An update on my foot

An update on my foot February 13, 2013

Christina here…

You bunch of heathen nonbelievers are too kind. I’m amazed, inspired, humbled, and awed that so many people cared about me to send donations to help cover my mortgage and medical bills due to me smashing the living shit out of my foot with my own car.

Here is an update, and some info if you want to follow my foot saga, as I don’t want to turn this blog into “What Would Christina’s Foot Do?” or something.

On the same day JT posted the post above asking people to help me, I woke up with a fever. After checking like five times to make sure it was a real fever (not one of those fakey fake ones) I drove myself back to the ER. They admitted me and kept me there for four days in IV antibiotics.

Every time I change the dressings on my foot, it looks worse. While in the hospital, my orthopedic surgeon decided to do an incision & debridement surgery – That’s where they make incisions in you to drain fluid and clean or cut away all the necrotic tissue. The only problem is that my foot was too swollen for anything other than some small incisions, so they just cleaned my foot really well.

My foot is gross: all of my toes except my big one have turned black (back in the day they called that gangrene!) and there is this black necrosis on the dorsum (top) of my foot. I won’t post any pictures, but if you want to be really grossed out, here’s a video of me doing a dressing change that I took last night. This foot is the most disgusting foot I have ever seen and I can’t escape it because said foot is attached to the end of my leg. You’ve been warned.

I went to my surgeon this morning.  He wanted to wait a few more weeks and then perform a transmetatarsal amputation (that’s where you amputate all your toes and part of your foot, basically) and then wait until that heals and do a fusion of the cuneform bones perhaps, and then maybe do a few more surgeries. He said that I would probably be looking at two years of reconstructions before my foot is finally done, and even then, the surgeries might not work and I may end up with a transtibial (below the knee) amputation anyway.

I do not want to work for two years with the ultimate outcome to perhaps, at best, have a paralyzed, fused, skin grafted, scarred, sloth half foot. How functional would such a foot really be? Answer: not very.

I’m an active woman. I am the main breadwinner in my house. I don’t have the time nor the inclination to nurse this thing for two years, only to have it possibly amputated in the end anyway.

I made a decision. I’m not going through that. I can’t do it psychologically, and I can’t do it financially.

In two weeks I will be Christina Stephens: occupational therapist, wife, atheist, research scientist, sister, daughter, blogger, friend, sex-positive, polyamorous, below-knee amputee.

I am okay with this.

I think I just wrote that as much for myself as I did for you guys.

I think Aimee Mullins put it well: (when reflecting on showing a group of kida her 12 pairs of prosthetic legs)  – “Just like that, I went from a woman these kids were trained to see as disabled to somebody who had potential that their bodies didn’t have yet – somebody that might even be super-able.”

So, a couple of things.

1. I’m going to start Vlogging about my experiences at this Youtube channel. As an OT, I think I’ll have a unique perspective, being on both sides of the therapeutic relationship.

2. I can’t work for at least two months after my surgery. Another attempt at panhandling: the best help I can get from anybody right now is a financial hand. So here’s the donate button (GRRR.. I’m trying to figure out how to make it show up!):

Here, clicky this handy donate link instead while I ask JT how to make the button go.

3. Yes, I’ll probably get a scarlet letter A laminated into my sweet new prosthetic leg.

Learn more about Christina and follow her @ziztur.

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