Sunday, September 23, 2007

Still at MGH - September 7

Hello Everyone,

A work week has passed since we wrote to you. We've been hard at work
trying to get Mark out of the hospital!

All is well on the healing front. Yes, the flap is still "booming and
swishing" and Mark continues to get superlative comments from the
doctors such as the flap looking "beautiful". I haven't seen the flap
yet, but Mark has seen it when the doctors take the dressing down
every morning. I hear that it is beautiful from a MEDICAL perspective
but that Mark *might* not be winning any prizes in the "Men's Sexy
Legs" rag...but of course he will in MY book! Scars are simply a map
of your adventures from our perspective. Mark has a VERY cool map!

Mark is now on the "dangle protoccol". This is a medical term for his
flap phyical therapy! He gets to dangle his leg over the side of the
bed 3 times a day for 15 minutes (just a few days ago it was only 3
minutes but they've progressed him rapidly because the flap is
tolerating the increased bloodflow so well and because he is handling
the discomfort so well).

News that gave me cause to have a small (happy) tearful breakdown at
CVS yesterday while I talked with Mark on the phone (I've been
reassured that ANYTIME is an OK time to cry these days), is that
Helena spoke VERY confidently about the health of the tissue on Mark's
heel yesterday. We have been very attentive to this issue, knowing
that if that heel tissue did not survive, Mark could be in serious
trouble with use and longterm function of his foot. Yes!!!! Still, we
know there are no guarantees, but this vote of confidence is very
welcome! "Heal the heel" is still an essential prayer for us.

And discharge from the hospital? We are in a holding pattern. Turns
out Mark will need a visiting nurse to change the dressing daily and
the MA Health insurance program that we are depending on will not pay
for a visiting nurse. Ironically, MA Health WILL pay for Mark to be in
a rehab center which will be much more costly. So, the discharge team
here at MGH is working on securing a bed for Mark in a rehab center.
It is not our first choice, but we are making the best of it. We think
it will only be another week or two before Mark is home.

We are well. Mark is moving around in bed more and more. The time
between installments of pain medication is just starting to lengthen.
And yesterday Mark got orders from the doctor to be able to get out of
bed to use a wheelchair and go outside! We got him off the 13th floor
Plastic Surgery unit and went down to planet earth and hung out on a
patio for an hour, the first real sunshine Mark had seen in a long

Thank you all for wonderful in-person visits, sweet cards, generous
care packages! Thank you for continuing to think about us and to
inquire about progress! If you haven't tired of visualizations and
prayers for Mark, keep a vision of him as healthy and whole and with a
fully functional leg in your mind's eye.

Peace Salaam Shalom.

Melissa and Mark

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