Sunday, March 15, 2009


Sorry I haven't blogged in a while - I have been somewhat busy. When last I wrote, I was in the hospital here in town (Show Low). I was diagnosed with osteo-militis (bone infection) I was shipped to University Medical Center in Tucson (sounds like UPS just came and picked me up, huh?). My orthopedic surgeon scheduled me for an I & D (incision and draining) to clean the infected tissue. He quickly discovered that it was more involved that what he had planned to do. So after a discussion with me and my wife, it was decided that the next day, I would go in to have a disarticulation (removal of the left leg at the pelvis.) I have been expecting this to happen for several years, so it was not a shock to me.

I received two blessings before I went into the hospital, each one gave me promises about my upcoming surgeries. The first was by the 2nd counselor in our Bishopric and stated that the doctors would be inspired to do those things that would preserve my life. The second, by my dad, said that I would be calm. Never before have I felt as strongly as I do now that those blessings were directly fulfilled.

When I had my disarticulation, the anesthesiologist would not let the surgery start until 4 units of blood were in the room ready to go. Two units were all ready, but he demanded four. This move proved to be a life-saving move. My hip was such a mess, that when he started to remove it, I started to bleed uncontrollably. There were seven doctors in the room, 5 of which were in a fellowship program to learn their specialty - 3 orthopedic and 2 anesthesiologist. I had each one of them busy and in an all-out sprint to save my life. One set of doctors were trying to stop the bleeding while the others were trying to keep me full. My wife said that at one point they had a scope in my heart and there was no blood for it to pump. My life was saved, the blood stopped and my one hour surgery lasted four and a half hours. They kept me out longer than that.

When I awoke I was still intubated and couldn't breathe on my own. I remember when I awoke that I said to myself, "You are alright; you are awake." I was calm as I learned to breathe with the machine. Those that have had a breathing tube usually panic and try to pull it out - not so with me. I am grateful for the blessings of the priesthood. I wished that the story ended here or got better from here, but sadly it did not (at least right away.)

I was able to come home from UMC but within two days, problems arose that forced a return to my doctor in Tucson. I never made it. Before I had traveled 5 miles from my home, I started to bleed and lost so much blood that I passed out right in front of the Fire Department. They got me ready for transport but couldn't until I stopped bleeding. That took over 30 minutes. Every time I moved the bleeding would start again. Me being the problem child I am, the hospital could not take care of me and made arragements to ship me again to UMC.

UMC would not take anyone and I was flown to Northwestern Hospital in Tucson. It took another week to find the problems and fix them. The average adult body has anywhere from 8 to 10 pints of blood. When all was said and done, from the two hospitals I received 45 pints of blood and countless pints of plasma. I think I hold the hospital record, and for everyone's sake I hope it is one that stands for a long time. Please donate blood - you never know who you might save.