Thursday, February 7, 2013

Valerie's surgery...slight picture warning!

In case you don't read the titles...and why don't you?....  I put a great deal of thought into them usually....this post will have details on Valerie's surgery, including three pictures.  If you want to read but not see, I will put the pictures at the end, although there is no blood for the most part in the pictures because of the tourniquet applied and they really are not that graphic.

We left Sunday morning from TGU on our way to the North coast.  We left the kids in the very nice, capable and extremely helpful-in-a-big-pinch hands of Rex and Christine Morey for the day (Jana was out on an already scheduled excursion with the rest of the clinic staff to Amapala) and searched for my missing house keys before finally getting out of the city at about 8:45AM.  After a few stops for fuel, lunch and bathroom/stretching for Valerie, we finally made it to the Hospital Loma de Luz before 5:00PM that afternoon....around eight hours for those counting..  For Honduras our average of about 35mph I thought very impressive, especially with only about an hour of that being four laned highway.  The fact it was a Sunday and we did not encounter as many big trucks as normal might have helped.   

We were just in time to catch a SuperBowl viewing party that the missionaries here had set up.  I lost count of how many missionaries are affiliated in one way or another with the ministry here there were total...quite a few folks.  No cable here, but obviously they have internet, and via Slingbox...we had a really impressive view of the game (when it was not in the dark of course) and got to meet many of them.   

Monday brought a long wait to be seen by the doctor, necessary by all the other cases he needed to evaluate for surgery, as well as the emergency cases that had come in the night before...a drunken argument lead to two guys (related...father and his son-in-law I believe) getting hacked up on the hands and arms with a the son of the father if I recall correctly.  This is unfortunately a common experience. 

Tuesday brought more waiting, but at dusk they started the surgery, and the doctor's diagnosis and treatment options were proved to be just...what the doctor ordered.  He was very pleased with how it all came out:  four incisions total, two screws in the heel after cutting the heel and relocating it, removing some of the tendon that was shot and then grafting that tendon with another together and relocating them through a hole he made, plus tightening the achilles.  After he got done explaining it all to me...more in depth, he said it was sort of a "Frankenfoot."  But that really it should fix the problem, and with enough recoup time (six weeks with absolutely no weight bearing in a splint, then a few weeks in her "boot" with PT and exercises, etc. along the way) she should be able to walk again, the whole process taking at least six months to a year. 

Hopefully the pain can be managed in the meantime, the swelling, the is a lot for a body to endure! 

The staff at Loma de Luz, the volunteers from the US that were down to help for a week including this foot and ankle specialist...everyone really could not have been nicer and more helpful.  It was also interesting to be here and see a mission hospital in action doing surgery, getting a bit of a tour, etc. in terms of the possibility of His Eyes doing surgery and becoming more of a hospital than just a clinic in a few years.  Will it ever happen? Yo, I don't know.  But we have the God given desire to want to help more people, and it certainly seems like a possibility...but it would be a huge step for sure in terms of staffing needs, visiting doctors, building needs, etc.  The amount of work they are doing here makes you stop and think for sure.  Like our clinic they do charge for services, but the fee is so much lower than anywhere else you could go for this level of treatment.  We paid a fraction of the cost of doing this in another hospital here, and a fraction of a fraction of a cost of what it would have cost to try to do it in the USA. 

Now to the pictures. 

Here you can see a few of the incisions and the doctor working on mendin' the tendon

I have pictures a little more up close and personal on where he is working, but I figured this is probably close enough for most of you still reading this. 

Part of the bad tendon that had to be removed.

Bad tendon!  Bad!

An X-ray of the two screws.  Those puppies are not going anywhere anytime soon!  Probably there to stay, like our love dear friend. 

Please join us in prayer for Valerie's foot, the recovery process, her ability to work in another month or so, the pain, and that everything would heal in such a way she could walk again!


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