Elmer Jones

On March 14, 2010, I ended up going to an Emergency Room while I was celebrating our 34th Wedding Anniversary. I was 57 when I met this buggar. I celebrated my 58th Bday in the hosp. We were in a luxury hotel in Sacramento, CA. The day and nite before I started feeling sick. The next morn while I was cleaning up i had a pain in the back of my r/thigh. I put my hand down there to rub it and realized my hand was covered with a red fluidy substance. Like diluted blood. I told my wife we would be going straight to the hosp instead of home.. The Emer Room was about 50 minutes away, By the time we got there I had gotten sicker. My wife dropped me off at the Emer Room doors while she parked our vehicle. When she got to the doors I was still there. I had started throwing up. She went in to get help, but got a bunch of flack instead. She ended up bringing a wheel chair out herself. After this I had lost total awareness of anything that happened. I only had what my wife and my oldest son told me to reflect on. I was conscious, but I just didn't remember. Apparently after about an hour in the ER they decided to move me to the 4th floor ward. There were surgical nurses, a team of surgical doctors, a team of anethesiologists, and other medical personnel. My wife said while they were all standing around discussing my case, my right thigh had started going a myraid of color changes, and then just split open like an overripe watermelon. That is when they decided to move me to surgery. I was still awake, but remember nothing. The lead surgeon came to my wife and told her that she had given me some blood transfusion papers to sign but I refused. They deemed me incompetent to make that decision, so my wife did. My first surgical procedure lasted about 5 hours. During this time frame my kidneys had totally failed, my liver was not acting right, my BP bottomed out twice and the head surgeon was convinced I had about a 95% chance of NOT making it thru the nite. She came out and told my wife and son to call any other family members they might need to call. All my children are in the military so they were brought in from as far as Hawaii. The next thing I remember after the ER door incident was when I woke up from my coma 8 days later. During this time they did a 2d procedure to remove flesh. I was on Dialysis for 3.5 weeks and they were getting ready to take the tubes out of my neck and put a more permanent one in my chest. They decided to monitor me over the weekend and make the final decision on the following Monday. During the weekend my kidney vitals started changing to the positive. They waited another day and my signs were even better. My kidneys had started to come back to life. They did a graft from my left leg to my right. They decided to let about a 1/4 of the would area granulate instead of grafting it. It started healing so they told me that there was no need to pull skin from other areas of my body. All but about 5% of my leg has healed. I lost about a third of my leg flesh from my knee to my groin and buttocks area. Before this happened I had lost my job because of health conditions (chronic back pain-2 surgeries, 5 epidurals, and pain meds everyday since 2002). Now I had the pain which accompanied my leg to deal with. I lost just about all muscle mass. Trying to sit, stand, or what ever was not going to happen without help. The after effects of this illness compounded anything that they had accomplished with my back. I was in the hosp for 6 weeks. Then I was transferred to a rehad facility for 2 weeks. Then I was on bed rest for another 6 weeks at home. My wound had to be cleaned and dressed twice a day for 8 weeks. I had over a 100 staples and no idea how many sutures on the inside of the wound. I was still finding the occasional staple 4 weeks after they were supposedly removed. This disease can really turn peoples lives up-side-down. I had experienced several miracles during this whole time frame. I lost the use of my kidneys and got them back. They did not believe this was going to happen. They thought for sure I was going to die. Especially since I had been hospitalized 4 times the year prior for heart issues and had 7 stents in my heart. I went from not being a diabetic to being a diabetic and taking insulin 4 times a day for 9 weeks. Now I am borderline and require no medicine or shots. They thought I was at least going to loose my right leg, it didn't happen. I have the traditional Great White bite from my knee to my groin and buttocks. I was in a wheel chair and using a bed pain for a long time. Now I get around with a walker. I go to physical therapy 3 times a week and still take pain medication, but I have my kidneys, my leg, and my life. The entire medical team did a great job, but the driving force was my head surgeon. She was a God send. I never knew such an animal existed. Even more surprising was the number of medical personnel that did not know what it is. They referred to me as their miracle child. My prayers go out to anyone that has the misfortune of experiencing this disease and their family members. Even though I felt like I had the flu, I was fortunate enough to go to the hosp. Had it not been for the blood blister, I don't know how long it would have been before I went to the hosp or how far it would have spread!!