Published March 30th, 2016 by

Well, it’s been over a month since my last post. A few things have conspired to keep me away from writing.

First, a friend of the family was hit by necrotizing fasciitis, the flesh-eating bacteria. It’s so rare, I never thought I would know someone, personally, who would be stalked by this deadly foe. He is a young man, received a timely bit of advice from his pharmacist and a quick diagnosis by his first surgeon and, then, he was off to an excellent hospital. He’s come through with flying colors. Today, he just learned that his grafts had taken very well and he’ll be going home Friday, after a month in the hospital.… Read the rest “Back To The Blog”

Published March 30th, 2016 by

I used to tell people, jokingly, that I spared them from necrotizing fasciitis because, statistically, it’s so rare that they will only meet one person with this disease in their lifetime. Well, I can’t say that again as a personal family/friend has just passed through the worst of a bout with that nasty, cruel bacteria. His elbow and arm were affected and he has made it through the worst. It looks like the infection is under control and his surgeon has just grafted his affected area and the grafts took. So, he’ll be going home this Friday.

He’s pretty beat up, but rallying back.… Read the rest “The Impossible Just Became Possible”

Published February 6th, 2016 by

Back in October, I wrote about an injury to my reconstructed left leg that left a hole over my superior and inferior retinaculam (top of my foot, at the ankle), which revealed my tendon, sliding back and forth, as I moved my foot (shivers). As a necrotizing fasciitis survivor, one becomes something of a wound care specialist and, though I’ve gotten along treating myself for nearly 20 years, this one required more expertise than I have.

So, I visited my general practitioner to get a referral to a plastic surgeon, because I felt a graft may be required. But, the wound began coming together by that time and my GP was able to really help it out with some minor surgery in his office.… Read the rest “Wound Care Specialist”

Published November 28th, 2015 by

This week I’ll be heading back to the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Center to consult with a plastic surgeon on the skin ulcer over the tendon on my foot. A couple weeks ago, I was leaning toward a full-thickness skin graft to cover the area and get some more tissue over the tendon. Now, the wound is healing well and I’ll be surprised if the plastics man will suggest a graft. It’s looking good.

For those of us with extensive injuries from necrotizing fasciitis, this is part of a life-long process that can often be discouraging or downright depressing.… Read the rest “A Lifelong Process”

Published November 15th, 2015 by

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a wound I have on my tendon. I visited my GP and he did a bit of minor surgery and wound care on the hole over my tendon. It’s looking really good. But, he’s consulting with a plastic surgeon to see if I may need a full-thickness graft over the area. If I do have surgery, it would be the first since I left the hospital back in 1998. I had amazing results in the reconstruction of my leg and didn’t have to return to cover problem areas or releases on the keloid scarring around my joints.… Read the rest “Skin Graft?”

Published October 25th, 2015 by

IMG_1133Surviving the flesh-eating bacteria is an ongoing process. Once you make it past the initial 72 hours and find yourself still in the land of the living, dealing with the sometimes devastating effects can be challenging, whether the wounds are great or small. Often, I’ll post stories about those who have overcome incredible loss from this disease and, in light of their challenges, I see my wounds as being on the small end of the spectrum.

Denise has always wanted to visit the garden island of Kauai, in the Hawaiian Islands. So, we flew over there earlier this month. I thought I would try paddle-board surfing while we were there and Hanalei Bay is ideally suited for a first timer.… Read the rest “Overcoming Necrotizing Fasciitis: It’s A Process”

Published August 13th, 2015 by

NF Business CardThis is my new business card, which I designed in a hurry for a speaking engagement. My son provided the artwork over ten years ago and he did a great job!… Read the rest “Business Card”

Published May 12th, 2015 by

“On day four, the bacteria halted at the top of my thigh — Dr. Kellermann believes it was a miracle. That day, the surgeon brought Dr. Kellermann in to show him that the infection had moved all the way up into my lower back. The outside border and time of the examination had been written on my skin with an indelible marker. “We are taking him in for a final debridement, but he is not going to live. It’s like trying to stop a freight train with wet tissue paper,” the surgeon confided. One of the nurses in the burn unit ICU gave my wife the same grim prognosis, motioning with her hand up the left side and lower back.

Read the rest “The Day A Miracle Happened”
Published May 9th, 2015 by
Published April 8th, 2015 by
Published February 6th, 2015 by

So, The National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation came up with this cool graphic. I like it – I see God as the Superpower behind my survival. But, he’s more than a power, He’s a person and we have seen His glory in the face of Jesus Christ.

Anyway, why quibble? Maybe you don’t believe in God. But, those of us who have survived NF are just grateful to be alive and thankful for the caring, skilled hands of the physicians and caregivers who worked so hard to save us. We are also blessed by the support and prayers of family and friends — those other superheroes.… Read the rest “The National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation”

Published October 22nd, 2014 by

BookCoverWe had an assignment in my 2 dimensional design class to come up with a non-fiction book cover, which emphasizes the sub-title over everything else. The goal of the exercise was to experiment with visual hierarchy or placing emphasis on the most important elements in a commercial design. I haven’t given up on my goal to write a book-length account of my brawl with NF. This would not be the cover – for one thing, the image is not mine. And, I think I would have a different sub-title and put that second or third in the visual hierarchy. However, I like the title 72 Hours, connected to the image of a ticking clock.… Read the rest “Is This The Book Cover?”

Published August 22nd, 2014 by

Do you know of a school, church or other organization that may want to hear the harrowing story of how one man was blind-sided by the flesh-eating bacteria and lived to tell about it? I’ve shared our story a number of times, including an annual gig in science classes at our local middle school during “bacteria week.” More than once I was followed the next day by that gripping video drama, Killer Kitchens. Well, I do that sort of thing and, if I speak to your group, I promise to be clean shaven, appropriately dressed, and I’ll bring a version of the tale that is relevant and engaging.… Read the rest “Am I Presentable?”

Published May 23rd, 2006 by
Published October 3rd, 2005 by

Newsday.com: Anesthesiologists Take Pride in Music: “Anesthesiologists Take Pride in Music

By LINDSEY TANNER
AP Medical Writer

October 2, 2005, 4:03 PM EDT

CHICAGO — General anesthesia or local? Hip-hop or Sinatra? These are among the decisions facing Dr. Frank Gentile in his double-duty job as anesthesiologist and self-styled DJ of the OR. He doesn’t use a microphone or speak in a fake baritone. But the eclectic range of CDs he loads onto the anesthesia cart headed for the operating room would impress any bona fide disc jockey. Gentile’s collection is between 50 and 100 CDs, and his iPod holds about 5,000 songs.… Read the rest “Newsday.com: Anesthesiologists Take Pride in Music”