My Medical History
I was born on June 15, 1948 at Salem Hospital in Salem, Marion County, Oregon.
When I was still quite young, I was diagnosed as pigeon-toed. A doctor had me
walk on the outsides of my feet to strengthen them, but it seemed to stretch
the muscles instead of tighten them, for soon I could practically walk on the
tops of my feet. As I was growing up, I had first leather arch support inserts,
then fiberglass. I was never sure how much any of them helped. My ankles
remained weak and my feet ached at night.
I broke my right wrist while scuffling with another boy in a yard behind
my mother's diner. It was put in a cast until it healed.
When I graduated from High School (165 lbs), I continued gaining weight at about
9 lbs per year, though I had stopped growing taller. I thought it was a change
in my metabolism.
When I was in Basic Training in the Army, I was unable to meet the minimum
physical training requirements in the P.T. tests. These included running a mile
in under six minutes and several other events. I was sent to a Special Training
Company for a few weeks to get me in shape. There I was diagnosed with sprained
knees given aspirin, and told to go back to whatever I was doing. After several
weeks, I was given, but didn't earn, passing scores and sent back to a regular
While in the Army, I had my eyes tested. The left eye was 20/15, the right was
20/13, both better than "normal".
In August 1977, I developed thrombophlebitis in my right thigh after returning
from a long bus trip. I missed work for a while to keep my leg elevated.
In November 1979, I was in an auto accident, broke my right femur, collapsed a
lung, got a deep gash under my right eye, and fractured a bone in my foot,
though the last went undiscovered for a while. When they reset the femur with a
steel pin, they said it was crooked and reset it again. To this day it is
crooked, skewed to the right, so that now both feet turn to the right (like
having two left feet).
As the leg healed, I developed arthritis in my joints, notably my feet, knees,
and hands. When I turned my ankle badly, a podiatrist showed me the arthritis
in my feet (and a bone spur on my heel) in an X-ray. I began using a walking
stick to help if I should turn my ankle or my knee gave out suddenly.
I was diagnosed as hypertensive (having high blood pressure).
About 1990, my eyesight worsened and I was prescribed reading glasses. I was
told my far vision was 20/20. I thought "So this is 20/20? How do people live
In late 1992, I developed edema in my lower legs and feet. The doctor
prescribed HydrChloroThiaZide (HCTZ) and arranged for me to get a pair
of support stockings.
After moving to Portland at the end of 1994. My family saw a woman
doctor who reminded me of a drill sergeant from the Army. We never
went back to her, but depended upon Neighborhood Clinics for a while.
A Nurse Practitioner at the clinic prescribed Metoprolol for my high
blood pressure, telling me it could cause "impotence", and sent me to
the Providence Ambulatory Care & Education (P.A.C.E.) clinic where I
was seen by a Dr. Chris Kauffman.
In July, I was diagnosed as diabetic (type II). I began taking oral medication
and controlling my diet better. I also had a serious spell where I thought I
might pass out, while waiting for a traffic light. The hospital checked me out,
including an angiogram, but found no cause for it.
On June 9, I underwent a sleep study at Providence Hospital to see if I had any
serious sleep problems like apnea, snoring, breathing stoppage, etc. I had some
apnea, but nothing they considered serious. I didn't sleep very well.
Dr. Kauffman finished his training and moved back east to start a private
practice. I was afterwards seen by his mentor, Dr. Rosenberg.
By 1999, I had developed E.D. At first, I blamed it on the metoprolol that I was
taking for my hypertension, but later, after quitting that medication for a
while for economic reasons, I learned that it was probably caused by my
diabetes, and should be correctable with other medication.
Also in 1999, I started losing weight (my maximum was 376 lbs), mostly
due to reducing the portions that I ate.
In December, while going through a divorce, I developed neuropathy in my
feet and in the ring finger and little finger of my left hand.
