On Feb 16th about half of Rachana’s both feet were amputated. The right foot was amputated just below the toes in what is called a Transmetatarsal amputation, while the left leg was cut near the ankle for a Chopart amputation.
We knew this was coming, but it still takes a lot to accept losing a part of the body. She was already in pain from the vascular surgery from 2 days ago but Rachana was pretty tough going into this surgery, which took about 2 hrs. The first day after surgery was excruciating. I’m not sure which was more intense; the physical pain or the mental trauma. The doctors helped with pain killers, but overcoming the mental battle is all her. With the help of family and friends, she is doing relatively well. If everything goes well and she does not develop any complications, we should be back home in a few days once the pain is a little under control. She is advised against putting any weight on the wound for about 3-4 weeks and once the wound heals the physical rehab will start again including getting used to prosthetics and other support.
This all started on Oct 2nd when she went into sepsis shock due to a staph infection from her chest port which was being used for chemotherapy. The infection got deposited on a heart valve resulting in endocarditis and also caused severe damage to her lungs. In the initial days she was on blood pressure medicine as it had dropped to a critical low point. The combination of pressors (blood pressure medicines) and endocarditis, which was throwing off small bacteria nodules in the bloodstream causing blood clots, cut off blood supply to her legs. A few weeks of that made her feet necrotic (dead tissue). She fought for 85 straight days in the ICU and survived against all odds, but had to make this sacrifice.
Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. – Khalil Gibran