scarred down" (his words) and the surgery would be a "nightmare". He's going to call and get it set up - either at the Indiana Heart Hospital or I. U. Hospital. I'll see how things go. The catheter fix would be a very good outcome for me if it works. My surgeon is among the best around. I trust him. and I'm doing fine right now.
7-13-08 I decided to mark my foot and see if the nerves seemed to be coming back. I think they may be. Here are 3 pictures I took of it.
Here are the old pictures, taken soon after the injury
07-18-08 I talked to the interventional radiologist yesterday. I'm having an angiogram on Wednesday, July 30. He is planning on inserting a platinum spring or coil into an artery to cut off blood flow to the fistula. He said every once in a while one will break loose and end up in one's lung, but they are so small they are harmless. He can't make much of a prediction because the disks they got with the CTA results didn't load up in his computer. I'll need to be off the next day because I shouldn't do any bending or lifting the day after the procedure.
07-30-08 Good news. I had my angiogram today, done by an interventional radiologist. He ran the probe down from my groin on the right side. He inserted six coils into my arteries. He discovered that the part of the artery that was bypassed was still getting blood from other blood vessels. This makes sense, since the original fistula ballooned up into a pseudo aneurysm. When the large artery feeding it was bypassed it reverted back to it's "normal" size.
I wasn't knocked out, I kind of faded in and out. I would wake up, ask how it was going and what time it was. I watched a lot of it on the computer screen.After three hours he said that to really get it fixed up well he'd need to go up from my lower leg and attack it from below. He did that and inserted four more coils. That made a total of four hours today, the same length as my bypass surgery. It should be fixed for good now. Knock on wood. I'm going to miss a total of three days work, but I'm a pretty happy guy at this point. It looks like my leg is as good as it's going to get. I'll have to wait and see how the numbness in my foot progresses. It doesn't look good now, but who knows?
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