Hello Friends and Family,
We have not tired of your support and kind messages! Thank you for
your endurance. I promise that the communications will slow down once
we are on the other side of these multiple surgeries. But for now, we
continue to lean on your energy and love.
You all know that Mark is scheduled once again to have the free flap
procedure on Tuesday. Helena now has Mark on aspirin therapy which
will de-activate the clotting ability of the platelets. They are also
checking his blood daily to monitor the count. The hope is that the
count has peaked and is now on it's way down. Doctors suspect it is
high simply in response to the trauma. It can also be related to the
many medications he is on. The bottom line for the free flap procedure
is that this is really a vascular microsurgery and good blood flow is
essential or the flap won't "take" and then we will have wasted a lot
of time and a perfectly good Gracilis :). If this happens, we'll need
to move on to Plan B and I'm not even exactly sure what that means. It
could mean taking his OTHER Gracilis for a second try or maybe just
sitting around in the hospital for weeks/months with the wound vacuum
on and letting it work it's miraculous wound healing yet at the same
time also praying that Mark doesn't develop a bone infection since the
bone is exposed to air. The bone being exposed is the main reason for
needing the flap. The Graciis won't actually function as a muscle when
it gets transplanted....it acts as tissue that covers the bone and
acts as a source of blood flow to that area so that it will heal, so
the the bone will fuse where the fracture is. Our wishes.....We would
like to get this flap procedure done as soon as possible so that the
bone gets covered and starts getting blood flow. We would like Mark's
platelet count to go down so that the procedure has as few risks as
From a Somatic Experiencing trauma-healing framework, trauma cannot
heal until the trauma stops. I know it sounds simple but it's at the
heart of re-negotiating trauma. See, it is common that a body holds
onto trauma in the nervous system that it was not able to adequately
negotiate in the moment (for many reasons---maybe because it happened
too fast as in an accident or because it was so emotionally confusing
as in an abusive relationship). In Mark's case, there was a tremendous
amount of information for his nervous system in a very compressed
moment----at that moment of impact, the system probably was likely not
able to digest everything that happened. The body can hold onto that
information AS IF the body were still trying to escape/get
safe/survive (this is where you begin to see symptoms of PTSD in
trauma survivors----hypervigilance is connected to a new body schema
that is still working as if the trauma is not over). One way that we
are working with that is to work with Mark's nervous system and to
reassure it that he is safe now. The danger is past. You are safe now.
I am blown away at the amount of settling that is visible in Mark's
body when we facilitate this process. If I hadn't already been sold on
this trauma resolution work, I am now.
If you are open to suggestions about how to keep Mark in your prayers,
Continue to visualize....
*Good vascular flow is still paramount. Lots of tiny tiny vessels
getting connected from Mark's lower leg tissues into the transplanted
Gracilis and it all WORKING!
*Healing the traumatized heel tissue is still essential.
*Help us bring Mark's platelet count down. Visualize his body knowing
that he can stop that crazy platelet production. Visualize normal
healthy blood chemistry (Gee, every time I write this stuff I am
almost embarassed at how damn strange it is to ask you all to be
visualizing Mark's biology.....someday we'll laugh. Hell, let's laugh
*So, yeah, visualize laughter. Ha!
*Visualize Mark as KNOWING he is safe. The boulder has rolled past him
down the slope. He is not pinned. He has survived.....
*Safe. The rescue team has him well-packaged and all the lowering
equipment is sound and they know what they are doing as they lower
*Safe. He does NOT need a tourniquet. He can keep doing deep breathing
to keep his oxygen levels up now that they've backed off the
*Safe. He is getting IVs and they will have him at the hospital soon....
*Safe. In the OR, the doctors are there to HELP him....
*Safe. A wide circle of friends are sending him their love and support...
Today Mark has two small trips within the hospital...one to the OR to
have the vacuum changed and the other for an ultrasound to rule out a
blood clot (platelet count could be related to this, though
doubtful...this is just a rule-out). The vac change causes a spike in
pain for the day. Mark is fortunate to have experience with meditation
as he negotiates his relationship with pain. Not much sense in feeling
bad for him. Rather, believe that he can relate to it with grace.
After today, no procedures for the next few days until Tuesday. Rest
time. Visualize rest! For Mark, for me, and maybe for yourself!
Thank you thank you thank you.
Peace Salaam Shalom.