TJ's Journey

By ston3xc Latest Reply 2010-12-16 20:01:09 -0600
Started 2010-12-15 18:31:31 -0600

It's been awhile, but things are going along a little better than expected. I think that's due to the resilience of youth. At first the road was a little rocky. TJ started dialysis the day after he had his foot amputated. The foot had to come off first because of the infection. The bones in his foot were turning to mush because of the infection. If he had not had his foot taken off, the infection would have compromised all the other procedures he has had done. He learned to hop around on his good foot with the aid of a walker. Of course, his "good" foot has also been affected by his diabetes. He had skin grafts applied to ulcers on both feet a few months ago. One took and the other one became infected. So he hops around on the one foot. He goes to dialysis 3 times a week. At 6:30 in the morning. He calls the taxi that takes him to the center an hour ahead. I arranged for a wheelchair to be delivered to his residence. He wheels it around the kitchen to prepare his meals and to clean up after himself. He is really trying hard to do the things he has to do by himself and I am so proud of him! I was so afraid that he was going to go into a deep depression and not even try to find his own way. He even has his own way of navigating the 2 steps leading up to the front door. He is in good spirites. He can't take a shower, yet, but we are working on getting him a shower bench. Then we'll work on getting him a ramp, so that he can go in and out of the house on his own by next summer. So, things are working themselves out. All of this could have been prevented, or at least, delayed if more care was taken when he was younger. He knows it and has taken full responsibilty for his neglet of his health. What I want people to take away from this account is this- you are responsible for the way you deal with your health! You can bury your head and try to ignore your health, but, the damage will still be going on where you can't see it. Until it rears it's ugly head and forces you to deal! There are pictures on the 3rd page of my profile picture page of the ulcer that TJ had to deal with. If that doesn't convince you than there's no hope for you. I'm hoping that there might be someone out there that will be spared all the pain and anguish that we have gone through these past few weeks. Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers!

11 replies

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2010-12-16 15:22:16 -0600 Report


I read your post with sadness, but also appreciated your honesty. I know that this was not easy for you to write, just as I know this has not been an easy situation for you to face. You are very brave. And your post is certainly inspiring.

Your story is a reminder of the importance of being proactive about self-care, being compliant, following the guidlines even when it doesn't seem like you should have to. But it is aslo about facing up to life as it is, not looking back but looking forward, and doing everything possible to have a future. Taking responsibility. And yes, having an optimistic, can-do attitude.

I wish TJ the absolute best future possible. It sounds like you will be working together to make that happen.

Thanks a lot! And please keep us posted!

ston3xc 2010-12-16 20:01:09 -0600 Report

As I said before, I am so proud of TJ as he has chosen to go forward on this road and I will be following with my support at the ready when , and if, he needs it.

GabbyPA 2010-12-16 11:07:28 -0600 Report

His story is a great inspiration. So often we get bitter and resentful of things. Taking responsibility is good, but he also must realize that it is not a fault thing. Sometimes, even when we do all the right stuff, bad things happen. However, that should never be a reason to give up and not do anything. His power has come with his loss. Some people just take a little more to reach that point. I'm sure there will be days when he is not so resilient, but you can always be the support that he needs.

ston3xc 2010-12-16 19:54:28 -0600 Report

I am so glad that I have gotten the message that I wanted across. Sometimes we can't see the big picture because we're so caught up with the little inconviences that come with this disease. This is a disease that requires you to be pro-active. My only reason for posting TJ's experiences is that it will help others to keep up the fight also. He had his first fall on Tuesday when he came back from dialysis. Squarely on his stump! Painkillers and sleep and a little time helped that. He had a shrink cap fitted on it yesterday in preparation for a temporary prothesis. Look for futher updates in the near future. Wishing everyone warm and happy holidays!

jayabee52 2010-12-16 01:35:20 -0600 Report

Howdy Carol!
Thanks for the update on TJ! Too bad he didn't take his DM seriously before he had to have the amputation. At least he's serious about it now. Those ulcers really looked nasty! Fortunately I've been able to avoid those. Thanks for posting those pics on your profile. Maybe they can be used to scare somebody straight.

Blessings to you and yours!


ston3xc 2010-12-16 07:51:23 -0600 Report

Thanks for your response! When TJ was 17, he rebelled and refused to be treated like a diabetic. I tried to keep him on track, but I also realized that I couldn't live his life for him. I told him about possible side effects that he might experience, but at age 17 teenagers live forever! Now he tells everybody that will listen how important it is to keep upon their DM.
Thanks, again!

GabbyPA 2010-12-16 11:09:45 -0600 Report

You made the greatest and hardest step when you realized that you cannot live his life for him. That is painful, but it is true. His struggle will serve a greater purpose in teaching kids to listen to him now, because he has been there and lived to tell the tale.