Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The doctor is in...

Nurse M was under the weather today, so I went to the vascular clinic and saw Dr. J. The last time I saw him, there were two gaping ulcers on my leg that he was worried about. If I recall correctly, he mentioned a hospital stay if they didn't improve soon.

So, today, he got to see the leg at the best it's been since then. The DuoDERM works very well. I have to wear the compression stocking with it nearly 24/7. This is good for the skin regenerating, but not so good for the RSD. You can't have them all, I suppose.

As I hadn't seen Dr. J for a long time, I asked him about the vein graft surgery and whether I was a good candidate. Dr. M (in Hawaii) does well over 100 of these a year with about a 70-80% success rate. He does a few and feels that he cannot do them well-so off to Hawaii he sends patients.

He got a copy of my last Doppler study and I am a good candidate. I have no current clots, no arterial issues and nothing has deteriorated so bad as to prevent the surgery. I asked if I should consider this, as I'm afraid the ulcers will keep happening.

He concurred. Patients like me present a vascular surgeon's worst nightmare. It is a chronic issue that can't be cured-just managed. I'm compliant with treatment, so all is not lost. I got the distinct impression that now is as good a time as any. More ulcers means the leg tissue will atrophy more and eventually rule out the treatment.

His concern is with the RSD/CRPS. Sometimes, when a patient has this procedure, cutting the leg makes the RSD worse. I mentioned the nerve blocks and sympathectomy. He felt it was good that I was already considering that option-though getting them first may not work.

Then I brought up the fact that work is writing me up for wearing the Crocs, despite the multiple doctor's notes. He went off and dictated a letter to my district manager. I can't wait to get my copy of that one. No, it won't be too bad-he's all southern gentleman. He will mention the chronic nature of my condition, the problem with the shoes they insist I wear exacerbating the RSD and that they've been told several times that they are medically necessary.

He asked what crime did the Crocs commit? Apparently, they are too ugly for work.

I got some answers today, and they were all what I needed to hear. My next step is to contact Dr. M in Hawaii and find out what she needs from me and whether she thinks I should get those nerve blocks before hopping a plane.

Only time will tell...

2 People talked back:

daysgoby said...

Wow! Sounds like you got a LOT of answers at once! Good for you!

Duo-derm is fantastic stuff. I've had two c-sections and have had complications with the incision both times - and duo-derm helped me cut months off my recovery time for my second.

It does tear up your skin a bit, though.

My mothers doctor recommended she wear Croc all the time. She has really bad nerve damage in her feet (diabetic) and can't really feel much at all - but she says her feet don't ache anymore.

Suzanne said...

No kidding about tearing up the skin! I sat there on the examining table, pulling it off myself to try to prevent a flare.

The crocs? Best invention ever. I had pretty bad plantar faciitis. Still do, but it's down to a dull roar because of the shoes.