Jan. 12th, 2010

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I mentioned getting my authorization for endovenous laser ablation surgery recently, and now that's an active thing.

Turns out to be a pretty nifty process. The blood vessels in my lower left leg are in pretty bad shape. They leak. In fact, there's a big blotch covering most of the front of the leg from knee to ankle, which I long thought was a recurring infection of some kind but turns out to be staining. Blood leaks out of the small veins and capillaries, dries up, and leaves iron behind. Ugh.

Now, since I started treating the diabetes, it's been improving. The blotchy area is significantly smaller, with healthy new skin creeping in from all sides. But the problem is still there. This surgery deals with it. They thread a fiber through the various vessels and use lil' laser zaps to close off the ones that are just too damaged, leaving the rest to carry blood flow properly. 

The operation itself is an out-patient thing. I'll go in in the morning and be home by lunchtime, it looks like, thanks to the generous support of someone I know with a car and free time. :) But the prep and recovery are far from trivial, in my situation. There's a lot of stuff to round up beforehand and arrangements to make, and then time to feel what could be pretty significant pain for a while afterward. I'm in the process of making careful assessments of how I'll handle things during a couple weeks of limited mobility, reviewing with Mom things Dad found helpful in dealing with the generally-dismissed side effects of even local anesthetics, and so on.

Oh, and a week after having my leg done on the 4th, I start in with the dentist, on the 11th. Whee. I am truly not looking forward to that, I know my mouth became a dental horror show in my down years. But better to start getting it fixed now than let it drag on and get worse and worse, I guess.

I'm really glad to be in this groove of getting needs identified and dealt with. Really, really glad. It's hard to put into words—I seem to be spending a lot of time in a kind of non-verbal state, and that'll be the subject of another post—but it echoes gladly in me in a bunch of ways. At the same time, I'm not wild at all about the stresses of making it happen, and I am also glad when each thing is, you know, done. So it'll be with this one. Healthier leg? Yes, please! One less surgery to face? Yes, please! :)

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Ceri B.

April 2010

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