I got an infection in my right big toe. The doctor tried antibiotics,
but the infection reached the bone and most of my big toe had to be amputated
(Sept 16). I was prescribed a walker to keep some of the weight off my feet.
I got a sore on another toe. I went to the Wound Care Clinic to have it
treated until my insurance ran out, but it healed on its own after that. In
December, another sore began on what was left of the amputated toe and I
cleaned and dressed it as well as I could on my own.
After my Unemployment benefits ran out, I qualified for the
Oregon Health Plan and chose a Primary Care Physician whose office was right
across the street from my (rented) house. He put me back on medications for my
hypertension and diabetes and arranged for Home Health nurses to come to the
house and care for the wound. I was to stay off my feet as much as possible.
When it was apparent there was no improvement in the toe, I was sent to
a podiatrist. He decided a bone left by the previous amputation was pressing on
the sore, preventing it from healing over. He amputated it near the end of
- EVERGREEN -
I was placed in a nursing facility (Evergreen) while it healed, supposedly for
two weeks, as I couldn't put any weight on it at all for a while. The facility
was able to get Medicaid to cover my stay.
It soon became apparent that I could not take care of myself on my own, with my
medical conditions and having no other means of support. I applied for, and
received, Social Security Disability benefits. Medicaid paid for an eye exam
and for the trifocals that were prescribed for me.
In August 2004, I was apparently bitten by a spider on my right arm near the
wrist and it took antibiotics and nearly a month to heal up.
In September, I was told that my HDL (good cholesterol) was very low and was
prescribed Niacin, which caused "hot flash"-like reactions which lasted up to
four hours at a time every day.
In November, I was told that my LDL (bad cholesterol) was too high (the rules
had changed) and was prescribed Lovastatin.
- FOSTER CARE -
On September 11, 2006, when I moved to Kim's Adult Foster Care, I was transferred
to a new doctor. I had my first appointment with him on October 3rd. He reviewed
my medications and made some adjustments. He said I should have orthopedic shoes.
In mid-November, after my House Manager inquired about my meds and some other issues,
We got a fax from the doctor's office indicating that he did not know what medications
I was taking. We were not happy with that, at all. She suggested I change my health
care to Providence Elderplace. The week before Thanksgiving I visited the Gresham
facility and signed up with them to handle my health care. They have activities
downstairs and a clinic upstairs.
On November 25th, the day after returning from a bus trip to Salem for Thanksgiving,
I discovered phlebitis in my lower left thigh. I began keeping my leg elevated. Two
days later, I discovered an abcess above my left ankle. On the 30th, I was seen by
my doctor at Elderplace who looked at my thigh and ankle and put me on an antibiotic.
In December, my Elderplace doctor saw that I got a flu shot, an EKG, blood tests,
a pneumonia shot, a dental checkup, an ultrasound of my legs (no clots were found),
new support hose (more comfortable and durable than the ones I got through
Evergreen), an appointment to have my last prescription glasses adjusted so I could
use them, a podiatrist visit (he had me soak my feet in Epsom salt and warm water),
my ears cleaned of wax, and an echocardiogram. They changed the dressing on my
abcess on Thursdays at Elderplace, and had my caregiver do it during the week.
On January 4, I was fitted for orthopedic shoes.
On January 25, I was given a tetanus shot.
On January 27, I underwent a sleep study at Providence Hospital to see if I had any
serious sleep problems like apnea, snoring, breathing stoppage, etc. I didn't sleep
very well, maybe only 3 to 4 hours.
On January 31, I received my diabetic/orthopedic shoes.
On November 1st, 2007, I got my flu shot while at Ederplace for my regular
On May 22, 2008, I was driven to the Troutdale Vision Clinic for an eye
examination. My right eye is 20/20 with my glasses. My left eye has
"epiretinal fibrosis superior to the macula". The doctor says they can do
nothing about it. He says there is no sign of diabetes in my eyes. I picked
a new frame for my next glasses and the doctor made adjustments to them to
make them fit my face.