Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Update of Johnny

Isaid in my Christmas letter to go to posts for June 1 Nov. 28th, but I didn't get time to write the November one. After the rehab in Alex, which was quite unsatisfactory, he started outpatient rehab in Morris and was able to walk with a cane. He was extremely weak and had been and still was taking so much medicine, his sugar levels went crazy. He was on heavy doses of insulin from the time he was in the hospital until the prednisone was lowered a month ago. He checks his levels four times a day but only takes a little on the days he takes prednisone which he will be able to discontinue next week.

The Morris rehab went better until he started having severe back pain. Family osteoporosis and all the anti-fungal medicine and especially the prednisone were destroying his bones. After months of unrelenting pain that even narcotics could not relieve, they found he had four compression fractures, one old and three new. He could not lie down for X-rays and MRIs without screaming in pain. He's slept in a recliner since July. Finally a couple of weeks ago they did one vertebroplasty and another "-plasty" with a balloon whose name I can't spell. They go into the spine and fill in the fractured bones with a cement that fortunately has given him relief. He still gets a tired back but is moderately active, driving his new pickup that he bought on the Cash for Clunkers program. For the first time today he told me he felt good. Seven months plus of misery. He's very stooped over and thin but things are definitely better.

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