Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ten toes for Christmas -One Year Later

Dec.21, 2012
     You’d rather see this story on video? Go to youtube later. A year ago John put me in the back seat of the van to La Ronge Hospital Emergency. We arrived about 9:30 AM. My right foot reeked of gangrene, the middle toe of my right foot was disintegrating, my foot was swollen and red with black dead skin spreading visibly on the sole. X-rays were taken and sent to Saskatoon.
    I kept asking for food , a reasonable request since I hadn’t breakfast and for antibiotics. In August I had a burn on my stomach from a canning accident. It became infected. The Southend Clinic gave me antibiotics but they were duds. We made a few trips to correct the situation. They refused to  listen and kept giving me the same unmarked pills. My gums and other sores were showing orange blood. 
    After the Xray I was told that I was to be sent to Saskatoon to have my foot removed.  I said no. I needed some antibiotics. Dr. Bada hooked me up with IV clintamycin.. In minutes I felt the relief. At 3pm I was allowed to be admitted and given food. My blood sugar was at 21. Under 8 is safe. For the first time in my life I took insulin.
    Eight doctors were in my room at one time, some had come to Saskatoon. Some were sincerely concerned and wanted me well. One wanted me out of “ her “ hospital at all costs. I always walked to the washroom, took showers, started doing the halls with a walker and my husband. Yet everyday they were pressuring me that I was to go to Royal University in  Saskatoon to have at least my toe removed. One male nurse reemed me out because I was defying the authority of a doctor. The foot wasn’t the issue. Rebellion against a government medicare decision was. Some doctors and nurses were clearly on my side. Others clearly weren’t. There must have been some good fights outside my hospital room.  When the Maintain Authority doctors came into my room I started saying No before they opened their mouths.
    I said “ In the summertime we go play softball with our grandchildren and children. I need two feet for that.”
    “ Everbody I know who had a toe removed is dead.”
    Saint Padre Pio told me that my foot would be all right when I was at home. In the hospital he said just keep saying “ no” until Christmas. In the morning of the 25th a doctor walked into my room. I said “ No”. He said “ Nobody! Nobody!is going to pressure you about amputation of your foot or toe again.”
      In one session of about five doctors one asked me to wiggle my toes. I did so. One nurse said “ She does that really well doesn’t she?’. He was white ( that is pale) and said in a gasp “yeah.”. There was infection all through the foot bones which were crumbling into little pieces.
    One doctor came into the room, closed the door and sat down. He said “ I have never, never in all my life seen blood sugar go down so fast as yours.” There was shock in his voice.
     About two -thirds of my toe had disintegrated. One nurse said “ you’re growing a whole new toe.”:
    I was ready to go home. There was baking, turkey and presents for everyone in Brabant Lake. School was to start . I was told that I had to be in the hospital for 6 weeks. That would essentially shut down the school. I told John to take me home so I could get my computer to start blogging.and get my knitting. Some thought I would never return but I was in at 8pm as promised. By January 02 I checked myself out . Twelve days of Christmas in the hospital was enough. People already had heard “ Twas in the moon of winter time” about 24 times. No one insisted on a follow-up X ray. For the antagonistic doctor who wanted this as a reason to get me out of the North and preferably dead medical evidence of something miraculous was NOT what she wanted.
    I had a relic of Blessed ( now Sainte) Kateri and the Holy Canadian Martyrs hung on the railing of the bed. I said the Rosary constantly. Meanwhile our son, Brother Nathan while on a retreat found one copy of a book about Sainte Marguerite Bourgeois. The miracles used to confirm her sainthood involved saving gangrenous feet.  He said a novena to her and felt an affirmation from her that she was on the job of saving  my life and foot.
    After two months I quit taking insulin and later quit  metformin. I follow a strict high protein, high fat, low starch diet as I have on and off most of my life. I am healthier than I have been for years. I have two feet and ten toes and got to the ball game.
    Cheers, Gay