Friday, July 22, 2011

And boy, did it hurt

So . . .

I really need to update you all on Blaine's puncture wound.  It is un-un-un-un.

As a sidenote, I'm starting to look at this blog as more than just a tool for connecting with long-distance family and friends -- it has simultaneously morphed into a historical log of our life.  Eventually, I'll have it printed into a blog-book to look back at.

(Incidentally, I have recently been enjoying looking back to the previous year's month of late.  It is so fascinating to see what we were doing and what I was thinking about.  I am also amazed by all "the little things" about the boys that I have forgotten.  I am so glad I have several avenues to help me remember it all -- daybook, kid calendars, kid journals, blog, picture emails.)

And so . . . Blaine's puncture wound.  It is amazing, really.  It happened on Saturday, July 9th.  We were putting up fencing for the tomatoes from a roll that we got from our elderly neighbor (it was just sitting in her trees).  Not rusty, thankfully.  He cut the desired length, then we would finagle it into the already knee-high tomatoes, connect it to the fence-posts he had pounded in, and weave the tomato-tops in as gingerly as we could.

After we were done, and we have 41 tomatoes this year, btw, all started from seed, we wondered if we should put up a fence for the melons in the East Garden to grow on.  There isn't much space, so it would be good to give them room to grow.  Mainly, UP.  We figured it was "now or never" and why not? since we were already in the groove.  So it was decided.  The baby woke up, I went inside to take care of him, and he went to cut another length of fence.

Not long after, I heard some major hollering from outside and saw Blaine effectively bear-walk (bear-hop might be a more apt description) up to the house as fast as he could.  There was a lot of yelling and moaning from him and while I was totally unable to tell what had happened, I ran for an ice-pack pronto-pup.  There was no blood and all parts appeared to be in order, but I could tell there was something was seriously wrong.

And what had happened?  A spine-tingling, scalp-raising 2-inch puncture directly above his right ankle.  Straight in.  Two inches!  With a 12-gauge wire fence-end, just clipped, so it was extra-sharp.  Un-un-un-un.  He had walked right into it.  It was in the grass and he wasn't thinking, he just took a step and schhhhhloop, in it went.  He didn't even feel it at first, and only knew that it was inside his leg when movement was impeded.  He pulled his leg back and that is when it started to hurt.

We iced and elevated and did a saltwater soak.  We could tell it hadn't been broken, so we decided to take our time and assess the situation vs. rush off to the ER.  I consulted a Nurse-Practitioner on Duty over the phone and read about punctures in the various health books and online.  We called his parents and asked that they bring over a pair of crutches and a cane from their well-stocked "for when we get old or injured" collection.  That night was the worst -- it was hard to sleep and he said that it felt as if his foot had been smashed with a hammer.  Yeouch.

It did swell, though not like you would imagine.  It seeped some blood, but not much.  He was able to walk with a cane the second day.  But it was painful, very painful.  He was totally side-lined.  For an entire week.  And strangely, after a few good days at the beginning, he had a few bad days towards the middle-end of the week, with pain and tingling.  Warm comphrey soaks helped with that a lot.  I also applied Dr. Christopher's Complete Tissue & Bone Ointment several times a day to aid in healing.

He went to the Foot & Ankle clinic the following Monday.  They recommended a tetanus shot and a round of broad-spectrum antibiotics, which we went with.  I felt apprehensive about all that, since it was for what could happen vs. what was happening . . . I couldn't help but wonder if we were contributing to the over-use of antibiotics.  I'm so dramatic, I know, but I couldn't help it.  Ultimately we decided it was for the best.  The doctor said that with how close the puncture came to the ankle joint, it would not be worth the risk of waiting to see if an infection would develop.  "An infected joint is a destroyed joint," he said, "and not worth messing with."  And since we would rather work on replenishing the gut with good bacteria vs. fitting Blaine for a prosthetic foot, what other choice could we make considering the circumstances and medical access?  (As you can see, I still feel uneasy about it.)

All in all, he missed an entire week of work.  I am so glad he did, because he really needed that time to heal.  It was almost like a vacation, aside from all the pain and worrying.  He finally went back to work this past Monday and did all his usual duties, albeit more slowly.

Additionally, we thought that he had only 4 paid days off for the rest of the year before the puncture (one week off for the babe's birth, one week off due to a bout with influenza in March), so when he took 5 days off, we were a little worried.  As it turns out, he received an additional week off in June (his 4 year mark!).  So that time is zeroed-out and we are back with 4 days off for the rest of the year.  Ha!  Not that great, but certainly better than zero.

And that is the saga of the 2-inch puncture.  May it never happen again.


Ashley said...

yeeeooouuuucccchhhhh!!!! Un-un-un-un is right! Yowza! I'm glad he is back to work. And, I know you are wary about antibiotics, but your doc was right, joint infections are best avoided. At all costs. What Abx was he prescribed??

lil' mama said...

ugh, got a little sick to my stomach reading about the puncture. Yuck. So glad he's okay and glad he's on meds or was on 'em. Yuck yuck yuck

mschirber said...

wow. that is crazy! i am so glad he is okay!!!