Dear Friends Everywhere,
Wonderful news! The skin graft, which has been considered almost surely a success, but with a couple of questionable places that were being carefully watched, is now officially a complete success! We can see the new skin clearly, and the nurse who comes three times a week to change the dressing said, “It’s time to be happy! The graft is perfect!”
There is still the small ulcer on the heel, but that is considered the result of pressure over a long period of time in bed, and it is looking a bit better. Sasha is being taken on short walks with the walker (and with a caregiver by his side) every hour, and we are trying to get him to remember to walk only on the ball of the left foot, not on the heel. And whenever he sits down for a while, his left leg is lifted on pillows so that the heel hangs in the air, without any pressure of any kind. The heel is the source of considerable pain, whenever it is touched, and we hope it’s going to clear up soon. Sasha’s other source of pain, which might or might not clear up in time (weeks? months? years?) is his peripheral neuropathy, together with (says our doctor) pain caused by regeneration of damaged nerves. We aren’t sure what causes the needle-strike pains which hit him usually in the mornings and always in the late evenings, but if it’s nerve regeneration it would theoretically fade away when the nerves recovered. If it’s the neuropathy, he’ll probably have it the rest of his life, which means he’ll have to be on pain meds, which means he won’t be able to drink red wine again, which is a dreadful thought. We do give him a glass of Fre wine, which is non-alcoholic, whenever a guest comes to dinner and brings a bottle of red wine. He’s put up with that for quite a while, and there are times when I think he forgets it isn’t the genuine stuff.
Inevitable question from one of you: How could Sasha not know that non-alcoholic “wine” is not real red wine? Answer: aside from the mental state (the “d” word), he lost all sense of smell several years ago, which is something that can happen to chemists when they are elderly, simply as a result of having been exposed to too many chemicals over too many years. It’s quite common among serious chemists when they’re over 75 or so. And loss of smell means alteration of the tasting ability.
Again, I send my fervent thanks to all of you who have donated anything from fifty cents to thousands of dollars to help us with the cost of 24-hour home care. Without your help, we would be forced to entertain thoughts of nursing homes or places like it, which would be really dreadful for a man like Sasha, whose mind is still bright and creative (some days are better than others), despite the memory loss. As soon as he can walk as far as the lab, he’ll be back out there and truly happy, but he will still need a caregiver close by.
So thank you all again, with all my heart.
Blessings — Ann