Just a brief Needlefoot update. Our son finally had the needle removed from his heel. The kid was very macho, allowing himself to be I.V.'d and injected without complaining, and entertaining the nurses with his dead pan humor. The surgery took an hour and a half because the needle, weakened from the weight of a 5'10, 170 lb teen, had broken into four pieces. Three stitches later, our son's foot is swaddled in cloth bandages and protected by an orthopedic boot. We were discharged with a $200 pair of crutches which the kid refuses to use as they don't fit his image. He's walking on that foot far more than he's supposed to, and we are hoping his heel doesn't burst open like an overripe fig. The boy has, however, happily heeded the warning about not getting his bandages wet and managed to avoid showering for three days. Last night, he wrapped his foot in two plastic bags and decided to get clean. I think he was starting to smell himself.
I underestimated the cost of the surgery by $2000 - we are now up to $7000, with two follow up visits to go.