Ten Toes for Christmas: The Prelude
On December 21 at 6 AM John loaded me into the van to go to La Ronge Hospital Emergency. My foot stank of gangerene as did all of me. The staff took an x-ray sent it to various medical authorities in the province and decided that the foot needed to be amputated. They were going to send me to Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon. I flatly, defiantly, frequently and loudly refused. It took me three hours to get antibiotiques i.v.ed into my body It took another two hours to be officially admitted into the hospital. It took two minutes of proper, strong medicine to have a sense of my foot cooling and decreasing. Every day I had to argue against the pro- chop doctors( probably about 2 of them ) even though the foot was obvious getting better. The harassment to amputate ended Christmas morning. I had the goal I only have to get to Christmas and they’ll not be able to justify a foot or even toe removal. So how did we get to this mess? Like many medical crisis or medical disasters it began in conjunction with Arthur Morin Memorial Clinic in Southend.
In August I had burned my stomach by being too close to heat while canning. I had eventually gone to Southend clinic because it was getting infected. The nurse gave me some pills and ten bandages. I needed a bandage change every few hours because they were getting soaked with yellow- green matter. The pills did not seem to do any good at all. They were the same kind that I got from My Pharmacy in Prince Albert, and the same kind I got in Cromwell, Connecticut but those pills worked. Why did pills from Southend seem to be duds? We begged for more bandages twice . The medical taxi forgot. They didn’t manage to give some to an adult student who was making a trip to the clinic despite arrangements. Eventually John tracked down a medical taxi who had undelivered medicine for another family and our bandages. The driver was about to leave Brabant after making a few social/ business calls. Medical taxis are part of the drug network.
When school started I had a bad sinus throat infection that made it very difficult if not impossible to talk. There was no recourse but to use Halls cough drops which are menthol and sugar. I was just feeding the bacteria and knew it but there seemed no alternative just to keep going. Since in my early twenties I knew that I had hypoglycemia ( low blood sugar) and used to stick to a proper diet very carefully.
My middle toe got infected after I accidentally cut a tiny piece of skin. We bathed it in salt hot water and homemade soap. The ball of my foot hurt worse than my two broken ankles combined . One Friday night we saw that a red stream was going up my foot to my leg. John phoned the clinic and said we needed antibiotiques because blood poisoning was setting in. The nurse told us to come at 10 am in the morning. We came and rang the bell for a long time. Eventually another nurse came and got mad at us for disturbing them. She had not heard that we were told to come. I said that I thought I needed another kind of pills since the usual brand didn’t seem to work for me. She totally ignored me and gave me the same. She gave me four ( 4) band aids for the exposed toes that was oozing from the tip.Since my ankle was swollen I couldn’t put on the band- aid. I asked her to do it. She said “ you have to bend!” Slack old me.
We kept trying to look after the foot by bathing it. One thing that I knew I had plenty of pain so circulation wasn’t dead. John had enough of watching my toe and foot disintegrate. I had black, black nights where I was probably near death. I knew my blood sugar was out of control and hated the taste of anything sweet but could do nothing to control it
Sunday afternoon I smelled roses and lilies blocking out the gangerene smell for a few minutes. This had happened before when I was very sick. It was the sign that Saint Padre Pio was on the job. I am astute enough not to pull out the Saint cure right away. But at La Ronge Emergency I wasn’t smelling of roses and to a medical establishment the Northern solution of death by inches seemed to be the “ reality programme.”. However I knew Pade Pio and firm no’s would save my foot. John has taken me to Brabant to get my knitting and computer . More of the saga will be written on site at La Ronge Hospital bed. Gay