Tuesday, January 29, 2008

First Follow-Up Visit

After Tom’s first follow-up visit (side note: as I write this, I’m having de ja vu) to the Orthopedic Surgeon… I felt nauseous. I’ve never been one that handles damage to bodies well. Don't get me wrong, the functional body is amazing to me, but when it’s injured... I just don’t do well. Yes, I realize that an injured body, in the process of healing, is technically functional. I’ve always acknowledged that there are people out there (Aunt Theresa, Cousin Marie, Father-In-Law Russ, Friend Becky) who are fascinated by and work in the medical field, at I’m grateful to them! I’m just not one of them.

Upon seeing his surgical wound Tom said “it’s healing nicely.” Me? I saw it and hurriedly blocked the view from Frank and then ushered him out of the room. I did take a photo of the 7” incision, bruises, and twelve staples. If you’d like to see it, please contact me and I’ll send it to you… if you are one of those sick people who enjoy looking at such things! BLECH! :P

Gratefully, I’d brought the Leapsters for the boys, so, they were busy with them when the doctor uncovered Tom’s wound. I found Frank an out-of-the-way “fort” to wait in while we finished up with the doctor.

Jack could have cared less. He glanced at his Dad’s leg, then went back to the Clifford program he was working with. This was just what I expected from him and why I left him in the room.

I explained to Frank why I took him out (he’s been worried and having scary dreams), what Dad’s leg looked like, and that he could look if he wanted or avert his eyes, but that I was removing him from the room so he could decide. He choose to avert his eyes.

Now. As for Tom’s prognosis. The doctor wrote him a release for as soon as Tom felt he could be back to work… Monday, 4 February. The release carries these conditions:

  1. crutches required
  2. no weight bearing on right leg
  3. no driving

Tom’s boss has told him that Diebold will supplement Worker’s Comp payments so that we receive his regular salary. (YEAH!) They’ve also been working to bring a new-hire from the Salt Lake office to Wyoming (on a short-term basis). The new-hire would chauffeur Tom around while Tom provides on-the-job training. This was the boss’ plan within two hours of Tom’s injury. Now for the technicalities…

1. Although Tom has been on his own here in Rock Springs since September, he's still officially “in training” himself . His hire date was in April, so, I guess he’ll be “trained” on his anniversary, I don’t know. In any case, the company may not be “allowed” to let someone in training train a new-hire.

2. Once Tom goes off of Worker’s Comp and “back-to-work”, if he’s not ready, then it’s very hard to reverse the procedure.

3. Liability. If Tom were to slip on the ice – again, while still recovering from a work-related injury, the company could be in Bucco trouble.

So. What all this is sounding like (to me), is that they WANT Tom at work, even if in a training capacity… but, because of legal liability, they probably WON’T LET him come back until he’s given a full (walk on your own two legs, drive yourself) kind of release. Today the nurse told us "that for someone of his age" healing should take place in 6-8 weeks... healing that no longer requires crutches. Sounds like I'm in for a long-haul does of full-time hubby-around-the-house medicine! Doesn’t he look comfy here at the doctor’s today…

In this picture, you can see how far up his incision goes (what, about 1/3 of his calf?)

You can also see the afore-mentioned blue jeans (which I washed and am putting back into service while his leg's still in a support device). I really am kicking myself about the jeans! I wish I’d ask them to cut the outside… I SO could have repaired the outside seam. Do you think Worker’s Comp will be paying for new jeans and thermals? I wonder…

So. That’s the latest with Tom. Oh yeah, and, the Doctor wants him up and about… on his crutches. Doing things. Not “just lying in bed all day.” Because of this, Tom (with Frank’s help) made dinner tonight… ground beef tacos, rice, and corn. Very tasty and a nice break from the kitchen for me (though I vacuumed and took things down to the van during that time).



Becky said...

Isn't it funny how our kids live out the expectations that we put on them. You expect one kid to be okay with his dad's injury and he is and you expect the other to not be and that is what you get.

SuzyQSparkles said...

Interesting theory, and one I often hold to... excepting, I know from experience how they react. Jack's just tough and Frank has always (since he was first walking) been extremely sensitive. So, when I saw it, yes, Jack could have looked at it, but, I think with all the bad dreams he's been having since this started, and how he was crying on Tom's shoulder when we first picked him up from the doctor... he worries about others and I still think it would have upset. You do wonder if that's something I created or just part of their natures. "Things that make you go Hmmmm...."