Dear Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Lend me your Ears,
We drove Sasha to the surgeons, Dr. Parrett and Dr. Safa, both excellent, skillful, indeed — vastly superior — vascular surgeons who did the job of saving his left foot. They examined and admired, then carefully re-wrapped the lovely skin-graft. Then they said the magic words, “It’s time for Sasha to put some weight on his foot and begin walking, just a few minutes several times a day,” and we began smiling. They told us to return in two weeks, at which time they would “ratchet up the activity.” Later, when we were home again, I phoned Dr. Abramson (“Dr. Paul”) and asked how long I should continue giving Sasha the heparin shots, and he said that as soon as he began walking, he wouldn’t need the heparin to prevent clots from forming. That was good news. I’ve managed to learn how to give a shot smoothly and without more than a smidget of anxiety, but I’m very happy to give it up, too.
Sasha still has needle-strike pains, now and then, sometimes in both left and right feet, but usually in the left one, and he may need pain meds for quite a while. If the pain is due to nerve regeneration, there will come a time when the needles will disappear; if due to peripheral neuropathy (as I think I already described), they may be permanent. We’re hoping for the former, but if it’s the latter, there’s hope that the attacks will come less frequently. But right now, we’re so happy about the saving of his foot, we’re not going to worry about anything else. For 24 hours, at least.
I’ll write more tomorrow, if I can; otherwise, I’ll be back with you Thursday. In the meantime, I send my thanks and deepest gratitude to those dear hearts who have contributed money, both small amounts and very large, all of them received with feelings of something close to awe. I know that Sasha has contributed to the happiness and increased richness of many lives, but it still seems incredible that so many of you are sending help — in the form of money — as well as expressions of love. We are determined to care for him at home, no matter how far the so-called dementia may go. Right now, his chemical knowledge is still mostly intact, just as his musical memory is. He’ll be walking to the lab within a week or two, at the most, and he’ll be back in the world he loves, with the help of Paul Daley. We will continue giving him round-the-clock care as long as we can afford it, and we’ll continue raising funds every way we can so that we’ll be able to afford it. I’m very optimistic, and that’s due entirely to all of you and your responses to our call for help. Tania and Greg have been steadfast friends, giving of themselves and their energy for years to both Sasha and me. Without them, I would be in hospital or in a state of complete breakdown (I admit I’m not really 39 years old, although that news may shock you deeply), and I just don’t have the energy to do all the things that Tania does for us without complaint. And our caregivers have become affectionate friends as well as paid helpers. That’s why I think of us — Sasha and me — as really blessed.
Thank you again, and much love — and talk to you tomorrow or Thursday…