Hello to all of you in “blog land.” The last few days have been a whirl wind! Nothing too good or bad, just busy. Katy is in great spirits, and is looking like her old self….at 104 pounds! She still has 3 open wounds (the sacrum is all but closed), and is getting regular wound care. It is UNBELIEVABLE how many “extras” there are to purchase for wound care/medicine, even after what is “covered.” I spend many hours a week running around to get the correct wound care products, medicines, and even clothing that doesn’t cause her to suffer. She still gets very hot, even when her body temp is normal. It is a tough job to find clothing that doesn’t interfere with her wound/bandages, ileostomy, keeps her cool, and lets her move without flashing the world!
I don’t want to be redundant, but I am going to answer some questions sent to me via my e-mail. The prosthetics are going along nicely, and I know Katy will learn how to use them as quickly as anyone, but there is WAY more to the story than that. I didn;t know this before, but there is a bit of maintenance, replacements, and parts to all prothetic limbs. Quadruple amputees face more of this than do single amputees. Also, though there have been amazing strides in the technology, it is still generally true that the more advanced the prosthetic, the more sensitive it is. Katy is being fitted with body powered prosthetics on her arms. These are the basic hooks, and will also come with hands. I will use a wrench to switch out between the hooks and hands as she desires. These are operated by the wearer pushing/pulling on straps that hold the prosthetics on, and those straps, in turn, pull on cables that operate the spring loaded mechanisms. The cables are basically throttle cables (like the cables used for brakes on bicycles). These can be adjusted, they do break sometimes, and the straps can be adjusted too. The arms and hands can get damaged by impact, sun, water, falling, etc. The hooks are bit more durable, but still wear out with time. The wrists, that allow her to bend the wrist and feed herself, also wear out. From what I have been told, prosthetics have to be changed (depending on the number of types of limbs, uses, etc) every 3-5 years. Along with that, there is the need to replace padding for the skin, the “socks,” and all sorts of peripheral items.
Another thing to know is that, during the 1st 6 months or so, the body goes through drastic changes in shape due to the use of the new limbs. Some people even said that their skin color changed! After 6 months, the body stops changing so quickly, and the outer skin of the prosthetic can be matched more close to the wearers skin tone and body shape. All of these things add up to, depending on the prosthetic, a LOT of money! I hope this answers the questions that some of you have e-mailed me? Let me know if you have anything else you want to know. It helps me to write more when I have things to write about.
The night at the Museum event on July 10th is shaping up nicely…..event wise. I know that most people wait until the last minute to purchase tickets for these types of events, but it would be SOOOOO HELPFUL if we could get a good head count in advance. Though it a charity event where 100% of all proceeds go to Katy, it still costs money to put on. The more accurate the head count in advance, then the better chance of the event not wasting any money that could go to getting Katy the best limbs for her needs.
That word, “need,” has really hit home lately. As Katy’s husband I want to see her be able to do all the things she wants to do. She has so much to offer the world, and I feel that it would be a shame if something as simple as money stopped her from being able to feel productive. When I say “productive,” I don’t mean just to feed herself, or brush her teeth. Those things can be worked out in much simpler ways. Katy and I have taken a lot of pride in never having taken ANY money from any form of assistance. I never took grants, student loans, unemplayment. Katy hasn’t either. We have always loved to work, and usually overloaded ourselves with it. We payed for Ariell’s birth, in cash, with money we worked for. We have been advocates for hard working, small business owners, and have opted to make a little less money just to be able to be a bigger part of our childrens’ lives and our community. When I talk about Katy’s needs, it is more than the required skills to function at base level. I mean to say that Katy will be capable, in spite of this, to not only work, but to enrich the lives of others while doing so. She has an amazing mind for natural medicine (I have been her patient for 11 years), and she is a huge proponent of naturally grown foods. She wants to teach kids about plants, she wants to learn more about herbs, oils, massage, energy work, cooking, jewelry making, glass, teaching, and so many other things. One day I was wondering why some people, who have all of their abilities, do so little with their life, and why Katy, who has the desire to do so much, had her limbs taken from her. Then I remembered…………….
“Great people do not do great thing. They overcome great obstacles to do great things.” Katy is a great person.
I hope that as many of you will come to the event on the 10th. Though we are in a time of need, that is only one reason. I would like for those of you who do not Katy to meet her. If it was an event for our friends, we would not need to use the HMNS, we could have a party in Kingwood…and should very soon! This event will be a wonderful chance for Katy to meet all of you who have given so graciously. It will also be a wondeful chance for all of you to meet, and get a glimpse of, the real Katy…not my words on a blog with some nice pictures, but the wonderful, shining, and unstoppable Katy who is my wife, lover, friend, and my hero.
Love to all,