Sunday, November 13, 2011

Amazing man story, beautiful women , amputations and inches for function

My wife and I are back home after an unplanned 16 day 4500 mile road trip related to family health problems. It was an enjoyable trip with good visits with our relatives. This trip caused me to fall behind with my " almost daily blog ". I am just getting started again.
I will start with a story of one of my patients. Mr. x is an amazing man who has had type 1 diabetes for many years. He is blind and has had bilateral below the knee amputations. He made regular visits back to his family home in Oklahoma . He traveled by car and always required hospital admission when he returned home to Oregon for treatment of draining ulcers and cellulitis of both legs. After a few admissions to the hospital I made the connection between his road trips and the ulcers and cellulitis. I ask him why this always occurred on these trips. His answer was simple. His only way of getting to the bathroom at night was to crawl on his hands and knees. Another interesting thing about this man was that he always seemed to be surrounded by beautiful women when he was in the hospital. I finally ask him how a blind man with no legs could attract so many women. His reply was powerful, " they are my children ". He raised his own children and about 20 foster children.
I thought of this man frequently as my wife ,who has had bilateral below knee amputations , traveled to Texas. The ability to independently complete daily needs is a matter of inches for beds, bathing and commodes . I will discuss some of the things my wife and I learned on this road trip over the next few days..
Dr. Calder

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Your comments and questions are appreciated. David Calder,MD