Thanks to all for the encouragement. That was an interesting article, Gbro. Like the author, I regret the worry and inconvenience I have caused people.
If all goes well, I'll get another surgery Monday and trade this external contraption for internal plates, screws and a cast. The rods sticking out of my heal and shin tend to get caught on things when moving. I'll be glad when the rods are gone but I have learned to get around with a walker.
This has been hard on my wife and co-workers and hopefully I'll be soon able to do more around the house and do some work at the shop. The Oglethorpe county EMS people did a great job getting me to the emergency room and the staff at Athens Regional were great while I was there for the first surgery.