Wednesday, December 7, 2011

One Month Post-Surgery

Jack has been doing better since his surgery at the beginning of November. The surgeon was able to close up the wound without a skin graft; Whitney took his sutures out a couple weeks after that, and everything is healing really well, though he does have some really big scars.

Unfortunately, Jack is constantly in a lot of pain. He attends both physical and occupational therapy about four times a week and they have him doing exercises with his uninjured arm, too, so that messages will hopefully go to his other arm.  The hope is that eventually his other arm can move too.

Though Jack still doesn't have any feeling in his arm other than pain, when you touch his arm now it starts hurting faster than before so his nerves are reacting quicker, which is good. The injured arm swells a lot so Jack sees a therapist for a special kind of therapy to work with his arm and help lower the pain and inflammation.

On a positive note, Jack has been driving himself occasionally when he isn't in a lot of pain. Sadly the pain keeps him from doing many activities, but he still keeps up on his hay work phone calls, which gives him something to focus on other than the pain. The therapists all seem to have high hopes for him regaining movement in his arm, but they are unsure exactly how long that will take. It could take anywhere from six months to a year or so.

It's hard to say at this point what kind of recovery rate Jack will have, but he is in high hopes, and enjoys watching his sermon videos during the day.  Feel free to call and say hello to Jack; he probably wouldn't mind the distraction!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

All Stitched Up

Jack had surgery on his wounds last Friday (Nov. 4) and the doctor was able to complete the surgery without the use of skin grafts.  Below is a picture of his sewn up wounds, which seem to be doing quite well.  He's on the mend!  What are we thankful for this Thanksgiving season?  Advanced medicine.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Oops, I received pictures on Friday of last week and it completely slipped my mind to upload them.  My apologies for the tardiness.  I've been a little absent-minded lately.  WARNING: The first image below is of Jack's wounds. Though clean and improved, they may still be a little graphically disturbing to anyone with a weak stomach.  Just a warning! The second photo is not so graphic and shows the setup he currently has on his two worst wounds.  If you don't want to see the graphic image, scroll past it to view the second.

As you can see above, the wound vac is doing its job and creating new tissue around the wound.  This will be useful when the surgeons begin the skin graft process.

Above is an image of the new wound vac Jack had put on/in last Friday.  It includes a bridge which links the two wounds together.  They both drain into one machine.

Jack and Carol Ann are in Portland today seeing a surgeon to discuss skin grafts.  More updates soon, we hope.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Plastic Surgery

Jack and Carol Ann will return to Portland on October 19 (next Wednesday) to meet with the plastic surgeon.  For now he is seeing the wound specialist at the hospital in La Grande.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Double Your Fun

Today Jack's wound vac (sorry to have called it a "rack" earlier - getting information via voicemail can be tricky) was split into two.  He now has not only the original in the large wound near his armpit, but now he also has one in the puncture wound on his chest. 

As a refresher: The wound vac is a sponge-like piece of foam inserted into the wound and attached to a tube.  The tube is connected to a machine which pumps out any and all drainage from the wound.  The sponge-like foam contains organisms or chemicals (not sure which...) that encourage regeneration of tissue and fight bacteria, cleaning out the wound and giving the doctors extra tissue with which to work when doing skin grafts.  Jack's two wounds are now connected to one tube that drains both into the same machine. 

He is very much enjoying being home, as you can guess.  On Saturday he thoroughly enjoyed a large omelet, specially prepared just for him by Rolie (Whitney's husband).

Friday, October 7, 2011


WARNING: The post today is a photo of Jack's worst wound.  It is doing much better, and the photo is to show improvement (compare it to the earlier post of his injuries).  Please do not scroll down if you don't want to see the image.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Going Home!

Jack was released from the hospital on Tuesday afternoon.  Here he is enjoying visiting with family at his sister-in-law's house in Portland, where he and Carol Ann stayed the night last night.  They plan to drive home to La Grande today. 

Thank you all for your prayers, thoughts, and for visiting this page to keep up with how Jack was doing.  I would guess there will be a few more updates over the next few weeks as Jack goes in for a checkup next week, schedules surgery, discusses skin grafts with the doctors and surgeons, and works in physical therapy to ensure he regains range of motion with his arm and hand.  However, those updates will be much more infrequent.  Stay tuned, though - we'll keep you posted on his full recovery.