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How "Bonnie" Kicked Butt!

"I kept smoking and my arteries became clogged so bad that the pain was unbearable where I would cry."

· Patient Stories

Author: Bonnie

My mother died in my arms at hospice due to lung cancer. On her dying bed she ask me to promise her that I would quit smoking and I made the promise. Little did I know that it would take me 20 years and 6 surgeries later to keep my promise to my mom. My mom's death didn't scare me enough to quit smoking, however the threat of my left leg being amputated did motivate me to stop smoking. I was diagnosed with P.A.D. in the year 2000. I had a sore on my left foot that wouldn't heal and since I was a teacher and standing on my foot all day I blew it off until the pain was unbearable. I went to the emergency room and was told I was being admitted and they would be amputating my toe and 1 inch of my foot. I was given no other options and the surgery was performed. No mention of smoking was made to me by the doctors. I kept smoking and my arteries became clogged so bad that the pain was unbearable where I would cry. 

Finally the subject of smoking came up while I was in the hospital for an angioplasty and I blew it off and continued to smoke and needless to say the surgery failed. 

My P.A.D. became so bad I had to take an early retirement and ended up in a wheelchair. I had an infection in my knee that took 18 months and 2 surgeries and wound vac to finally heal. I'm still smoking though. I did make several attempts at stopping but I never lasted more than a few days. I had 4 angioplasty surgeries done some worked for a little while some didn't.

Last year 2020 July 4th I got cut on my shine bone by a ring and it became infected. I had no insurance at the time and went to emergency room where I was admitted due to no circulation in left leg causing wound to not heal. I had a skin graft and angioplasty done by vascular surgeon. Went home and smoked so skin graft failed and tendon came through my leg. Hospital was not happy because I was still smoking and said they were going to amputate my left leg. I said no and went home.

I met Dr. Daniel Elgut while in hospital and he gave me his card and told me to come see him. I did and he said to me "if you quit smoking I will do wound care at my office and a new skin Graff so we can save your leg". I had no insurance and agreed. I went home and prayed and took my 4 cartons of cigarettes and gave them to a friend. I joined a stop smoking group and kept an attitude of gratitude for my doctor. I had to learn how to cope with stress without cigarettes by changing my mind set. I had a hole they size of a baseball on my leg and was in so much pain it was kinda easy to do. It 5 months of weekly wound care a skin graft from shark and pig skin to get my leg back to normal. I am now walking with a walker instead of being in a wheelchair. When I get cravings for a cigarette I think of the wonderful job Dr. Elgut did to save my leg. 

I smoked for 50 years and I am now 8 months smoke free and beginning to walk again. Thank you God and Dr. Elgut.

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