Friday, September 4, 2009
Tanner didn't feel as well today as he did yesterday. He had a couple of times that he got really dizzy and weak. When we finally got to the Infusion Clinic at the hospital this afternoon, they said he was definitely neutropenic now. They gave us a list of foods he can eat to help out and told him he needs to drink lots of fluids.
We stopped at the grocery store on the way back to the apartment and bought lots of fruit to help bring up his potassium level. So far he has had a grapefruit, two oranges, and some grapes - and he's probably not through before he goes to bed tonight. That boy has always loved fruit!
We went to have Tanner's left tibia and right femur x-rayed first thing this morning and then went to the orthopedic surgeon's office so they could look them over before he went to have a new cast put on his left leg.
When they pulled up the x-ray of the left tibia taken today and compared it to the x-ray from a month ago, it actually looked like the bone edges from the fracure might have shifted a little further apart. The doctor said that Tanner wasn't ready yet for a cast below the knee and needed to go back into a full leg cast.
He called in one of his interns and told him when we went down to have the new cast put on, he wanted him to go down and put pressure on the spot where the break is so that they can try to make the new cast fit more snuggly in the area of the fracture.
When we went to have the cast put on, the resident doctor came down and helped put pressure on the area where the break is while they were casting him and it hurt so bad that Tanner was in tears and got really pale and weak again. They had to hold his leg up in the air, pull on his toes, and put pressure on the bone and it was all just a very painful process for him to endure.
Now, after some time has passed, he says the leg actually feels better in the new cast because it seems like it has more support. The cast is just a little shorter in the thigh area than the old one and is quite a bit less bulky. Tanner says it feels much lighter.
The young man who put the new cast on said the only reason he made it less bulky and a little shorter is because Tanner is having to use the wheelchair and has to remain fairly inactive. He said if he was going to be up and around a lot, he would have had to put on one of the bulkier - longer casts.
I think the biggest reason he was so disappointed to be put back in a long cast is because he knows that I won't let him drive as long as a full leg cast is on his leg. He keeps telling me he can still drive when we get home but I just don't think it would be safe to drive in a full cast - even though it's on his left leg.
The orthopedic surgeon said the right femur still looks very fragile so he wants Tanner to continue using the wheelchair as much as possible and for us to come back and see him again in two months.
While we were in the radiology waiting room, we were snapping some pictures of ourselves on my phone to text to my cousin in Fort Worth and were laughing and teasing each other and when they took Tanner back for his x-ray a couple who were also waiting asked me what was wrong with him.
We did the usual waiting room discussions where they told us what had happened to them (the man had bone cancer and his right arm had to be amputated) and I explained to them about what had happened to Tanner.
When the radiologist brought Tanner back out, the lady I had been talking to came over and told me her husband was "captain" of a charity bingo hall in their hometown and they wanted to give us something. She handed me $200 - and she and I both started crying.
I am continually surprised and touched by the generosity of the people we have met in the waiting rooms here in Arkansas. There have been so many people who have reached out to us with love and compasssion; friends, family, and complete strangers.
No matter what, I know that Tanner and I are both changed forever from this experience. I hope to someday pass on some of the generosity we have experienced to someone else in need.