Friday, April 23, 2010

Infection Update

The good news is (I prefer starting with good news) that the infection is not bad and the hope is that it can be cleared up with oral antibiotics. Therefore, we were not admitted and inpatient IV antibiotics may not be necessary.

The (not really) bad news is that Cindy has been told not to wear the prosthesis again for two weeks, or until we can return to Moffitt to have the leg looked at again. Therefore, it will slow up the progress that has been made thus far.

Why is this not a big deal? Because it's a marathon, not a sprint. We'll get Cindy on the prosthesis when the time is right. There is no rush or due dates, so this is not a's just (are you ready? wait on it comes...) IT IS WHAT IT IS! There! I said it! Original philosophical statements at their finest!

I'll provide an update over the weekend as to how the leg is doing.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Minor Setback

Unfortunately, Cindy's leg is once again infected. It began last night and is showing signs of getting worse.

We saw her primary care physician who recommended Cindy goes to the hospital.

She will immediately begin a regimen of antibiotics and we have an 11:45 am appointment tomorrow at Moffitt. With luck, it won't be an in-patient visit.

We'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Q & A

First things first...Cindy's PT yesterday was a success. She walked with much less pain.

Now to your questions:

From Rus:

How does the leg know what to do? Are there sensors linked to muscles, which Cindy needs to use to communicate to the leg how to move?

The leg moves according to the muscle movements as Cindy walks. A computer programs the chip which is inserted into the artificial knee. The chip tells her knee when to bend. This is regulated by the movement of her artificial foot.


When will the Orioles win another game this year?

Memorial Day weekend (but only one of three game series)

From Wendi:

My question is about the phantom leg pains...they say the pain can be pretty severe, and luckily it sounds like yours hasn't been too hateful. But I am it pain like would be in the part of the missing leg, like your foot, or pain in the stump itself? I have heard people say it is a feeling like the leg is still there..hence the word "phantom", but why pain? Why not an itch you can't scratch, or a feeling like your foot is asleep when you have no foot?

It is not in the stump, but is actually in the amputated leg, as if the leg were still there. The pain is similar to pins and needles, or electical shock. Fortunately, the pain has subsided, but for awhile there was little to no sleep because of the pain.

Another ?

There doesn't seem to be anything that you both cannot do or achieve from what we are seeing up North here. Is there anything that you guys cannot do since the surgery? Or have you continued doing the same activities, vacations, and such but just modified them to your needs now? anything you absolutely cannot do that you really truly miss and cannot wait to do again?

We miss taking walks together and it is difficult to talk when Rob is pushing the wheelchair and we are not side by side. We can't go to ballgames like we used to because of all the stairs. Walking the beach is also off the list, but we will find a way to get back to that in time.

Other than that, we do not let anything interfere with our lives. We choose activities that we can do and we enjoy each other's company so it is easy for us to be content with whatever restrictions may exist.

The upside is I am still alive. Everything else is the leg thing does not really bother us.

If anyone has more questions, we will be glad to answer them.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Physical Therapy

We leave in 10 minutes for Sunday evening PT. I'll report on how things are going and will also answer the questions that were offered in the comments section this past week.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Yesterday's Physical Therapy Session

Cindy showed that she could walk with the prosthesis without pain. The test will be how it feels once she wears it for extended perios of time. She will begin practicing tonight and we will see how it goes.

Lengthy session scheduled for tomorrow as they make adjustments to the prosthesis.

We will be answering your questions in the next day or two...if you have other questions you wish to ask, please offer them and we will be sure to answer.

Here is a sample Q & A:
Q: How much does an artificial leg weigh?
A: The leg Cindy has weighs 10.5 lbs.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Big Day Tuesday

Return to physical therapy after a week of resting the leg to reduce the pain.

Hopefully we can pick up where we left off.

Looking for a dose of "pain-be-gone"!

We'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Cindy's Q & A - Part II

The previous blog seems to be a big hit! Who would have guessed?

Wendi and others asked if they can ask their own questions. The answer is, "How fun would that be? Absolutely...let's do it!!!"

If you post your questions on the blog, we will answer them for you. No question is out of bounds or too absurd.

For example: Rus asked what kind of ice cream Cindy likes?

I can validate that it is mint chocolate chip. Why that flavor?

Because it is Cindy and Katie's favorite.

Again, ask whatever you'd like and I promise Cindy and I will respond.
  • Want to know what it's like to be in a wheelchair? Is it difficult?
  • Want to know what drives us crazy?
  • Want to know if it's challenging taking a shower and how it's done?
  • Want to know some of the biggest obstacles Cindy faces in the course of the week?
  • Want to know what I think about being married to someone with one leg? Seriously...I will answer it if it is asked.

Get creative if you'd like. All questions will be answered.

Can't wait to hear from you all...and if you haven't left a comment on the blog before, this is a great time to do so. We would love to hear from you.

Have a great week!

Rob & Cindy

An Interview With Cindy

Tonight, an exclusive interview with Cindy Harris...

Q: How is the progress going with you leg?
A: Well, right now there has been a delay in the action. The progress has stopped and we need to make some adjustments to the prothesis based on our visit to Moffitt last week.

Q: What are your feelings about this setback?
A: I am disappointed. It's really best in the long run that the prosthesis fits properly without pain.

Q: What have you been doing to keep your spirits up?
A: Eating ice cream.

Q: What do you see as your timetable for walking with a prosthesis?
A: It depends on if it's with a walker, with a cane or independently. With a walker, within a week. With a cane, within two weeks. Independently, when Kevin comes home for his mid-tour leave on June 27th.

Q: What are your feelings now about having to lose your leg?
A: Based on the degree of infection I had, I am happy with the outcome. At the same time I am frustrated that things have not moved along further. I am anxious to stop being a burden on people.

Q: How has work been going since you have been back?
A: Work is going well. My coworkers are extremely helpful and supportive. 

Q: What else would you like the readers to know?
A: What makes me happy is the joy that I find in each day.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Good News!

The x-rays and exam indicated no signs of cancer or torn muscles.

The possibility exists that Cindy may have exposed nerves, but the surgeon doubts it. The hope is that she is feeling discomfort because of the lengthy infection that was in her leg for so long.

She called her physical therapist and they discussed what needs to be done next. She will rest the leg until next Tuesday and see if that reduces the pain. If not, they may need to remold the portion of the prosthesis that Cindy attaches to her leg so that she can have a more comfortable fit.

All good news...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Minor Setback

Cindy has been experiencing a great deal of pain while wearing the prosthesis.

Her physical therapist recommended she have it checked out at Moffitt. The possibility exists that some of the muscled that were sewn up during the amputation may have torn lose. There is a bit of a lump that is noticable and he is concerned.

We have an appointment at Moffitt tomorrow morning for an X-ray and consultation with the surgical team. In speaking with them, we were informed that nobody believes it's cancer.

I'll update the blog when we return from the appointment.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Breakfast Club

  • Destination: First Watch
  • Event: Breakfast
  • What's Different? We had a puppy with us. He is a 12 week old Lab/golden mix named "Bunker"
  • Most Memorable Difference? Cindy arrived with "two legs".

Though it will take several more weeks of physical therapy and practice, the goal will be for Cindy to transition from a walker to a cane as she begins to gain strength, confidence and balance with the prosthesis.

We have a long way to go, but today marks a huge milestone in her progress toward walking again.

Have a happy Easter to all those who celebrate!

Exciting Day!

Cindy and I are going to breakfast. This, of course, is not monumental...however, it really is. Cindy is going to breakfast wearing her prosthesis for the very first time.

Pictures will follow later today!