Thursday, October 6, 2011

Outpatient Ordeal

While we're thrilled that Seth is now an outpatient, outprocessing really is an ordeal. We have to obtain no fewer than 27 signatures to complete the outprocessing paperwork. Now Seth has to join formation and attend briefings once a week--in uniform if possible. Every day he has occupational and physical therapy appointments and then one to three others.

This morning Seth's first appointment was with the ortho docs. They X-rayed his pelvis and said it is done--it is all healed just as they hoped. They also X-rayed his right leg to determine whether it's ready to have the Taylor spatial frame removed. The news was mixed there. It looks very good--on track for the frame to be removed as early as possible (the time for breaks such as Seth's is anywhere from three to six months), but as early as possible still means they will do a CAT scan two to three weeks from now and then, if it is deemed ready, removal will take place over the course of a month. So, in short, he's still got quite a bit of time to be lugging this thing around.

After ortho, he had an appointment with Physical Medicine and Rehab (PMR) where he was fitted for his custom wheelchair. He had to make more decisions than I had to when I bought my car. Who knew? The new chair, in addition to being built to fit his body, will be sleeker, lighter and faster than his current chair.

After lunch, he met with the prosthetist to be cast for a new socket. This will happen several more times over the next few months as his leg continues to shrink and change shape.

Then he had his regular physical therapy appointment. We got back to the apartment at 1600 hrs (I'm starting to get this military time thing), and we were both exhausted.

Walking is not what it's cracked up to be. He's only been walking 15 to 30 minutes a day, and these last three evenings, his right leg has swelled up considerably (looking strangely like a sequoia), and the pin sites have become very painful. We're told this is normal, which is comforting, but his leg still hurts and this is discouraging. He was told early on that his amputated leg could very well be his good leg for a while--and that is turning out to be the case.

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